FATḤ JANG, EBRĀHĪM KHAN (or Mīrzā Ebrāhīm), a Mughal official (d. 1033/1623-24). According to the Maʾāṯer al-omarā ([Calcutta] I, p. 135), he was the son of Eʿtemād-al-Dawla Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn Beg Tehrānī (q.v.) and brother of Nūr(-e) Jahān, the influential wife of the Mughal emperor Jahāngīr (r. 1014-37/1605-27). Together with other members of Eʿtemād-al-Dawla’s family, he entered Jahangīr’s service and was first made a paymaster (baḵšī) and inspector (wāqeʿanevīs) of Gujarat, responsible for reporting on the events of the region to the emperor. He gained the trust of the governor of Gujarat, Shaikh Farīd Mortażā Khan, and within a year was given the rank (manṣab) of 1000 men. After Jahāngīr married Nūr Jahān in 1020/1611 and E ʿtemād-al-Dawla gained favor at court, Ebrāhīm returned to Agra. He was awarded the title of khan in 1023/1614-15 and promoted to the rank of [commander of] 1500 men and 300 horses (Kāmkār Ḥosaynī, p. 182; Maʾāṯer al-omarā [Calcutta] I, p. 136).
Ebrāhīm Khan first served at court as a private secretary to the emperor (baḵšīgarī-e ḥożūr), but by the end of 1024/1616 he was made governor of Bihar and sent there to take over the region of Khūkharha (Jahāngīr Gūrḵānī, pp. 178-79) or Kūkara (Kāmkār Ḥosaynī, p. 216) near Patna, an area well known for its diamond mines but hidden deep within dense and inaccessible forests and controlled by a local Hindu landlord. Ebrāhīm’s campaign was successful, and earned him the title of Fatḥ Jang and the rank of four thousand men and horse, which was later raised to five thousand. Most of the diamonds for the Mughal treasury came from these mines.
Within two years Fatḥ Jang was able to restore order to affairs in Bihar. In 1026/1617 he was made governor of Bengal and Orissa. He held this post until 1033/1623-24, when he was killed in battle defending the fort of Akbarnagar (old Rājnagar, modern Dacca) against the army of Shah Jahān, who had rebelled against his father. Fatḥ Jang did not leave any children; his only known son died during his lifetime and was buried near Akbarnagar in a large fortified shrine—the same one which Fatḥ Jang chose for the defense of Akbarnagar and where he lost his own life (Kāmkār Ḥosaynī, pp. 381-83; Maʾāṯer al-omarā [Calcutta] I, p. 138). His wife was Ḥājī Ḥūrparvar, an aunt of Nūr Jahān. Ḥūrparvar lived into comfortable old age at Šāh-Jahānābād (now Old Delhi) on a royal allowance (tamḡā) until her death during the reign of Awrangzīb (1068-1118 /1658-1707; see Maʾāṯer al-omarā [Calcutta] I, p. 138).
Bibliography (for cited works not given in detail, see “Short References”):
T. W. Beale, An Oriental Biographical Dictionary, London, 1894; repr. Calcutta, 1991, p. 116.
Ḵᵛāja Kāmkār Ḥosaynī, Maʾāṯer-e jahāngīrī, ed. A. Alvi as Ma’asir-i Jahangiri: A Contemporary Account of Jahanir, Bombay, 1978, pp. 182-83, 198, 216-17, 239, 324, 371, 381-83, 389-94.
Nūr al-Dīn Moḥammad Jahāngīr Gūrkānī, Jahāngīr-nāma: tūzok-e jahāngīrī, ed. M. Hāšem, Tehran, 1359 Š./1980, pp. 159, 178-79, 213, 372-73, 462-63; Moḥammad Ṣāleḥ Kanbū, ʿAmal-e ṣāleḥ, ed. Ḡ. Yazdānī as Amal-i-Salih or Shah Jahan Namah (A Complete History of the Emperor Shah Jahan), 4 vols. in 3, Calcutta, 1923-46, I, pp. 177-184.
Maʾāṯer al-omarā (Calcutta) I, pp. 135-139.
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 24, 2012
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Vol. IX, Fasc. 4, pp. 421-422