Shah Jahan

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Shahab-ud-din Muhammad
Shah Jahan
شهاب الدین محمد
شاہ جهان
Padishah of the Mughal Empire
Shah Jahan
'Jujhar Singh Bundela Kneels in Submission to Shah Jahan', painted by Bichitr, c. 1630, Chester Beatty Library.jpg
Shah Jahan
5th Mughal Emperor
Reign19 January 1628 –31 July 1658 [1]
Coronation 14 February 1628, [2] Agra
Predecessor Shahryar Mirza ( de facto )
Jahangir
Successor Aurangzeb
BornShahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram [3]
5 January 1592
Lahore, Mughal Empire
Died22 January 1666(1666-01-22) (aged 74)
Agra Fort, Agra, Mughal Empire
Burial
Taj Mahal, Agra
Consort Mumtaz Mahal
Wives
Issue
among others...
Full name
Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram [3]
Regnal name
Shah Jahan [6]
House Timurid
Father Jahangir
Mother Jagat Gosain
Religion Islam

Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram [3] (5 January 1592  – 22 January 1666), [7] better known by his regnal name Shah Jahan (Persian: شاه جهان; "King of the World"), [8] was the fifth Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1628 to 1658. [9] His reign represented the height of the Indian architecture, most notably the Taj Mahal. His relationship with his wife Mumtaz Mahal has been heavily adapted into Indian art, literature, and cinema.

A regnal name, or reign name, is the name used by monarchs and popes during their reigns and, subsequently, historically. Since ancient times, some monarchs have chosen to use a different name from their original name when they accede to the monarchy.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. It is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian and Tajiki Persian. It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of Cyrillic.

Taj Mahal Marble mausoleum in Agra, India

The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan, the builder. The tomb is the centrepiece of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.

Contents

Shah Jahan was widely considered the most competent of Emperor Jahangir's four sons and after Jahangir's death in late 1627, when a war of succession ensued, Shah Jahan emerged victorious. He put to death all of his rivals for the throne and crowned himself emperor in January 1628 in Agra under the regnal title "Shah Jahan" (which was originally given to him as a princely title). Although an able military commander, Shah Jahan is perhaps best remembered for his architectural achievements. The period of his reign is widely considered the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan commissioned many monuments, the best known of which is the Taj Mahal in Agra, which entombs his wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Jahangir 4th Mughal Emperor (1569–1627)

Nur-ud-din Muhammad Salim, known by his imperial name Jahangir, was the fourth Mughal Emperor, who ruled from 1605 until his death in 1627. His imperial name, means 'conqueror of the world', 'world-conqueror' or 'world-seizer'. The tale of his relationship with the Mughal courtesan, Anarkali, has been widely adapted into the literature, art and cinema of India.

Agra City in Uttar Pradesh, India

Agra is a city on the banks of the Yamuna river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is 378 kilometres (235 mi) west of the state capital, Lucknow, 206 kilometres (128 mi) south of the national capital New Delhi, 58 kilometres (31 mi) south of Mathura and 125 kilometres (78 mi) north of Gwalior. Agra is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh, and the 24th most populous in India.

Mughal architecture Indo-Islamic architecture from 16th to 18th century India

Mughal Architecture is the type of Indo-Islamic architecture developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries throughout the ever-changing extent of their empire in the Indian subcontinent. It developed the styles of earlier Muslim dynasties in India as an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture. Mughal buildings have a uniform pattern of structure and character, including large bulbous domes, slender minarets at the corners, massive halls, large vaulted gateways, and delicate ornamentation. Examples of the style can be found in modern-day India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

In September 1657, Shah Jahan fell seriously ill. This set off a war of succession among his four sons in which his third son, Aurangzeb, emerged victorious. [10] Shah Jahan recovered from his illness, but Aurangzeb put his father under house arrest in Agra Fort from July 1658 until his death in January 1666. [11] On 31 July 1658, Aurangzeb crowned himself emperor under the title "Alamgir". [12]

Aurangzeb Sixth Mughal Emperor

Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad, commonly known by the sobriquet Aurangzeb or by his regnal title Alamgir, was the sixth Mughal emperor, who ruled over almost the entire Indian subcontinent for a period of 49 years. Widely considered to be the last effective ruler of the Mughal Empire, Aurangzeb compiled the Fatawa-e-Alamgiri, and is regarded as one of the few rulers who have fully established Sharia law and Islamic economics throughout South Asia.

