About Rahim

Full Name: Abd’ur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan

Birth: 17th December 1556 at Lahor (Mugal Era)

Death: 1st October 1627. His tomb sits prominently along the Mathura Road, formerly the Mughal Grand Trunk Road, and is in close proximity to the Dargah of Nizam ud-din Auliya and Humayun’s Tomb in South Delhi.

Work Field: Rahim was one of the nine Navratna’s in the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was the commander-in-chief of the army of Akbar against Sultan Muzaffar of Gujarat. He also served under Emperor Jahangir. He was a successful General, an excellent administrator, poet, patron, and astrologer.

He was an Iranian Muslim and was a great admirer of the Indian civilization and acquired an excellent command of Sanskrit language. He is best known for his Dohas and Couplets in Hindi (Awadhi and Brij Bhasha). Rahim was known for his strange manner of giving alms to the poor. He was a Sufi/Bhakti poet and scholar and linguist and a great patron of the art.

Rahim’s Father: Beram Khan

Rahim’s Mother: Sultana Begum

Rahim’s Wives:

1.     Mahabanu Begum – gave birth to 2 daughters (elder daughter name: Jana Begum) and 3 sons (son names: Ireej, Daaraab, Faran)

2.     A girl from Souda cast – gave birth to a son named Rahman Dad

3.     Married to a Dasi – gave birth to a son named Mirja Amrulla

Rahim’s Teachers:

1.   Mulla Mohammad Amin – who taught him Turkish, Arabic and Farsi languages along with how to write poems and couplets, mathematics Farsi Grammer.

2.   Badauni: Sanskrit

Rahim’s Language:

Rahim gave shape to his experiences in simple and easy to understand the language in a highly emotional form. He mainly used Brij Bhasha (ब्रज भाषा), Purvi Awadi (पूर्वी अवधी) and Khadi Boli (खड़ी बोली) of Hindi in his poetic literature. He conveyed deep meanings of life in a simple language. He often changed the form of Sanskrit words in Hindi and used them in his simple expressions   

Rahim has command over Arabic (अरबी), Turkish (तुर्की), Persian (फारसी), Sanskrit (संस्कृत) and Hindi (हिंदी) languages. He was highly influenced by Indian culture. Though Rahim was a Muslim, he followed Krishna. In his literature, apart from twists and turns of life, you will find strategy, devotional love, and pure love.

Rahim’s Literature:

Rahim holds an important place amongst writers of Bhakti Kaal (भक्ति-काल) of Hindi Literature.

Rahim’s most of the work was scattered and not all writings of Rahim have been traced but from various sources, his work was gathered by various people and published.

Famous work of Rahim are “Rahim Dohavali” or “Rahim Satsai” (रहीम दोहावली या सतसई), Barvey Nayika Bhed (बरवै नायिका भेद), , Sortha (सोरठा), Madnasthak (मदनाष्ठ्क), Rag Panchddhyai (राग पंचाध्यायी), Nagar Shobha (नगर शोभा), , Metre (छंद), Sentences (पद), Sawaiye (सवैये) and poetry in Sanskrit.

Rahim also translated Emperor Babur autobiography “Tujke Babur” (तुजके बाबरी) from Chagatai language to Persian language during 1589–90.

He also wrote in “Muasire Rahimi” (मआसिरे रहीमी) and “Aaine Akbari” (आइने अकबरी) with the name of Khan-Khaana and Rahim.

Two of his books on astrology – Khet Kotuk Jatkam (खेट कौतुक जातकम) and Dwawishd Yogavali – are still in use as references by astrologers today.

Rahim’s Contemporaries: Bhakti Kaal (c. 1375 to 1700)

1.   Tulsidas (1534-1623), Tulsidas was highly inspired by Rahim “Barvey” (बरवै) and wrote Ramanaya.

2.   Raskhan (1548- 1628)

3.   Malik Muhammad Jayasi (1477– 1542)

4.   Surdas (1478–1483 to 1561–1584)

5.   Guru Nanak (15 April 1469 – 22 September 1539)

6.   Keshav Pandit (Unknown – 1690)