Ikbal Hanim (Arabic: اقبال هانم; Turkish: İkbal Hanım; 22 October 1876 – 10 February 1941), was the Khediva consort of Egypt from 1895 to 1900 as the first wife of Abbas Hilmi II Pasha, the last Khedive of Egypt and Sudan.
|Khediva consort of Egypt|
|Tenure||19 February 1895 – 1900|
|Born||22 October 1876|
|Died||10 February 1941 (aged 64)|
|Spouse||Abbas Hilmi II Pasha|
|Issue||Princess Emine Hilmi|
Princess Atiye Hilmi
Princess Fethiye Hilmi
Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim
Princess Lutfiya Shavkat
Prince Muhammed Abdel Kader
|House||Muhammad Ali (by marriage)|
Of Circassian origin, Ikbal Hanim was born on 22 October 1876 in Cairo. She became a personal slave to the Valida Pasha Emina Ilhamy, wife of Khedive Tewfik, after being sent to the Khedive's father in Egypt as a gift. It was at his mother, the Valida Pasha's house that the young Abbas II of Egypt first saw her. As beauty offered social capital in the Middle East of the time, the young handmaid's low status did not interfere with her advancement.
At his accession in 1892, Abbas was only seventeen years old and unmarried. His mother Emina took charge of the search for an appropriate princess for him to wed. She passed over his first cousin, and nearly succeeded in arranging a union for him with an Ottoman princess.
In the mean time, Abbas began to have sexual relations with Ikbal, and on 12 February, 1895, she gave birth to a girl, named Emina in honor of her grandmother. A contract of marriage between her and the khedive was written on 19 February, seven days later. At the public celebration the khédiveh mere hosted the women's reception. Ikbal eventually bore all of Abbas's six children.
By the standards of contemporary Ottoman ruling-class culture, the fathering of a child by a slave concubine was unexceptional, and so too was Abbas's decision to raise Iqbal to the status of legal wife. Both events were duly announced in al-Waqa'i al-Misriyya, which also published some poetry written in honor of the khedival daughter. The announcements did not allude to Ikbal's previous slave status, something that would have been as rude as it was obvious to contemporaries familiar with upper-class harem culture.
Ikbal admired European fashion in dress and household practices and had European servants and governesses for her three daughters. She studied with her children and had an open, inquiring mind. As Khediva, Ikbal was considered one of Egypt's most beautiful women and was reputed to be a devoted wife, gaining her favor among those around the palace. However, aside from attending ladies-only state functions such as royal weddings/receptions and opera premiers, Ikbal Hanim had no official public role.
Abbas and Ikbal divorced in 1900, after which he entered into a passionate romance with a beautiful Hungarian aristocrat from Philadelphia, Marianna Török, whom he had first met while at the Theresianum in Vienna as a student. They eventually married on 1 March 1910.
Together with Abbas Ikbal had six children:
- Princess Emina (Montaza Palace, Alexandria, 12 February 1895 – 1954), unmarried and without issue
- Princess Atiyaullah (Cairo, 9 June 1896 – 1971), married and had issue, two sons.
- Princess Fathiya (27 November 1897 – 30 November 1923), married without issue
- Prince Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim, Heir Apparent and Regent of Egypt and Sudan, (20 February 1899 – 1 December 1979), married and had issue
- Princess Lutfiya Shavkat (Cairo, 29 September 1900 – ?), married and had issue
- Prince Muhammad Abdul Kadir (4 February 1902 – Montreux, 21 April 1919)
- Order of Charity (Nishan-i-Shafakat) 1st class of Turkey.
- "His Highness Hidiv II. Abbas Hilmi, Hidiv of Misir (Egypt), Sudan and Taşoz". Retrieved 24 May 2019.
- Doumani, Beshara (February 1, 2012). Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender. SUNY Press. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-791-48707-5.
- Raafat, Samir (March 2005). "Women whose husbands ruled the realm "Egypt's first ladies"".
- Raafat, Samir (October 6, 1994). "Queen for a Day". Al-Ahram Weekly.