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Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana 

Khanzada Mirza Khan Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana (17 December 1556 – 1627) (Urduعبدالرحيم خان خانان), also known as Rahim was a poet who lived during the rule of Mughal emperor Akbar. He was nine important ministers (dewan) in his court, also known as the Navaratnas. Rahim is known for his Hindi dohe (couplets)[1] and his books on astrology.[2] The village of Khan Khana, which is named after him, is located in the Nawanshahr district of the state of Punjab, India.


Abdul Rahim was the son of Bairam KhanAkbar‘s trusted guardian and mentor, who was of Turkic ancestry. When Humayun returned to India from his exile, he asked his nobles to forge matrimonial alliances with the various zamindars and feudal lords across the nation. Humayun married the elder daughter of Khanzada Jamal Khan of Mewat (present Mewat district of Haryana) and he asked Bairam Khan to marry the younger daughter.

Gazetteer of Ulwur (Alwar) states:

After Babur’s death his successor, Humayun, in 1513 was supplanted as ruler the Pathan Sher Shah Suri, who, in 1545, was followed by Islam Shah. During the reign of latter, than battle was fought and lost by the emperor’s troops at Firozpur Jhirka, in Mewat. However, Islam Shah did not lose his hold on power. Adil Shah, the third of the Pathan interlopers, who succeeded Islam Shah in 1552, had to contend for the empire with Humayun.[3]
In these struggles for the restoration of Babur’s dynasty Khanzadas apparently do not figure at all. Humayun seems to have conciliated them by marrying the elder daughter of Khnazada Jamal Khan, nephew of Babar’s opponent, Khanzada Hasan Khan Mewati, and by requiring his minister, Bairam Khan, to marry the younger daughter of the same Mewatti.[3]

Khanzadahs,[4] the royal family of Muslim Jadon (also spelt as JadaunRajputs, converted to Islam after Islamic conquest of northern India.[5] Khanzadah, the Persian form of the Indic word ‘Rajput’. Khanzadas were believed to have converted from a Branch of Hindu Rajputs. They were the Mewatti Chiefs of the Persian historians, who were the representatives of the ancient Lords of Mewat State.[6]

Khanzadah, or “the son of a Khan” is precisely the Musalman equivalent to the Hindu Rajput or “son of a Raja ” …
— From PunjabCastes by Denzil Ibbetso

Abdul Rahim was born in Delhi (Indian NCT)[8] to Bairam Khan and the daughter of Jamal Khan of Mewat of modern-day Haryana.

After Bairam Khan was murdered in Patan, Gujarat, his first wife and young Rahim were brought safely from Delhi to Ahmedabad and presented at the royal court of Akbar, who gave him the title of ‘Mirza Khan’, and subsequently married him to Mah Banu(MoonLady)sister of Mirza Aziz Kokah, son of Ataga Khan, a noted Mughal noble.[8]

Later, Bairam Khan’s second wife, Salima Sultan Begum (Rahim’s stepmother) married her cousin, Akbar, which made Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khan also his stepson, and later he became one of his nine prominent ministers, the Navaratnas, or nine gems.

An incident in his life, where his womenfolk were protected and safely returned by Rana Pratap made Rahim Khan, a Muslim by birth, a devotee of Krishna and wrote poetry dedicated to him.[9]

Abdul Rahim was known for his strange manner of giving alms to the poor. He never looked at the person he was giving alms to, keeping his gaze downwards in all humility. When Tulsidas heard about Rahim’s behaviour when giving alms, he promptly wrote a couplet and sent it to Rahim:-

“ऐसी देनी देंन ज्यूँ, कित सीखे हो सैन
ज्यों ज्यों कर ऊंच्यो करो, त्यों त्यों निचे नैन”

“Why give alms like this? Where did you learn that? Your hands are as high as your eyes are low”

Realizing that Tulsidas was well aware of the reasons behind his actions, and was merely giving him an opportunity to say a few lines in reply, he wrote to Tulsidas saying:-

“देनहार कोई और है, भेजत जो दिन रैन
लोग भरम हम पर करे, तासो निचे नैन”

“The Giver is someone else, giving day and night. But the world gives me the credit, so I lower my eyes.”

His two sons were killed by Akbar‘s son Jehangir because they were not in favour of Jehangir‘s accession to the throne at Akbar‘s death.

He is considered a Persophile.

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  1. Shufflehound

    Yes, sometimes it\’s a distraction, i agree.. 🙁

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