Mumtaz Mahal

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Arjumand Banu Begum (also called Mumtaz Mahal) was the third wife of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor. Mumtaz Mahal (meaning 'Jewel of the palace') was the nickname her husband gave to her.[source?]

life[change | change source]

Mumtaz Mahal was born in April 1593 in Agra, India. Her father was the Persian noble Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan, the brother of Nur Jahan, the Mughal Empress wife of Jahangir.

Mumtaz was a Muslim and fell in love with and married her cousin, Shah Jahan, later to be the Mughal emperor on May 10, 1612 at the age of 19. She was his third wife, and became his favorite.

Marriage[change | change source]

The Taj Mahal, the monument to Mumtaz built by her husband

Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal were married for 19 years. They had thirteen children together. Seven of the children died at birth or at a very young age. Mumtaz travelled with Shah Jahan and his army as he carried out military campaigns. Mumtaz Mahal supported Shah Jahan and they respected each other very much. Mumtaz Mahal died on June 17, 1631 in Burhanpur in the Deccan (now in Madhya Pradesh) during the birth of their fourteenth child, a daughter named Gauhara Begum.

Death[change | change source]

She had been with her husband as he was fighting a campaign in the Deccan Plateau. Her body was kept at Burhanpur in a walled pleasure garden known as Zainabad. A popular story says that on her deathbed, her last wish to the emperor was for a symbol or a monument to their love. She also asked her husband not to marry anyone else. The emperor promised immediately. Her body was buried in the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Effects[change | change source]

After she died, Shah Jahan went into mourning for a year. When he appeared again, his hair had turned white, his back was bent, and his face worn. Jahan's eldest daughter, Jahanara Begum, slowly brought him out of mourning and took the place of Mumtaz at court.