Raheem (Abdur Rahim Khan-e-Khana)

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.


Abdur Rahîm Khân-é-Khânâñ


A) The text

i) Speaking Tree/ The Times of India A Mughal who was a devotee of Lord Krishna

ii) Poem Hunter

The two articles are almost identical.

B) All complete verses are from

i) Achhi Khabar/ Vijaya Sati.

ii) Real Story

iii) Bharat Darshan

Ancestry and early life


Abdul Rahim was born in Lahore (now in Pakistan) on 14th Çafar 964 to the daughter of Jamal Khan of Mewat.


Khanzadah, or "the son of a Khan" is precisely the Musalman equivalent to the Hindu Rajput or "son of a Raja ". —From Punjab Castes by Denzil Ibbetson

Short biography

Khanzada Mirza Khan Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana, also known as Rahim, is a renowned composer during the time of Mughal emperor Akbar. He was one of the main nine ministers (Dewan) in his court, also known as the Navaratnas. Rahim is famous for his Hindi couplets and his books on Astrology. The village of Khankhana, is named after him, which is located in the Nawanshahr district of the state of Punjab, India.


Rahim was son of Bairam Khan, Akbar’s trusted caretaker, who had Turkic ancestry. When Humayun returned to India, from his exile, he asked the nobles to forge matrimonial alliances with various zamindars and feudal lords, across the nation. While Humayun himself married the elder daughter of Jamal Khan of Mewat (present Mewat district of Haryana), he asked Bairam Khan to marry the younger daughter.

Gazetteer of Ulwur states

Soon after Babar's death, his successor, Humayun, was in 1513 supplanted by the Pathan Sher Shah Suri, who, in A.D. 1545, was followed by Islam Shah. During the reign of the latter a battle was fought and lost by the Emperor's troops at Firozpur, in Mewat, on which, however, Islam Shah did not loose his hold. Adil Shah, the third of the Pathan interlopers, who succeeded in A.D. 1552, had to contend for the empire with the returned Humayun.

The matrimonial alliance

In these struggles for the restoration of Babar's dynasty Khanzadas apparently do not figure at all. Humayun seems to have conciliated them by marrying the elder daughter of Jamal Khan, nephew of Babar's opponent, Hasan Khan, and by causing his great minister, Bairam Khan, to marry a younger daughter of the same Mewatti.

The maternal lineage

His maternal lineage goes to Lord Krishna Khanzadahs, the royal family of Muslim Jadon (also spelt as Jadaun) Rajputs, accepted Islam on their association with the Sufi saints. Khanzadah, the Persian form of the Rajputana word 'Rajput', is the title of the great representatives of the ancient Jadubansi royal Rajput family, descendants of Krishna and therefore of Lunar Dynasty. They are the Mewatti Chiefs of the Persian historians, who were the representatives of the ancient Lords of Mewat.

Death of Bairam Khan

After Bairam Khan was murdered in Patan, Gujarat, his first wife and young Rahim were brought safely to Ahmedabad, from they brought to Delhi and presented to the royal courts of Akbar, who gave him the title of 'Mirza Khan', and subsequently married him to Mah Banu, sister of Mirza Aziz Kokah, son of Ataga Khan, a noted Mughal noble.

Stepson of Akbar

Later, Bairam Khan's second wife, Salima Sultan Begum (Abdul's stepmother) married her cousin, Akbar, which made Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khan also his stepson, and later he became one of his nine prominent ministers, the Navaratnas, or nine gems.


The spark of devotion

Although a Muslim by birth, Rahim was a devotee of Lord Krishna and wrote poetry dedicated to him. He was also an avid Astrolger, and the writer of two important works in Astrology Khet Kautukam and Dwawishd Yogavali are still popular.

Trumping your situation

While living in the atmosphere of continuous struggle and political strategies, you end up being a poet and a devotee of Lord to top it. What a ride it would have been for young Rahim who saw so many twists to his life that a normal person would give up it all. But when God really wants to take of you, he makes you suffer but still keeps you interested!

Strange way of charity

He is well known for his strange manner of giving alms to the poor. He never looked at the person he was giving alms to, keeping his gaze downwards in all humility.

