Medieval Indian History - Nur Jahan


  • Nur Jahan first married to an Iranian, Sher Afghan, and after his death (in a clash with the Mughal governor of Bengal), she married to Jahangir in 1611.

Nur Jahan
  • After marrying with Nur Jahan, Jahangir appointed her father Itimaduddaula as joint diwan and later he had been promoted to chief diwan. Besides, other members of her (Nur Jahan) family also benefited.

  • In ten years of his service, Itimaduddaula proved his loyalty, competency, and acumen. He made a considerable influence in the affairs of the state until his death.

  • Asaf Khan, Nur Jahan's brother, was also a learned and deserving man. He was appointed as the ‘khan-i-saman;’ it was the post reserved for the highly trustworthy nobles.

  • Asaf Khan married his daughter with Khurram (later Shah Jahan). Khurram was favorite of Jahangir particularly after the rebellion and imprisonment of Khusrau.

  • Some historians mentioned that along with her father and brother, and in alliance with Khurram, Nur Jahan formed a group or "junta," which managed Jahangir’s governance at such a level that without its support no one could approach emperor. This led to the division of the court into two groups i.e. Nur Jahan "junta" and its opponents.

  • Over a period of time, Nur Jahan became ambitious and tried to dominate, which resulted in a breach between her and Shah Jahan, and that this drove Shah Jahan into rebellion against his father in 1622. It was the time when Shah Jahan felt that Jahangir was completely under Nur Jahan's influence. However, some other historians are not agreed with this view.

  • The precise political role of Nur Jahan during that period is not clear. However, she dominated the royal household and set a new fashion based on Persian traditions.

  • Nur Jahan was the consistent companion of Jahangir, and even joined him in his hunting expeditions since she was a good rider and a shooter. However, Jahangir was not dependent on the "junta" or on Nur Jahan’s diplomacy.

  • Shah Jahan became powerful because of his personal qualities and achievements rather than the support of Nur Jahan. And, Shah Jahan had his own ambitions of which Jahangir was not unaware.

  • During the Mughal period, no emperor could afford or allow a noble or even a prince to become so powerful (lest he challenged his authority). Probably, it was the reason of the conflict arose between Jahangir and Shah Jahan.