Agra Fort UNESCO World Heritage site in India

Agra Fort is a historical fort in the city of Agra in India. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. Before capture by the British, the last Indian rulers to have occupied it were the Marathas. In 1983, the Agra fort has been inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage site. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city.

The Mughal Empire reached the pinnacle of its glory during Shah Jahan's reign and he is widely considered to be one of the greatest Mughal emperors. [13]

Early life

Birth

Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram was born on 5 January 1592 in Lahore, in modern-day Pakistan, and was the third son of Prince Salim (later known as 'Jahangir' upon his accession). [14] His mother was a Rajput princess from Marwar called Princess Jagat Gosaini (her official name in Mughal chronicles was Bilqis Makani). The name "Khurram" (joyous) was chosen for the young prince by his grandfather, Emperor Akbar, with whom the young prince shared a close relationship. [14]

Lahore Metropolitan Area in Punjab, Pakistan

Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab. Lahore is the country's second-most populous city after Karachi and is one of Pakistan's wealthiest cities, with an estimated GDP of $58.14 billion (PPP) as of 2015. Lahore is the largest city, and historic cultural centre of the Punjab region, and one of Pakistan's most socially liberal, progressive, and cosmopolitan cities.

Pakistan federal parliamentary constitutional republic in South Asia

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country, spanning 881,913 square kilometres. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China in the northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.

Rajput member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and some parts of Pakistan and Nepal

Rajput is a large multi-component cluster of castes, kin bodies, and local groups, sharing social status and ideology of genealogical descent originating from the Indian subcontinent. The term Rajput covers various patrilineal clans historically associated with warriorhood: several clans claim Rajput status, although not all claims are universally accepted.

Just prior to Khurram's birth, a soothsayer had reportedly predicted to the childless Empress Ruqaiya Sultan Begum, Akbar's first wife and chief consort, that the still unborn child was destined for imperial greatness. [15] So, when Khurram was born in 1592 and was only six days old, Akbar ordered that the prince be taken away from his mother and handed over to Ruqaiya so that he could grow up under her care, and Akbar could fulfill his wife's wish to raise a Mughal emperor. [15] Ruqaiya assumed the primary responsibility for Khurram's upbringing and he grew up under her care. [16] The two shared a close relationship with each other. Jahangir noted in his memoirs that Ruqaiya had loved his son, Khurram, "a thousand times more than if he had been her own [son]." [17]

Ruqaiya Sultan Begum was empress consort of the Mughal Empire from 1557 to 1605 as the first wife and chief consort of the third Mughal emperor Akbar. She was also the longest serving Mughal empress, having a tenure of almost fifty years.

Khurram remained with her until he turned almost 14. After Akbar's death in 1605, the young prince was allowed to return to his father's household, and thus, be closer to his biological mother. [15]

Education

As a child, Khurram received a broad education befitting his status as a Mughal prince, which included martial training and exposure to a wide variety of cultural arts, such as poetry and Hindustani classical music, most of which was inculcated, according to court chroniclers, by Akbar and Ruqaiya. In 1605, as Akbar lay on his deathbed, Khurram, who at this point was 13, [18] [ full citation needed ] remained by his bedside and refused to move even after his mother tried to retrieve him. Given the politically uncertain times immediately preceding Akbar's death, Khurram was in a fair amount of physical danger from political opponents of his father, [19] His conduct at this time can be understood as a precursor to the bravery that he would later be known for.[ citation needed ]

Khusrau rebellion

In 1605, his father succeeded to the throne, after crushing a rebellion by Prince Khusrau – Khurram remained distant from court politics and intrigues in the immediate aftermath of that event, which was apparently a conscious decision on Jahangir's part. [20] [ full citation needed ] As the third son, Khurram did not challenge the two major power blocs of the time, his father's and his step-brother's; thus, he enjoyed the benefits of imperial protection and luxury while being allowed to continue with his education and training. [21] This relatively quiet and stable period of his life allowed Khurram to build his own support base in the Mughal court, which would be useful later on in his life.[ citation needed ]

Nur Jahan

Due to the long period of tensions between his father and step-brother, Khurram began to drift closer to his father and over time started to be considered the de facto heir-apparent by court chroniclers. This status was given official sanction when Jahangir granted the sarkar of Hissar-Feroza, which had traditionally been the fief of the heir-apparent, to Khurram in 1608. [22] Nur Jahan was an intelligent and beautiful lady with an excellent educational background. She was an active participant in the decisions made by Jahangir. Slowly and gradually, she became the actual power behind the throne, as Jahangir became more indulgent in wine and opium. Coins began to be struck containing her name along with Jahangir's name. Her near and dear relatives acquired important positions in the Mughal court, termed as the Nur Jahan junta by historians. After the death of Jahangir in 1627, Nur Jahan was put under house arrest and led a quiet life.