Recogintion by Tulsidas

When Tulsidas heard about Rahim's strange method of giving alms, he promptly wrote a couplet and sent it to Rahim these lines

The message

"Sir, Why give alms like this? Where'd you learn that?, Your hands are as high as your eyes are low".

The reply

Realizing that Tulsidas was well aware of the truth behind creation, and was merely giving him an opportunity to say a few lines in reply, he wrote to Tulsidas in all humility: "The Giver is someone else, giving day and night. But the world gives me the credit, so I lower my eyes."

The great poet

Without doubt, Rahim was a great poet and his legacy lives on. Though he faced an adverse environment, he still managed to carve his own niche. Now, we will look at some of his couplets that are extremely popular.

Those who have read Raheem only in Hindi (Devanagari) know him as the poet 'Raheem Daas.'

बड़े बड़ाई न करें, बड़े.

Bade Badai Na Kare, Bado Na Bole Bol |

Rahiman Heera Kab Kahe, Laakh Taka Mam Mol ||

The truly great never reveal their worth. Nor do those who are truly worthy of praise, praise themselves. Says Rahim, when does a diamond reveals its value

रहिमन देखि बड़ेन को, लघु न दीजिए डारि. जहां काम आवे सुई, कहा करे तरवारि.

Says Rahim, when you are introduced to an important/rich person, do not ignore or forget your poor friends. For if, for example, you need a needle to successfully complete a job, of what use is a sword!

रहिमन धागा प्रेम का, मत तोरो चटकाय. टूटे पे फिर ना जुरे, जुरे गाँठ परी जाय.

Says, Rahim, this mind (body) is like a sieve (winnowing fan), sort out your friends through it. Let the light (bad) ones and go (fly in the wind) and carefully keep the heavy (good) ones.

खीरा सिर ते काटि के, मलियत लौंन लगाय. रहिमन करुए मुखन को, चाहिए यही सजाय.

To cure a bitter cucumber,we cut its head off and rub in salt. Says Rahim to cure a bitter mouth we should apply the same remedy.

जो रहीम उत्तम प्रकृति, का करी सकत कुसंग. चन्दन विष व्यापे नहीं, लिपटे रहत भुजंग.

Says Rahim, How will evil corrupt, he who has an excellent character? After all does the sandalwood become poisonous by having snakes lie around its trunk?

कही रहीम सम्पति सगे,.

Says Rahim, people will find many many ways to be related to fortune. But only he is a true friend, who stands by you in misfortune.

रहिमन वे नर मर गये, जे कछु माँगन जाहि। उनते पहिले वे मुये, जिन मुख निकसत नाहि॥

Says Rahim, he who has to beg is no longer a man. But those who refuse were never men to begin with."

बिगरी बात बने नहीं, लाख करो किन कोय. रहिमन फाटे दूध को, मथे न माखन होय.

People should be careful about how they behave with others. Once things go right, tens of thousands of efforts cannot set them right. Just as once milk goes bad and sours, butter cannot be extracted from it.

जो रहीम उत्तम प्रकृति, का करी सकत कुसंग. चन्दन विष व्यापे नहीं, लिपटे रहत भुजंग.

People of the highest character cannot be spoilt by bad company. Just as no matter how long poisonous snakes wrap themselves around a sandalwood tree, their poison never seeps into the wood of the tree.

रूठे सुजन मनाइए, जो रूठे सौ बार. रहिमन फिरि फिरि पोइए, टूटे मुक्ता हार.

Go, mollify and patch up with your estranged beloved even if the loved one gets angry with you a hundred times. Every time a pearl necklace breaks string the pearls back into the necklace.

जो बड़ेन को लघु कहें, नहीं रहीम घटी जाहिं. गिरधर मुरलीधर कहें, कछु दुःख मानत नाहिं.

The great do not lose their greatness merely because someone says that they are inferior. Giridhar Krishn (He who carries a mountain on his fingertip) does not become less divine if someone calls Him Murlidhar (He who carries a flute). (Both are names of Sri Krishn)

जैसी परे सो सहि रहे, कहि रहीम यह देह. धरती ही पर परत है, सीत घाम औ मेह.

