Hamida Banu Begum, born in 1527, was the wife of the Mughal Emperor Humayun and the mother of the great Emperor Akbar. Her legacy is often overshadowed by the achievements of her illustrious son, but her role in shaping the destiny of the Mughal empire should not be underestimated. In this article, we pay tribute to the remarkable woman who played a pivotal role in one of the most significant dynasties in Indian history.

Early Life and Marriage

Hamida Banu was born in 1527 in Persia, in what is now modern-day Iran. She belonged to a noble Persian family, and her father, Sheikh Ali Akbar Jami, was a poet and an important official in the court of the Safavid Empire. Hamida Banu’s beauty, intelligence, and grace caught the attention of Emperor Humayun during his exile in Persia. Impressed by her virtues, Humayun proposed marriage to Hamida Banu, and they were married in 1541.

Role in Humayun’s Life

Hamida Banu played a crucial role in Emperor Humayun’s life, especially during his turbulent period of exile. When Humayun lost his empire to Sher Shah Suri and was forced to seek refuge in Persia, it was Hamida Banu who provided him with unwavering support and encouragement. She stood by him through his hardships and never wavered in her loyalty to him.

Mother of Akbar

Hamida Banu’s most enduring legacy is her son, Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar, who would go on to become one of the greatest emperors in Indian history. Akbar was born in 1542, and Hamida Banu played a significant role in his upbringing and education. She instilled in him the values of tolerance, justice, and secularism that would define his reign.

Influence on Akbar’s Reign

After Humayun’s death in 1556, Akbar ascended to the throne at the age of just 13. Hamida Banu played an instrumental role in guiding her son during the formative years of his reign. She advised him on matters of statecraft, diplomacy, and governance, helping him navigate the complex politics of the Mughal court.

Architectural Legacy

Hamida Banu was also known for her patronage of the arts and architecture. She commissioned several significant buildings, including the Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The exquisite design and grandeur of the tomb stand as a testament to her refined taste and aesthetic sensibilities.

Later Life and Death

Hamida Banu lived to see her son establish himself as a great emperor and consolidate the Mughal empire. She passed away in 1604, leaving behind a legacy that would endure for centuries to come. Her contributions to the Mughal dynasty and her influence on Akbar’s reign cannot be overstated.


In conclusion, Hamida Banu Begum was a remarkable woman who played a significant role in shaping the history of the Mughal empire. Her intelligence, grace, and unwavering support were instrumental in the success of her husband and son. As we remember the legacy of Hamida Banu, let us not forget the important role that women have played in history, often behind the scenes but with enduring impact.


  1. What was Hamida Banu’s relationship with Emperor Humayun?
    Hamida Banu was Emperor Humayun’s wife. They were married in 1541, and she provided him with crucial support during his period of exile.

  2. What was Hamida Banu’s influence on Emperor Akbar?
    Hamida Banu played an important role in shaping Emperor Akbar’s values and upbringing. She instilled in him the principles of tolerance, justice, and secularism.

  3. What is Hamida Banu’s architectural legacy?
    Hamida Banu was known for her patronage of the arts and architecture. She commissioned significant buildings, including the Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi.

  4. When did Hamida Banu pass away?
    Hamida Banu passed away in 1604, having seen her son Akbar establish himself as a great emperor.

  5. What is Hamida Banu’s enduring legacy?
    Hamida Banu’s enduring legacy lies in her contributions to the Mughal dynasty and her influence on the reign of Emperor Akbar.

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