The Moghal Emperor Humayun

 The Moghal Emperor Humayun


2 armies clashed in Chausa area of Bihar, India, on June 15,1539 and factored a vital decision in Indian history. 


Moghal Emperor Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah Suri in this battle, and he became the Emperor of India. 


Humayun fled to Afghan province Herat which then was a part of Khurasan under the Safavid Sultanate of Iran. 


The Minister of Khurasan, Khwaja Muhammad Sharif, served tremendous hospitality to Humayun. 


Humayun got back his emperor after years yet it brought bad days to his host in Iran. Khwaja Muhammad Sharif passed away. 



Shah Iran attached the property of Khwaja's family after rivals of the deceased negatively projected his image. 


The son of Khwaja Sharif, Mirza Ghiyas Beg was banished. He was given only an aged horse, a camel and some eatables for the journey. Mirza Ghiyas Beg also had two sons and a daughter with him. 


This family began the journey to India. On the way in Kandahar, his wife Asmat-un-Nisa, gave birth to a baby girl under a tree.


  This girl named, Noor Jahan, became the Empress of India later on. When Noor Jehan was born, her parents were passing through the worst days. 


So much so that they counted her birth an addition to their sufferings. It is endorsed by the fact they abandoned the newly born Noor Jehan in the jungle on the way to India.


They wore a ring with Quran verses inscribed on and tied to a string, on her neck as safety against the animals. 

After they went away rider in a caravan spotted this baby sucking thumb and took her to the other travellers.

      A narrative goes that the rider a saw a snake coiled on the head side of the baby posing her protection. The rider asked the snake to get aside and assured he would raise the baby.

        And amazingly the snake crept away and the rider picked up the baby girl. The rider took the baby to the leader of the caravan, a merchant, Malik Masood and told him this story. 


        The merchant took the baby to a nearby village to arrange a maid to milk and foster her. It was coincidence that Mirza Ghiyaz Beg with his family were also present in the same village. 


They saw the baby and told the merchant she was theirs. The merchant handed them over the baby and when he learned that Mirza Ghiyas Beg was the son... of former minister of Khurasan, took the whole family with him to Agra. 


      He produced Mirza Ghiyas Beg before the Royal Court. Then Akbar, the son of Humayun, was the ruler of India. When Akbar learned about the hospitality of Beg's father to his father Humayun, he gave him job in his Court. 


Thus Ghiyas Beg who had reached Agra in a miserable state soon became the owner of 36 factories. Now the same daughter whom Beg had left in the jungle considering ominous, became dear to him as very lucky. 


   The baby was to be given the name at the age of five on the occasion of Noruz festival. Her mother used to call her by the name of Meharun Nisa. 

    On Nowruz day, when her name was searched from the Quran, the word 'Shams' (the Sun) emerged. So Meharun Nisa was given the permanent name of Shamsun Nisa.


It was her real but she continued to be popular by the name of Meharun Nisa. Mirza Ghiyas lived in the Royal Palace so Meharun Nisa was also fully taught royal manners and decorum. 


She also learned the skill of archery, swimming, lancing and riding. Mehanur Nisa was also taught Arabic and Persian.


 In addition to that she also composed poetry. Despite these traits, she might remain dormant in history had Emperor Jahangir not made her his Empress... and given the title of Noor Jehan. 


How this most known marriage in the Indian history came about?


It had two different narratives. On narrative says, Prince Saleem, means Jahangir saw her in the Royal Palace when she was only 13 or 14. Prince Saleem had liking for pigeon racing. 


He asked Nisa to hold his 2 pigeons and went to catch the 3rd.

 On return he found one pigeon missing in the hand of Meharun Nisa. When he angrily asked how it went missing, Nisa in confusion also released the other one to show, 'this way'.

 It is commonly known that this gesture of Nisa crushed Prince Saleem to love her.


When his father came to know that his son loved Meharun Nisa. The Emperor Akbar suspected Mirza Ghiyas Beg was plotting to grab the rule through his daughter.


         So he forced Mirza Ghiyas Beg and got Meharun Nisa married to an Iranian courtier, Ali Quli. It goes that Akbar had fought Ali with a lion. Ali Quli killed the lion with his sword on which Akbar gave him the title of 'Sher Afgan.' The Emperor gave a fiefdom to Ali Quli in the province of Bengal and sent him and Nisa there. 

Out of this wedlock Meharun Nisa gave birth to a daughter, Ladli Begum But love for Mehanun Nisa was still simmering in the heart of Prince Saleem.


