Salima Sultan Begum

Salima Sultan Begum was the wife of Mughal Emperor Akbar. She was born 23rd of February, 1539. Akbar was three years younger than Salima Sultan Begum.

Salima’s mother, Gulrang Begum, was a Mughal Empress. Her mother was the daughter of Babur and sister of Humayun. Gulbadan Begum was the the sister of Gulrang Begum.

The first marriage of Salima took place with Bairam Khan in 1557. Bairam Khan was a trusted general and guardian of Akbar the Great. After the death of Bairam Khan, Salima was married to Akbar. The short married life of Salima with Bairam Khan did not produce any child. However, Bairam Khan had a son named Abdul Rahim from his first wife. Thus, Rahim was the step-son of Salima Begum. Abdul Rahim is popularly known as Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana.

Salima Begum was a poet and had a charming personality. Salima Begum belonged to a royal family. She had good influence over Akbar. At difficult times, Akbar often used to consult with Salima and seek her advice. She took active participation in Mughal Court and had high authority in the Mughal Imperial Harem. Her authority was next only to Rukaiya Begum, the first wife of Akbar.

Prince Murad (also Shahzada Murad Mirza) was the son of Salima Begum and Akbar. Unfortunately, Prince Murad died on 12th May, 1599 at the age of 29. Later on, she supported Jahangir to ascend to the throne of Mughal Empire. Both Salima Sultan Begum and Rukaiya Begum had love for Prince Salim (Later Jahangir) and wished to see him as the successor of Akbar.

Salima Sultan Begum maintained a cordial relationship with Harkha Bai and Prince Salim. In 1601 A.D. Prince Salim revolted against the reign of his father. This could result in Akbar taking stern action his son. But Salima Begum, Rukaiya Begum and Hamida Banu Begum together stepped forward to mitigate the differences between the father and the son. Salima Begum successfully managed to bring back Salim to Agra and Salim was cordially welcomed by Akbar.

She was a religious lady. She proceeded to Mecca along with her aunt, Gulbadan Begum.

In the Television Series titled “Jodha Akbar”, Manisha Yadav is playing the role of Salima Sultan Begum. Manisha Yadav is renowned film actress in Tamil Film Industry.

She died on 15th December, 1612.

Suggested External Readings

1. Wikipedia on Salima Sultan Begum

2. Wikipedia on Ruqaiya Sultan Begum

3. Wikipedia on Jodha Akbar TV Series