Marriages

Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.jpg
Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

In 1607, Khurram became engaged to Arjumand Banu Begum (1593–1631), who is also known as Mumtaz Mahal (Persian for "the chosen one of the Palace"). They met in their youth. They were about 14 and 15 when they were engaged, and five years later they got married. The young girl belonged to an illustrious Persian noble family that had been serving Mughal Emperors since the reign of Akbar. The family's patriarch was Mirza Ghiyas Beg, who was also known by his title I'timād-ud-Daulah or "Pillar of the State". He had been Jahangir's finance minister and his son, Asaf Khan – Arjumand Banu's father – played an important role in the Mughal court, eventually serving as Chief Minister. Her aunt was the Empress Nur Jahan and is thought to have played matchmaker in arranging the marriage.[ citation needed ]

The prince would have to wait five years before he was married in 1612 (1021 AH), on a date selected by the court astrologers as most conducive to ensuring a happy marriage. This was an unusually long engagement for the time. However, Shah Jahan first married Princess Kandahari Begum, the daughter of a great-grandson of Shah Ismail I of Persia with whom he had a daughter, his first child. [23]

Shah Jahan, accompanied by his three sons: Dara Shukoh, Shah Shuja and Aurangzeb, and their maternal grandfather Asaf Khan IV Emperor Shah Jahan, 1628.jpg
Shah Jahan, accompanied by his three sons: Dara Shukoh, Shah Shuja and Aurangzeb, and their maternal grandfather Asaf Khan IV

Politically speaking, the betrothal allowed Khurram to be considered as having officially entered manhood, and he was granted several jagir, including Hissar-Feroze and ennobled to a military rank of 8,000, which allowed him to take on official functions of state, an important step in establishing his own claim to the throne.[ citation needed ]

In 1612, aged 20, Khurram married Arjumand Banu Begum, who became known by the title Mumtaz Mahal, on the auspicious date chosen by court astrologers. The marriage was a happy one and Khurram remained devoted to her. She bore him fourteen children, out of whom seven survived into adulthood. In addition, Khurram had two children from his first two wives. [23]

Though there was genuine love between the two, Arjumand Banu Begum was a politically astute woman and served as a crucial advisor and confidante to her husband. [24] Later on, as empress, Mumtaz Mahal wielded immense power, such as being consulted by her husband in state matters and being responsible for the imperial seal, which allowed her to review official documents in their final draft.[ citation needed ]

The Taj Mahal, the burial place of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal TajMahalbyAmalMongia.jpg
The Taj Mahal, the burial place of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal

Mumtaz Mahal died at age 37 (7 July 1631) while giving birth to Gauhara Begum in Burhanpur. She died of a postpartum haemorrhage, which caused considerable blood-loss after a painful labour of thirty hours. [25] Contemporary historians note that Princess Jahanara, aged 17, was so distressed by her mother's pain that she started distributing gems to the poor, hoping for divine intervention, and Shah Jahan was noted as being "paralysed by grief" and weeping fits. [26] Her body was temporarily buried in a walled pleasure garden known as Zainabad, originally constructed by Shah Jahan's uncle Prince Daniyal along the Tapti River. Her death had a profound impact on Shah Jahan's personality and inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal, where she was later reburied.[ citation needed ]

In the intervening years Khurram had taken eight other wives, among which Kandahari Begum (m. 12 December 1609) and Izz un-Nisa Begum (m. 3 September 1617), the daughters of Muzaffar Husain Mirza Safawi and Shahnawaz Khan, son of Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana, respectively. But according to court chroniclers, his relationship with his other wives was more out of political consideration, and they enjoyed only the status of being royal wives. [18]

