1. The image is also held by the British Library, It appeared in J. T. Wheeler's The History of the Imperial Assemblage at Delhi (London, 1877) and has been frequently reproduced. In a cropped version, it served Shah Jahan as her carte de visite; see (accessed November 5, 2010). The image was also the model for a collectible card in cigarette packets, along with a card picturing her mother, marketed from New York State by W. S. Kimball and Co. as part of their 1889 series “Savage and Semi‐Barbarous Chiefs.” The series featured notables, including Native American chiefs, within the geographic area covered by Anglo‐American expansion, a framework that suggests striking comparative dimensions for analyzing Indian princely states. The cards are still collected; see

2. For an anthropological eye on British honors and ceremonies in India, see the classic essay by B. S. Cohn, “Representing Authority in Victorian India,” in Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds., The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge, 1983), 165–209. Note his attention to the reinvention of Mughal practices in relation to Bhopal's similar efforts, discussed below, as well as his discussion of the imperial assemblage of 1877 in Delhi, which Shah Jahan Begum attended.

3. The “Shoe Question” was two‐sided. Would British officers refuse to remove their shoes in the presence of Indian rulers (and be provided with chairs)? Henry Durand and Richard Meade, serving as officials posted in Central India, for example, refused to follow “native” protocol. On the other hand, would Indians remove their shoes in official British settings? According to Meade's biographer, the issue was formally resolved by Sir John Lawrence (viceroy 1864–1869) in favor of permitting Indians to keep on English‐style dress shoes. Thomas Henry Thornton, General Sir Richard Meade and the Feudatory States of Central and Southern India: A Record of Forty‐Three Years' Service as Soldier, Political Officer and Administrator (London, 1898), 120–121.

4. Amin Jaffer analyzes her costume as “cultural and symbolic cross dressing”; Jaffer, “Dressed for Success: Indian Princes and Western Symbols of Power,” in Rosie Llewellyn‐Jones, ed., Portraits in Princely India, 1700–1947 (Mumbai, 2008), 74. See also Barbara N. Ramusack, “Imperial Politicians and Bejewelled Barons: Changing Representations of Indian Princes after 1858,” ibid., 124–133.

5. The “artist and lithographer” was Caro; the text is signed “Buck.” The text explicitly argues that the decline in women's roles in India came with Muslim rule. It seems that the columnist was oblivious of the fact that the Bhopali rulers were Muslim. For “racial malice” as the “cutting edge” of humor in The Indian Charivari, see Partha Mitter, Art and Nationalism in Colonial India, 1850–1922: Occidental Orientations (Cambridge, 1994), especially 145–150. Thanks to Sumathi Ramaswamy, who first called my attention to the image, and to Sue Naquin, Daniel Rogers, and other participants in a seminar at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University for their imaginative “brainstorming” about these two images.

6. On these disproportionate fears of Muslims, see Thomas R. Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj (Cambridge, 1994), 143–144.

7. For historical background on the Ottomans in Indian Muslim thought and networks, see M. Naeem Qureshi, “Pan‐Islam in the Indian Environment,” in Qureshi, Pan‐Islam in British Indian Politics: A Study of the Khilafat Movement, 1918–1924 (Leiden, 1999), 9–87. For the “reinvention” of a vision of a transnational Muslim identity after ca. 1880, see Cemil Aydin, “The Question of Orientalism in PanIslamic Thought: The Origins, Content and Legacy of Transnational Muslim Identities,” in Sucheta Mazumdar, Vasant Kaiwar, and Thierry Labica, eds., From Orientalism to Postcolonialism: Asia, Europe and the Lineages of Difference (London, 2009), 115–136.

8. David Lelyveld, Aligarh's First Generation: Muslim Solidarity in British India (Princeton, N.J., 1998).

9. It was only British hegemony that allowed females to serve as regent, let along chief, among these Pathans. Shah Jahan Begum's grandmother, known as Nawab Quddsiyya Begum, was regent for her daughter, Nawab Sikandar Begum, from 1819 to 1835 (when Sikandar married and her husband, Nawab Jahangir, became the ruler); Sikandar Begum was regent for Nawab Shah Jahan Begum from 1844 to 1859 and then nawab in her own right until Shah Jahan succeeded her in 1868; Sultan Jahan Begum, Shah Jahan's daughter, followed her mother, 1901–1926. No other women in princely India ruled in their own right. For a general history of princely Bhopal, see Shaharyar M. Khan, The Begums of Bhopal: A Dynasty of Women Rulers in Raj India (London, 2000).

