The Mystical English King of Hyderabad

6th nizam

                                     Today, 17 August 2016 is  Mir Mahboob Ali Khan  Siddiqi’s 150th birth anniversary.It has been celebrated by The Deccan Heritage Trust in collaboration with the Chowmohalla Palace in Haidarabd and sponsored by Shadan Institute of Medical Sciences, Himayath Nagar and Dr. V.R.K Women’s Medical College.

So who was  Mir Mahboob Ali Khan  Siddiqi and why is he being celebrated ? Lets read about his life.

 Mir Mahboob Ali Khan  Siddiqi Bayafandi Soharwardi was born on 17 August 1866 at Purani Haveli in Hyderabad State as Asaf Jah VI . He was the only son of Afzal ad-Dawlah, Asaf Jah V.

When his father died he was two years and seven months old, and thus became the 6th Nizam of the Asaf Jahi dynasty in 1869. He was installed as Nizam by Mir Turab Ali Khan, Salar Jung I, Nawab Rasheed-ed-deen Khan Shams-ul-Umra III who functioned as the Regent. Shams-ul-Umra III died on 12 December 1881 and Salar Jung I became the sole regent. He was retained as administrator and regent until his death on 8 February 1883.[1] Special attention was paid to the education of Mahbub Ali Khan who was tutored by the English.Besides being educated in Arabic, Persian and Urdu , he became excelled in shooting, cricket, tent-pegging, riding and poetry writing.

Asaf Jah VI was a respected ruler and was popularly known as Mahbub Ali Pasha.As his name implies ‘Mahbuub’ in Arabic means beloved he was for his people. It is known that he used to disguise himself and go about the city and mix with people as ordinary man to know first-hand information about his subjects.

Thus, was famous for his generosity, kindness and saintly character.

Asaf Jah VI was well known for his lavish lifestyle and luxuries and had an enormous fascination for clothes and cars. His collection of garments was one of the most extensive in the world at the time, with sherwanis, shirts, coats, collars, socks, shoes, headgear, walking sticks, perfumes – not one each, but dozens of almost each item. He devoted a whole wing of his palace to his wardrobe and would never wear the same dress twice. He bought the Jacob Diamond, which stands out among the Jewels of The Nizams.

In the  book “Tulasī kī sāhitya-sādhanā: The Legacy of the Nizams” by Lallana Rāya, published by the H.E.H The Nizam’s Urdu Trust Hyderabad it states that the King Mir Mahbub Ali Khan was also known to be a possessor of supernatural mystical healing powers. Lallana Rāya writes under the heading He was a conjure for snake bite: “Mir Mahboob Ali Khan was known to possess healing power for snake bite. With his spell, it is said that the venom of the snake would abate. It was his order that if anyone from the public had a snake bite, he could approach him. It happened a number of times when he was awakened from his sleep. It is said that Nawab Muneer Uddin Khan Taluqdar who knew this spell taught the mantra to Mir Mahboob Ali Khan. When a man suffered from a snake bite, the name of the Mahboob Ali had to be mentioned in these terms: “Mahboob Ali Pasha Ki Dohaee”. Then the venom would not spread further or  the venom of the snake would abate. Hence the name of Mahboob Ali Pasha and the practice of spell of snake bite became famous throughout Hyderabad”.

Some accomplishments during the rule of Nizam VIth

1.He revised the system of revenue settlement for the peasantry

2.New irrigation works were constructed

3.Railway industry and crafts industry developed

4.Education was developed both for men and women by opening Hyderabad College.

5.New mahbubiya rupee coins were introduced in 1904.

6.Each state department was modernised on par with British India transforming Hyderabad from medievalism to modern State.


Suggested reading

The Splendor of Hyderabad by Dr. M. A. Nayeem

A Guide to the Heritage of Hyderabad


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