Military campaigns

Prince Khurram showed extraordinary military talent. The first occasion for Khurram to test his military prowess was during the Mughal campaign against the Rajput state of Mewar, which had been a hostile force to the Mughals since Akbar's reign. In 1614, commanding an army numbering around 200,000, Khurram began the campaign against Mewar.[ citation needed ] After a year of a harsh war of attrition, Maharana Amar Singh I surrendered conditionally to the Mughal forces and became a vassal state of the Mughal Empire. [27]

In 1617, Khurram was directed to deal with the Lodis in the Deccan to secure the Empire's southern borders and to restore imperial control over the region. His successes in these campaigns led to Jahangir granting him the title of Shah Jahan (Persian: "King of the World") and raised his military rank and allowed him a special throne in his Durbar, an unprecedented honour for a prince, thus further solidifying his status as crown prince.[ citation needed ]Edward S. Holden writes, "He was flattered by some, envied by others, loved by none." [28]

Rebel prince

Shah Jahan on horseback (during his youth). Payag, Shah Jahan on Horseback, Folio from the Shah Jahan Album ca. 1630, Metmuseum.jpg
Shah Jahan on horseback (during his youth).

Inheritance of power and wealth in the Mughal empire was not determined through primogeniture, but by princely sons competing to achieve military successes and consolidating their power at court. This often led to rebellions and wars of succession. As a result, a complex political climate surrounded the Mughal court in Khurram's formative years. In 1611 his father married Nur Jahan, the widowed daughter of a Persian noble. She rapidly became an important member of Jahangir's court and, together with her brother Asaf Khan, wielded considerable influence. Arjumand was Asaf Khan's daughter and her marriage to Khurram consolidated Nur Jahan and Asaf Khan's positions at court.

Court intrigues, however, including Nur Jahan's decision to have her daughter from her first marriage wed Prince Khurram's youngest brother Shahzada Shahryar and her support for his claim to the throne led to much internal division. Prince Khurram resented the influence Nur Jahan held over his father and was angered at having to play second fiddle to her favourite Shahryar, his half-brother and her son-in-law. When the Persians besieged Kandahar, Nur Jahan was at the helm of the affairs. She ordered Prince Khurram to march for Kandahar, but he refused. As a result of Prince Khurram's refusal to obey Nur Jahan's orders, Kandahar was lost to the Persians after a forty-five-day siege.[ citation needed ] Prince Khurram feared that in his absence Nur Jahan would attempt to poison his father against him and convince Jahangir to name Shahryar the heir in his place. This fear brought Prince Khurram to rebel against his father rather than fight against the Persians. In 1622 Prince Khurram raised an army with the support of Mahabat Khan and marched against his father and Nur Jahan.[ citation needed ]. He was defeated at Bilochpur in March 1623. Later he took refuge in Udaipur Mewar with Maharaja Karan Singh II . He was first lodged in Delwada Ki Haveli and subsequently shifted to Jagmandir Palace on his request. Prince Khurram exchanged his turban with maharana and that turban is still preserved in Pratap Museum, Udaipur.(R V Somani 1976). It is believed that mosaic work of Jagmandir inspired him to use mosaic work in Taj Mahal of Agra. His rebellion did not succeed and Khurram was forced to submit unconditionally. Although the prince was forgiven for his errors in 1626, tensions between Nur Jahan and her stepson continued to grow beneath the surface.

Upon the death of Jahangir in 1627, the wazir Asaf Khan, who had long been a quiet partisan of Prince Khurram, acted with unexpected forcefulness and determination to forestall his sister the empress Nur Jahan's plans to place Prince Shahryar on the throne. He put Nur Jahan in close confinement.He obtained control of Prince Khurram's three sons who were under her care. Asaf Khan also managed palace intrigues to ensure Prince Khurram's succession the throne. [29] Prince Khurram succeeded to the Mughal throne as Abu ud-Muzaffar Shihab ud-Din Mohammad Sahib ud-Quiran ud-Thani Shah Jahan Padshah Ghazi (Urdu: شهاب الدین محمد خرم), or Shah Jahan. [30]

His regnal name is divided into various parts. Shihab ud-Din mean "Star of the Faith", Sahib al-Quiran ud-Thani means "Second Lord of the Happy Conjunction of Jupiter and Venus". Shah Jahan means "King of the World", alluding to his pride in his Timurid roots and his ambitions. More epithets showed his secular and religious duties. He was also Khalifat Panahi ("Refuge of the Caliphate"), but Zill-i Allahi, or the "Shadow of God on Earth".[ citation needed ]

His first act as ruler was to execute his chief rivals and imprison his step mother Nur Jahan. Upon Shah Jahan's orders several executions took place on 23 January 1628. Those put to death included his own brother Shahryar; his nephews Dawar and Garshasp, sons of Shah Jahan's previously executed brother Prince Khusrau; and his cousins Tahmuras and Hoshang, sons of the late Prince Daniyal Mirza. [31] [32] This allowed Shah Jahan to rule his empire without contention.

