Basic Information About Hamida Banu Begum
Hamida Banu Begum (c. 1527 – 29 August 1604) was a wife of the second Mughal emperor Humayun and the mother of his successor, the third Mughal emperor Akbar. She is also known by the title Maryam Makani, which was given to her by her son, Akbar.
Hamida Banu Begum Bano Begum’s Timeline
Birth of Hamida Banu Begum Bano Begum
Birth of Alaman Mirza
Birth of Aqiqeh Begum
Birth of Bakshi Banu Begum
October 15, 1542
Birth of “Jalaluddin” Muhammad Akbar
Umerkot, Sindh, Pakistan
Birth of Bakhtunissa Begum
August 29, 1604
Death of Hamida Banu Begum Bano Begum
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Birth of Mirza Muhammad Hakim
Burial of Hamida Banu Begum Bano Begum
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Born to a Persian Shia family, Hamida Banu Begum became a junior wife of Emperor Humayun at the age of 14, and was the mother of the most famous emperor of the Mughal dynasty, Emperor Akbar. When Humayun himself was 33, he fell in love with her beauty. Although she had initially contested the match, she was convinced of his sincerity. During the 14 year course of their marriage she became his close companion and support. While Humayun was warring for the throne, his was a mobile court, and Hamida followed him on his tough travels across rough terrain, even leaving her son, Akbar, behind to continue to support her husband. Humayun died in 1555 after finally returning to Delhi and Hamida’s son Akbar became emperor, and here, Hamida showed her political acumen becoming an active emperor mother. When Akbar’s prime minister, Bairam Khan, began trying to increase his control, Hamida kept Akbar abreast of every turn in the situation to prevent the isolation the Bairam was trying to place Akbar in. Against the wishes of Bairam, Hamida orchestrated a political alliance to the granddaughter of a trusted emir of Humayun and with a group of like-minded emirs, she forged a political alliance. Once Akbar established his dominance, Hamida retained her preeminent position. She also left an architectural legacy with the Tomb of Humayun, which she commissioned in 1562.
Hamida Banu Begum was born c. 1527 to Shaikh Ali Akbar Jami, a Persian Shia, who was a preceptor to Mughal prince Hindal Mirza, the youngest son of the first Mughal emperor Babur. Ali Akbar Jami was also known as Mian Baba Dost, who belonged to the lineage of Ahmad Jami Zinda-fil. Hamida Banu’s mother was Maha Afroz Begum, who married Ali Akbar Jami in Paat, Sindh. As suggested by her lineage, Hamida was a devout Muslim.
MEETING WITH HUMAYUN
She met Humayun, as a fourteen-year-old girl and frequenting Mirza Hindal’s household, at a banquet given by his mother, Dildar Begum (Babur’s wife and Humayun’s step-mother) in Alwar. Humayun was in exile after his exodus from Delhi, due to the armies of Sher Shah Suri, who had ambitions of restoring Afghan rule in Delhi.
When negotiations for Humayun’s marriage with Hamida Banu Begum were going on, both Hamida and Hindal bitterly opposed the marriage proposal, possibly because they were involved with each other. It is seems probable that Hamida was in love with Hindal, though there is only circumstantial evidence for it. In her book, the Humayun-nama, Hindal’s sister and Hamida’s close friend, Gulbadan Begum, pointed out that Hamida was frequently seen in her brother’s palace during those days, and even in the palace of their mother, Dildar Begum.
Initially, Hamida refused to meet the Emperor, eventually after forty days of pursuit and at the insistence of Dildar Begum, she agreed to marry him. She refers to her initial reluctance in the Humayunama,
The marriage took place on a day chosen by the Emperor, an avid astrologer, himself employing his astrolabe, at mid-day on a Monday in September, 1541 (Jumada al-awwal 948 AH) at Patr (known as Paat, Dadu District of Sindh). Thus, she became his junior wife, after Bega Begum (later known as Haji Begum, after Hajj), who was his first wife and chief consort. The marriage became “politically beneficial” to Humayun as he got help from the rival Shia groups during times of war.
