Zēb-un-Nisā (1638 – 1702) was the Imperial Princess of the Moghal Empire. She was the eldest daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb and his wife Dilras Banu Begum. She was a very smart girl, and by the age of 7 had memorized the Qur’an- making her a Hafiza (a muslim term for “Memorizer”). She also studied science, philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, literature, architecture and languages.
Her father, the emperor, was incredibly proud of his daughter (As he should be!) however, he did NOT approve of her true passion in life… poetry. So she wrote poems in secret under the pen name “Makhfi” (which means “hidden one” in Persian).
Zebunnisa never married, despite many suitors. Eventually her father caught wind of her extensive writing (and her sympathies towards Prince Akbar’s rebellion), and had her imprisoned. After twenty years in isolation, she passed away in 1702. Her tomb is in the garden of “Thirty thousand trees”…
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