Fifth Muslim Mughal Sultan in India.. Shah Jahan executed his rivals and gave his wife the seal of his empire and decorated her palace with gold | Encyclopedia

Shah Jahan, the fifth Muslim Mughal sultan of India, was known as Prince Khurram before assuming the position of emperor, and grew up under his grandfather and acquired martial and cultural skills. In it, the Red Fort, the seat of Mongol rule, was built after his departure.

Birth and upbringing

Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, was born on January 5, 1592 in Lahore, the capital of the Punjab province, which at the time was under Muslim Mughal rule.

His name is Shahab al-Din Muhammad Khurram (The Brave) and he is the third son of the Mughal emperor Jahangir and the Hindu Rajput princess Manmati, whose name after converting to Islam became Belqis Makani, and he is the first Mughal ruler with Indian blood in his veins.

Prince Khurram grew up in the care of his grandfather, the great Mughal emperor Jalal al-Din Muhammad Akbar, who loved and admired him very much. He died when the grandson was 13 years old, and his grandfather’s wife, Sultania Ruqayya, raised him, but she had no children.

During this period, he received a military and cultural education, was skilled in martial arts and self-defense, and showed an interest in engineering and architecture.

At the age of 15, he got engaged to his beloved Arjmand Banu Begum, whom he named after her marriage Mumtaz Mahal, and she was known by that name, and she is the niece of Nur Jahan, the wife of his father, Emperor Jahangir.

Shah Jahan ordered Minister Asif to execute his rivals for power, including Prince Shahryar, who had captured him in a power struggle (Getty Images)

Struggle for power

Shah Jahan fought in several battles in his youth. He was not the oldest of his brothers, but he was his father’s favorite son. However, his father’s wife, Nur Jahan, did not support Shah Jahan’s succession to the empire. She promoted her son-in-law, Prince Shahryar, to Emperor Jahangir, in order to hand him over to lead a military campaign that confronted the Persian Sultan.

After that, Shah Jahan rebelled against his father in 1622, but his father’s army defeated him, so he fled to the Deccan state in the south, and returned only after 3 years and asked for forgiveness from his father, and they reconciled in 1625. . .

And Shah Jahan won the first battle he fought as the commander of an army of 200,000 soldiers, which was on his father’s orders to subdue the Rajput kingdom in the north.

His father sent him to lead some military campaigns to quell the rebellion in some kingdoms in the south, and his victories allowed his father to expand his empire, so he awarded him the title of Shah Jahan, meaning king of the world, and he ruled the Deccan region.

This title had the meaning of the appointment of Shah Jahan by Emperor Jahangir to succeed him, and he was the fittest of his brothers to succeed him, but the mandate of the Alliance was for his brother, Prince Pervez, who died shortly after his father’s death.

After his father’s death in 1627, he fought a battle against Prince Shahryar, defeated and captured him. On Shah Jahan’s order, Minister Asif executed all the royal princes who competed with him for power, and he captured some of them in order to strengthen his power. Among those executed was Prince Shahryar.

On 14 February 1628, he was crowned Mughal King of Agra at the then age of 36, with the minister Asif Khan, his brother-in-law and his beloved Mumtaz Mahal supporting him. Thus, Shah Jahan was unique in ruling the Mongol Empire, which spread over India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and he granted a pension to Nur Jahan, his father’s widow, and entrusted the prime ministership to his son-in-law Asif Khan.

Mughal rule in India lasted for 3 centuries and left architectural and artistic monuments, most notably the Red Fort, which Shah Jahan ordered to be built (Getty Images)

Shah Jahan era

Shah Jahan’s battles were not numerous, but the first military confrontations he led were to overcome the rebellion on the Deccan Plateau, and these military campaigns were very expensive, but he managed to tighten his grip on the Deccan and suppress the rebels.

Shah Jahan managed to recapture Kandahar from the Persians and hoped to regain control of Samarkand, the original home of the Mongols, but failed to do so. The Mughal emperor faced the danger from the Portuguese traders and removed their danger and harassment once and for all in South India.

The Mongolian state expanded during his time, and he was known for his passion for architecture, so he built two large mosques in Agra – the seat of the first king – and allocated half of the income of his kingdom to the care of architecture and various arts.

Among the most prominent monuments of Shah Jahan’s era are the Peacock Throne and the Red Fort, which became the seat of Mongol rule and was sacked by the English after they were driven out by Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mongol ruler in India.