Reign (1628–1658)

Administration of the Mughal Empire

Shah Jahan at his Durbar Shah Jahan.jpg
Shah Jahan at his Durbar
Throne of king Shah Jahan, Red Fort, Delhi Red Fort - The marble jharokha.jpg
Throne of king Shah Jahan, Red Fort, Delhi

Evidence from the reign of Shah Jahan states that in 1648 the army consisted of 911,400 infantry, musketeers, and artillery men, and 185,000 Sowars commanded by princes and nobles.

During his reign the Marwari horse was introduced, becoming Shah Jahan's favourite, and various Mughal cannons were mass-produced in the Jaigarh Fort. Under his rule, the empire became a huge military machine and the nobles and their contingents multiplied almost fourfold, as did the demands for more revenue from their citizens. But due to his measures in the financial and commercial fields, it was a period of general stability—the administration was centralised and court affairs systematised.

The Mughal Empire continued to expand moderately during his reign as his sons commanded large armies on different fronts. India at the time was a rich centre of the arts, crafts and architecture, and some of the best of the architects, artisans, craftsmen, painters and writers of the world resided in Shah Jahan's empire. According to economist Angus Maddison, Mughal-era India's share of global gross domestic product (GDP) grew from 22.7% in 1600 to 24.4% in 1700, surpassing China to become the world's largest. [33] [34]

Rajput rebellions

Shah Jahan annexed the Rajput kingdoms of Baglana, Mewar and Bundelkhand. He then chose his 16-year-old son Aurangzeb to serve in his place and subdue the rebellion by the Bundela Rajputs led by Jhujhar Singh.

Famine of 1630

A famine broke out in 1630–32 in Deccan, Gujarat and Khandesh as a result of three main crop failures. [35] Two million died of starvation, grocers sold dogs' flesh and mixed powdered bones with flour. Parents ate their own children. Some villages were completely destroyed, their streets filled with human corpses. In response to the devastation, Shah Jahan set up langar (free kitchens) for the victims of the famine. [36]

Relations with the Deccan Sultanates

In 1632, Shah Jahan captured the fortress at Daulatabad, Maharashtra and imprisoned Husain Shah of the Nizam Shahi Kingdom of Ahmednagar. Golconda submitted in 1635 and then Bijapur in 1636. Shah Jahan appointed Aurangzeb as Viceroy of the Deccan, consisting of Khandesh, Berar, Telangana, and Daulatabad. During his viceroyalty, Aurangzeb conquered Baglana, then Golconda in 1656, and then Bijapur in 1657. [37]

Sikh rebellion led by Guru Hargobind

A rebellion of the Sikhs led by Guru Hargobind took place and in return Shah Jahan ordered the destruction of the Sikh temple in Lahore.

Relations with the Safavid dynasty

Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, hunting lions at Burhanpur. Shah-Jahan hunting lions at Burhanpur (July 1630).jpg
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, hunting lions at Burhanpur.

Shah Jahan and his sons captured the city of Kandahar in 1638 from the Safavids, prompting the retaliation of the Persians led by their ruler Abbas II of Persia, who recaptured it in 1649.

The Mughal armies were unable to recapture it despite repeated sieges during the Mughal–Safavid War. [38] Shah Jahan also expanded the Mughal Empire to the west beyond the Khyber Pass to Ghazna and Kandahar.

