THE SPIRITUAL GODDESS OF MUGHAL KINGDOM JAHAN ARA
DAUGHTER OF AN EMPEROR LIFE DEDICATED TO COMMONERS
MOTHER BURIED IN TAJ MAHAL, SHE BURIED IN SINGLE GRAVE
Books can be written on Jahan Ara and books have been written, but she herself wrote books and also wrote verses. No Diwan has come out so far, but her takhallus was BEGUM SAHIBA and verses have been recovered from various sources. Some of her books are found here and there, mostly on Muslim Saints of our region. Chughtai Museum is proud to possess one of her books, written probably by Dara Shikoh himself and the final copy, her presentation to her father Emperor Shah Jahan in Jamia Masjid, Delhi. All this is recorded on the manuscript itself.
The calligrapher is AINEE. No Ainee is known, but we do know that due to her love for brother Dara Shikoh, she used to call him Ain, or in more personal terms as Ainee. The reference to Dara Shikoh in the book is written simply and she in her own hands has corrected the attributes, which shows that Dara did not regard his name in a royal way and she corrected it.
The Manuscript of Munis Arwah is only one of three 17th century manuscripts known to exist. As the book was written in 1049 AH 1640 AD, the two others found are different. An Autograph copy is known to exist in Lucknow but of a later date. There is a beautiful Ms in Azamgarh dated 1068 AH. But ours is the earliest Manuscript known and is dated 1051 AH, although the presentation part to Emperor Shah Jahan is later, both in Ajmer as well as in Jamia Masjid Delhi. Ours stands as the rarest and very very beautiful and elegantly written.
A lot is said about Jahan Ara and we will write more but where we introduce a rare manuscript of hers, we also reproduce the verses she wrote on the death of her father:
“Oh thou Sun of mine that hast hidden thyself from my eyes,
Will there ever be a morning to this night of separation.
Thou monarch of the world and qibla of existence,
Open thine eye of mercy and behold our condition.
I cry in sorrow and it availeth me nothing,
I burn like the candle in anguish and there is smoke in my head.”
Jahan Ara is the epitome of our women hood and to this days fathers love to name their daughters after the spiritual goddess of Mughal kingdom.