We humans should learn to bear all the pains that are inflicted on the body. After all, the earth has learnt to cope with the winter’s cold, the sun’s heat and the monsoon rains that hit it.

दोनों रहिमन एक से, जों लों बोलत नाहिं. जान परत हैं काक पिक, रितु बसंत के माहिं.

The crow and the nightingale are both of the same colour. You cannot tell one from the other till they speak. However, when the season turns to spring (and the nightingale begins to sing) you can tell which is the crow and which the nightingale.

रहिमन अंसुवा नयन ढरि, जिय दुःख प्रगट करेइ, जाहि निकारौ गेह ते, कस न भेद कहि देइ.

Tears that flow out of the eyes betray the sorrow that dwells in the heart. He who is cast away from a home just might betray the secrets of that home.

रहिमन निज मन की बिथा, मन ही राखो गोय. सुनी इठलैहैं लोग सब, बांटी न लेंहैं कोय.

The sorrows of the heart should be kept hidden within the heart. When people hear your woes they might frolic in them (your sorrows) but no one ever shares them (your sorrows).

पावस देखि रहीम मन, कोइल साधे मौन. अब दादुर वक्ता भए, हमको पूछे कौन.

When the monsoon rains arrive, Rahim’s heart, like the nightingale, clams up, it stops speaking. Now is the time for frogs to croak, no one is going to listen to us. (I.e There are times when it is best for people of virtue to shut up. Those are times when worthless people alone will be able to find an audience.)

रहिमन विपदा हू भली, जो थोरे दिन होय. हित अनहित या जगत में, जान परत सब कोय.

Rahim says: Spells of bad luck are good if they last only a few days. It is only when you are going through a bad phase that you get to know who is your well-wisher and who wishes you ill.

वे रहीम नर धन्य हैं, पर उपकारी अंग. बांटन वारे को लगे, ज्यों मेंहदी को रंग.

Rahim says: People whose bodies [precisely: whose organs {eyes, hands, tongues}] do good deeds for other people are blessed. The colour of henna sticks on the [hands and arms of] those who paint henna tattoos on others. Similarly goodness sticks on the selves of those who give charity to others [literally: those who donate what they have; those who distribute their possessions].

समय पाय फल होत है, समय पाय झरी जात. सदा रहे नहिं एक सी, का रहीम पछितात.

Trees bear fruit only during the season when fruit is borne, just as they shed leaves when it is time to shed leaves. Times do not always remain the same. (I.e. Fortunes do not always remain the same.) Therefore, says Rahim, it is pointless to grieve when times are bad.

Some famous couplets

रहिमन देखि बड़ेन को, लघु न दीजिए डारि। जहां काम आवे सुई, कहा करे तरवारि।|

रहिमन थोरे दिनन को, कौन करे मुहँ स्याह । नहीं छलन को परतिया, नहीं कारन को ब्याह ।|

