Sunday, February 3, 2013

'Abd al-Rahim Khan

‘Abd al-Rahim Khan (December 17, 1556, Lahore - 1627) was a general, statesman, scholar and poet in Mughal India. Also known as Rahim, he was a poet in the times of Mughal emperor Akbar, and one of Akbar's main ministers. He translated Babur’s autobiography into Persian and was a patron of the arts and letters. He is best known for his Hindi couplets and his books on astrology.

'Abd al-Rahim Khan (Mirza Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana) was the son of Akbar's trusted caretaker, Bairam Khan who had Turk ancestry. His mother was the daughter of Jamal Khan of Mewat. Abd al-Rahim was born in Lahore. After Bairam Khan was murdered, his wife became the second wife of Akbar, which made Abd al-Rahim Akbar's stepson. Later he became one of Akbar's nine prominent ministers -- the Navaratnas or "the nine gems."

Although a Muslim by birth, Rahim was a devotee of Krishna and wrote poetry dedicated to Krishna. He was also an avid astrologer, and the writer of two important works in astrology Khei Kautukam and Dwawishd Yogavali.

Rahim's two sons were killed by Akbar's son Jehangir and their bodies left to rot at the Khooni Darwaza because Rahim was not in favor of Jehangir's accession to the throne at Akbar's death.

The tomb of 'Abd al-Rahim Khan is located ahead of Humayun's tomb in New Delhi.

'Abd al-Rahim Khan is a renowned composer during the time of the Mughal emperor Akbar. 'Abd al-Rahim was one of the main nine ministers (Diwan) in Akbar's court, also known as the Navaratnas.  Rahim is famous for his Hindi couplets and his books on Astrology. The village of Khankhana, is named after him, which is located in the Nawanshahr district of the state of Punjab, India.

Rahim was the son of Bairam Khan, Akbar's trusted caretaker, who had Turkic ancestry. When Humayun returned to India, from his exile, he asked the nobles to forge matrimonial alliances with various zamindars and feudal lords, across the nation. While Humayun himself married the elder daughter of Jamal Khan of Mewat (present Mewat district of Haryana), he asked Bairam Khan to marry the younger daughter.

'Abd al-Rahim was born in Lahore in what is today Pakistan.

After Bairam Khan was murdered in Patan, Gujarat, his wife and young Rahim were brought safely to Ahmedabad. From Ahmedabad, they were brought to Delhi and presented to the royal courts of Akbar, who gave him the title of 'Mirza Khan', and subsequently married him to Mah Banu, sister of Mirza Aziz Kokah, son of Ataga Khan, a noted Mughal noble.

'Abd al-Rahim is well known for his strange manner of giving alms to the poor. He never looked at the person he was giving alms to, keeping his gaze downwards in all humility. When Tulsidas heard about Rahim's strange method of giving alms, he promptly wrote a couplet and sent it to Rahim.

The two sons of 'Abd al-Rahim were killed by Akbar's son Jehangir and their bodies left to rot at the Khooni Darwaza because Rahim was not in favor of Jehangir's accession to the throne at Akbar's death.

The tomb of 'Abd al-Rahim is situated in Nizamuddin on the Mathura road ahead of Humayun's Tomb in New Delhi.  It was built by 'Abd al-Rahim for his wife in 1598, and later he was himself buried in it in 1627. Later, in 1753-4, marble and sandstone from this tomb was used for the making of Safdarjung's Tomb, also in New Delhi.

Apart from writing various dohas, 'Abd al-Rahim translated Babar's memoirs, Baburnama from Chagatai language to Persian language.  Baburnama was completed in AH 998 (1589–90). His command of Sanskrit was very good. He also wrote two books on astrology,Kheta Kautukama and Dwawishd Yogavali.

Alternative names include:
'Abd al-Rahim
'Abd al-Rahim Khan
'Abd al-Rahim Khan-e-Khana
'Abd al-Rahim Khan-e-Khanan
Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana
Khanzada Mirza Khan
Mirza Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana

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