The garden was built by Mahabt Khan, surnamed Khan-e-Khanan, Yamin-ud-Daula. His original name was Zamana Beg, and he was son of Ghyur Beg of Kabul. Jahangir writes of him in his autobiography, "Zamana Beg son of Ghayur Beg, had gained the dignity of 500, by when I was till Crown Prince. He now (on my accession), having received the title of Mahabat Khan and a mansab of 1500, was nominated Paymaster of my household."
In the seventeenth year of the reign of Jahangir, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, with a mansab of 7000, and sent against Shah Jahan whom he defeated near Allahabad. Mahabat Khan died in 1634. At his death he held the dignity of Khan-e-Khanan, and was head of the military administration. Shah Jahan made provision for Mahabat Khan's eldest son who ultimately rose to the Governorship of Kabul and to bear his father’s title.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh gave the garden to Faqir Aziz-ud-Din, who looked well after it. On his death, Faqir Charagh-ud-Din, his heir sold it to Jahangirji & Co., Parsi Merchants.
In the midst of the garden, on a spacious platform (now in ruins), is a grave of solid masonry which both Chishti and Sarwar ascribe to Mahabat Khan. Latif makes no mention of this grave in his history of Lahore. Mahabat Khan died in Deccan in 1634. His body was carried back to Delhi, where he was buried on the ground of the shrine of Qadam Sharif. Therefore, the personage whose remains lay interred in Mahabat Khan's Garden shall remain unknown, at least for now. It is certainly possible that the Mahabat Khan of this garden was a completely different Mahabat Khan than whom the garden is ascribed to as there have been numerous other Mahabat Khan's in Mughal history, for example, one of Zamana Beg's own sons was also titled Mahabat Khan after the death of his father.