Friday, 7 October 2016

Amazing Mogul queen Mariam-uz-Zamani who owned ships!!

Marium uz Zamani (1542 - 1611) | by Abdul Qadir Memon.  www.flickr.com
Golda Meir, former PM, Israel.Quotes Being A Successful Woman
In the political of history of India during the Muslim rule, none of the wives of Muslims rulers had so  much power  and capacity to influence them  as  Queen Mariam uz-Zamani, the only Hindu wife of Akbar, had on him. Being gentle and generous as he was, Akbar allowed  his wife to remain a Hindu till her last days.  She bore him Jahangir (1569-1627), Najma Banu Begum, Wala Mirza (1579-1600), Amzad Mirza(1580-1605) and  Shazadi Khanum (1591-1921). She happened to be the grand mother of Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal.
www.quotesyou.com
Heer Kunwari, a Rajput princess (Rajkumari) and  the eldest daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amer (modern day Jaipur) was  the beloved wife of Akbar.  She was the granddaughter of Raja Prithvi Singh of Amer and   the aunt of Raja Man Singh I of Amer, who later became one of the Nine Jewels (Navaratnas) in the court of Akbar. Later, he occupied high offices in Akbar's court. As a bold and dynamic woman she wielded a lot of power during  Akber's reign. Her influence was such that Akbar completely changed his sociology-religious and administrative perspectives. Consequently he got the whole hearted support of the majority of the population - the Hindus. It is because of Heer Kanwari, Mogul Emperor  
Akbar 's name goes down in the history of India as the most famous and highly secular ruler of India and people called him Shahenshah or Badshah.

Mariam uz-Zamani, apart from being a good administrator and advisor to Akbar,  she is said to have amazing talents to have been a shrewd   business woman. Her business acumen, ability to foresee  business prospects  and diligent handling of profits and reinvestment surprised Akbar and he had  not only allowed  her  to  run  her business on her own but also gave her complete freedom  to handle business deals, etc.

With full support from the Mogul ruler, she successfully  ran an  international trade in spices, silk, etc., and the Indian products reached far and wide across the globe. This helped her gain a private fortune which  would make the  the treasury of many  European kingdoms pygmies.  She was considered  to be among the most prosperous and successful women traders at the Mughal court and none of the noble women of her time could surpass her in her tenacity and commitment as  an adventurous  and efficient trader by being a Queen Mother.
 

It is quite surprising  to know that Mariam-uz-Zamani owned ocean-going ships that ferried  the pilgrims to and from the Islamic holy city of Mecca.  Her ship, the Rahīmī, was  once seized by Portuguese pirates in 1613 along with 600-700 passengers on board and the cargo. In those days there were numerous pirates and  the trade routes in the sea were  dangerous. The  notorious Portuguese pirates used to give  a lot of trouble to those pilgrims sailing from India to Mecca. Rahīmī is believed to have been  the largest Indian ship sailing in the Red Sea and was known to the Europeans as the "great pilgrimage ship". 

Portuguese officially refused to return the ship and the passengers and this created uproar in the court of Jahangir whose mother Heer Kunmari was the owner of the ship.  Jahangir was in rage as his mother's ship was involved and this forced him to order the seizure of the Portuguese town Daman. In the later Indian history, the Mogul rulers sought the help of British traders to put an end to the menace of sea piracy that affected the Muslims going on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Subsequent struggle for India's vast wealth gradually led to the colonization of India by the Europeans.

"Mariam-uz-Zamani had the honor of being  granted the right to issue official documents  called farman. Normally the emperor would never forgo this privilege which was exclusively enjoyed by them. This shows Akbar's deep trust in his wife.
 Such privilege was confined to the highest ladies of the harem such as Hamida Banu Begum and in later years to other queens, consorts and princesses such as Nur Jehan, Mumtaz Mahal, Nadira Banu and Jahanara Begum,

Mariam-uz-Zamani was one of the four members of the court (another was the emperor) and the only woman to have the rank of 12,000 cavalry. Further, she was known to receive a jewel from every nobleman "according to his estate" each year on the occasion of  New Year's festival.

Mariam uz-Zamani alias Jodha Bai www.wikiwand.com
Mariam  did not keep excess wealth idle. Using her fortune judiciously, she had  built gardens, wells, mosques and other developments around the countryside and it  was followed by Nur Jehan. She died in 1623 and was buried closer to Akbar's Mausoleum's tomb in Delhi.
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariam-uz-Zamani