§ 3. Young Aurangzib's courtesy to Nobles.

Dara Shukoh behaved towards some of the nobles with enmity and towards some others with arrogance,— such as Ali Mardan Khan, Sadullah Khan, and Sayyid Miran of Barha, who were commanders of five thou­sand each and intimate courtiers of Shah Jahan. But Aurangzib had a special friendship with every one of them; so that in his letters he used to address Ali Mardan Khan, (on whom Shah Jahan had bestowed the title of ‘Faithful Friend’), with the friendly epithet of ‘Man of good deeds’; to address Sadullah Khan (who had the titles of ‘Staff of old age’ and ‘Minister full of plans’, and of whom Aurangzib, by reason of his having read with him, regarded himself as a pupil), as ‘Minister full of plans’ and ‘the Head of humble pupils’; and Sayyid Miran of Barha, whom the Emperor had entitled ‘the Sayyid of Sayyids’, as ‘The essence of the descendants of His Holiness the Sayyid of the Universe (i.e., Muham­mad)’. Every one of these three nobles, and others besides them such as Afzal Khan Mulla Ala-ul-mulk (who from the rank of khan-i-saman afterwards attained to the post of wazir), in their extreme love for Aurangzib did every service required by friendship in guard­ing his interests in his absence. His Majesty Shah Jahan was deeply grieved at heart. On seeing the signs of [future] misfortune on the forehead of Shah-i-buland -iqbal (Dara Shukoh) and the marks of rise in the fortune of Aurangzib, he advised Dara against his bad acts and words. But when he found that Dara Shukoh did not profit by the good counsel, as has been well said, (Verse)

If the blanket of a man's Fate has been woven black,
Even the waters of the Zimzim and Kausar * cannot wash it white,

he wished that Muhammad Aurangzib should change his behaviour to the nobles so that they might give up protecting him in his absence.

On a royal letter he wrote in his own hand to Aurang-zib, “My child! it is proper for kings and their sons to have a lofty spirit and to display elevation of mind. I have heard that in dealing with every one of my officers you show the greatest humility on your part. If you do so with a view to the future, [know that] all things depend on predestination, and that nothing but contempt will be gained by this meekness of spirit.” Aurangzib replied, “What your Majesty has, out of favour and kindness, written with your gracious pen concerning this humble slave, has come down like a revelation from the heavens. Hail, true saint and spiritual guide! ‘Thou givest honour to whomsoever Thou wishest and disgrace to whom Thou desirest,’ [this text proves that honour and lowliness] are solely dependent on the predestination of the Master of Slaves and Creator of Earth and Cities. I am acting according to the true Tradition narrated by Anas the son of Malik, ‘whosoever humbles himself, God bestows honour on him.’ I consider wounding the hearts [of others] as the worst of sins and the most shameful of vices. I am not contradicting what has been written in your gracious letter, but I know for certain that it was written agree­ably to [the verse] ‘The temptations of the Devil, who creates suspicion in the hearts of men; and he is one of the genii and men.’ (Verse)

I cannot say anything except excuses for my sins.
Pardon the sins of me, a wretch with a blackened face and dark record!”

Text.—Ir. MS. 22b—23b.

Notes.—Mulla Ala-ul-mulk Tuni was created Fazil Khan (not Afzal) and khan-i-saman by Shah Jahan (M. U. iii. 524—530). Aurangzib appointed him diwan, i. e. wazir, on 7th June, 1663, but he died on the 23rd. (M. A. 46). Anas ibn Malik (d. 93 A. H.) was the last of the Companions of Muhammad and the founder of the Maliki sect.