Arjumand Banu Begum was born April 1593 in Agra. Her Father was Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan, the brother of Noorjehan, wife of Jahangir. She was married at the age of 14, on 10 May 1612, to then Prince Khurram, who would later ascend the Peacock Throne as Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I. She was his third wife, and named Mumtaz Mahal, which means in Urdu "beloved ornament of the palace". She became his favourite wife. She died June 17 1631 in Burhanpur in the Deccan, during childbirth of her daughter. Buried in the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Not much is known about her except that she was woman of legendary beauty and virtue, who led a very deep and loving marriage with Shah Jahan. Even during her lifetime, poets would espouse her beauty, gracefulness and compassion. It was said that even the moon would hide in shame from her beauty. Mumtaz Mahal was Shah Jahanīs trusted companion, traveling with him all over the Mughal empire, and visiting the lands. He trusted her so far, that he even gave her his imperial seal, the Muhr Uzah. She was a big influence on him, apparently often intervening on behalf of the poor and destitute. But she also enjoyed watching elephant and combat fights performed for the court.
They had 14 children, 7 which died young. Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth, while accompanying Shah Jahan during a war campaign against the Lodi lords in the Deccan. Legend has it that on her deathbed, her last wish to the emperor was for a symbol or a monument to their love. Inconsolable, the emperor promised immedeatly. Apparently after her death, Shah Jahan went into secluded mourning for a week, when he appeared again his hair had turned white, his back was bent, and his face worn out. He kept his promise and built her tomb, the Taj Mahal, in Agra. It took more than 20 years, and most of the treasury, to finish it. Today, it stands as the ultimate monument to love, and a homage to her beauty and life.
Her children were:
Shahzada Sultan Daulat Afza, b. 9 May 1628, d.?