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JA: A fact a day - 5th July 2013

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JA: A fact a day - 5th July 2013

Post by Abavi on 2013-07-05, 09:15

Ruqaiya Begum (1542 – 19 January 1626) was Empress of the Mughal Empire as the first wife and chief consort of Emperor Akbar. She was the longest serving Mughal Empress having a tenure of over 49 years.

Ruqaiya was born a Mughal princess (Shahzadi) and was the only daughter of Mughal prince Hindal Mirza, who was Akbar's paternal uncle as well. Hindal was the youngest and favourite son of Emperor Babur from his wife Dildar Begum. Ruqaiya's mother, Sultanam Begum, was the daughter of Muhammad Musa Khwaja and the younger sister of Mahdi Khwaja, who was the brother-in-law of Emperor Babur, being the husband of his sister, Khanzada Begum. Ruqaiya's paternal aunt was Gulbadan Begum, the author of Humayun Nama: which is the account of the life of the second Mughal Emperor Humayun.

She was also the granddaughter of Emperor Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire and the first Mughal Emperor, as well as the niece of the second Mughal Emperor Humayun and later his daughter in law.

At the age of nine, Princess Ruqaiya married her first cousin, Akbar, in November of 1551 at Jalandhar, Punjab, shortly after her husband's first appointment as a Viceroy in the province of Ghazni, Afghanistan. Ruqaiya became Empress of the Mughal Empire at the age of fourteen years following her husband's accession to the throne in 1556. As empress, she was given the exalted title of Padshah Begum, a title reserved for the first lady of the Empire and the Emperor's chief consort and therefore, rightly bestowed upon Ruqaiya.

It is intersting to note that by early middle-age, Akbar stated that had he been wiser earlier in his life, he would not have taken so many wives. He regretted to have ever taken another wife apart from Ruqaiya, and even recommended monogamy, saying, "To seek more than one wife is to work one's own undoing. In case she [the wife] were barren or bore no son, it might then be expedient." Throughout her fifty three years of marriage, Ruqaiya remained childless, but assumed the primary responsibility for the upbringing of her grandson, Prince Khurram (the future Emperor Shah Jahan).

As the Emperor's chief wife, Ruqaiya wielded major political influence over Akbar and played a crucial role in negotiating a settlement between her husband and her step-son, Jahangir, when the father-son's relationship turned sour in the early 1600s, eventually helping to pave the way for Jahangir's accession to the throne.


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Re: JA: A fact a day - 5th July 2013

Post by riyya6 on 2013-07-05, 10:08

TFs... interesting :) 

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Re: JA: A fact a day - 5th July 2013

Post by Abavi on 2013-07-08, 09:17

You are welcome Riyya

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Re: JA: A fact a day - 5th July 2013

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