RUQAIYA SULTAN BEGUM -A JOURNEY OF HER LIFE-PART IV
This is a continuation of part III.
NOTE: This article is mainly based on facts and events taken from historical books of the 15th and 16th century.Modern historian view and bazaar gossip are not followed.
RUQAIYA AND JAHANGIR:
Emperor Jahangir was the stepson of Ruqaiya.He had real respect for her.He writes in his autobiography that she was the respected chief wife of his father, Akbar.He doesn’t say such a statement about his mother, Mariam Zamani.There is no reference to his mother’s relationship with his father.He also says that she was an affectionate foster mother who loved his son Shahjahan thousand times more than if he could have been her son.He had a great love for her and gifted her with a garden and also allowed her to accompany him on a tour to her father Hindal’s tomb.After her death, in spite of ill health, Jahangir saw to that her corpse was taken to Kabul and buried near her father’s grave as per her wishes.
In this context, First one should look into the respect given by the sons to the stepmothers in a Mughal polygamy household.First, let us analyse about Akbar’s relation with his stepmother’s.Akbar gave a lot of respect for his stepmother Haji Begum.In fact, some historian feel’s he liked her more than his mother, Hamida Banu.The same Akbar did not like his stepmother Mac chuckah.He asked her to stay in Kabul and did not allow her to come to Hindustan.Akbar’s difference in behaviour towards Haji Begum and Mac Chuckah was mainly due to the character of his step mother’s.Haji Begum was a pious Muslim not interested in power, but Hakim’s mom was a power hunger person.Next is about Jahangir’s son Shahjahan.Once he ascended the throne he did not respect his stepmother Nur Jahan since she was a power hunger person.This incidence in the Mughal household reveals the real nature of Ruqaiya.Since Ruqaiya was a pious Muslim and not interested in the authority, Jahangir liked her and also respected her.
Next is about Jahangir’s son Shahjahan.Once he ascended the throne he did not respect his stepmother Nur Jahan since she was a power hunger person.These incidences in the Mughal household reveals the real nature of Ruqaiya
Since Ruqaiya was a pious Muslim and not interested in the authority, Jahangir liked her and also respected her.
RUQAIYA AND NURJAHAN:
Nurjahan was a lady in waiting for Ruqaiya after the death of her first husband, Sherafgan.Nurjahan was very sincere to Ruqaiya and served her well.Ruqaiya was also fond of Nurjahan.Shah Jahan could have met Ruqaiya often after Akbar’s death and spent time with her. This paved the way for a good relationship between Shahjahan and Nurjahan in the initial years of Jahangir’s reign.
Ruqaiya was the respected chief wife of Emperor Akbar.She was highly respected by her stepson Emperor Jahangir.She was loved by her grandson Shahjahan.She had a good relationship with her powerful daughter in law Empress Nurjahan.With all this influence she could have easily become a mini Nurjahan or mini Maham Anga.But she was not interested in court politics or running a business.There is no elaborate account about her in any historical books.This proves her to be a soft natured person. She was a pious Muslim, a true royal blood devoted to her husband and trying all means to satisfy Akbar which is evident in the upbringing of Shahjahan.Being a royal blood with so much of influence she could have easily made money through business, but she was not interested.
Ruqaiya died at the age of 84 in 1626.She died in Akbarabad.The ending days of Ruqaiya could have been clouded because of the misunderstanding between Shahjahan and Nurjahan.She liked both Shahjahan and Nurjahan.Her corpse was sent to Kabul by Jahangir as per her wish.Her grandson Shahjahan after ascending the throne had a lattice screen constructed around her tomb as a token of love for his foster mother, Ruqaiya.
RUQAIYA’S TOMB-A SYMBOL OF FATHER DAUGHTER LOVE:
Ruqaiya was buried in the fifteenth level in the garden of Babar which was the final resting place of her father, Hindal.This shows the profound love she had for her father who passed away early in her life.Being the only daughter Hindal was very affectionate with Ruqaya.She spends only nine years with her father while 52 years with her husband.She was happy in Kabul than in Hindusthan.Ruqaiya was very impressed with her father’s good habits like free from opium and womanising which she inculcated in her grandson Shahjahan.She loved her relatives in Kabul and always had happy memories of her childhood.So she decided to rest finally in Kabul next to her father.I hope Ruqaiya soul gets connected with her parents in heaven.
To be contd as part V.CLICK HERE