Abu'l-Hasan Asaf Khan
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Portrait of Asaf Khan
|Prime minister of the Mughal Empire|
|Died||12 June 1641 (aged 72)
Bundi, Mughal India
Malika Banu Begum
|Father||Mirza Ghiyas Beg|
Abu'l-Hasan (c. 1569 - 12 June 1641) entitled by the Mughal emperor Jahangir as Asaf Khan, was the Grand Vizier (Prime minister) of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Asaf Khan was the father of Arjumand Banu Begum (better known by her title Mumtaz Mahal), the chief consort of Shah Jahan and the older brother of Empress Nur Jahan, the chief consort of Shah Jahan's father, Jahangir.
Asaf Khan was the son of the Persian noble Mirza Ghias Beg (popularly known by his title of Itimad-ud-Daulah), who served as the Prime minister of the Mughal emperor Jahangir. Asaf Khan's mother, Asmat Begam, was the daughter of Mirza Ala-ud-Daula Aqa Mulla. Both of Asaf Khan's parents were descendants of illustrious families – Ghias Beg from Muhammad Sharif and Asmat Begam from the Aqa Mulla clan. Asaf Khan's family had come to India impoverished in 1577, when his father, Mirza Ghias Beg, was taken into the service of Emperor Akbar in Agra.
In his prime youth, Asaf Khan was married to Diwanji Begum, the daughter of a Persian noble, Khwaja Ghias-ud-din of Qazvin. The couple had at least five children together: Arjumand Banu Begum (later known as Mumtaz Mahal), Malika Banu Begum, Parwar Khanam, Farzana Begum, and a son, Shaista Khan.
Arjumand was married to Jahangir's third son, Prince Khurram (later known as Shah Jahan) in 1612 and became his most beloved wife. Parwar Khanam was married to Mohtashim Khan, the son of Jahangir's foster brother Qutubuddin Koka.
Governor of Lahore
Mirza Abul Hasan Asaf Khan was appointed Governor of Lahore by Emperor Jahangir in 1625. After the demise of Jahangir in 1627, he was instrumental in securing the accession of his son-in-law Shah Jahan by colluding with Dawar Bakht (Jahangir's other son) and defeating the acting emperor Prince Shahryar (Nur Jahan's son-in-law, married to her daughter by her previous marriage to Sher Afgan) in a battle near Lahore. Asaf Khan enjoyed a position even more elevated than in the preceding reign and retained it until 1632, when he failed in the siege of Bijapur, from which time he seems to have lost favour.
- Grand Vizier (Vazir-e ala of Mughal) – 1628–41
- Subehdar of Lahore – 1625–27
- Subehdar of Gujrat Subah – 1630–39
- Faujdar of Gagron (Malwa Subah) – 1635–41
Tomb of Asaf Khan
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- unknown (1604). "Asaf khan Presents Offerings. Folio from the Davis Album". 17th Century Mughals & Marathas. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03.
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