§ 9. Arrest of Prince Muazzam.

WHEN the Emperor called for Prince Muhammad Muazzam Bahadur Shah, intending to imprison him, he came to the Emperor in the chapel. His Majesty told Bakhtawar Khan, the Superintendent of the Perfumery Department, “Bring every essence (atar) that my son wishes for.” Bahadur Shah submitted, “What power has this slave to make any choice himself? Any essence that your Majesty may be graciously pleased to present would be better [than one of my selection].” The Emperor replied, “This order of mine is also an act of grace.” Then Bahadur Shah told Bakhtawar Khan, “Any essence that you have except the essence of scented wax (atar-i-fitna), is good.” His Majesty cried out, “Yes, I too, having the same prudential consideration in my mind, have troubled you to come to this house.” When the essence arrived, he ordered the prince to put off his arms and come nearer, in order that the Emperor might, with his own hand, rub him over with the essence. After the perfuming, when the prince went [back] to make his bow (of thanksgiving), the Emperor went away, ordering Muharram Khan with the help of Hamid-ud-din Khan, to disarm the four sons of the prince, and detain all the five there. As they went up first of all to Muhammad Muiz-ud-din, the latter laid his hand on the hilt of his sword. Bahadur Shah in anger cried out [to his son], “Wretch, you are resisting the order of your Centre of Faith and K'aba (i.e., His Sacred Majesty)!” With his own hands he tore off his [eldest] son's arms and gave them up to Muharram Khan. The other sons without objection stripped off their arms and surrendered them.

When the Emperor heard of it, he said, “The chapel has taken the place of the Well of Joseph, and he will attain to the dignity of Joseph.”

Text.–Ir. MS. 7a.

Notes.–Prince Muazzam, afterwards Emperor Bahadur Shah I., was imprisoned by Aurangzib on 21st February, 1687, and released on 9th May, 1695, when he was sent to Lahor as governor. The Masir-i-Alamgiri (p. 294) gives a slightly different account of the manner of his arrest. The Bakhtawar Khan of this anecdote çould not have been the author of the Mirat-i-alam (who died on 9th February, 1695), but was evidently Khwajah Bakhtawar, created a Khan in April, 1705. There is a play upon the word fitna, which means (1) scented wax and (2) disturbance, tumult. The Kaba is the square temple of black stone at Mecca, towards which Muslims turn their faces when praying. Joseph, the son of Jacob, was flung into a dry well by his wicked brothers, and then sold as a slave to some merchants going to Egypt, and this calamity was the means of his future greatness as the prime-minister of Egypt. (Genesis, xxxvii. 24.)