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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Role of Mariam-Uz-Zamani and other Ladies in the securing pardon for Salim after his Revolt

Hi everyone.

This post attempts to explain the role of various Mughal ladies in containing the revolt of Salim, when he revolted against his father Akbar...

That time, Akbar was ready to go on a war with him, as he was quite furious to know about Salim's act..In such a situation, the Royal Mughal Ladies of the harem, played a crucial role.

Historical Documents tell us 2 major names....Major role was played by Salima Begum and Akbar's mother Hamida Bano Begum.

It was Salima Begum who went to Allahabad to meet Salim with an elephant named 'Fatha Lashkar', a special horse, and a special robe of honour. She also played some role in securing the pardon of Akbar's mother, Hamida Bano Begum, for Salim.

It was Salima Begum, in forefront, due to whose efforts Salim was finally pardoned in 1603.

In Mughal chronicles there is no mention of any other lady in getting this pardon for Salim. We have checked many chronicles. Though, we can not rule out the possibility of role played by other ladies too, because the senior women in the harem acted like a motherly figure to the royal princes. Hence, many ladies could have been involved. It is important to mention that, the account does not explicitly states the names of Ruqayya Sultan Begum or Mariam-Uz-Zamani Begum ; the actual role as per Akbarnama goes to Salima Sultan Begum and Hamida Bano Begum.


Tomb of Mariam-Uz-Zamani at Sikandra - Built by her son Jahangir

 Regarding, Harka Bai/Mariam-Uz-Zamani Begum's Role here.

It is quite evident that she must have sided with Akbar. She must have tried to request/relent, without going against her husband. The SAME thing has been inferred from many sources. And, there is mention in contemporary accounts about this.

I am explaining what i mean here. Read this, to get an idea

Salim's wife Man Bai( daughter of Bhagwan Das) during the rebellion of his son Khusrau, wanted Khusrau to listen to Salim, and give up his rebellious means.

It has been mentioned that " Man Bai
EVEN WROTE to Khusrau " to be sincere to his father, Salim/Jahangir.

Man Bai was very disturbed due this Father-Son tussle between Jahangir and Khusrau.
Jahangir notes in his autobiography about Man Bai that->

" She was at times disturbed, for such feelings were hereditary, and her ancestors and her brothers had occasionally showed signs but after a time had recovered. "

Also Read :
Marriage of Maan Bai and Salim / Jahangir


What i mean here is THAT...The high ideals of the Rajput ladies and their devotion to their husbands FORBIDS them to go against their husbands.  And, this is WHAT Rajput ladies were KNOWN for. Hence, Harka Bai/MUZ must have taken her husband's side here..

And, Jahangir has also noted in his autobiography about Man Bai's idealism, and her ancestors also.   So, MUZ surely must have sided with Akbar, as per the ideals .

The details about the death of Akbar and revolt of Salim can be read in these posts : 

The LAST Portrait : Tragedy of a dying emperor | With English translation of surviving Persian Inscriptions | Death of Mughal Emperor Akbar - Part 1 of a 3 part series

2 HOURS that changed Mughal History | Death of Akbar - Victory of Jahangir - Defeat of Khusrau, Raja Man Singh & Mirza Aziz Koka | Story of treachery, loyalty & fluctuating fortunes - A detailed analysis from Portuguese account of 3rd Christian Mission at Mughal Court, Akbarnama, lesser known Persian histories & hitherto unknown Rajasthani (Jaipur) Manuscript | Part-2 of 3 part series

Contemporary account of reaction of people & Aftermath of Death of Akbar | Rise of Islamic Orthodoxy | Obituary of the Jesuit Priests | With 14 Mughal Miniatures| Death of Mughal Emperor Akbar - Last Part of a 3 part series

Article Category : Mughals (Akbar)

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  1. 1. Can you please elaborate on the reasons why Salim revolted against his father?

    2. Why did no one try to mediate between Jahangir and Khusrau when the latter revolted against his father?


    1. @Radhika..

      The reasons are as follows..

      1. Salim revolted against his father Akbar due to the fact that, by 1600, he was already 31 years old and his father had reigned for more than 40 years by then.. Salim wanted to become the next Emperor, as soon as possible.

      2. Khusrau's mother Man Bai, tried for mediation between the father and son, but this did not lead to any fruitful result.

  2. If MUZ sided with Akbar, did this cause any strain in her relationship with Salim? Can you elaborate on MUZ's relation with Salim. :)

    1. Aadhya,

      I will make a separate article on this soon. By the way, Salim had a lot of respect for his mother. He probably understood why his mother must have sided with Akbar; as his own wife, Man Bai also sided with him, when Khusrau revolted and she tried to bring Khusrau back to Salim's fold. :)

  3. I hv read somewhere that Akbar wanted Khsrau to succeed him rather than Jahangir. What was the reason behind this? Was Salim married to Nurjahan by that time?so that akbar did not like her control over Salim?
    As the popular belief goes, dancer Anarkali was not the reason fr the revolt?if Anarkali was fictional charecter then how is that her tomb with jahangir's inscription on it exists in Lahore?
    how many times they got into war/ conflict against one another?