Two years later, after a perilous journey through the desert, on 22 August 1542, she and Emperor Humayun reached at the Umerkot ruled by Rana Prasad, a Hindu Sodha Rajput, at a small desert town, and the Rana gave them asylum. Two months later she gave birth future Emperor, Akbar on the early morning of 15 October 1542 (fourth day of Rajab, 949 AH), he was given the name Humayun had heard in his dream at Lahore – the Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar.
In coming years, she took on numerous tough journeys to follow her husband, who was still in flight. First the beginning of the following December she and her new born went into camp at Jūn, after traveling for ten or twelve days. Then in 1543, she made the perilous journey from Sindh, which had Qandahar for its goal, but in course of which Humayun had to take hasty flight from Shal-mastan, ‘through a desert and waterless waste.’ Leaving her little son behind, she accompanied her husband to Persia, here they visited the shrines of her ancestor, Ahmad-e Jami and Shiites shrine, of Ardabil in Iran, the place of origin of Safavid dynasty which helped them immensely in the following years. In 1544, at a camp at Sabzawar, 93 miles south of Herat, she gave birth to a daughter, thereafter she returned from Persia with the army given to Humayun by Shah of Iran, Tahmasp I, and at Kandahar met Dildar Begum, and her son, Mirza Hindal. Thus, it was not until 15 November 1545 (Ramdan 10th, 952 AH) that she saw her son Akbar again, the scene of young Akbar recognizing his mother amongst a group of women has been keenly illustrated in Akbar’s biography, Akbarnama. In 1548, she and Akbar accompanied Humayun to Kabul.
She was buried at Humayun’s Tomb after her death on 29 August 1604 (19th Shahriyar, 1013 AH) in Agra, just a year before the death of her son Akbar and almost half a century after death of her husband, Humayun. Throughout her years, she was held in high regard by her son Akbar, as English traveler Thomas Coryat recorded, Akbar carrying her palanquin himself across the river, during one of her journeys from Lahore to Agra. Later when Prince Salim, future emperor Jahangir, revolted against his father Akbar, she took upon the case of her grandson, and a reconciliation ensued thereafter, even though Salim had plotted and got Akbar’s favorite minister Abu’l-Fazl killed. Akbar shaved his head and chin only on two occasions, one at the death of foster-mother Jiji Anga and another at the death of his mother.
She was given the title, Maryam-makānī, dwelling with Mary, posthumously, as she was considered, ‘epitome of innocence’ by Akbar. Details of her life are also found in Humayun Nama, written by Gulbadan Begum, sister of Humayun, as well as in Akbarnama and Ain-i-Akbari, both written during the reign of his son, Akbar.
IN POPULAR CULTURE
In Jodhaa Akbar, a 2008 Indian epic film, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, the character of Hamida Bano was portrayed by Poonam Sinha. Previously in Hindi epic film Humayun (1945) directed by Mehboob Khan, her role was portrayed by actor, Nargis.
[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h2″ question-0=”When did Hamida Banu died?” answer-0=”29 August 1604″ image-0=”” headline-1=”h2″ question-1=”Who was Chand Begum?” answer-1=”Sultana Chand Bibi (1550–1599 CE) was an Indian Muslim ruler and warrior. She acted as the Regent of Bijapur Sultanate and Ahmednagar Sultanate (in current day Maharashtra. Chand Bibi is best known for defending Ahmednagar against the Mughal forces of Emperor Akbar in 1595.” image-1=”” headline-2=”h2″ question-2=”Hamida Banu Begum was the Mother of ……….” answer-2=”Emperor Akbar” image-2=”” headline-3=”h2″ question-3=”If shah jahan built taj mahal what about hamida banu begum built” answer-3=”Hamida Banu Begum built Humayun’s tomb. A tomb for her late husband, and King Humayun.” image-3=”” headline-4=”h2″ question-4=”Hamida Bano Begum is associated with the___ tomb.” answer-4=”Humayun’s Tomb” image-4=”” headline-5=”h2″ question-5=”What did Hamida Banu Begum built?” answer-5=”She built Humayun’s mausoleum by a mix of Persian and Hindustani artisans.” image-5=”” headline-6=”h2″ question-6=”Who is Shah Jahan’s mother?” answer-6=”Jagat Gosain” image-6=”” count=”7″ html=”true” css_class=””]