Relations with the Ottoman Empire

While he was encamped in Baghdad, the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV met Shah Jahan's ambassadors, Mir Zarif and Mir Baraka, who presented 1000 pieces of finely embroidered cloth and even armour. Murad IV presented them with the finest weapons, saddles and Kaftans and ordered his forces to accompany the Mughals to the port of Basra, where they set sail to Thatta and finally Surat. [39] [ page needed ]

War with Portuguese

Shah Jahan gave orders in 1631 to Qasim Khan, the Mughal viceroy of Bengal, to drive out the Portuguese from their trading post at Port Hoogly. The post was heavily armed with cannons, battleships, fortified walls, and other instruments of war. [40] The Portuguese were accused of trafficking by high Mughal officials and due to commercial competition the Mughal-controlled port of Saptagram began to slump. Shah Jahan was particularly outraged by the activities of Jesuits in that region, notably when they were accused of abducting peasants. On 25 September 1632 the Mughal Army raised imperial banners and gained control over the Bandel region and the garrison was punished. [41]

Religious and language tolerance

Shah Jahan preached equality among Hindus and Muslims. He introduced various new policies to unite all the religions. As a result, his reign worked for 30 successful years. He used to celebrate all the festivities of Indian origin and tried to converse with every problem.

Hindavi, the origin of Hindi language, was introduced for the first time in his court, realising that everyone could not speak Persian, he introduced a new court language, that maintained a perfect balanced mixture of Sanskrit and Persian.

Ministers

Shah Jahan's treasurer was Shaikh Farid, who founded the city of Faridabad.

Later life

Shah Jahan and his eldest son Dara Shukoh. Govardhan. Shah Jahan and Dara Shikoh ca. 1638. Victoria and Albert Museum.jpg
Shah Jahan and his eldest son Dara Shukoh.

When Shah Jahan became ill in 1658, Dara Shukoh (Mumtaz Mahal's eldest son) assumed the role of regent in his father's stead, which swiftly incurred the animosity of his brothers. Upon learning of his assumption of the regency, his younger brothers, Shuja, Viceroy of Bengal, and Murad Baksh, Viceroy of Gujarat, declared their independence, and marched upon Agra in order to claim their riches. Aurangzeb, the third son, and ablest of the brothers,[ citation needed ] gathered a well trained army and became its chief commander. He faced Dara's army near Agra and defeated him during the Battle of Samugarh. Although Shah Jahan fully recovered from his illness, Aurangzeb declared him incompetent to rule and put him under house arrest in Agra Fort.

Jahanara Begum Sahib, Mumtaz Mahal's first daughter, voluntarily shared his 8-year confinement and nursed him in his dotage. In January 1666, Shah Jahan fell ill. Confined to bed, he became progressively weaker until, on 22 January, he commended the ladies of the imperial court, particularly his consort of later years Akbarabadi Mahal, to the care of Jahanara. After reciting the Kal'ma (Laa ilaaha ill allah) and verses from the Quran, Shah Jahan died, aged 74.

Shah Jahan's chaplain Sayyid Muhammad Qanauji and Kazi Qurban of Agra came to the fort, moved his body to a nearby hall, washed it, enshrouded it and put it in a coffin of sandalwood. [24]

Princess Jahanara had planned a state funeral which was to include a procession with Shah Jahan's body carried by eminent nobles followed by the notable citizens of Agra and officials scattering coins for the poor and needy. Aurangzeb refused to accommodate such ostentation. The body was taken to the Taj Mahal and was interred there next to the body of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. [42]

Contributions to architecture

Shah Jahan left behind a grand legacy of structures constructed during his reign. He was one of the greatest patrons of Mughal architecture. [43] His most famous building was the Taj Mahal, which he built out of love for his wife, the empress Mumtaz Mahal.

Its structure was drawn with great care and architects from all over the world were called for this purpose. The building took twenty years to complete and was constructed from white marble underlaid with brick. Upon his death, his son Aurangzeb had him interred in it next to Mumtaz Mahal. Among his other constructions are the Red Fort also called the Delhi Fort or Lal Qila in Urdu, large sections of Agra Fort, the Jama Masjid, the Wazir Khan Mosque, the Moti Masjid, the Shalimar Gardens, sections of the Lahore Fort, the Mahabat Khan Mosque in Peshawar, the Mini Qutub Minar [44] in Hastsal, the Jahangir mausoleum—his father's tomb, the construction of which was overseen by his stepmother Nur Jahan and the Shahjahan Mosque. He also had the Peacock Throne, Takht e Taus, made to celebrate his rule. Shah Jahan also placed profound verses of the Quran on his masterpieces of architecture.[ citation needed ]

The Shah Jahan Mosque in Thatta, Sindh province of Pakistan (100 km / 60 miles from Karachi) was built during the reign of Shah Jahan in 1647. The mosque is built with red bricks with blue coloured glaze tiles probably imported from another Sindh's town of Hala. The mosque has overall 93 domes and it is world's largest mosque having such number of domes. It has been built keeping acoustics in mind. A person speaking inside one end of the dome can be heard at the other end when the speech exceeds 100 decibels. It has been on the tentative UNESCO World Heritage list since 1993. [45]

Coins

Shah Jahan continued striking coins in three metals i.e. gold (mohur), silver (rupee) and copper (dam). His pre-accession coins bear the name Khurram.

