Thursday, February 14, 2013

Akbar and His Concubines

As with case with many ancient and medieval cultures, in addition to their legal wives, the rulers have also kept concubines as well. And Mughal rulers were no exceptions. In most cases, these concubines’ served the same purposes as wives. However, they could not legally the men that they served.

These concubines also became the mothers of children of the Mughal monarchs. The children born of these concubines were treated on par with those born of the legal wives. Akbar was a famous keeper of many concubines some of whom bore children to him. Two of Akbar’s three sons, Murad and Daniyal were born of concubines. According to English traveller William Finch, Anarkali who have been portrayed in films and books as the valentine of Saleem (Later Jahangir the fourth Mughal Emperor) was the mother of Daniyal.
The concubines lived in an area which is known in Muslim culture as harem. The harem was not accessible for the male members.

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