Every since it has been revealed in Jodha Akbar that Shehnaaz has ulterior motive of entering the Agra Palace, it has been a big question – who is she and why is she behind Akbar? While, one might have thought she is yet another Benazir sent by Abdul Maali, the revelation of Chand Begum takes the story to altogether different level and era. Bringing the topic of “Chand Begum” makes one remember Aqiqa Sultan, the elder sister of Akbar who was lost at the age of 8 in the Battle of Chausa.
Yes, Akbar had an elder sister named Aqiqa Sultan
The Background of Aqiqa Sultan
During the battle of Chausa in the year 1939, Humayun along with his two Begums – Shaad and Chand Begum, had also lost his first daughter Aqiqa Sultan who was only 8 years old at that time. Aqiqa Sultan was Humayun’s daughter from his chief consort Bega Begum.
Humayun though regretted his decision of taking his baby girl to Chausa, never in his lifetime recovered Aqiqa again, making everybody assume that she either drowned in the heavy rains just like Chand Begum and Shaad Begum or might have been killed by the Afghan soldiers of Sher Khan.
Zee TV’s Jodha Akbar being a historical fiction might give altogether different angle to the “Aqiqa Mystery” by bringing the character of Aqiqa Sultan alive in the form of some fictional character. The fact that she was elder to Akbar gives a strong base to the plot of the story because the writers can get creative by showing Aqiqa was alive but abandoned who now wants the entire Mughal Dynasty rather just the identity of Akbar’s elder sister.
Akbar Had An Elder Brother As Well, Al-Aman Mirza
Al-Aman is actually the first child as well as son of Humayun who was born to his chief Begum Bega or Haji Begum. So basically Humayun’s first two born Al-Aman and Aqiqa Sultan were both from his main wife. Al-Aman was born in 1528 and was 3 years elder to Aqiqa Sultan who was born in the year 1531. However, while Aqiqa survived till 8 years, Al-Aman died in his childhood.
Al-Aman was born in Badakshah, Afghanistan. Since, Al-Aman was born when Babur was alive he could seek his grandfather’s blessing as well. Though Babur, the first Mughal Emperor was happy to see his grandson and potential heir of his dynasty, he was highly disappointed by his name which was kept by his father Humayun and his beloved Begum. According to Babur, the name Al-Aman was not only grammatically incorrect but also inauspicious, giving evil signs.
To a great extent, the first Mughal Emperor was right because Al-Aman could not live much and died in his childhood itself. However, you can find the mention of his birth in Baburnama where Babur’s congratulatory letter to Humayun is mentioned as a memoir.
Another interesting fact is Akbar’s mother Hamida Banu Begum who was born in the year 1527 was only a year elder to Akbar’s elder brother Al-Aman. However, both the elder kids of Humayun could not live much and it was only Akbar’s fate to become a Shehenshah of the Mughal Sultanate in spite being the son of a later queen from not so royal background.
By: Deepti Verma
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