The Hamzanama (Persian/Urdu: حمزه نامه Hamzenâme, Epic of Hamza) or Dastan-e-Amir Hamza (Persian/Urdu: داستان امیر حمزه Dâstâne Amir Hamze, "Adventures of Amir Hamza") narrates the legendary exploits of Amir Hamza, or Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib, an uncle of Muhammad. Most of the stories are extremely fanciful, "a continuous series of romantic interludes, threatening events, narrow escapes, and violent acts".[1] The Hamzanama chronicles the fantastic adventures of Hamza as he and his band of heroes fight against the enemies of Islam.

"The Spy Zanbur Bringing Mahiyya to the City of Tawariq", from the Akbar Hamzanama

The stories, from a long-established oral tradition, were written down in Persian, the language of the courts of Persianate societies, in multiple volumes, presumably in the era of Mahmud of Ghazni (r. 998–1030). In the West, the work is best known for the enormous illustrated manuscript, the Akbar Hamzanama, commissioned by the Mughal emperor Akbar about 1562. The written text augmented the story as traditionally told orally in dastan performances. The dastan (storytelling tradition) about Amir Hamza persists far and wide up to Bengal and Arakan, as the Mughal Empire controlled those territories.[2] The longest version of the Hamzanama exists in Urdu and contains 46 volumes comprising over 45,000 pages.[3]

Mir Sayyid Ali, the prophet Elias (Elijah) rescuing Prince Nur ad-Dahr from drowning in a river, from the Akbar Hamzanama

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