Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Bibi Mubaraka Yousafzai

In 1519, Babur came into Yousafzai country with a large army. He devastated their lands but could make no impression on their sangar. In order to better judge the intentions of the Yousafzai , he disguised himself as a qalandar (religious ascetic) and went with friends one dark night to the Mahura hill where the Yousafzai stronghold was located, being just a day’s journey from his (Babur’s) camp at Diaroon. It is here that Babur happened to see Bibi Mubaraka, daughter of Malik Mansur who was distributing beef amongst the poor as Khairat (charity) so that the calamity brought by Babur might pass off. He was impressed by her. He was also given food, which he hid nearby.

He returned to camp in perplexity as to what he saw he could not take the Yousafzai ‘sangar’; he was ashamed to return to Kabul without achieving any thing. Moreover he was in the fetters of love. He therefore wrote a friendly letter to Malik Ahmad (the chief of all Yousafzais) and proposed for Mubaraka, the daughter of Shah Mansur, son of Shah Suleiman. The tribal notables severely objected and quoted earlier misfortunes accrued to Yousafzai by Ulugh Beg (Babur’s uncle) to whom they had given a Yousafzai lady in marriage. They even said they had no daughter to give. Babur replied with a ‘beautiful’ royal letter, wrote of his disguised visit to Shah Mansur’s house , of his seeing  and as token of the truth of his story, asked them to search for the food he had hidden . They searched and found the concealed food at the place revealed by Babur . Ahmad and Mansur were still averse but the tribesmen urged , as before they had always made sacrifice for the tribe so should they do now,  for by giving the daughter in marriage they would save the tribe from Babur’s wrath . The Jirga accepted the plea for the good of the tribe. The wedding took place on 28th Muharram 914 H. Runa the nurse who was in-charge of Malik Mansur’s household , with two other nurses and many male and female servants , accompanied Bibi Mubaraka to the royal camp. The bride was made to sit with all honour at a large tent in the middle of the Babur’s camp.In due course of time Bibi Mubaraka made an appeal to Babur , her husband. She said :-

“Think that the whole Yousafzai tribe is enfolded in my skirt , and pardon their offences for my sake.”
Babur replied,”
“I forgive the Yousafzai all their offences in thy presence , and cast them all into they skirt. Hereafter I shall have no ill feeling to the Yousafzai”

Bibi Mubaraka remained childless and lived with his stepson Emperor Humayun throughout her life. She accompanied him when Sher Shah Suri defeated him. She was addressed as ‘Afghani Agha Chah’. Gul Badan (sister of Humayun) in her “Humayun Nama” often mentions Bibi Mubaraka. It was she who came to the assistance of Humayun to fulfill his father Emperor Babur’s last desire. In accordance with Babur’s will , his body was to be conveyed to Kabul and buried in a grave open to the sky, with no building over it. Gul Badan Begum informs us that after the battle of Chausa , Humayun visited the grave of his father in Agra in 1539 A.D. Annette narrates that the body was conveyed to Kabul before 1544 , at which date Humayun in Kabul spoke with displeasure of Kamran’s incivility to ‘Bega Begum’ the ‘Bibi Mubaraka’, who had conveyed their father’s body to the place. Annette S.Beveridge writes that the widow who performed this duty was the Afghan lady Bibi Mubaraka. The Babur’s family had left Agra under Hindal’s escort, after the defeat at Chausa (7th June 1539 AD). Bibi Mubaraka who took charge of the body to be conveyed to Kabul returned at some later date to fetch it. Sher Shah Suri guaranteed her security and rendered assistance in her task. Her brother Mir Jamal had joined Mughal service and remained with her sister in India. She led a very respectable life and died in the reign of Emperor Akbar. Mir Jamal became a noble of the Mughal court. His sons and grandsons were also appointed on high posts in Mughal courts. He also died in the reign of Akbar. (page 40 and 41)

(Excerpt from 'History of the Pathans Volume-II, by Haroon Rashid, page-40 and 41)

Babur Riding a Raft from Kunar Back


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