Mirza Khan Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana widely known as Rahim was one of the navratanas in Akbar’s court. Rahim was not just a diwan in Akbar’s court but also Akbar’s foster son. A poet by heart, Rahim is renowned till today for his Hindi couplets which we often find in Hindi Text books.
Let us see some of the interesting facts about Rahim
The difference between Rahim and his Father was 55 years!
Rahim was born on 17th December, 1556, to Bairam Khan and his wife Sultana Begum. Bairam was 55 years old then. Roughly, 5 years later, when, Rahim was 5 years old and Bairam Khan was 60, Rahim lost his father. Rahim’s mother was also not alive. Salima Begum, Bairam Khan’s second wife whom he married in 1557 took care of Rahim. Salima, who was also Akbar’s first cousin, then was bethroed to Akbar. This, is how, both, Akbar and Salima Begum became Rahim’s foster parents.
Rahim was a Rajput from his Maternal Lineage
Rahim’s mother Sultana was the daughter of Jamal Khan of Mewat. Now people in Mewat, were actually Jadaun Rajputs who got converted to Islam, during the reign of Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1309-1388) i.e. 2 centuries before Rahim was born. From Jadaun Rajputs they became Khanzadah. Khanzadah, the son of Khan, is nothing but similar to ‘Rajput’ in persian language.
He was a descendant of Lord Krishna from his Maternal side
Often, we wonder, how a Mughal became a Krishna devotee. While, Khanzadah Mirza Khan Abdul Rahim Khani-Khana was totally a Mussalman, I just cannot stop connecting the dots ~ Khanzadah, the persian form of Rajput is the title of Royal family of Yadava, the direct descendants of Lord Krishna.
He married Atgah Khan’s Daughter Mah Banu
Atgah Khan was Akbar’s most trusted noble and so was Bairam Khan. The association of the two most trusted general went forward when Khan-i-Khana Rahim married Atgah Khan’s daughter Mah Banu. He also built a tomb for her on the Mathura Road (Nizamuddin East) near Humayun’s tomb. Years later, in 1627, his body was plaed in the same tomb. Today, we know the tomb as “The Tomb of Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana.” and “Khan-e-Khana Maqbara.”
He Refused to Campaign Against Maharana Pratap
Once when Rahim was getting ready against Maharana Pratap, all his women were captured by Maharana Pratap’s son, Amar Singh. When he brrought the women in front of his father Maharana Pratap, he rebuked him odordered him not only to set them free, but also to escort them till their camps. This gesture of Maharana Pratap moved Rahim so much that he declined campaigning against the kind-hearted Mewar King.
He changed Ahemdabad’s History by defeating the Gujarat Sultanate
Ahmed Shah in 1411 conqured Gujarat. However, it became a Mughal suba in 1573, when Akbar’s army imprisoned Muzaffar Shah III. However, a decade later, Muzaffar Shah III escaped from the prison and tried to regain his throne. But, Khan-i-Khana caught hold of him and defeated him nesr Sarkhej. He was then made the Governor of Ahemdabad by Akbar. He also built a garden of victory in Ahemdabad called as Fatehwadi. Though, there is no garden called as Fatehwadi in present day Ahemdabad, many travelogues written in the 17th century praises the garden. He was also the Governor of Burhanpur in M.P.
When Akbar Died, Khan-i-Khanan was Stripped from his Position, Power and Authority
We are well aware that Rahim Khan-i-Khana was Salim’s tutor. However, he along with Akbar, opposed Jehangir’s succession. So, when Jehangir ascended the throne, 8 days later after Akbar died, he not only stripped Rahim from his position, but also expelled him from the royal court. He also executed his two sons (who were Jahangir’s nephew) and left their body to rot outside the Khooni Darwaza. Yes, Jehangir was that cruel.
Reminds me of Khanzadah Mirrza Khan Abdul Rahim Khan-Khana’s famous couplet,988
“Bada hua toh kya hua, jaise ped khajoor, panchi ko chaya nahi, phal lage aati dur…..”