10. The phrase is from Francis G. Hutchins, The Illusion of Permanence: British Imperialism in India (Princeton, N.J., 1967).

11. A “munshi” or “moonshee” was a writer, clerk, secretary, or teacher of languages, especially Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, in British India. “Qanauji” identified a person's place of origin as Qanauj, located in the historic region of Awadh, later part of the United Provinces of British India (known after 1947 as Uttar Pradesh).

12. Like the rulers, he was a “Pathan” (“Pashtun”) of the Orakzai “tribe,” but the rulers were of the mirazi khel or “clan”; the husband was mishti khel. For Sikandar's choice, see Sultan Jahan Begam, “Tazkira‐i‐Baqi”: A Short Biography of Umrao Dulah, Nawab Baqi Mohammad Khan Sahib Bahadur, Nasrat Jang, trans. Captain Nawabzada Rashiduzzafar Khan (Calcutta, 1929), 26.

13. Louis Rousselet, India and Its Native Princes: Travels in Central India and in the Presidencies of Bombay and Bengal, carefully revised and edited by Lieut.‐Col. Buckle (New York, 1876), 441–442.

14. Ibid., 424. Rousselet also included in his account a drawing of Sikandar bestowing honors on him, each attired in similar costume.

15. For an introduction to the remarkable photography of John Waterford and reproductions of his extensive photography of the Bhopal court, see John Falconer, ed., The Waterhouse Albums: Central Indian Provinces (New Delhi, 2009). Nine of Waterford's Bhopal photographs are available at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery, from J. Forbes Watson and John William Kaye, The People of India: A Series of Photographic Illustrations, with Descriptive Letterpress, of the Races and Tribes of Hindustan 8 vols. (London, 1865–1878), vol. 7, (accessed November 22, 2010).

16. The painting hangs in the Madhya Pradesh State Museum at Bhopal, with no label other than the name of its principal subject. I have no information on its date or the artist.

17. On colonial timekeeping, see Manu Goswami, Producing India: From Colonial Economy to National Space (Chicago, 2004).

18. On this subject, see the many publications of Partha Chatterjee and Tanika Sarkar. See also Kumkum Sangari, Politics of the Possible: Essays on Gender, History, Narratives, Colonial English (Delhi, 1999), for comparisons of Urdu and Hindi literary works of the late nineteenth century that show the shared program of social reform in relation to women across religious boundaries.

19. In 1865 the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act made the custom legal. Tanika Sarkar has argued the importance of the act for changing discourse, if not practice. Sarkar, “Wicked Widows: Law and Faith in Nineteenth‐Century Public Sphere Debates,” in Anindita Ghosh, ed., Behind the Veil: Resistance, Women and the Everyday in Colonial South Asia (Basingstoke, 2007), 83–115.

20. Shah Jahan Begam, Diwan‐i‐Shirin (Kanpur, 1871/1872), 186. Annemarie Schimmel points out that this takhallus or pen name was shared by the thirteenth‐century Sultanate woman ruler Raziyya Sultan, who ruled briefly in Delhi (1236–1240). Schimmel, “A Nineteenth Century Anthology of Poetesses,” in Milton Israel and N. K. Wagle, eds., Islamic Society and Culture: Essays in Honour of Professor Aziz Ahmad (Delhi, 1983), 51–58. In the verse, shiiriin can either modify “lips” or provide a second name for Shah Jahan. In at least one version, the legendary Shiiriin chose as beloved a humble stonecutter instead of a king, a story that may have resonated with Shah Jahan's choice of the name.

21. It is notable that in this case (as was true for her first marriage and her daughter's marriage), Shah Jahan Begum retained the unilateral right to divorce. Agent to the Governor‐General [hereafter AGG] to Secretary, September 24, 1885, British Library, Asia, Pacific and Africa Collection [hereafter BL], Foreign Department Secret Internal [hereafter FOR SEC I], Proceedings, July 1886, “Seditious writings of Nawab Sadik Hassan, Consort of the Begum of Bhopal; maladminstration of the State; withdrawal of Sadik Hassan's title and salute; and appointment of an English Minister,” R/1/1/33.

22. On this sociology, see Theodore P. Wright, Jr., “The Changing Role of the Sadat in India and Pakistan,” Oriente Moderno 79, no. 2 (1999): 649–659. By mentioning her spouse's sayyid status, Shah Jahan implicitly hedges the new reformed ideal of status based on achievement, not birth.