  4. Geeta,

    Akbar saw Khusrau as a better person than Salim. Mostly, it is said, in Khusrau he(Akbar) saw his own self.!!

    This was before 1605. Akbar died in 1605. Though, on his death, he proclaimed Salim as the future Emperor.

    Salim married Nur Jahan in 1611.
    The reason for Salim's revolt was not Anarkali. It was Salim's urge to become the king.
    See below, i replied to Radhika, something on similar lines.

    That inscription you are talking about, does not mentions the name of "Anarkali" . People have made many tales around her in later times. :)

  5. Does such a tomb exist, Abhay? Whose tomb is it? Where is Jehangir buried? And Nur Jahan?

  6. Abhay, is it true that another reason for the revolt was that while Salim was growing older without becoming king, he saw Akbar giving more importance to Murad, Daniyal and Khusrau?

    2. Did Akbar prefer Khusrau over Khurram because the former was Man Bai's son and closely related to Bahgwandas and Maan Singh? :)

  7. Radhika,

    This is a tomb in Lahore, Pakistan. It is not known whose tomb it is. People "say" that it is Anarkali's tomb. ;p

    There is NO proof of it. :)

    Jahangir and Nur Jahan are buried in a garden in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. The garden's name is Shahdara Garden.

    Nur Jahan rests near her daughter, Ladli Begum. Both, mother and daughters have a grave side by side.

    And, Jahangir rests in his own tomb, separately.

  8. Radhika,

    1. There are multiple issues which affect a person's thinking.
    Same here. On one hand, while he growing older and he wanted to be the king soon, but on other hand Akbar was quite fit. Hence, his revolt.
    If you analyze Jahangir course of action, you will feel that, he probably wanted to revolt in a GRAND manner but could not.

    He had other reasons also, one being Akbar's preference to Khusrau. I will explain you in a message soon. :)

    2. In Khusrau , it is said, Akbar saw his OWN self. The prince was chivalrous, and an epitome of bravery. It is said he adorned the quallities of a warrior, and was high on ideals and devoid of any of the vices of the age. Hence his preference. Khurram was younger, but he was also close to Akbar. BUT, Khusrau was preferred by Akbar for the throne.

  9. Radhika, I hv read in IF frm sombody who visited Lahore. He/She had posted the tomb's picture. It is in the garden of Anar, Pommogranate. Intriguing part is there r 2 dates on it, presumably one of he death of the person whose tomb it is n the other being the completion n beautification of the tomb.The inscription presumably of Jahangir in Urdu, saying something similar to 'if I can behold my beloved's face at least once, I am ready to exchange my life ' I think, it certainly points out to something mystique.

  10. Don't u think, Abhay' Akbar shud hv given the throne to Salim at the right age, at least half of the empire,instead of waiting fr Salim to revolt?
    Why the emperors especially the mughals didn't hv faith in their own blood?Or was it Power which corrupts?

  11. Geeta,

    There is nothing confirmed about that tomb. Everything about that tale is replete with words like "probably" and "presumably", but not with confirmation. ;p

  12. Geeta,
    It was not much to do about "trust" . We need to understand the custom of that time. Till the king is alive he rules. There was no concept of "Aashrams" in Mughals, so that they could leave the throne and go for 'Vanvas' .

    You are right, it is the urge for power which corrupts them. Take the example of Shah Jahan. For power he eliminated all the males, and after that we see Aurangzeb also.

  13. Abhay I was also wondering the same .Was there Co-Regency at any point of time with Mughals or rajputs? I guess it would have avoided the pbms of this powers struggle especially when some strong emperors rule for a long time and their sons had reached the age of ruling.

  14. Priya,
    There was no regency in rigid sense.
    I mean - The sons were assigned various provinces and were appointed to high mansabs, but the king remained the authority till he was alive. :)

  15. Abhay, which provinces were assigned to Salim? was there lack of autonomy?There must be some small incidents wherein father-son duo clashed, which ultimately led to the revolt.What was Abu'lFazl's take on this revolt?
    I think u will hv to make seperatte posts fr this when the time comes.:)

  16. I agree, history- geek, nowhere in the history we hv seen father giving up his throne unless he became too old..we hv in Indian history, sons forcing their father to give up, but I don't think anybody was imprisoned by his son.;-o

  17. Yes, the cases of imprisoning are rare. In context of our discussion, we have Aurangzeb going for this act.

  18. Geeta,
    Very interesting questions. In fact, the answers to these questions are not possible to be given in few lines. They need separate posts. Replying in short at the moment.

    There was NO "open" clash between the father-son in starting. Salim was sent to tackle Sisodias of Mewar, but he went to Allahabad, there he took control of Royal treasury and almost established his own government.

    Abu'l Fazl used to give good counsel to Akbar, no matter whomsoever was involved. Salim knew his father would also consult Fazl about what should be done in his case. And clearly Fazl would have spoken NOT in favor of Salim. Hence, he got Fazl eliminated.