After 11 years of Nisa's marriage when Prince Saleem by the name of Jahangir, became the emperor in 1605.


He decided to win back his love.

He made his foster brother,  Qutbud-din Governor of Bengal.

Qutbud-din went to the fiefdom of Sher Afgan and asked him to divorce Nisa for her marriage with the Emperor. 


This demand hurt the honour of Sher Afgan so he killed Qutbud-din. The guards of Qutbud-din also killed Sher Afgan. 

The guards also took Meharun Nisa into custody and took her to the Royal Palace in Agra. Meharun Nisa was given into the custody of Emperor Jahangir's foster mother, Saleema Begum.

         Saleema Begum convinced Meharun Nisa on marrying Jahangir after two years of brainwash. Thus Jahangir wedded Meharun Nisa in 1611.

 Jahangir gave her the titles of Noor Mehal and Noor Jehan. The second got the fame. 


Noor Jehan lost in the glamour of new life and forgot Sher Afgan who had lost his life for her sake.

 It is one historic version of this love story. But there is another one also. It goes that Jahangir did not know Noor Jehan at all.


 Jahahgir wrote in Tuzk-e-Jahangiri that Sher Afgan was killed as he had revolted. Apart from this revolt, the Royal Court was also going through a troubled situation. 


      Khusro, the son of Jahangir, had stood in revolt against his father. Jahangir arrested Khusro and killed his supporters including brother of Noor Jehan, Muhammad Sharif. He also turned her father Mirza Ghiyas and brother Asif Jah out of the Court.

 In this course Noor Jehan was also brought to the Royal Palace arrested where her custody was not entrusted... to Saleema Begum, but Ruqaiya Sultan Begum, the step mother of Jahangir. 

     When Jahangir came to his step mother he saw Noor Jehan and lost his heart to her and he married her. We are not sure which historical version is true and false. 

But it was true that Noor Jehan had fully dominated Jahanger after marriage through love or cleverness. 

              She was called Begum Emperor but the word 'Begum' was so-called as she was virtually the Emperor. It was to the extent that Noor Jahan like the emperors,  had also released the coins that embossed her name.


 Even the Royal decrees were also issued in her name. Jahangir himself admitted that he had handed over his sultanate to Noor Jehan. 

"And I need nothing except liquor and meat" Besides drinking, Jahangir also loved hunting and that too of the tigers. He mostly took Noor Jehan with him on hunting.


 After hectic efforts the soldiers would bring tiger out of den and the emperor sitting on the elephant just shoot it. 

But it too was not without risks to the emperor as the tigers could jump from 10 to 15 feet.

Which meant, the tigers could target the man sitting on the elephant. 

Such an incident also once happened to Jahangir. Jahangir was sitting on the elephant while his soldiers had scattered in the jungle. 


The Emperor got asleep. Suddenly a tiger appeared and jumped at the elephant. However, Noor Jehan shot dead the tiger before it could cause any harm to the Emperor. 


The sound of fire awakened the emperor who thanked his wife for saving his life. On another occasion, Noor Jehan shot dead four tigers with six gunshots. 


After this feat, Noor Jehan recited a Persian poetic lines which render that... "Noor Jehan is not only a beautiful woman but she is also bold like men to kill the lions." The miseries of Noor Jehan family also came to an end after she became the Empress.


On the instance of Noor Jehan, Jahangir also reinstated her father and brother in the Royal Court. 


         Mirza Ghiyas was made Prime Minister with the title of Aitmadud Daula and Asif Jah deputed to a high position. So Noor Jehan once again proved lucky for the family in its hours of distress. 


She not only put her father and brother back to their positions but also married her daughter... Ladli Begum to Sheharyar, who was Jahagir's son from his another wife. 


She also married her niece and daugher of Asif Jah, Arjumand Bano, to Prince Khurram. Arjumand Bano, known as Mumtaz Mehal,  was buried in Taj Mehal that received  world fame as symbol of love. 


Noor Jehan also did not forget those who had been kind to her in the past. Masood merchant who had joined baby Noor Jehan with her family had died when she became the Princess. 


Noor Jehan called his son Malik Mehmood from Iran and gave him huge money, a costly horse and goods. 


She separately gave Rs. 50,000 for constructing grave of Masood merchant. Noor Jehan also established a well and an inn at the site in Kandahar where her parents had left her as a baby. 


She was also known for many other tales of kindness and liberal charity. But the most challenging time came to her life during the last days of Jahangir.


