IS THE EMPTY CENOTAPH AT KHUSRAU BAGH OF NUR JAHAN HERSELF? – EDWARD BACKHOUSE EASTWICK RECORDS SAME IN MURRAYS HANDBOOK 1882

IS THE EMPTY CENOTAPH AT KHUSRAU BAGH OF NUR JAHAN HERSELF?

EDWARD BACKHOUSE EASTWICK RECORDS SAME IN MURRAYS HANDBOOK 1882

khusraus-taboot
khusraus-taboot

POINT MISSED BY MOST HISTORIANS OF THE REGION

khusrau-bagh-gateway
khusrau-bagh-gateway

Prince Saleem was only 15 years old, when Emperor Akbar proposed his marriage to Man Bai (name unknown perhaps Jodha Bai like her aunt), daughter of Raja Bhagwan Dass. It was a joyous affair. as the young Man Bai (Jodha Bai) and the young Prince Saleem consummated their marriage with great pomp. But here something was different. Both of them were in real love with each other. And Jahangeer himself could write that she had the capacity to sacrifice anything for him. And what was more than her life? When their eldest child, Prince Khusrau rebelled against his father, Man Bai (Jodha Bai) felt so ashamed, that she committed suicide by taking opiates as poison. Although Jahangeer writes of the death as on 1013 AH, she actually died on 16th May 1604 (1012 AH). Jahangeer was in control of Allahabad, and proposed her mausoleum to be built in the Khuldabad Serai that he had built (katba on the entrance) and now known as KHUSRAU BAGH.

entrance-to-unknown-cenotaph
entrance-to-unknown-cenotaph

There are many monuments which have remained intact with time but there are no historical references to them. The mausoleum of Shah Begum (Man Bai Jodha Bai) was selected by Jahangeer himself, and he buried her there, with his own hands. It was the FIRST MAUSOLEUM to be built in that serai. Archaeologists also call it the second in line of the complex. When Khusrau died in Burhanpur (colic pain or murder, a separate issue), Jahangeer ordered him to be reburied near his mother. The second mausoleum in the complex. But there is a third mausoleum there on a large scale, the most grandiose building of all three. The conclusions are pure conjecture with time. There is no official record.

shah-begum-wife-of-emperor-jahangeer
shah-begum-wife-of-emperor-jahangeer

There is no official record of same. However a number of travelers have given their opinion on same. And strangely most of them were of British origin. The man who started it all was Peter Mundy, who visited the place in 1632. He was the first person to name the three maqbaras, as being of Khusrau, his mother and his sister. And he says that the sister is still alive and building the same for her future mausoleum. The mausoleum of Prince Khusrau has inscriptional writing on it. So that is settled. The same applies to the mausoleum of his mother Jodha Bai (known as Shah Begum). Shah Begum was daughter of Raja Bhagwan Dass and grand daughter of Raja Bihari Mal. Her death upsetted Jahangeer so much that he neither ate or drank for four days as an act of condolence for his lost love. The third mausoleum has NO ONE BURIED IN IT and has been attributed by Britishers as that of being the empty cenotaph of Sultan un nisa (Sultan Nisar) Begum, eldest daughter of Jahangeer. Sultan Nisar was born on 25th April, 1586 and died on 5th September, 1646. According to her own wishes, she was buried in the Akbar complex at Sikandara. Muhammed Salih records same in his book Amal-Salih. When a most befitting mausoleum was awaiting her, with the mausoleums of her mother and brother, why did she kept away from her own construction? There is no likelihood of this happening in any way. The couplet at the entrance mentioning NUR NISAR has confused us all.

unknown-cenotaph
unknown-cenotaph

The unknown CENOTAPH was actually never completed and it is proposed that it was made in 1625. In 1627 Jahangeer died and in the battle of succession, Empress Nur Jahan was brought to Lahore as a political prisoner. She lived here for 18 years, with a pension of 2 lakh rupees per anum, but was not allowed to leave the city (lest she indulges in political wrangling). She died on 18th December, 1645. Sultan Nisar Begum died on 5th September, 1646. Both dates very close to each other.

murrays-handbook-1882
murrays-handbook-1882

Empress Nur Jahan had no more access to the mausoleum built by her for her own self. She lost interest in same, when Khusrau, her political opponent was buried there. There was a need to build a second mausoleum for herself, and she did same in Lahore, where she actually got buried, before her bones were stolen by Sikh marauders. The confusion of the identity of the graves in Khusrau Bagh is not new. It existed all the time. A leading writer of Allahabad in his extensive research on Khusrau Bagh, claims that it is known that the identity of the empty cenotaph is that of Laila Begum, and Laila may be be a name of Begum Sultan Nisar. This was in 1933, so on can Imagine nothing was clear even then. The fourth place of Tambulan Begum is still an unknown thing.

