Sword of Aurangzeb


National Museum - New Delhi

National Museum - New Delhi

This sword is a single-edged shamshir and is made of fine watered steel. From the forte to the middle, the blade is profusely inscribed in golden letters with Arabic verses written in the Naskh script. However, the name of Aurangzeb is written in Nasta’liq script. Calligraphically, this inscription is one of the best examples of its kind.

The inscribed verses read “Bismillah-i-rehman-al-rahim. Nasrun Min-al-allah-i-wa Fathun Qarib. La Fataha illa Ali, La Saifa-illa Zulfiqar. La yasmaoon Fiha Laghwan wa la kizzaban. Jazaun Min Rabbika Qabiyan”.

In the name of God, the beneficent, the merciful, (With) help from Allah, a speedy victory is near // There is no warrior but Ali // There is no sword but Zulfiqar. No vanity shall they hear therein (in Heaven), nor untruth (One will receive) recompense from the Lord, a gift...

These lines echo the inscription that is said to have been written on the famed Zulfiqar sword that the Prophet Muhammad gifted to his nephew and son-in- law, Hazrat Ali.

In the centre of the blade is a tughra with the name of Aurangzeb below which is written Ya Allah, Ya Mohammad, Ya Ali.

The blade is beautifully decorated with figures of fish, a tiger and a deer and floral and creeper designs, all in gold. The hilt is unique. It consists of straight quillons and a rectangular grip of steel fitted with ivory pieces on both sides. These ivory pieces are decorated with floral and fish-scale patters. The sides of the grip and the quillons are damascened with floral and creeper designs.

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  • Title: Sword of Aurangzeb
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date: 1600/1700
  • Location: Mughal, Delhi
  • Physical Dimensions: 94.0 cm
  • Accession Number: 61.1984

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