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Nur Jahan

sher, afghan, khan, shah and married

NUR JAHAN was first the wife of Sher Afghan Khan, and was afterwards married by the emperor Jahangir. Her name was Mihr-un-Nissa. Her grandfather was a native of Teheran, and held a high civil office under the Government of Persia ; but his son Mirza Ghaias was reduced to poverty, and emigrated to India with his wife, two sons, and a daughter. At Kandahar his wife gave birth to Nur Johan, but the family were in such poverty that they exposed the new-born child on the road. A merchant in the caravan, however, found the infant, and adopted her, and her mother was em ployed as its nurse. The merchant took an interest in the family, gave them employment, and intro duced them to the emperor Akbar, who gave the husband employment. Nur Jahan and her mother often visited Akbar's Karam, and Akbar recom mended that she should be married, in order to withdraw her from the notice of his son Salim. She was accordingly wedded to Sher Afghan, a young Persian, to whom Akbar gave a jaghir in Bengal. When Kutub-ud-Din, Salim's foster brother, went there as viceroy, Sher Afghan took alarm, and threw up his employ under the emperor. The viceroy visited the part of the country in which Sher Afghan lived, and invited his attend ance. At the interview, Sher Afghan, insulted by the proposals, killed the viceroy with his dagger, was himself immediately despatched by the attendants, and Nur Jahan was sent prisoner to Dehli. For some time she refused Jahangir's offers of marriage, but at length yielded, and under her influence his conduct improved, his barbarous cruelties ceased, and he drank only at night, and in his private apartments. She increased the magnificence of his court, yet lessened the ex penses. She was fadileiii composing extempore

verses, and is said to have taught the manufacture of otto of roses. Her niece, daughter of .Asof Khan, was married to Prince Kurram, afterwards Shah Jahan, and her own daughter by Sher Afghan was married to Prince Shahriar, the emperor's youngest son. She remained with her husband when he was made prisoner by Muhabbat Khan, on the banks of the Hydaspes, while on his way to Kabul, in March A.D. 1626 (Jamadi-ul-Akhir 1035), and procured her husband's and her brother's release. She used all her powers to prevent Shah Jahan succeeding his father, and to secure the throne for her son-in-law, Prince Shah riar, but on the 28th October 1627 (am. 28th Safar 1037) her husband, in the GOth year of his age, died of asthma while on his way for change of air from Kashmir to Lahore, and all her influence expired with her husband's life. Shahriar was absent in Lahore, her brother Asof Khan took the side of Shah Jahan, put Nur Jahan under restraint, and marched against and defeated Shahriar. Shah Jahan arrived at Agra, and was proclaimed emperor on the 26th January 1628 (A.n. 7th Jamadi-ul-Akhir 1037). From that time, although she lived till A.D. 1646 (Act. 1055), her name is never again mentioned in history. She was treated with respect, and allowed a yearly stipend of £250,000. She wore no colour but white after Jahangir's death, abstained from all entertainments, and appeared to devote her life to his memory. She was buried at Lahore in a tomb she herself had erected close to that of Jahangir. —Khaf Khan ; Elphin. p. 483.