soleum-of-nur-jahan-lahore
soleum-of-nur-jahan-lahore

Did this ever got recorded? Yes. In the Murray’s Handbook of Bengal, Edward Backhouse Eastwick, a famous historian of his times, names the empty Cenotaph as that of Empress Nur Jahan, and tells us that she was buried in Lahore. (Picture enclosed of text) . There is one more proof. The historian Dr Abdullah Chaghatai in his writings write of his study of the grave of Ladli Begum daughter of Empress Nur Jahan at Khusrau Bagh. An empty cenotaph of mother and actual daughter buried there, and an actual grave of mother and and empty cenotaph of the daughter in Lahore. History is full of strange wonders!

AN INTELLIGENT NATION BEING BOMBARDED BY MORONIC THOUGHTS – THE PATHOS OF EVERY DAY PAKISTAN IN LIVING WITH STUPENDOUS HYPOCRISY

AN INTELLIGENT NATION BEING BOMBARDED BY MORONIC THOUGHTS

THE PATHOS OF EVERY DAY PAKISTAN IN LIVING WITH STUPENDOUS HYPOCRISY

a-laughing-quaid-e-azam
a-laughing-quaid-e-azam

THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS IN OUR OWN ENVIRONMENT AT HOME

A homogeneous nation in 1947 bombarded with alien ideas to confuse us internally. Railing against our Ideology, our Two nation theory, our Quaid e Azam, our Dr Allama Iqbal, the battles just do no stop at all. Why? Engendered by weakness of our most stupid segment of society, addicted to alcohol and sham luxury, every day these morons appear at some front in our every day life. Shameless is not even a word that can define them. Their belief in an after death life and Allah is truly questionable. Greed sways their inner shadows, which have replaced their souls long ago. Our democratic order cannot question them, for they are part of this sham democracy itself. Swayed by our legendary intelligentsia, we are amazed at the existence of these nincompoops in our national life.

dr-allama-iqbal
dr-allama-iqbal

Amassing of ill gotten wealth has given them the ability to engender wrongs in the society of extraordinary dimensions. Friendly advice will not make them correct themselves. The French Revolution found a bloody solution, as did the Iranian revolution. Mustafa Kamal Pasha gave birth to Modern Turkey using similar formulas. Which formulas will work here? And when will they come? Nobody really knows and hope crumples every day. Blasts from the sky and Sodom and Gomorrah were no more. The same happened in Monjo daro, and till today, nobody really knows how the natives all of a sudden died of some kind of radiation, to become the Mound of the dead. Deadly games being played by foreign lobbies can trigger war that will end life practically in this region for at least 200 years. Hate ruins a person internally, love brings out the best. The hate being showed towards Pakistan may collapse the region forever. So full of hate enemies, control yourself. There are Muslims all over the world, and the continuity will go on. Hate may destroy the Hindu civilization forever, and even we the oppressed, do not want that. Live with us in peace! We mean you no harm.

rising-crescent
rising-crescent

J. WESLEY ADAMS, WIFE FRANCES AND DAUGHTER KATHY AT CHUGHTAI HOME – A REALLY CULTURED FAMILY OF AMERICAN CONSULATE GENERAL LAHORE

J. WESLEY ADAMS, WIFE FRANCES AND DAUGHTER KATHY AT CHUGHTAI HOME

j-wesley-adams
j-wesley-adams

A REALLY CULTURED FAMILY OF AMERICAN CONSULATE GENERAL LAHORE

us-consulate-lahore
us-consulate-lahore

I was in Bethesda, USA and a lot of American friends were eager to see me. I was invited to dinner by J. Wesley Adams and his charming wife Frances to their house in near by vicinity. I was a guest of some American friends and the lady of the house dropped me at the place. The Adams were really happy to see me as they recalled their stay in Lahore and their link with the artist M. A. Rahman Chughtai. Their link was not a casual visit but maintained over a good period of time. Their daughter Kathy Adams was also involved in same.

