Nur Jahan The Most Powerful Woman Of Mughal Empire

Qasim Khan Lahore

Nur Jahan, the most powerful woman of Mughal Empire,, died on December 17, 1645 in Lahore

لاهور را به جان برابر خریده ایم - جان داده ایم و جنت دیگر خریده ایم

Born as Mehr-un-Nisaa, Noor Jahan's father Mirza Ghiyas Baig migrated to India with his family and in 1577, during the trip to India, Noor Jahan was born.

When she grew up, she was married to a Turkish soldier, Sher Afghan Quli Khan at the age of 17 in 1594 and had a daughter, Ladli Begum. Her husband was executed in 1607 and she became the lady-in-waiting for one of Jahangir's court women and the hand-maiden at the imperial harem in Agra.

On the fateful day of March 1611, she met Prince Jahangir in the spring festival of Norooz at the Palace bazaar, who straightaway fell in love with this 35 years old widow. Just two months later, both got married, and Mehr-un-Nisa became Noor Jahan.

Marriage to Jahangir became a great boon with several members receiving sizeable endowments and promotions as a result. This affection led to Nur Jahan wielding a great deal of actual power in affairs of state.

The Mughal state gave absolute power to the emperor, and those who exercised influence over the emperor gained immense influence and prestige. She was very intelligent, shrewd and a woman who could see into the future. That is why she is regarded by many as the real power behind the Mughal throne. She attempted to consolidate her position through her brother Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan, who was the Imperial wazir (minister).

Commenting on the political prowess of Noor Jahan, Stanley Lane-Poole writes in History of India, great was the influence of this Persian princess that Jahangir joined her name with his on the coinage, a conjunction unparalleled in the history of Mohammedan numismatics.The wording on the coins, in Persian is worth quoting:

Ba Hukm Shah Jahangir yaft sad zewer, / Banam Noor Jahan Badshah Begum zar†(By the order of Jahangir, gold attained a hundred times its beauty when the name of Nur Jahan, the First Lady of the court was impressed upon it).

Lane-Poole further says that this gifted woman ˜practically ruled the empire during the greater part of Jahangir's reign. Another writer, GHR Tillotson, emphasizes that Noor Jahan was the most powerful woman in Mughal history, able to control state affairs from behind the purdah screen. She was a woman of unusual ability. She exercised political authority with intelligence, courage and astuteness, and did it despite constraints (like purdah) imposed by life in the Moghul zenana.

She was also responsible, almost single-handedly, for the many artistic, architectural, and cultural achievements of the Jahangir era. She died in Lahore on December 17, 1645 and rests in peace with her daughter "Ladli Begum" in her tomb at Shahdara.