Nur Jahan

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Begum Nur Jahan (Persian, Urdu: نور جہاں‎) (alternative spelling Noor Jahan, Nur Jehan, Nor Jahan, etc.) (31 May 1577–17 December 1645), also known as Mehr-un-Nisaa, was Empress of the Mughal Empire that covered much of the Indian subcontinent. She was an aunt of Empress Mumtaz Mahal, Emperor Shah Jahan's wife for whom the Taj Mahal was made. Begum Nur Jahan was the twentieth and favourite wife of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, who was her second husband. The story of the couple's infatuation for each other and the relationship that abided between them is the stuff of many (often apocryphal) legends. She remains historically significant for the sheer amount of imperial authority she wielded - the true "power behind the throne," as Jehangir was battling serious addictions to alcohol and opium throughout her reign - and is known as one of the most powerful women who ruled India with an iron fist. Contents [hide]

1 Birth
2 Marriage with Sher Afghan
3 Marriage with Jahangir
4 Mughal empress
5 Death
6 Nur Jahan in pop culture
7 See also
8 References
9 Further reading
10 External links

Kandahar (Candahar), Nur Jahan's place of birth, is now southern Afghanistan Nur Jahan was born on May 31 1577 in Kandahar (now in Afghanistan) to traveling Persian, Mirza Ghiyas Beg from Tehran (now in Iran). Her Persian-born grandfather, who was in the service of Shah Tahmasp I, died in Yazd, laden with honours. His heirs, however, soon fell upon hard times. His son Mirza Ghias Beg (known as Itmad-ud-Daulah, "Pillar of the State", a title conferred on him by Akbar) travelled to South Asia with his family where he rose to become an administrative official in the Mughal court. For their journey, Ghias Beg and his wife, Asmat Begum, joined a caravan travelling southward under the leadership of a merchant noble named Malik Masud. While still in Persian territory, less than half the way to their destination, Ghias Beg's party was attacked by robbers and the family lost almost everything it owned. Left with only two mules, Ghias Beg, his expectant wife, their children, Muhammad Sharif, Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan, and one daughter, took turns riding on the backs of the animals. When the group reached Kandahar, Asmat Begum gave birth to her fourth child and second daughter, Mehr-un-Nisaa. [edit]Marriage with Sher Afghan

Mehr-Un-Nisaa was married to Sher Afghan Quli Khan when she was seventeen in 1594, the marriage arranged by Akbar. Sher Afghan was the governor of Burdwan, in Bengal. In 1605, Mehr-Un-Nisaa gave birth to a daughter, also called Mehr-Un-Nisaa (later at court she was named Ladli), Mehr-Un-Nisaa was the one and only child she ever had. In 1607, Sher Afghan Quli Khan was killed during a misunderstanding. During this time Sher Afgan Quli Khan had held the title of Sher Afgan, granted to him by Jahangir as Quli saved his life from an angry tigress. Also, during this time, Jahangir may have been asking Sher Afgan Quli Khan to give Mehr-Un-Nisaa to him, for his harem, although the truth of this is uncertain, as Jahangir married her in 1611, after she had been at court (see below) for four years. [edit]Marriage with Jahangir

The Mughal Emperor Jahangir and Prince Khurram with Nur Jahan. The emperor Akbar died in 1605 and was succeeded by prince Salim, who took the regal name Jahangir. After her husband Sher Afghan (who was appointed as jagirdar of Bardhaman, a city in Bengal) was killed in 1607, Mehr-un-Nisaa became a lady-in-waiting to one of the Jahangir's stepmothers, Ruqayya Sultana Begum. Ruqayya was the most senior woman in the harem and had been Akbar's first and principal wife and was also the daughter of Mirza Hindal. The father of Mehr-un-Nisaa was, at that time, a diwan to an amir-ul-umra, decidedly not a very high post. The year 1607 had not been particularly good for Mehr-un-Nisaa. Her family had fallen into disgrace. Her father, who had been holding important posts under Akbar and Jahangir, had...
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