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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Mughal Emperors and Homosexuality-Babur, Founder of the Empire

Babur (1526 - 1530) Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram Zahir ud-din Muhammad Jalal ud-din Babur Padshah Ghazi [Firdaus-Makani], Emperor of India was born at Samarqand on 14th February 1483.  He was the  eldest son of 'Umar Shaikh Mirza, Amir of Farghana, by his second wife, Qutlaq Nigar Khanum, second daughter of Sultan Yunus Khan Jagatai, Grand Khan of Mughalistan. Succeeded on the death of his father as  Amir of Farghana oon 7th June 1494. Proclaimed and installed on the musnaid at Andijan, 10th June 1494. Seized Samarkand for the first time from his cousin, 1497. Seized and lost it twice more in 1502 and October 1511 to May 1512. Assumed the title of Padshah after securing Kabul from the Aghuns in 1508. Defeated Sultan Ibrahim Husain Lodi, the Pathan ruler of Delhi, at the Battle of Panipat on 20th April 1526.

Babur like other Muslim rulers kept a number of slaves.  He was also homosexual.  Many of his slaves were captured in wars and castrated and made eunuchs. In fact, under the Mughals many important eunuchs, who were known as Nazirs and Khwaja Saras, rose to the position of Mansabdars, commanders of armies and governors of Subahs. The chief Nazirs or Khwaja Saras generally enjoyed the title of Aitmad Khan or Aitbar Khan (the Trusted One).

Babur was a much married man.  He was married eight times.  His first wife was Aisha Sultan Begum, third daughter of Sultan Ahmad Mirza, by his wife, Qutaq Begum.  He married her at Samarkand, before 24th December 1489. His second marriage was performed at Kabul in October 1504 with Zainab Sultan Begum who was daughter of his uncle, Sultan Mahmud Mirza, King of Kunduz and Badakhskan, by his wife, Khanzada Begum Termizi. He married third time at Herat, before 13th May 1507, Maham Begum [Hazrat Walida] who died at Agra on 16th April 1535  and became his principal wife being sister of Khwaja Muhammad ‘Ali, of Khost, from a noble family of Khorasan related to Ulugh Beg Mirza Kabuli and to al-Sultan, Zillu’llah, Padshah, Muzaffar-i-Jahan, Sahib-i-Qiran, Sultan bin al-Sultan Mu‘izz al-Sultanat wa ud-Dunya wa ud-din Shah Abu’l Ghazi Sultan Husain Baiqara Bahadur Khan, Padshah of Khorasan, granddaughter of Shaikh Ahmad Zindafil, of
Jam. His fourth marriage took place in 1507 with Saliha Sultan Begum Sahiba [‘Aq Begum], daughter of his uncle, Sultan Mahmud Mirza, King of Kunduz and Badakhskan, by his second wife, Pasha Begum, daughter of ‘Ali Shukir Beg Baharlu, ruler of Hamadan, Dinwar, and Kurdistan. Fifth time, he was married  at Kabul, before 1st May 1508 to Masuma Sultan Begum who was fifth daughter of Sultan Ahmad Mirza, Khaka’an of Transoxania, by his wife, Habiba Sultan Begum, niece of Sultan Husain Aghun.  She died  in childbirth, at Kabul, before 20th April 1509.  His sixth wife whom he married was Gul Rukh Begum who died  before 1545 and was buried at  Kabul. His seventh marriage took place  before 1510 with Dildar Agha Begum [Dildar Aghacha], daughter of his uncle, Sultan Mahmud Mirza, King of Kunduz and Badakhskan, by his second wife, Pasha Begum, daughter of ‘Ali Shukir Beg Baharlu, ruler of Hamadan, Dinwar, and Kurdistan. His last (eighth)
marriage was solemnised at Kehraj on 30th January 1519 with  Bibi Mubarika [Bega Begum] [Afghani Aghacha] who was daughter of Malik Shah Mansur Yusufzai. He had two concubines whom he married in 1526. The first of these was Nar-gul Aghacha [Naz-gul Aghacha] , a Circassian slave gifted to him by Shah Tahmasp I of Persia and the second was Hajjah Gul-nar Aghacha [Gulnar Agha-Begum] , another Circassian slave gifted to him by Shah Tahmasp I of Persia.

Babur  died  at the Char Bagh-i-Babur,  Agra,  on 26th December 1530 and was buried there at the Babur Mausoleum, and transferred to the Bagh-i-Babur, Kabul, in 1539 having had issue, nine sons   out of which only four survived after his death. They were:

    1) Sultan Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun, Shah-i-Firuz Qadr Bahadur, who succeeded as H.M. Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram, Jam-i-Sultanat-i-haqiqi wa Majazi, Sayyid al-Salatin, Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun Padshah Ghazi, Zillu'llah, Emperor of India.
    2) Shahzada Kamran Mirza who was  born at Kabul in 1509.  He was Subadar of Kabul, of Kandahar upto 18th September 1528, of Multan from 18th September 1528, of Ghazni and the Punjab 1530-1553. He rebelled against Humayun and proclaimed himself King at Qunduz in 1534.  He was blinded on the orders of his brother Emperor Humayun in1553 (his eyes being pierced repeatedly with a lancet and then bathed in lemon-juice and rubbed with salt).        
    3) Shahzada Muhammad 'Askari Mirza who was born in camp, near Kabul, before 23rd January 1517 and was appointed Subadar of Multan upto 18th September 1528, of Chandiri from 18th September 1528 to 1530, of Sarkar-Sambhal 1530-1534, and Ahmadabad 1534. He died on pilgrimage to Mecca, before 26th November 1554. 
     4) Shahzada 'Abu Nasir Muhammad Hindal Mirza who was born at Kabul on 4th March 1519 and was made Subadar of Marat 1526-1530, and of Sarkar-Alwal 1530. He died in a skirmish with his brother Kamran, near Kabul on 20th November 1551. He was  buried at Juishahi, Jalalabad, later transferred to the Bagh-i-Babur, Kabul.