Sayyid Amiruddin

Researcher of Political Science & Classical Islam. Initiated by the Khwajagan i-Naqshband.

The Asaf Jahi Dynasty of Hyderabad: A Rare Model of Indo-Arab Intellectual, Spiritual and Cultural Sophistication

Asaf Jahi Coat of Arms

Asaf Jahi Coat of Arms

Hyderabad’s monarchy, the House of Asaf Jah, was a rare model of intellectual, spiritual, and cultural sophistication. As Indian monarchs, the Asaf Jahi’s were unique in representing a perfected fusion of the intellectual and spiritual sophistication of the Arab-Islamic empires of past, who adopted from the Greeks, Egyptians and Indians, and represented the finest forms of cultural sophistication from Europe in their time.

The peak of Hyderabad’s monarchy was ironically also its era of decline. The purpose of this blog  post is to share examples of this much neglected, and nearly erased and forgotten, twofold sophisticated culture and its forms of expression. The lifestyles of Hyderabad’s monarchy from the House of Asaf Jah, combined Indian, Arab, Persian, Mughal, European and Turkish culture, and served as a rare bridge between these cultures.

Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. Built by Nawab Vicar-ul-Umra, the then-Prime Minister of Hyderabad State for H.H. The Nizam VI, Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Bahadur. Falak-Numa means "Like the Sky" or "Mirror of the Sky" in Urdu.

Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad. Built by Nawab Vicar-ul-Umra, the then-Prime Minister of Hyderabad State for H.H. The Nizam VI, Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Bahadur. Falak-Numa means “Like the Sky” or “Mirror of the Sky” in Urdu.

 

Portrait of Asaf Jah VI Mir Mahbub Ali Khan Siddiqi (August 17, 1866 – August 29, 1911) the 6th Nizam of Hyderabad, inside Falaknuma Palace. He ruled Hyderabad State between 1869 and 1911.  He was a direct descendant of the first Caliph ʿAbd Allāh ibn Abī Quḥāfah, (c. 573 CE – 634 CE) also known as Abū Bakr al-Siddiq.

Portrait of Asaf Jah VI Mir Mahbub Ali Khan Siddiqi (August 17, 1866 – August 29, 1911) the 6th Nizam of Hyderabad, inside Falaknuma Palace. He ruled Hyderabad State between 1869 and 1911. He was a direct descendant of the first Caliph ʿAbd Allāh ibn Abī Quḥāfah, (c. 573 CE – 634 CE) also known as Abū Bakr al-Siddiq.

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Inside Falaknuma Palace

Falaknuma Palace

Falaknuma Palace

Falaknuma Palace

Falaknuma Palace

Falaknuma Palace

Falaknuma Palace

Sarojini Naidu – Ode To H.E.H. The Nizam Of Hyderabad

Deign, Prince, my tribute to receive,
This lyric offering to your name,
Who round your jewelled scepter bind
The lilies of a poet’s fame;
Beneath whose sway concordant dwell
The peoples whom your laws embrace,
In brotherhood of diverse creeds,
And harmony of diverse race:

The votaries of the Prophet’s faith,
Of whom you are the crown and chief
And they, who bear on Vedic brows
Their mystic symbols of belief;
And they, who worshipping the sun,
Fled o’er the old Iranian sea;
And they, who bow to Him who trod
The midnight waves of Galilee.

Sweet, sumptuous fables of Baghdad
The splendours of your court recall,
The torches of a Thousand Nights
Blaze through a single festival;
And Saki-singers down the streets,
Pour for us, in a stream divine,
From goblets of your love-ghazals
The rapture of your Sufi wine.

Prince, where your radiant cities smile,
Grim hills their sombre vigils keep,
Your ancient forests hoard and hold
The legends of their centuried sleep;
Your birds of peace white-pinioned float
O’er ruined fort and storied plain,
Your faithful stewards sleepless guard
The harvests of your gold and grain.

God give you joy, God give you grace
To shield the truth and smite the wrong,
To honour Virtue, Valour, Worth.
To cherish faith and foster song.
So may the lustre of your days
Outshine the deeds Firdusi sung,
Your name within a nation’s prayer,
Your music on a nation’s tongue.

 

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This entry was posted on October 18, 2012 by in Ahmed Amiruddin and tagged , , , , , .
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