reverse-side
reverse-side

Thomas Adams (maybe Daniel) son of Mr and Mrs Wesley Adams was having a dance party near and they invited me to join the fun. But I was too serious a person to indulge in it and politely refused,. The Adams and I shared the dinner and talked about things back home. Frances Adams had been involved with Eleanor Roosevelt and had a great history of education. Robert O Jones, who used to be head of USIS in Bank Square was also in the city and would have loved to see me. But I had no time. I ha a scheduled meeting with a lot of important persons, including Dr Kurt Waldheim, Secretary General UNO in New York. Robert O Jones used to live in FCC block, just opposite Forman Christian College and I had been to his home too.

american-consulate-general-lahore
american-consulate-general-lahore
robert-o-jones-usis-lahore
robert-o-jones-usis-lahore

 

PRESENT CHANTING OF BULLEH SHAH ENDORSED BY FOREIGN LOBBIES – SINISTER DESIGNS TO PUT FOG AROUND REVIVAL OF ISLAM IN ACTUALITY

PRESENT CHANTING OF BULLEH SHAH ENDORSED BY FOREIGN LOBBIES

SINISTER DESIGNS TO PUT FOG AROUND REVIVAL OF ISLAM IN ACTUALITY

manuscript-inayat-shah-qadiri
manuscript-inayat-shah-qadiri

NO OBJECTION TO ANYONE’S FEELINGS BUT DO NOT HURT MINE

tograph-inayat-ullah-qadiri-1127-ah
tograph-inayat-ullah-qadiri-1127-ah

This is a land of Babas. Babas dared to say anything, as they were considered above board and censure. Everyone has a right to their belief and I have no objections. Welcome to the world of Babas! But negating basic Islamic tenets is not my idea of our way of life. Though ijjtehad we can do anything collectively except permanent values, but then foreign lobbies pay our locals to endorse things, there must be something wrong somewhere.

against-adam
against-adam
against-haj
against-haj

Punjab and the whole region is full of Babas. Are the Babas endorsing Islamic way of life? Or the Babas are taking us away from basic Islamic principles. It is up to you to decide. Bu do not look away. Jumping up and down or in a swirl will not bring us closer to Allah. Allah asks us to THINK AND PONDER all the time. Anything which taking us away from thinking and pondering is not my way life. Nor it is the Islamic way of life. People in foreign lands fear the resurgence of Islam and in all ways, Babas are being used maliciously to curb this going back to the pristine values of rising Islamic awareness all over the world. Islam is against terrorism in all ways. But it is also against anything which prevents us from seeking knowledge. Education is to bring us civilization. Rewriting our history and curbing our Ideology is not fun for us. It gives us pain and when you inflict pain, you touch Allah’s Law of Mukufat. Doing wrong will bring wrong results. Love is important and having compassion is a divine thing. But closing our minds is a sin.

against-knowledge
against-knowledge
against-prayers
against-prayers

P.S. Enjoy a first look at a handwritten autograph of unknown book by Inayat Qadri Lahori, teacher of Bulley Shah, in our archives.

fun-of-quran-reading
fun-of-quran-reading
babas
babas

AND YOU THOUGHT OF ONE LADLI BEGUM BURIED IN LAHORE – THERE ARE INDEED MANY AND NUR JAHAN’S DAUGHTER WAS NEVER HERE

AND YOU THOUGHT OF ONE LADLI BEGUM BURIED IN LAHORE
THERE ARE INDEED MANY AND NUR JAHAN’S DAUGHTER WAS NEVER HERE

TRACING LADLI BEGUM DAUGHTER OF NUR JAHAN

Shahriyar *ink and pigments on paper  *5.3 x 4.2 cm
Shahriyar
*ink and pigments on paper
*5.3 x 4.2 cm

The earliest Ladli Begum seems to be the sister of Abu Fazal, whose mausoleum is on Sikandara road, near Alam Ganj, in Agra. She died in 1017 AH 1608 AD. There is another Ladli Begum in Hyderabad who is the wife of Tegh Paigha and she died in 1236 AH. The legend is that Ladli Begum daughter of Nur Jahan lies buried in her mothers mausoleum in Shahdara. But Dr Abdullah Chaghatai notes that he saw the grave of Ladli Begum in Nisar Bagh of Khusro son of Jahangeer in Allahabad. And out of the blue, we see the grave of Ladli Begum in the Ithemad ud daula complex in Agra buried with the rest of Nur Jahan’s family. Who is correct? No one is bothered with the truth.

