Mohlaroyim (Uzbek: Mohlaroyim, Моҳларойим; 1792–1842), most commonly known by her pen name Nodira, was an Uzbek poet and stateswoman.[1] Nodira is generally regarded as one of the most outstanding Uzbek poets.[2] She wrote poetry in Uzbek, Persian, and Tajik. Nodira also used other pennames, such as Komila and Maknuna.[3] Many of her diwans have survived and consist of more than 10,000 lines of poetry.

Artistic depiction of Nodira
IssueMadali Khan
OccupationPoet and stateswoman


Nodira was the wife of Muhammad Umar Khan who ruled the Khanate of Kokand from c. 1810 until his death in 1822.[4] Following her husband's death, Nodira became the de facto ruler of Kokand due to her son Muhammad Ali Khan being only a teenager when he was crowned Khan; she continued to serve as a regent and advisor to him throughout his reign.

Despite her attempts to instill somewhat more socially liberal values into her son, Madali grew to employ expansionist policies that lead to a war with the rival Emirate of Bukhara. Her poetry and beauty were frowned upon by the ulama as "inappropriate", with her writing often bringing up taboo topics and bemoaning the suffering of women in Central Asia under Islam.[3][5]

She was hanged on the personal order of Emir Nasrullah Khan of Bukhara in April 1842 along with her sons during the Kokand-Bukhara wars. Nasrullah was reportedly furious that she refused to marry him and despised the fact that she led a very public life despite being a Muslim woman.[3][6][7][8]


Long after her unnatural death in 1842 Nodira was promoted in the Soviet era as a national heroine of the Uzbek SSR and enjoyed a similar status of other murdered women such as Nurkhon Yuldasheva. She remains viewed in the public eye as a martyr and national heroine, and 200 years after her birth, the first national postage stamp of newly-independent Uzbekistan featured her portrait.[9][10]


  1. ^ Qodirova, Mahbuba (2005). "Nodira" [National Encycolopedia of Uzbekistan]. Oʻzbekiston milliy ensiklopediyasi (in Uzbek). Toshkent.
  2. ^ "Uzbek Literature". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Qodirova, Mahbuba. "Nodira (1792-1842)". Ziyouz (in Uzbek). Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Nodira". Ensiklopedik lugʻat (in Uzbek). 2. Toshkent: Oʻzbek sovet ensiklopediyasi. 1990. p. 20. 5-89890-018-7.
  5. ^ Hanks, Reuel R. (2005). Central Asia: A Global Studies Handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 138. ISBN 9781851096565.
  6. ^ Starr, S. Frederick (2014-12-18). Ferghana Valley: The Heart of Central Asia. Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 9781317470663.
  7. ^ Rahul, Ram (2000). March of Central Asia. Indus Publishing. p. 140. ISBN 9788173871092.
  8. ^ "Nodira Beg". Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  9. ^ "Grandpoohbah's Blog: Nodira Mohlaroyim". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  10. ^ Smith, Graham (1998-09-10). Nation-building in the Post-Soviet Borderlands: The Politics of National Identities. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521599689.