A PRINCESS WITH WORDS OF KNOWLEDGE AT HER OWN DOOR STEPS
THE AMAZING INTELLECT OF ZEBUNNISA DAUGHTER OF ALAMGEER
Leaving the world of bigoted locals and farangi bazaar gossips (with dirty filthy minds), there are Muslim writers who have done justice to their job. However much of these books are not available and out of sight of most people. One is a small biography of Princess Zebunnisa done by Munshi Abdur Rahman “Shauk” Amritsari, who relies on Muslim sources of historical importance. Quoting many things attached to the Princess, but one statement is extremely new, and worthy of note.
Zebunnisa was obviously getting the best of education, collected one of the finest libraries in Hindustan, and had various scholars write treatises on subjects with which she was not very familiar. One subject which intrigued her was of Astronomy and study of Stars. It is evident that manuscripts on Stars were collected by her. The details of a book on poetic balancing, written at her request by Imamuddin Riazi, son of Lutufullah Muhandis is well known. Imamuddin Riazi also enjoyed some official position at the court. In a bayaz collected by her of various poets, she has included verses of Lutufullah Muhandis. Imamuddin Riazi at court would have told her many things abut the stars too. Lutufullah Muhandis translate the epic Star book of Abdur Rahman Sufi, the original copy at Aligarh University.
One day Zebunnisa was sitting with her teachers, an elderly lady, who wanted to ask her about the Stars. The teacher herself was stupefied and talking about the Stars. The lady said she has read about many things but never about astronomy. She said you have read a lot about stars, so at what distance are they from earth. Do people reside on these stars? They look so small from far, but what are they actually? Zebunnisa said to her teacher I am certainly not in a position to tell you the exact distance of the stars from earth but can assure you that there is another world there, and certainly in another world life must be there. Allah must have created lakhs of things on those surfaces. Certainly living things must be there. She said that according to astronomy if in a single breath we travel 186000 miles then we can reach the stars in 3500 years. The teacher went into a stupor but could say nothing to the Princess. The answer given by Zebunnisa was both based on knowledge and intellect. And a well deserved answer.
The intellectual freaks of today cannot equal the rationality mixed with tenets of DEEN of the past.