The work started with the financial assistance of the late Nawab Sultana Jehan Begum of Bhopal and later through the aid of the Nizam of Hyderabad.
Nomani had only managed to complete the first two volumes when he died in 1914. His loyal disciple Syed Sulaiman Nadvi, who was working with him as his literary assistant on the project, collected his research papers and manuscripts and had them published.
Originally in Urdu, the book since has been translated into many languages. The Arabic translation of the first part of this work was done by late Muhammad Ismail Madrasi of Algiers University. It was translated into English by Tayyab Bakhsh Budayuni and Mohammad Saeed Siddiqi.