So called grave of Ladli Begum
So called grave of Ladli Begum

We know that Ladli Begum was born in 1605 and was presented to Jahangeer along with her mother in 1610. But we do not know when she died and how she died. Obviously her husband Shahryar was first blinded and then killed. And we know that she was sitting on the elephant on which Nur Jahan tried to rescue her husband from the captivity of Mahabat Khan. We know there were wounds and some even say that it was Ladli Begum who was wounded by the arrow from the soldiers of Mahabat Khan. It is said that Nur Jahan had a son too. Nothing is known of him. But we do know that Ladli Begum had a daughter and her name is given as Arzani Begum, Wali Begum or even Lardili Begum. Nur Jahan’s Diwan gives us a name of Mehr Afroze and Mehr Afroze may be the daughter of Ladli Begum. The plot cannot be unraveled easily.

Ladli Begum tomb
Ladli Begum tomb

We present photographs of known graves of Ladli Begum daughter of Empress Nur Jahan. Speculate!

Ladli Begum died 1236 AH
Ladli Begum died 1236 AH

WHEN GIRLS FROM PESHAWER UNIVERSITY CAME CALLING – A REGULAR ANNUAL VISIT SPONSORED BY VICE CHANCELLOR

WHEN GIRLS FROM PESHAWER UNIVERSITY CAME CALLING

A REGULAR ANNUAL VISIT SPONSORED BY VICE CHANCELLOR

HIP HIP PHORAY CHUGHTAI MUSEUM

Girls from Peshawer University
Girls from Peshawer University

Peshawer University had a routine of sending students to the Punjab every year as a study tour of people and places in Pakistan. Indeed the Vice Chancellor of that place was a far sighted person and believed in national cohesion. When we used to see the familiar site of young Pathan faces around the city, we thought it was in their best interest to visit places of art museums. A discussion was held with the VC and it was decided that it would be an annual event, that the Home Economics Girls from Peshawer University would visit Chughtai Museum. We bombarded our visitors with printed matter, books, as well as lectures on Art and Culture. Not only the students, the teachers were well pleased with us. Happiness knew no bounds as they got familiar with Chughtai Art.

Head Girl Home Economics
Head Girl Home Economics

Our reward was simple. We were spreading not only national cohesion but also reinforcing National Identity. A pretty reward was handed to us as the students decided that before boarding their bus for back home, they would shout pleasantly for us. The cry of HIP HIP PHORAY CHUGHTAI MUSEUM rang the streets of Garden Town and passerbys were indeed amused as to what had happened. Not daily they could see about 50 Pathan girls shouting at the top of their voice. Well done, Chughtai Museum! Well done, Pakistan!

Outside Bombay in the Arabian sea lies a deserted Island Fort

Outside Bombay in the Arabian sea lies a deserted Island Fort. The fort was made by Sidhi Salur Khan, an Abyssinian in 1511. Reinforced with lead and granite, it was a fort which could not be captured by any one. The Abyssinian captain and his Sidhis provided safe package to various Hajis going to Mecca and were rewarded by the Adil Shahis. Emperor Jahangeer also gave the Sidhis the authority to govern the place.The deserted Islamic Fort of Jangira

Outskirts Janjira Fort
Outskirts Janjira Fort

The palace of Sidhi Salur Khan is known as Mah Ruba or the Fort of the Moon. There are mosques and inscriptions still on it. But everything is deserted. No one even comes near it and it is difficult to visit by any one. Fishermen row their dhows past the place in loving memory of a time gone by. The famous Hindu warrior Shivajee tried to conquer the Fort many times but could not succeed. He even unsuccessfully tried to dig a tunnel to the Fort but of no avail. It was a Fort which legends say was the strongest Fort of its kind. Today it is an island of solitude and peace.

An unread Islamic Inscription
An unread Islamic Inscription
Abyssinian at Mughal Court
Abyssinian at Mughal Court

FOREIGN LOBBIES WASTING THEIR RESOURCES IN TRYING TO BUY MUSLIM IDENTITY – MUSLIMS MAY WAVER HERE AND THERE BUT RENOUNCING IDENTITY IMPOSSIBLE

FOREIGN LOBBIES WASTING THEIR RESOURCES IN TRYING TO BUY MUSLIM IDENTITY

MUSLIMS MAY WAVER HERE AND THERE BUT RENOUNCING IDENTITY IMPOSSIBLE

THE WORDS OF THEIR PROPHET ETCHED IN THEIR HEARTS AND SOULS

18-The-Leadership
18-The-Leadership

There is always a two pronged strategy. One is to create a secular camp in which you demean religion like nothing else. Modern knowledge tells them that there is no room for God or biblical stories. On the other hand you create priesthood, which will cannibalize all your enlightened views. Thanks Allah, Pakistanis are very enlightened people. Intelligensia has rejected both. Obviously it started with the teachings of Dr Allama Iqbal himself and executed by none other than, Quaid e Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah. The mantle picked up by thinkers like Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz, Dr Abdul Wadud, Rafiullah Shehab, and so many others.

