ʿABD-AL-RAḤĪM ʿANBARĪN-QALAM, calligrapher of India (fl. late 10th-11th cent.). He was a native of Herat but, as a young man, went to India and entered the service of ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm Ḵān Ḵānān. According to the Maʾāṯer-e Raḥīmī,he gained a wide reputation for his nastaʿlīq hand while writing manuscripts for the Ḵān Ḵānān’s library. After some years the Ḵān Ḵānān presented him at the court of Akbar, where ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm received an appointment. A number of examples of his work are extant. 1. A manuscript of the Anvār-e Sohaylī, illustrated by Akbar’s artists at the Lahore court, was brought from the state of Balarampur and exhibited at the Indian History Conference, Allahabad (see Proceedings of the Indian Historical Conference, 1938, p. 64). It is signed: “Completed at the hand of the sinful ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm al-Heravī. May almighty God conceal his faults and forgive his sins. Written at Lahore, the capital of the state, A. H. 1005.” 2. The India Office’s Johnson collection, book no. 16, contains a specimen of his calligraphy written in 1006 and signed: “ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm al-Heravī.” 3. The same collection’s book no. 7 contains an outstanding nastaʿlīq specimen written for Ḥakīm Ṭāleb ʿAlī. 4. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has an example dated 1008 and signed as in 2, above. 5. ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm’s honorific title, possibly bestowed by the emperor Jahāngīr, accompanies his name on a specimen dated 1022 (C. Stanley Clerk, Indian Drawings, London, 1922, pl. 17 and fig. 26). 6. Examples of his writing in the collection of A. C. Ardeshir of Poona begin with the date 1028. These were usually written at Agra and sometimes bear the name of a Mughal courtier. 7. A manuscript of the Jahāngīrnāma in the State library in Tehran is dated 1034 (Bayānī, Ḵᵛošnevīsān II, p. 390) and signed with ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm’s name and title. 8. The collection of Aligarh Muslim University contains one specimen of his writing, signed with his name and title and dated 1037 (OCM supp., Feb. and May, 1953, p. 390). 


See also M. Mahfuzul Haq, “The Khan Khanan and His Painters, Illuminators and Calligraphists,” IC 5, 1931, p. 628.

(M. A. Chaghatai)

Originally Published: December 15, 1982

Last Updated: July 14, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, pp. 140-141

Cite this entry:

M. A. Chaghatai, “'Abd-Al-Rahim 'Anbarin-Qalam,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/2, pp. 140-141; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abd-al-rahim-anbarin-qalam (accessed on 16 January 2014).