"Jangnama" is an eye-witness account of Ahmed Shah Durrani's invasion of 1764of which our knowledge is extremely poor otherwise. The eye-witness was Nur Muhanmmed, a domicile of Ganjuba in Baluchistan who held the post of Qazi, which he inherited from his father Abd - ullah Hilwar of Ganjuba. He had some pretentions to being a man of learning, a scholar of Persian and a learned poet. His fame as a man of letters travelled to the city of Kalat, and the ruler of that place, Mir Abdullah Khan asked him to compile a book of his poetry. The sugges- tion appealed to him and he decided to compose an epic to extol the achievements of Abdull-ah Khan.The decision, however, had to be abandoned, perhaps because of the death of Khan.
In 1761, he went to Kalat; understandably to get some favours now from Nasir Khan, who had succeeded Abdullah Khan and was seriously thinking of leading a crusade against the Sikhs whose power was increasing, thereby causing anxiety to Ahmed Shah Durrani and the Balu-chis . Nur Muhammed now offered to accompany Nasir Khan on his contemplated expedition provided the Khan promised him the post of Qazi in Shikarpore or the Deras. Durrani on his return from Punjab bestowed these territories upon him as a reward for his services. And the Qazi, on his part, undertook to write an account of the Khan's exploits on his holy mission. Nasir Khan accepted his offer and he accompanied the expeditionary force which joined the forces of Ahmed Shah Durrani in the winter of 1764. He was thus an eye-witness to all engage-ments and his narration of events is based on his personal observations.
On his return to Ganjuba on the conclusion of the expedition, Nur Muhammed completed the Jang Namah towards the close of Al-Hijari corresponding to about June 1765.The work consists of 55 statements called "Bian" in Persian - each dealing with some event, personality, racial group, tactics of war, or the behaviour of the Sikhs.The author has a strong prejudice against the Sikhs whom he remembers in no better words than dogs, dog of hell, pig eaters, accursed infidels, dirty idolators, fire worshippers, etc., yet his account of the character of the Sikhs of the eighteenth century is simply invaluable to the students of history.
The author is lavish in praise of his mentor and the crusades - both Baluchis and Pathans, sometimes depriving the historical narrative of its objectivity. Further, he reserves a strong hatred for the Sikhs. All these things minimize the historical value of the work. Yet, inspite of this , it is a very valuable and correct corroboration in respect of their struggle against the Afghani invaders, the desecration by the Durranis of their holy tank and temple, the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) at Amritsar and the martyrdom of Baba Gurbakhsh Singh Shaheed with his band of 30 Sikhs who valiantly challenged an army of 30,000 Afghanis and Baluchis and sacrificed their lives at the altar of their faith.
It is from the Jang Namah alone that we learn that the Sikhs under the Bhangis had crossed the Indus and had extended their conquest as far as Multan and Deras by the middle of 1764 in a few months after the conquest of Sirhind. Moreover, Jang Namah is the only detailed account, known to us, of the seventh invasion of Punjab by Ahmed Shah Durrani.So far as the Sikhs are concerned Jang Namah is an invaluable source of information. It visualises Sikhism and Sikh society as a separate entity, different from Hinduism.The conviction of Nur Muham-med was fully shared by his mentors, and perhaps, this was the reason that Ahmed Shah Abdali's anger was directed against Darbar Sahib which was the chief source of inspiration to the Sikhs.
The Sikhs offered resistance to Ahmed Shah Abdali in the manner that evoked praise even in the hearts of their detractors. Nur Muhammed inspite of his sympathy for his comrades-in-faith and hatred for the Sikhs could not help describing their excellent conduct, their experience in battlefield, their liberality and their valour, intrepedity, agility and grand physical appearance. This he did most probably to impress upon the soldiers of the invading armies that Sikhs were strong enough to withstand their onslaught because in moral conduct they were excellent and none surpassed them.In his account, he dwells on the qualities of the Sikhs about which every Sikh should feel proud. We present a liberal translation of Qazi Nur Muhammed's narration which elucidates their (Sikhs) high conduct, their mode of fighting, their faith and courage, etc: