Afzal Khan Shirazi

Shukrullah Afzal Khan Shirazi (1570-1639) was a Mugal courtier during the reigns of Jahangir and Shah Jahan.[1] He achieved fame as a scholar and rose to become Grand Vizier of the Mughal Empire.[2]


He was born in Shiraz[3] in Safavid Persia where his father was a petty revenue collector in Fars. Two of his father's brothers held financial positions in Iran, whilst two others were engaged in trade between Iran and India.[4]

He came to Mughal India in the early 1600s and spent time in the retinue of Shah Jahan whilst the latter was still a prince. He later attained the post of imperial procurement officer during the reign of Jahangir and continued the role during the early years of Shah Jahan's reign.[5] He was accompanied to India by his brother Amanat Khan, who became renowned for designing the calligraphic inscriptions on the Taj Mahal.[5]

In the later reign of Shah Jahan, Afzal Khan was elavated to the position of wazir, or prime minister. He was regarded as one of the most widely admired men of his era and was a particular favourite of Shah Jahan.[5] He was praised for his intellect, administrative abilities and mysticism, and his dedication to "maximising economic productivity and the affluence of the people."[5]

He died at Lahore in 1639. His body was brought to Agra and he was laid to rest in a tomb now known as Chini Ka Rauza.[2]


  1. ^ Bayani, Manijeh (1999). The Decorated Word: Qurʼans of the 17th to 19th Centuries, Volume 4, Part 1. Nour Foundation. ISBN 0197276032.
  2. ^ a b Salma K. Jayyusi, Renata Holod, Attilio Petruccioli, Andre Raymond (2008). The City in the Islamic World, Volume 94/1 & 94/2. BRILL. ISBN 978-9004162402.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Begley, W. E. (1984). "AFŻAL KHAN". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. I, Fasc. 6. pp. 601–602.
  4. ^ Overton, Keelan (2020). Iran and the Deccan: Persianate Art, Culture, and Talent in Circulation, 1400–1700. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253048943.
  5. ^ a b c d Kinra, Rajeev (2015). Writing Self, Writing Empire: Chandar Bhan Brahman and the Cultural World of the Indo-Persian State Secretary. Univ of California Press. ISBN 978-0520286467.