 Janangir with his army was stationed near River Jehlum. The Emperor was encamped away from the centre of his army on the other side of the River. 


When Mahabat Khan, a general of his army, saw this, he captured the river bridge with the help Rajpoot soldiers He also arrested the Emperor. 


Mahabat Khan had revolted as he failed to account for some military expeditions before the Treasury. The Emperor was quite displeased with him over his misconduct.


 Mahabat Khan forcibly got an order from the Emperor for his prime ministership. When the troops spotted the Emperor taken prisoner by Mahabat Khan they strove to cross the River. 


But the Royal army was forced to retreat when the soldiers of Muhabat Khan showered arrows on it.

 Next day, Noor Jehan herself led the army. She was sitting on an elephant holding her suckling grand-daughter in the lap.


 The Khan's soldiers once rained arrows which repulsed the Royal army. The grand-daughter of Noor Jehan also got injured so she made a retreat. She was planning to strike back, but Mahabat Khan compelled the Emperor to ask her to surrender. 


         So the Emperpor ordered surrender and she obeyed and gave in. Now Noor Jehen with the Royal Army, was also taken prisoner by Mahabat Khan. 


Mahabat Khan made second demand to the Emperor that he should order killing of Noor Jehan. So Jahangir also passed the order of killing Noor Jehan. When Noor Jehan saw this order, she wrote on back the decree, "I bow my head before the Emperor's command.


 But I want to see the Emperor once before the death." When Jahangir read it, he urged Mahabat Khan to let him see Noor Jehan for the last time. 


       So Noor Jehan was brought before the Emperor handcuffed with disheveled hair and glum face. Jahangir felt so much pain at her sight that taking risk of his own life, he recalled the order of her death. 


Mahabat Khan felt much offended by it as he could not kill Noor Jehan without the Royal decree. Khan feared strong reaction from across India and the Moghals if he would kill her without Emperor's order Therefore he preferred to keep quiet. 


Soon after getting a new lease of life, Noor Jehan took to plan killing of Mahabat Khan. She sold out her ornaments for huge amount and with that proceeds secretly recruited Afghan soldiers. 


              She also called for 2000 additional soldiers from Lahore. The Royal army was already with Noor Jehan. She also purchased the loyalty of many officers of Mahabat Khan. 


It revealed much later to Mahabat Khan that he was left with little strength of the loyalists. So he fled to Deccan with a handful of his soldiers to took refuge of Prince Khurram and saved his life. 


          Noor Jehan saved Jahangir from Mahabat Khan but she could not save him from the death. After some time Jahangir died when he was coming back from Kashmir. 


        Khusro and Pervez, the two sons of Jahangir, had already died during his lifetime.


 Now only Prince Sheharyar and Prince Khurram were claimants of the throne. Since Noor Jehan was issueless from Jahangir therefore she aspired to enthrone her son-in-law Sheharyar. 

But her own brother Asif Jah was backing his son in law, Prince Khurram for the emperorship. It was Noor Jehan who got Asif a high position in the Court and married his daughter to Prince Khurram .


But thankless Asif Jah put his sister behind the bars. However, her son-in-law Sheharyar declared himself the Emperor of India when this all was going on. 


But he could rule only for three months. The armies of Asif Jah and Sheharyar battled near Lahore wherein Sheharyar lost and became prisoner. 


Asif Jah made Sheharyar blind and put him in the prison. Now his son-in-law Khurran was enthroned and he ruled India by the name of Shah Jehan. 


         Shah Jehan got Sheharyar killed soon after coming to power. But he set Noor Jehan free and fixed her annual stipend at Rs. 200,000 or Rs.two million. 


Noor Jehan spent 18 years of her widow life in Lahore where she also got constructed the Tomb of Jahangir. Noor Jehan died on December 17, 1645 at the age of 68.


 Noor Jehan had prepared her own coffin inscribed with Quranic verses from Iran during her lifetime. The coffin was got washed with Zam Zam water in Makkah.


 The majority of over 60000 persons in her funeral was those who were financially helped by Noor Jehan. 


             The orphans had surrounded her dead-body and everyone was weeping. Noor Jehan was also buried in the Tomb of Jahangir. The Tomb still exists near the River Ravi in Lahore. 


You watched the story of Empress of India, Noor Jehan. And if you want to know the weaknesses of the US, Russia, China, Pakistan, Israel, India and Canada...and their powerful points, click here. 


And if you are interested in knowing how French Revolution happened toppling a 1000-year old kingship... click here and here is the real and interesting story on how China  became the Super Power of the world.




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