A female empress

In his youth, Shah Jahan fell in love with a descendant of a noble Persian family, and she was very beautiful. He was engaged to her for 5 years, and then married. Mumtaz Mahal was an educated woman who loved science and spoke Arabic and Persian languages ​​fluently.

Shah Jahan was known for his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, and the meaning of her name is “jewel of the palace”, and she was nicknamed Shah Jahan, who chose her to be the Mughal empress, even though she was not his first wife.

Shah Jahan married her before and after his marriage in 1612 when she was 19 years old, and he had 14 children with her. Of these, 8 are men and 6 are women, and 7 of them died at birth or at a very young age.

The palace testified to the emperor’s love for Mumtaz Mahal and his strong attachment to her. She was his wife, lover and friend who accompanied him on all his travels, and had the affection of all his wives.

Historians have suggested that the rest of his marriages would be for political purposes and interests, and Mumtaz Mahal’s title was “Malika Jahan”, meaning Queen of the World, and he gave her the power to use his imperial seal to sign the decrees of his state affairs.

Shah Jahan decorated the Mumtaz Mahal palace with pure gold, and she installed rose water fountains in the gardens of her palace. In addition to being a companion on his military campaigns despite her frequent pregnancies, Mumtaz was Shah Jahan’s advocate and advisor, and did not address him for anything except before him.

Mumtaz Mahal was not only a favorite of Emperor Shah Jahan, but she was also a favorite of her talented and poor subjects, and was known for her benevolence and gifts to them.

Mumtaz Mahal, the favorite wife of Emperor Shah Jahan, who gave her the authority to use his seal for the affairs of his empire (Getty Images)

The Peacock Throne

The era of Shah Jahan at its beginning was marked by great luxury, who immediately after taking power ordered the construction of the Peacock Throne, the largest collection of precious stones in the 17th century, and is considered one of the pieces that symbolize the luxury of the Mughal era. It took 7 years to build this throne, and it occupied a prominent place in Mughal palaces.

And in the throne 2,500 pounds of gold and 500 pounds of precious stones, and it got its name from its design, which is jeweled with peacocks and inscribed with tributes to Shah Jahan’s achievements in emeralds and rubies.

The structure of the throne was raised on feet covered with gold and led to silver steps, covered with a canopy of silk arched and raised on 12 golden pillars decorated with pearl ribbons.

The Peacock Throne remained in the possession of Shah Jahan’s sons and grandsons until 1739, when the Shah of Iran conquered Delhi and returned to Persia with the Peacock Throne after the overthrow of the then Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah.

In 1747, Nadir Shah was killed by his bodyguards, his palace was looted, and soldiers dismantled the Peacock Throne.

Construction of the Taj Mahal

3 years after her inauguration as Empress of the Mongols, in 1631, Mumtaz Mahal accompanied her husband, Shah Jahan, on one of his military campaigns, and was pregnant at the time.

After a 30-hour labor, Mumtaz Mahal gave birth to a baby girl, but the mother died of postpartum hemorrhage at the age of 38. This event was prompted by the grief of Shah Jahan, who buried her in the walled garden of Zainabad. temporary.

After this tragedy, it was said that Shah Jahan withdrew from the people, and remained in his shelter for a whole year, and when he came out to them, he turned all his hair. He immortalized the memory of his beloved wife by building the Taj Mahal mausoleum; One of the seven wonders of the world and one of the beautiful masterpieces of Islamic architecture.

Designed by Isa Shirazi and Amanullah Khan Shirazi, the mausoleum was built in Agra and took 22 years to complete.

The Taj Mahal Mausoleum was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, and her body was brought to him in a golden coffin and buried next to her (Getty Images)

The Taj Mahal is built of white marble, and apart from its distinctive and unique design, it has the beauty of changing its color with the change of time of day and the reflection of sunlight on it.

After the completion of the monument of love for Mumtaz Mahal, her remains were transferred to him in a golden coffin, and one of the legends surrounding this shrine is that it was designed so that the emperor could see him or his reflection in the water. on each side.

Isolation and death

At the end of Shah Jahan’s 30-year reign, he fell ill in September 1657 and his sons began a struggle over his succession in preparation for his possible death.

In 1658, his son Aurangzeb dethroned him and imprisoned him in Agra Fort under heavy guard after killing his elder brother Dara, who was the heir to the throne.

Shah Jahan accompanied his daughter Jahan Nara until his death in 1666 at the age of 76, and was buried next to his wife Mumtaz Mahal in the Taj Mahal mausoleum.

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