35-The-Still-Life
35-The-Still-Life

We are proud to be Muslims and we are proud to be Pakistanis, where eventually the Islamic Concepts are going to be tried for the very first time in a thousand years history. Ijjtehad is going to come flying in and we bid farewell to alien thoughts and Ideology. For in the final analysis we face Allah and Allah’ commands. The earthly thinking meaningless. The Prophet PBUH said for us:

46-Iqbal-and-Rumi
46-Iqbal-and-Rumi

“Oh my uncle! If they place the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left, to force me to renounce my mission, I will not desist until God manifests His cause or I perish in the attempt.”

25-Muezzin's-Call
25-Muezzin’s-Call

IN SEARCH OF MEHRI ARAB THE POETESS AT MUGHAL HOUSEHOLD – COMPANION OF EMPRESS NUR JAHAN WHO WAS HER GUARDIAN

IN SEARCH OF MEHRI ARAB THE POETESS AT MUGHAL HOUSEHOLD

COMPANION OF EMPRESS NUR JAHAN WHO WAS HER GUARDIAN

LITTLE BY LITTLE INFORMATION PILES UP IN HISTORICAL RECORD

A Mughal scene
A Mughal scene

Mehri is not an unusual name. It is an actually abbreviated form of Mehr, and for that matter Mehr unnisa was the name of Empress Nur Jahan herself. Little bits and pieces are known. It should be clarified that there were at least three Mehri poetess in those times. One was Mehri Khanum, a Turkish poetess, who wrote both in Turkish and Persian. Then there was Mehri Herawi, from the city of Herat, whose work was also known here. And then there was Mehri, the poetess attached with Empress Nur Jahan herself.

One strange aspect is that little of Mehri’s verses have survived and copies of a Masnavi or two exists in the famous Berlin library as well as Bombay University library. Nowhere else the same is known. It is called as the SARRAPA I MEHRI , and is just of a few pages. Enlarged writing makes it 14 pages, condensed writing just four pages. Some verses here and there in tazkhiras. But the funny aspect is that she is known a a PERSIAN POETESS but in the collections which saves her writing, she is written as MEHRI ARAB. A strange contradiction. We have a story of Emperor Akbar in Afghanistan who met a group of 200 Arabs in Afghanistan and and treated them with honour. We have the legend of Hamida Begum who brought a group of 300 Arabs back to Hindustan from her Haj trip to Mecca. In that respect we have the famous ARAB SERAI in Delhi. And on one of the Eastern gates, there is written MEHR BANO QADIMI JAHANGEER SHAH. Some scholars believe this Mehr to be an eunuch in the service of Emperor Jahangeer. Other believe it to be the name used of Nur Jahan herself. But the inscription very strangely written, and not the normal elegant inscriptions of Empress Nur Jahan. It is too brief and too vague to have other meanings. Perhaps the small Arab girl Mehr was part of these Arab travellers and Empress Nur Jahan liked the child and adopted her as her own. We do know that this Mehr was married to Khawaja Hakeem of the Mughal Court.

Sarrapa i Mehri Arab
Sarrapa i Mehri Arab

An interesting episode is related by Tazkhira writer Sher Khan Lodi of Bengal. He says that one day Nur Jahan and Mehri were standing on the balconey, when Khawaja Hakeem passed from underneath. Nur Jahan asked Mehri to summon Khawaja Hakeem, and the man got so nervous, that he started walking with an unusual gait. Nur Jahan asked Mehri to recite some verses on the stupid walk of her husband. And Mehri said these extempore verses:

“MARABA TO SARE YARI NUMANDA,

SARE MEHR OH WAFADARI NUMANDA;

TORAH ASZAF OH PEERI QUWAT OH ZOAR,

CHUNANCHAY PAY BARADARI NUMANDA.

In the couplet Mehri complains to her husband that due to old age and weakness, he does not have even the ability to walk forward, so the possibility of good marital relations has diminished considerably and no loyalty was to be expected.

Mehr Bano Inscription Arab Serai
Mehr Bano Inscription Arab Serai

Empress Nur Jahan was highly amused and as expected from an Empress, rewarded the poetess in a proper manner. Everyone calls Meri a Persian poetess raised by Nur Jahan but references show her as Mehri Arab. Further research obviously required in the life of Mehri.

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