The Zafarnāma was a spiritual victory letter sent by Guru Gobind Singh in 1705 to the Mughal Emperor of India, Aurangzeb, after the Battle of Chamkaur. The letter is written in Persian and verse. The version currently in circulation found in the Dasam Granth, the compilation of Guru Gobind Singh’s poetry, is in Gurmukhi script and Persian verse. Guru Gobind Singh sent 5 Singhs including Daya Singh, Dharam Singh and Sambhal Singh with the help of Naib Subedar Haji Sardar Shah to deliver the Zafarnama to Emperor Aurangzeb in Ahmednagar in 1707.
In this letter, Guru Gobind Singh reminds Aurangzeb how he and his soldiers had broken their oaths sworn upon the Qur'an when they promised safe passage to the Guru but launched a hidden attack of an army described as much larger, on forty famished Sikh soldiers. He tells Aurangzeb this was not a battle, it was a slaughter. As such, in spite of losing most of his Sikhs in this attack, he had won a moral victory over the Emperor who had broken his vows to Allah. He also states that despite sending a huge army to capture or kill the Guru, the Mughal forces did not succeed in their mission.
This historic poem was translated in Hindi verse for the first time in 300+ years by Veteran Wing Commander Vijay Chattur. To speak more about this piece of Indian culture, Ami Ganatra explores his view on the text and more.