Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal)
Arjumand Banu Begum, also known as Mumtaz Mahal was the Mughal Empress and chief wife of Shah Jahan. The love of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan is immortal in the history of India.
Mumtaz Mahal whose original name was Arjumand Banu Begam was the daughter of Asaf Khan, son of Itimad-ud-daulah and brother of Nur Jahan. Arjumand Banu Begam was thus the neice of Nur Jahan.
She was born 6th April 1594 and was married to Prince Khurram (Shah Jahan). Their marriage took place in April 1612. The marriage of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal proved to be very successful. Arjumand Banu Begam captivated Shah Jahan’s heart even more than Nur Jahan had done to that of Jahangir. Arjumand Banu Begum shared Shah Jahan’s joys and sorrows in full measure and behaved like a devoted wife during her husband’s flight from the Deccan to Orissa, Bengal and Bihar in the course of his rebellion against his father. She bore 14 out of her husband’s 18 children and remained his friend and inseparable companion till her death.
Arjumand Banu Begum was promoted as the Cheif queen of Shah Jahan was given the title of “Mumtaz Mahal”. She died in a June 17 1631, while Shah Jahan was conducting a campaign in the Dakhin.
Arjumand Banu Begum was a highly educated and accomplished woman. She possessed natural beauty of a high order. She possessed great natural intelligence and a tender heart. She took delight in doing acts of kindly charity and was particularly considerate and helpful to poor widows and orphans and the distressed. Mumtaz Mahal was a pious and religious lady, devoted to prayers, fasts and other observances enjoined by Islam. There was hardly any Mughal queen in Indian history that was so dearly loved by her husband. The famous Taj Mahal at Agra which covers her earthly remains is the noblest monument of love and fidelity.