गुन ते लेत रहीम जन, सलिल कूप ते काढि। कूपहु ते कहूँ होत है, मन काहू को बाढी ।

रहिमन मनहि लगाईं कै, देखि लेहू किन कोय। नर को बस करिबो कहा, नारायन बस होय।|

ओछे को सतसंग, रहिमन तजहु अंगार ज्यों। तातो जारै अंग, सीरे पै कारो लगै।।

एक उदर दो चोंच है, पंछी एक कुरंड। कहि रहीम कैसे जिए, जुदे जुदे दो पिंड।

रहिमन जग की रीति मैं देख्खो रस ऊख में। ताहू में परतीति, जहां गांठ तहं रस नहीं।

कलवारी रस प्रेम कों, नैननि भरि भरि लेति। जोबन मद भांति फिरै, छाती छुवन न देति।।

कबहू मुख रूखौ किए, कहै जीभ की बात। वाको करुओ वचन सुनि, मुख मीठो ह्वौ जात।।

रहिमन मोम तुरंग चढ़ि, चलिबो पावक मांहि। प्रेम पंथ ऐसो कठिन, सब कोउ निबहत नांहि।।

रहिमन याचकता गहे, बड़े छोट है जात। नारायण हू को भयो, बावन आंगुर गात।।

रहिमन वित्त अधर्म को, जरत न लागै बार। चोरी करि होरी रची, भई तनिक में छार।।

समय लाभ सम लाभ नहिं, समय चूक सम चूक। चतुरन चित रहिमन लगी, समय चूक की हूक।।

चाह गई चिंता मिटी, मनुआ बेपरवाह। जिनको कछु न चाहिए, वे साहन के साह।।

रहिमन पानी राखिये, बिन पानी सब सून। पानी गये न ऊबरे, मोती, मानुष, चून॥

बड़ा हुआ तो क्या हुआ, जैसे पेड़ खजूर। पंथी को छाया नहीं, फल लागे अति दूर॥

तरुवर फल नहिं खात है, सरवर पियहि न पान। कहि रहीम पर काज हित, संपति सँचहि सुजान॥

माली आवत देख के, कलियन करे पुकारि। फूले फूले चुनि लिये, कालि हमारी बारि॥

गरज आपनी आप सों रहिमन कहीं न जाया। जैसे कुल की कुल वधू पर घर जात लजाया॥

एकै साधे सब सधै, सब साधे सब जाय। रहिमन मूलहिं सींचिबो, फूलै फलै अगाय॥

आब गई आदर गया, नैनन गया सनेहि। ये तीनों तब ही गये, जबहि कहा कछु देहि॥

अब रहीम मुसकिल परी, गाढ़े दोऊ काम। सांचे से तो जग नहीं, झूठे मिलैं न राम॥

चाह गई चिंता मिटी, मनुआ बेपरवाह। जिनको कछु नहि चाहिये, वे साहन के साह॥

रहिमन चुप हो बैठिये, देखि दिनन के फेर।जब नीके दिन आइहैं, बनत न लगिहैं देर॥

रहिमह ओछे नरन सो, बैर भली ना प्रीत। काटे चाटे स्वान के, दोउ भाँति विपरीत॥

देनहार कोउ और है, भेजत सो दिन लोग भरम हम पै धरैं, याते नीचे नैन॥

खैर, खून, खाँसी, खुसी, बैर, प्रीति, मदपान। रहिमन दाबे न दबै, जानत सकल जहान॥

जे गरीब सों हित करै, धनि रहीम वे लोग। कहा सुदामा बापुरो, कृष्ण मिताई जोग॥

मन मोती अरु दूध रस, इनकी सहज सुभाय। फट जाये तो ना मिले, कोटिन करो उपाय॥

छमा बड़न को चाहिये, छोटन को उत्पात। कह ‘रहीम’ हरि का घट्यौ, जो भृगु मारी लात॥

रहिमन देख बड़ेन को, लघु न दीजिये डारि। जहाँ काम आवै सुई, कहा करै तलवारि॥

बानी ऐसी बोलिये, मन का आपा खोय। औरन को सीतल करै, आपहु सीतल होय॥

Major works

Apart from writing various dohas, Rahim translated Babar's memoirs, Baburnama from Chagatai language to Persian language, which was completed in AH 998 (1589–90). His command of Sanskrit was very good.[9] He wrote two books on astrology, Kheta Kautukama and Dwawishd Yogavali.

Tomb of Abdur Rahim Khankhana

His tomb is situated in Nizamuddin East on the Mathura road ahead of Humayun's Tomb in New Delhi, it was built by him for his wife in 1598, and later he was himself buried in it in 1627. Later, in 1753-4, marble and sandstone from this tomb was used for the making of Safdarjung's Tomb, also in New Delhi.

Where the poet rests

Five rupee ticket is required to enter. People can be seen jogging in the morning. These people have special passes and do not have to give rupee five entrance. All the rooms on Ground floor are sealed by brick and mortar and there is flight of stairs which goes downwards but has been shut using metal doors which bear a lock with Archeological survey seal.

He rests in peace

A flight of stairs at opposite end of entrance takes you to the first floor of the tomb which consists of two small raised platforms. If you move towards the balcony on the first floor there is a small flower shaped depression which may have house water lily. There is heavy desecration on walls with people scratching their names on it. There is another flight of stairs which seems to lead upward but is closed.

See also

Delhi: Nizam-ud-din basti and shrine

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