Maham Begum

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Maham Begum
Queen consort of Ferghana Valley
Empress consort of the Mughal Empire
Tenure 1506 - 26 December 1530
Spouse Babur
Issue Humayun
Mirza Barbul
Mirza Faruq
Mihr Jahan Begum
Ishan-ud-Daulat Begum
Died 16 April 1535
Agra, Mughal Empire
Burial Agra
Religion Shia Islam
The son of Maham Begum, Humayun

Maham Begam, 'Hazrat Walida' (Persian: ماہم بیگم‎, died 16 April 1535,[1] Maham meaning "My moon"[2]) was Queen consort of Ferghana Valley and Samarkand and later Empress of the Mughal Empire as the chief consort of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire and the first Mughal emperor, and the mother of next Mughal Emperor, Humayun.


Maham Begam's parentage is not mentioned in any of the contemporary chronicles except that she belonged to a noble shia family of Khorasan. She was the sister of Khwaja Muhammad Ali, of Khost, and was related to Ulugh Beg Mirza Kabuli and to Sultan Husain Baiqara Bahadur Khan, Padshah of Khorasan.[2] She was the grand daughter of Sheikh Ahmad, of Jam.

Babur married her in 1506 at Herat and she was mentioned as "the one who was to Babur" what Aisha was to Muhammad. She played an active role in the political affairs of Babur as well as in the royal household.[3] She had the qualities of extreme intelligence and good looks. She accompanied her husband to Badakhshan and Transoxiana and stood by him through thick and thin. She was the chief lady of the royal household. Maham Begum was the chief queen and the only one, privileged to sit by the side of Babur on the throne of Delhi.

She had well defined rights over other inmates of Babur's harem. She herself took her own guardianship of, two Dildar Begum's children, Hindal Mirza and Gulbadan Begum in 1519 and 1525 respectively and Babur's affirmation of it, though she already possessed five children, including Humayun and four of them died in infancy.[4]

Maham Begum received her cleverness of the conspiracy and bade Humayun to return from Badakhshan. She played an important role in promoting successfully the cause of Humayun. She continued to be Padshah Begum and participated in the affairs of the royal household organization of social functions and the maintenance of her husband's tomb, until her death.[3] She died in Agra on 16 April 1535 and was also buried there.

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