Full title

Styles of
Shah Jahan
Reference style Shahanshah
Spoken styleHis Imperial Majesty
Alternative styleAlam Pana

Shah Jahan's full imperial title was:

Shahanshah Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram, Malik-ul-Sultanat, Ala Hazrat Abu'l-Muzaffar Shahab ud-din Muhammad Shah Jahan I, Sahib-i-Qiran-i-Sani, Padshah Ghazi Zillu'llah, Firdaus-Ashiyani, Shahanshah—E—Sultanant Ul Hindiya Wal Mughaliya

See also

Issue

Children of Shah Jahan
NamePortraitLifespanNotes
Parhez Banu Begum 21 August 1611 -
1675
Shah Jahan's first child born to his first wife, Kandahari Begum. Parhez Banu was her mother's only child and died unmarried.
Hur-al-Nisa Begum30 March 1613 -
5 June 1616
The first of fourteen children born to Shah Jahan's second wife, Mumtaz Mahal. She died of smallpox at the age of 3. [47]
Jahanara Begum
Padshah Begum
Jahanara 1635.jpg 23 March 1614 -
16 September 1681
Shah Jahan's favourite and most influential daughter. Jahanara became the First Lady (Padshah Begum) of the Mughal Empire after her mother's death, despite the fact that her father had three other consorts. She died unmarried.
Dara Shukoh
Padshahzada-i-Buzurg Martaba, Jalal ul-Kadir, Sultan Muhammad Dara Shikoh, Shah-i-Buland Iqbal
Dara Shikoh.jpg 20 March 1615 -
30 August 1659
The eldest son and heir-apparent. He was favoured as a successor by his father, Shah Jahan, and his elder sister, Princess Jahanara Begum, but was defeated and later killed by his younger brother, Prince Muhiuddin (later the Emperor Aurangzeb), in a bitter struggle for the imperial throne. He married and had issue.
Shah Shuja Shah Shuja' (cropped).jpg 23 June 1616 -
7 February 1661
He survived in the war of succession. He married and had issue.
Roshanara Begum
Padshah Begum
Raushanara.jpg 3 September 1617 -
11 September 1671
She was the most influential of Shah Jahan's daughters after Jahanara Begum and sided with Aurangzeb during the war of succession. She died unmarried.
Jahan Afroz25 June 1618 -
March 1619
The only child of Shah Jahan's third wife, Izz-un-Nissa (titled Akbarabadi Mahal). Jahan Afroz died at the age of one year and nine months. [48]
Aurangzeb
Mughal emperor
Aurangzeb reading the Quran.jpg 3 November 1618 -
3 March 1707
Succeeded his father as the sixth Mughal emperor after emerging victorious in the war of succession that took place after Shah Jahan's illness in 1657.
Izad Bakhsh18 December 1619 -
February/March 1621 [49]
Died in infancy.
Surayya Banu Begum10 June 1621 -
28 April 1628 [49]
Died of smallpox at the age of 7. [47]
Unnamed son1622Died soon after birth. [49]
Murad Bakhsh Murad Baxsh.jpg 8 October 1624 -
14 December 1661
He was killed in 1661 as per Aurangzeb's orders. [47] He married and had issue.
Lutf Allah4 November 1626 -
13 May 1628 [49]
Died at the age of one and a half years. [47]
Daulat Afza8 May 1628 -
13 May 1629 [50]
Died in infancy.
Husnara Begum23 April 1629 -
1630 [49]
Died in infancy.
Gauhara Begum 17 June 1631 -
1706
Mumtaz Mahal died while giving birth to her on 17 June 1631 in Burhanpur. She died unmarried.
Purhanara Begumdied After 1666?
Nazarara Begum??

Ancestry

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Notes

Shah Jahan
Born: 5 January 1592 Died: 22 January 1666
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Jahangir
Mughal Emperor
1627–1658
Succeeded by
Aurangzeb