IN SEARCH OF THE SARCOPHAGUS OF EMPRESS NUR JAHAN;
IT IS WRITTEN THAT IT WAS STILL INTACT IN THE YEAR 1892.
It is reputed that Nur Jahan composed the verses “Without frills and feathers” for her sarcophagus and a request was made to Emperor Shah Jahan, who accepted her request. The English translation of same was:
“Man is frail, Allah all powerfulIn submission to His will lies theHigh road to Heaven.When I die, hark.On my lowly grave there will neither beFlower nor an earthen lamp.Neither wil there be heard the love song ofThe Cuckoo, nor the yearnings of the moth,To sacrifice itself in fire.”
Nothing more is known.
The only reference of the past that is available, comes from the “Travels in India” of Captain Leopold Von Orlich in 1845. He says:
“It is related in the Khafi Khan, that from the day of her husband’s death, she never put on a coloured dress, but always wore white. She died in 1646, and the tomb which she erected for herself next to that of her husband now lies entirely in ruin. ONLY THE MARBLE SARCOPHAGUS IS PRESERVED; and the beautifully vaulted rooms are now the abode of cows and oxen.”
This means that the sarcophagus was there in 1846. In 1892 the writer Muhammed Lateef informs us that the chaste sarcophagus with ninety-nine names of Allah had been removed. Why and how not stated at all? The writer Abdullah Qureshi tells us of the remnant of a brick grave in the basement of the maqbara in 1899. He also tells us that the whole was used by villagers as a latrine and it stinks to unbearable levels.
The theory is that a sarcophagus was found in the compound of Asif Khan’s maqbara and put there in the verandah in 1907. It was considered desirable to associate it with Asif Khan, although the whole size of the same does not match with that of the structure of Asif khan. It is too small to be that of Nawab Asif Khan. Read our previous blog on the same subject for analysis. Is it possible that this is the sarcophagus of Empress Nur Jahan?