Sacred Texts  Islam  Index  Previous  Next 

The Glory of the Shia World, by P. M. Sykes and Khan Bahadur Ahmad din Khan, [1910], at

p. iii


Owing to the fact that a majority of reviewers consider The Glory of the Shia World to be the work of a Persian, whereas it has been written entirely by myself, it seems best to explain the precise position.

I would state frankly that my ambition has been to write a second Haji Baba, which would serve as a true picture of Persia some ten years ago, before constitutional reform appeared on the horizon, just as Morier in his immortal work depicted it in the reign of Fath Ali Shah.

The events take place in parts of Persia and Baluchistan with which I am familiar, and, throughout, I narrate what I have actually seen or heard; though naturally the names and circumstances have been altered.

Khan Bahadur Ahmad Din Khan assisted me to collect information on birth, death, marriage, and the New Year ceremonies. He also described

p. iv

the Meshed Shrine to me and brought me many of the quotations and aphorisms which are scattered about in the book.

I can guarantee the accuracy of the various customs which are described, and my familiarity with the life has helped me to give the standpoint of the Persian, which is so different from our own.

Finally, I did not intend to deceive the reviewers or the reading public any more than Morier did; and I imagined that as the hero proclaimed himself the grandson of "Haji Baba" no further clue was needed. At the same time, for high authorities to consider that my work must have been written by a Persian constitutes high praise.

P. M. SYKES, Major.
H.M.'s Consul-General.

MESHED, 7th January 1911.

Next: Contents