Petition (arze dasht) from 'Abd al-Rashid to Shah Jahan asking for a few days respite after 17 years of service, on account of infirmity. Abdul Rashid Daylami, called 'rashida' (d. 1647) was a calligrapher who served in the Mughal court of Shah Jahan. Not only was he the nephew of the famed calligrapher and master of nasta'liq Mir 'Imad, he was also his disciple. After the assassination of his famous uncle in 1615, Abdul Rashid was given shelter by Jahangir at the Mughal court. Subsequently Abdul Rashid was appointed as the calligraphy instructor to Shah Jahan's favourite son Dara Shikoh, (for a discussion on Dara Shikoh see lot 273). Dara Shikoh is considered to be one of the finest calligraphers of the Mughal Royal household (A. Schimmel, Calligraphy and Islamic Culture, New York, 1984, p.68). Eventually, after twenty-three years of service at the Mughal court, Abdul Rashid requested to be released permanently from service due to ill health. (See M. Bayani, tadhkira-i khushnivisan: nasta'liq-nivisan, Tehran, 1967-69, no. 514, p. 541). This elegant letter addressed to Shah Jahan from Abdul Rashid Daylami is therefore an interesting insight into the relationship between calligrapher and emperor. It also demonstrates that his health was already suffering a few years before he retired. His writing however is as consistent and strong as ever.