Mulla Do-Piyaza

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Mulla Do-Piyaza was Adviser of the Mughal emperor Akbar and a great jealous of his witty courtier Birbal. Mulla Do-Piyaza, also portrayed as witty, was Birbal's rival. Even though these folk tales originated at the end of Akbar's reign (1556–1605), Mulla Do-Piyaza began to appear earlier. Most scholars consider him to be completely fictional.


In the folk tales, Mulla Do-Piyaza is depicted as Birbal's Muslim counterpart and as a proponent of orthodox Islam. Most of the time he is shown getting the better of both Birbal and Akbar, but there are other stories which portray him in a negative light.[1]

No Mughal-era records mention any courtier called Mulla Do-Piyaza, and pamphlets on his life and jokes were published only in the late 19th century. One modern scholar, Hafiz Mahmood Shirani, states that Mulla Do-Piyaza was a historical personality whose original name was Abdul Momin, and who was born in India, left for Iran in 1582, returned after 36 years, died in 1620, and was buried in Handia. The manuscripts which mention him date back to an author who died in 1532—years before Akbar was born. According to C. M. Naim, Shirani's character is fictional and based on Persian folklore unrelated to Akbar.[1]

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  1. ^ a b Naim, C. M. (2007). "Popular Jokes and Political History: The Case of Akbar, Birbal and Mulla Do-Piyaza". In Khanna, Meenakshi (ed.). Cultural History of Medieval India. New Delhi: Social Science Press. pp. 27–28, 31–32. ISBN 978-81-87358-30-5.