Mughal Empress Nur Jahan dies in Lahore, 1645 CE

Nur Jahan holding a portrait of Emperor Jahangir | Photo: Wikimedia

Today on the 18th of December in 1645 CE, the Mughal Empress, and wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, Nur Jahan died in Lahore (now in Pakistan). She was born as Muhr-un-Nisa but when Jahangir married her in 1611 CE, he bestowed on her the title: Nur Mahal (light of the palace) and later upgraded to Nur Jahan (light of the world).

Nur Jahan was beautiful, quick-witted, educated, highly intelligent, cultured, and a gifted artist. She was very kind towards the poor and the downtrodden. She used to donate a vast amount of money to charity on a daily basis.

Nur Jahan was also endowed with great physical stamina and good health. She was an excellent hunter and crack shot. It’s said that she once had felled four tigers with only 6 bullets.

A hard-working and skilled politician, Nur Jahan became the most powerful person in the Empire, which means she was the most powerful woman of Mughal India.

Tomb of Nur Jahan in Lahore (now in Pakistan) | Photo: Wikimedia

Nur Jahan was the only woman in the entire Mughal history to have coinage struck in her name. The inscription on the coin is as follow (translated by Dirk Dirk Collier):

By the order of Emperor Jahangir, gold has a hundred splendors added to it by receiving the impression of the name of Nur Jahan, the Queen Begam.

How Nur Jahan’s father made to the Mughal Court?

Nur Jahan was the daughter of Persian aristocrat Mirza Ghiyas Beg. Mirza Ghiyas Beg entered the service of Mughal Emperor Akbar after he had fled his home country. While on his way to the east, the caravan of Mirza Ghiyas was attacked by the robbers and his family lost almost everything it owned.

Somehow, Ghiyas and his wife Asmat Begam made their way to Qandahar, and there she gave birth to Nur Jahan (born as Mehr-un-Nisa). Luckily, from there on, Mirza Ghiyas managed to enter the court of Akbar. Ghiyas was an educated and skilled man, therefore he quickly rose through the ranks.

How Jahangir met Nur Jahan?

Nur Jahan was first married to Ali Quli Istajlu who was an officer in the Mughal imperial service. After the death of her husband, Nur Jahan became a widow at a very young age.

Four years later, in March 1611 CE, Jahangir saw her in Meena Bazar. Impressed by her beauty, Jahangir married her within two months. For Jahangir, his new beautiful wife a godsend and a true soulmate.

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