    I think this would need a separate post, but what are your precise questions.?. :)

  19. Abhay, u hv answered almost all qstns. But I would still prefer to read ur seperate post on the rise n revolt of Salim.ur post is a time Machine thet takes us back to that era.:)
    I am shocked to hear that Fazl was eliminated by Salim. And I thought the elimination round started with Shah Jahan.!Take ur own time history-geek, but please do post on the charecter of this Salim, who is shown to be very shy n reluctant on celluloid.

  20. Actually by indian I meant Hindu king.Has anybody heard of Hindu king being imprisoned by his son except in Puranas? There r instances of brother being killed by bro thru conspiracy.

  21. Geeta,
    I can not think of any such incident as of now. If i get something, i will share here. :)

  22. Geeta,

    Abul Fazl was killed by Bir Singh Bundela at the instance of Salim. And Salim mentions this event in his autobiography himself..!!!!!

    Salim comes across as a very intelligent character. I think, he had many grievances against Abul Fazl. As we know, that almost all characters in history have grey spots. Abul Fazl also comes in this line.

    Will post soon. :)

  23. Gosh!!, Abhay, I can't imagine a person killing a man of his father's stature and still be proud of it. Power struggle at the root of it all. In comparison, I think, Akbar must be the least violent n most benevelant of his lot.
    We will wait for ur post, eagerly, history-geek..
    I hv a suggestion, as u hv already given the chronology, n the missed ones too, can we hv ur postings on the missed ones accordingly? Or is it too much to ask fr?

  24. Geeta,

    He was not proud of getting Fazl killed. In fact, he mentions that - "he knows this act caused great anger in the mind of Akbar, but he had to do this." !!!

    BTW, Which "missed posts" are you talking about.?. :)

  25. Hello Abhay, I have sent u 2 emails on your email account last saturday and a PM too. could you let me know if you got the emails? I know you may not have been able to read the attachments but do let me know u have recieved it thanks Preeti

  26. Preeti,
    I was very busy. Replied now. Please see. :)

  27. history-geek,by missed ones, I mean historical tracks missed or twisted by the serial that the real things/ incidents supported by most sources,will be made known to the readers.

  28. Ok. I understood. I will continue that post which i made recently, about the historical tracks. But right now, i am working on many other posts simultaneously, coupled with some personal work as well. Hence, a bit slow. :)

  29. Thank u history-geek, take ur own time depending on the priority.:)

  30. Geeta, I will post soon. Actually, understanding Salim and his relations is very complex, i must say a very interesting character.

  31. Thanks, Abhay! Sorry, I didn't see this reply earlier.

    The Mughals continued to have a deep relationship with Lahore long after they returned to Agra / Delhi?

  32. Geeta, thanks for the information. :) I am sorry I didn't see this comment earlier.

  33. Abhay, thanks :) Sorry I missed this reply of yours.

    Abhay, is it true that Akbar's hand was forced as he was breathing his last to proclaim Jahangir as the successor?

    I read that till the end, Khusrau's camp was quite strong with Man Singh lending him his support. Even after Jahangir became king, Khusrau continued to remain popular among the masses. This was a source of constant worry to Jahangir and Nur Jahan.

    After all your planned posts are over, can you please post on Khusrau. I feel very sad about his tragic life, ruined (?) by his own father out of jealousy. Didn't Jahangir ever think that just as Akbar tolerated him while Akbar was the king, he should also be more tolerant of Khusrau?

    Btw, still waiting for the message you mentioned in your reply. :)

  34. Yes, this is true. They had a deep relationship with Lahore. Actually, Lahore was a very important city from the trade POV also. It was very BIG in size. Lahore is very near to India-Pakistan border today. :)

  35. Abhay

    In those days, Lahore must have been significant because it was close to Kabul and the middle east / central Asia? A sort of gateway to the countries lying to the west of Hindustan...

  36. Yes. It was famous for it's busy markets, thriving industries, crowded streets. It had many beautiful buildings. All in all, it could not compete with Delhi and Agra, but still it stands out as an important city, being the capital of Akbar for about 14 years.

  37. Radhika,

    Akbar HAD TO declare Salim as his successor under the instance of his nobles. The clause was the violation of Mughal Law of succession, as Akbar had decided to leave Salim in between, and make Khusrau the ruler.

    But the REAL motive of the nobles was to PROHIBIT Khusrau from becoming the Emperor, as he was highly secular and tolerant, and Akbar saw him just like himself. Moreover, the tussle for power between the Mughal nobility and their 'fear' of again having an Emperor close to the Rajputs also made them somehow stop Khusrau.

    Nur Jahan/her father/her brother/Khurram were eager to eliminate Khusrau, as he was still considered an able successor, the people were very fond of him. Even Khusrau's son was very much loved by them.

    Khusrau's life was not ruined only due to Jahangir but there were many forces operating in the background. :(

    I will make a post on this also. Please remind me in case i forget. :)

  38. Abhay, Thanks for the detailed reply :)

    I also read that the Mughals didn't want to have Khusrau as the king because he was close to the Rajputs and had their backing.

    I dare not remind you, as you are quite busy. :) Btw, sent you a PM.