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Abu'l-Hasan[1] (c. 1569 - 12 June 1641) entitled by the Mughal emperor Jahangir as Asaf Khan, was the Grand Vizier (Prime minister) of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.[2] Asaf Khan was the father of Arjumand Banu Begum (better known by her title Mumtaz Mahal), the chief consort of Shah Jahan and the older brother of Empress Nur Jahan, the chief consort of Shah Jahan's father, Jahangir.

Abu'l-Hasan
Khan
Portrait of Asaf Khan.jpg
Portrait of Asaf Khan
Prime minister of the Mughal Empire
In office
1628–1641
Monarch Shah Jahan
Personal details
Born Abu'l-Hasan
c. 1569
Safavid Iran
Died 12 June 1641 (aged 72)
Bundi, Mughal India
Spouse(s) Diwanji Begum
Children Mumtaz Mahal
Shaista Khan
Malika Banu Begum
Parwar Khanam
Farzana Begum
Mother Asmat Begam
Father Mirza Ghiyas Beg

Contents

FamilyEdit

Asaf Khan was the son of the Persian noble Mirza Ghias Beg (popularly known by his title of Itimad-ud-Daulah),[3] who served as the Prime minister of the Mughal emperor Jahangir. Asaf Khan's mother, Asmat Begam, was the daughter of Mirza Ala-ud-Daula Aqa Mulla.[4] Both of Asaf Khan's parents were descendants of illustrious families – Ghias Beg from Muhammad Sharif and Asmat Begam from the Aqa Mulla clan.[5] Asaf Khan's family had come to India impoverished in 1577, when his father, Mirza Ghias Beg, was taken into the service of Emperor Akbar in Agra.[6]

MarriageEdit

In his prime youth, Asaf Khan was married to Diwanji Begum, the daughter of a Persian noble, Khwaja Ghias-ud-din of Qazvin.[7][8] The couple had at least five children together: Arjumand Banu Begum (later known as Mumtaz Mahal), Malika Banu Begum,[9] Parwar Khanam, Farzana Begum,[9] and a son, Shaista Khan.

Arjumand was married to Jahangir's third son, Prince Khurram (later known as Shah Jahan) in 1612 and became his most beloved wife. Parwar Khanam was married to Mohtashim Khan, the son of Jahangir's foster brother Qutubuddin Koka.

Governor of LahoreEdit

 
Asif Khan presents offerings[10]

Mirza Abul Hasan Asaf Khan was appointed Governor of Lahore by Emperor Jahangir in 1625. After the demise of Jahangir in 1627, he was instrumental in securing the accession of his son-in-law Shah Jahan by colluding with Dawar Bakht (Jahangir's other son) and defeating the acting emperor Prince Shahryar (Nur Jahan's son-in-law, married to her daughter by her previous marriage to Sher Afgan) in a battle near Lahore. Asaf Khan enjoyed a position even more elevated than in the preceding reign and retained it until 1632, when he failed in the siege of Bijapur, from which time he seems to have lost favour.

PositionsEdit

  • Grand Vizier (Vazir-e ala of Mughal) – 1628–41
  • Subehdar of Lahore – 1625–27
  • Subehdar of Gujrat Subah – 1630–39
  • Faujdar of Gagron (Malwa Subah) – 1635–41

Tomb of Asaf KhanEdit

Asaf Khan died on 12 June 1641 while engaged in fighting against the forces of rebel Raja Jagat Singh Pathania. His tomb was built in Shahdara Bagh by Shah Jahan in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Banks Findly 1993, p. 39
  2. ^ Hansen, Waldemar (1972). The peacock throne : the drama of Mogul India. (1. Indian ed., repr. ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 87. ISBN 9788120802254. 
  3. ^ Tillotson 2012, p. 194.
  4. ^ Shujauddin, Mohammad; Shujauddin, Razia (1967). The Life and Times of Noor Jahan. Caravan Book House. p. 1. 
  5. ^ Banks Findly 1993, p. 9
  6. ^ Thackeray, Frank W.; editors, John E. Findling, (2012). Events that formed the modern world : from the European Renaissance through the War on Terror. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. p. 254. ISBN 9781598849011. 
  7. ^ "Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan". 35. Research Society of Pakistan. 1998: 53. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  8. ^ Ahmad, Moin-ud-din (1924). The Taj and Its Environments: With 8 Illus. from Photos., 1 Map, and 4 Plans. R. G. Bansal. p. 101. 
  9. ^ a b Sarker, Kobita (2007). Shah Jahan and his paradise on earth : the story of Shah Jahan's creations in Agra and Shahjahanabad in the golden days of the Mughals (1. publ. ed.). Kolkata: K.P. Bagchi & Co. p. 77. ISBN 9788170743002. 
  10. ^ unknown (1604). "Asaf khan Presents Offerings. Folio from the Davis Album". 17th Century Mughals & Marathas. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. 

External linksEdit