Mumtaz Mahal (6 April 1593 – 17 June 1631) (Persian, Urdu: ممتاز محل [mumˈt̪aːz mɛˈɦɛl]; meaning "the chosen one of the palace") born as Arjumand Banu Begum (ارجمند بانو بیگم) was a Mughal Empress and chief consort of emperor Shah Jahan. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Taj Mahal, Agra was constructed by her husband as her final resting place.
Arjumand Banu Begum was born in Agra into a family of Persian nobility, as a daughter of Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan, making her a niece (and later daughter-in-law) of Empress Nur Jehan, the wife of the emperor Jahangir. Arjumand Banu Begum was married at the age of 19, on 10 May 1612, to Prince Khurram, known as Shah Jahan, who conferred upon her the title "Mumtaz Mahal". Though betrothed to Shah Jahan in 1607, she ultimately became his third wife, in 1612, and was his favorite. She died in Burhanpur in the Deccan (now in Madhya Pradesh) during the birth of their fourteenth child, a daughter named Gauhara Begum.
Mumtaz Mahal mothered fourteen children by Shah Jahan, including Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan's successor, the Imperial Prince Dara Shukoh the heir apparent anointed by Shah Jahan and Jahanara Begum, the Imperial Princess.
The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan is accompanied by his and Mumtaz Mahal's three sons: Dara Shikoh, Shah Shuja and Aurangzeb, including their maternal grandfather Asaf Khan IV.
Arjumand Banu Begum was born in Agra into a family of Persian nobility, as a daughter of Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan, making her a niece (and later daughter-in-law) of Empress Nur Jehan, the wife of the emperor Jahangir. Her younger sister Parwar Khanum married Sheikh Farid the son of Nawab Qutubuddin, the governor of Badaun who was also emperor Jahangir's foster brother. Empress Mumtaz was religiously indeed a Shia Muslim.
In 1607 AD (1016 AH), Prince Khurram, also known as Shah Jahan, was betrothed to Arjumand Banu Begum who was just 14 years old at the time. She would become the unquestioned love of his life. They... [continues]
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