The Zafarnāma (Punjabi: ਜ਼ਫ਼ਰਨਾਮਾ, Persian: ظفرنامہ, lit. Epistle of Victory) was a spiritual victory letter sent by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1705 to the Mughal Emperor of India, Aurangzeb after the Battle of Chamkaur. The letter is written in Persian verse.
Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji sent Bhai Daya Singh Ji to Ahmednagar to give it to Aurangzeb. However, it is said that a copy of the Zafarnama, written by himself, was found with the Mahant of Patna Sahib in 1890 and one Babu Jagan Nath made a copy; this copy was somehow misplaced by him. Since Babu Jagan Nath was himself a scholar in the Persian language, he could reproduce it from his memory and got it printed in Nagri Parcharni Patrika in Benaras.
He is also believed to have sent a copy to Sardar Umrao Singh Shergill in Amritsar who is said to have given it to Khalsa College and which in turn reproduced in Makhzan-e-Twarikh Sikhan. In Punjab newspapers, it first appeared in the Khalsa Samachar on 16 July 1942. Then in 1944, Kapur Singh ICS published it in Urdu Ajit of Lahore under the heading “Fatehnama”.
It is quite possible that in the process of translations and publications of the Zafarnama at different stages, some verses were not reproduced correctly and what we have today is not the original Zafarnama of the Guru in its entirety. The abrupt end of the Zafarnama also indicates that it is not complete and that some verses have been left out.
Objections raised by some scholars on the authenticity of a few verses may be viewed in this context. In this letter, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji reminds Aurangzeb how he and his henchmen had broken their oaths sworn upon the Qur’an. He also states that in spite of his several sufferings, he had won a moral victory over the Emperor who had broken all his vows. Despite sending a huge army to capture or kill the Guru, the Mughal forces did not succeed in their mission.
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