If you are searching for comprehensive information about Sultan Murad Mirza’s life, then you’re at the right place. In this article, we will explore every aspect of Murad Mirza’s existence, from his history to the details of his family, including his wives, children, and alliances.
This is the story of a Mughal prince whose life, though often overshadowed by more prominent figures, remains an integral part of the Mughal legacy.
Who was Murad Mirza?
Murad Mirza was the third son of the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great. Born to a royal serving girl, he received a distinctive education under the guidance of Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak and Western Jesuit priests.
Further, he held significant military positions from a young age but struggled with alcoholism, leading to his replacement in command. Despite being underappreciated by more prominent figures of his time, Murad Mirza remains a significant but sometimes underestimated figure in Mughal history.
Important points about his family:
- Prince Murad’s personal life was marked by significant complexities, with two wives representing diverse alliances crucial to Mughal politics.
- His marriage to Habiba Banu Begum, daughter of Mirza Aziz Koka, held substantial political importance. This resulted in the birth of Prince Rustum Mirza and Prince Alam Sultan Mirza. Unfortunately, the latter, born on November 4, 1590, passed away in infancy.
- Another strategic alliance was formed through Murad’s marriage to the daughter of Bahadur Khan. This union was orchestrated by Akbar to strengthen support for Mughal endeavors in the Deccan.
- Murad’s legacy endures through his only daughter, Princess Jahan Banu Begum, who wed Prince Parviz Mirza, the son of Emperor Jahangir. Their union was celebrated at the opulent palace of Mariam-uz-Zamani, adding yet another significant chapter to Mughal history.
Early Life and Education
According to the historical account provided in Tuzk-e-Jahangiri, Sultan Murad Mirza was born to Akbar and a royal serving girl. His upbringing was initially entrusted to Salima Sultan Begum, but it was his mother who took charge of his care in 1575 when Salima embarked on her Hajj pilgrimage.
Murad’s education was a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences. His initiation into the world of knowledge began under the guidance of the eminent Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak, a prominent figure in Akbar’s court.
Later, in 1580, Murad’s educational journey took an intriguing turn as he was also instructed by Jesuit priests, notably Antonio de Montserrat. This marked a significant milestone, as Murad became the first Mughal prince to receive instruction from Western Jesuit priests.
His curriculum extended beyond the customary subjects, encompassing the Portuguese language and Christianity, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural exchanges of the era.
This educational fusion set him apart as a unique figure, representing a convergence of Tibetan tantric Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity in his intellectual and spiritual pursuits.
Military Ascension of Prince Murad Mirza
- At a remarkably tender age of seven in 1577, Prince Murad received his inaugural military rank, a Mansab commanding 7000 men, showcasing the early recognition of his potential in the military arena.
- As he matured, his military responsibilities expanded significantly, culminating in an elevated rank overseeing 9000 men by 1584, attesting to his growing influence and capabilities on the battlefield.
- From 1593, Murad found himself at the helm of the Deccan army, a testament to the trust placed in his leadership. However, despite his initial promise, his struggle with alcoholism would prove to be a formidable obstacle in his path.
Death Reason of Murad Mirza
Following a failed expedition to Ahmadnagar, Murad Mirza confronted profound sorrow, compounded by the heart-wrenching loss of his son, Rustum. This tragedy marked a turning point in his life, leading him down a path of self-destructive coping mechanisms, primarily excessive drinking.
This destructive spiral took a toll on his well-being, leading to the onset of debilitating conditions, including epilepsy and chronic indigestion, which cast a perpetual shadow over his later years.
In a poignant effort to avoid an encounter with the Emperor in Agra, Murad embarked on a journey to Ahmadnagar in February 1599, in search of solace far from the heart of the Mughal empire. However, destiny took its course, and on the 6th of May 1599, a severe seizure overcame him, leaving him in a state of unconsciousness until his passing on the 12th of May, near Ahmadnagar.
In conclusion, Sultan Murad Mirza’s life reflects the complexities of the Mughal Empire. His unique education, military endeavors, and intricate family connections offer valuable insights into this historic period. His story stands as a reminder of the rich history of the Mughal era.