Murtaza Ali Khan

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Nawab Sayyid Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur (22 November 1923 – 8 February 1982) was the titular Nawab of Rampur from 1966 to his death in 1982, succeeding his father, Raza Ali Khan Bahadur.

Early life[edit]

Sayyid Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur was born on 22 November 1923 at the Rafat Mahal, Khasbagh Palace in Rampur, the eldest son of Shia Nawabzada (Crown Prince) Raza Ali Khan Bahadur. At the time, Murtaza's grandfather Hamid Ali Khan Bahadur was the Nawab. Upon his grandfather's death in 1930, Murtaza's father became Nawab of Rampur and Murtaza became the heir apparent. He was educated at the Doon School in Dehradun, then at Wellington College in Britain and at St.Stephen's College in New Delhi. In 1943, Murtaza was commissioned into the British Indian Army and served as an aide-de-camp to the Commander-in-Chief, India, General (later Field-Marshal) Sir Claude Auchinleck. He was promoted to Captain in 1946 and in that year was made the Brigadier of the Rampur State Forces. Also that year, Murtaza was appointed an MBE.

From 1946 until Independence, Murtaza served as the Minister of the Army for Rampur State and as the Minister for the Household, Education and Public Works until 1949 when Rampur State formally merged with India.

Titular Nawab of Rampur[edit]

Following the death of his father in 1966, Murtaza succeeded as titular Nawab of Rampur. From 1969 until 1971, he served as a member in the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly, as well as an MP in the Lok Sabha. It is an interesting historical fact that Murtaza Ali contested an election from Rampur opposite his own mother Rafat Jamani Begum in 1972 and won. In 1971, the Indira Gandhi regime stripped Nawab Murtaza and his fellow former rulers of what little rights they had left, formally ending Nawab Murtaza's standing as a monarch.

Personal life[edit]

In 1943, Murtaza married Her Highness Nawab Aftab Dulhan Sakina uz-Zamani Begum Sahiba of Pirpur (11 September 1928 – 3 August 1993) the daughter of a minor chieftain. The couple had a son and a daughter:

  • 1. Nawab Syed Muhammad 'Ali Khan Bahadur,who was in the US for a while but remained an Indian citizen and married. having issue by his third wife Jeeva
    • 1. Nawabzadi Zahra Begum Sahiba (5 August 2000-)
    • 2. Nawabzada Syed Akbar 'Ali Khan (30 November 2001-)
  • 2.Nawabzadi Murtazai Begum Sahiba, who married Sayyid Intikhab Hyder Abedi and had three daughters:
    • 1. Sayyida Nargis Abedi
    • 2. Sayyida Nida Abedi
    • 3. Sayyida Sana Abedi

Last years[edit]

From 1966 to 1975, Nawab Murtaza served as President of the Raza Rampur Library Trust. He became a vice-chairman on its board of trustees in 1975 and remained in that capacity until his death on 8 February 1982 after a 16-year reign, aged 58.


  • 1923-1930: Nawabzada Sayyid Murtaza Ali Khan
  • 1930-1943: Nawabzada Sayyid Murtaza Ali Khan, Wali Ahad Bahadur
  • 1943-1946: Lieutenant Nawabzada Sayyid Murtaza Ali Khan, Wali Ahad Bahadur
  • 1946-1966: Brigadier Nawabzada Sayyid Murtaza Ali Khan, Wali Ahad Bahadur, MBE
  • 1966-1982: Brigadier His Highness 'Ali Jah, Farzand-i-Dilpazir-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Mukhlis ud-Daula, Nasir ul-Mulk, Amir ul-Umara, Nawab Sayyid Murtaza 'Ali Khan Bahadur, Mustaid Jang, Nawab of Rampur, MBE


(ribbon bar, as it would look today)

Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png India Service Medal BAR.svg 39-45 Star BAR.svg War Medal 39-45 BAR.svg


Murtaza Ali Khan
Born: 23 November 1923 Died: 8 February 1982
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Raza Ali Khan Bahadur
Nawab of Rampur
Reason for succession failure:
Monarchy abolished in 1949
Succeeded by
Zulfikar Ali Khan Bahadur