Khalilullah “Padishah of the Pen: Royal Scribe and Ambassador of Shah ‘Abbas and Ibrahim ‘Adil Shah II

Jake Benson (Translator), Kimia Maleki (Translator), Hamidreza Ghelichkhani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The calligrapher Mir Khalilullah, also known as Mir Khalil Bakharzi, was from the city of Bakharz in Khurasan. This could explain why Muhammad Salih Isfahani (d. 1714) called him Mir Khalil Haravi and Ghulam Muhammad Haft Qalami Dihlavi (d. 1823) described him as a sayyid (“Mir” signaling sayyid). In some biographical accounts and historical chronicles, the given name and pen name of Khalilullah have been mistaken, due to confusion stemming from the calligrapher’s variant signatures. In his Futuhat-i ‘Adil Shahi (Conquests of the ‘Adil Shahs, 1054/1645), for example, Hashim Beg “Fuzuni” Astarabadi (appendix, chap. 1, no. 47) variously gives him three titles: Shah (king), Shah Khalilullah (King Khalilullah), and Shah Khalilullah-i “But-Shikan” (King Khalilullah the “Idol Destroyer” or “Iconoclast”).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIran and the Deccan
Subtitle of host publicationPersianate Art, Culture, and Talent in Circulation
EditorsKeelan Overton
Place of PublicationBloomington, Indiana
PublisherIndiana University Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Print)9780253048943
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Persian Calligraphy
  • Deccani Manuscripts
  • Persianate Manuscripts
  • Iran-Deccan relations
  • Deccan Sultanates
  • Bijapur
  • ‘Adil Shahi Dynasty
  • Ibrahim ‘Adil Shah II
  • Shah ‘Abbas I
  • Safavid Dynasty


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