23. In the abjad system, each consonant of the Arabic alphabet is assigned a number; poets shape verses for specific occasions using words whose letters add up to the date of the event.

24. See the Astroplot chart at (accessed December 1, 2010); see also the explanations in “New Moon,” (accessed November 21, 2010).

25. In her prose account of the marriage, Shah Jahan justified remarrying on the grounds that British officials had suggested that she needed a helpmeet. She justified her specific choice of Siddiq Hasan in terms of his education, his long service to the state, and his distinguished forebears, among them a high official in Hyderabad state service. H. H. the Nawab Shahjahan, Begam of Bhopal, The Táj‐ul Ikbál Tárikh Bhopal; or, The History of Bhopal, trans. H. C. Barstow (Calcutta, 1876), 149–151.

26. Perhaps because of this opposition, the marriage contract was signed outside the city, in the course of an administrative tour to the districts. See the biography written by Siddiq Hasan's son ˁAli Hasan Khan, Maˀasir‐i‐siddiqi: Sirat walajahi (Lucknow, 1924), pt. 2, 84–85.

27. Key members of the oppositional faction were Shah Jahan's long‐lived grandmother and other of her natal kin, as well as her daughter's husband and his large family, and the sons of her first husband.

28. The standard English‐language biography of him is Saeedullah, The Life and Works of Muhammad Siddiq Hasan Khan, Nawab of Bhopal, 1248–1307 (1832–1890) (Lahore, 1973).

29. The phrase is modeled on Francesca Orsini's usage; Orsini, The Hindi Public Sphere, 1920–1940: Language and Literature in the Age of Nationalism (New Delhi, 2002). On public debates, see Barbara Daly Metcalf, Islamic Revival in British India: Deoband, 1860–1900 (Princeton, N.J., 1982), chap. 6; and for a general introduction to the Ahl‐i Hadith, ibid., 264–296. For documentation of the extent to which print exchanges reached beyond major sites to small towns, see S. Akbar Zaidi, “Contested Identities and the Muslim Qaum in Northern India, c. 1860–1900” (doctoral diss., Churchill College, Cambridge University, 2009). See Justin Jones, “The Local Experiences of Reformist Islam in a ‘Muslim’ Town in Colonial India: The Case of Amroha,” Modern Asian Studies 43, no. 4 (2009): 871–908, and elsewhere, for his delineation of controversy in establishing new bases of authority for the ˁulama in colonial India.

30. For the importance of print to Islamic reform, see Francis Robinson, “Islam and the Impact of Print in South Asia,” in Robinson, Islam and Muslim History in South Asia (New Delhi, 2002), 66–104.

31. Hanafis, who follow one of the four classic “law schools” (like the Arab Hanbalis, mentioned below), called the Ahl‐i Hadith ghair moqallid, “non‐followers,” those who eschewed taqlid.

32. The modernists, including Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817–1898), also favored direct engagement with sacred texts, as did the prophetic Ahmadiyya sect, which arose in the late nineteenth century. Thus a shared position on taqlid offered many different possible outcomes. On the Ahmadis, see Yohanan Friedmann, Prophecy Continuous: Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and Its Medieval Background (Berkeley, Calif., 1989); on Sayyid Ahmad's religious thought, see Christian W. Troll, Sayyid Ahmad Khan: A Reinterpretation of Muslim Theology (New Delhi, 1978).

33. The definitive English‐language study of Shawkani is Bernard Haykel, Revival and Reform in Islam: The Legacy of Muhammad al‐Shawkani (Cambridge, 2003). For an insightful overview of Shawkani in the context of eighteenth‐century reform, including Delhi‐based reform, see Ahmad Dallal, “The Origins and Objectives of Islamic Revivalist Thought, 1750–1850,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 113, no. 3 (1993): 341–359. See also Dallal, “Appropriating the Past: Twentieth‐Century Reconstruction of Pre‐Modern Islamic Thought,” Islamic Law and Society 7, no. 1 (2000): 325–358, for an intriguing interpretation of the way a major Egyptian thinker of the twentieth century, Rashid Rida, transformed Shawkani's thought in the context of colonialism. Haykel sees Rida and Siddiq Hasan as the two most prominent modern thinkers to engage with Shawkani; they are also the most important figures who spread his works. Haykel, Revival and Reform in Islam, 234.

34. See Alan M. Guenther, “A Colonial Court Defines a Muslim,” in Barbara D. Metcalf, ed., Islam in South Asia in Practice (Princeton, N.J., 2009), 293–304, for excerpts and comments on an 1885 High Court case resolving a dispute over Ahl‐i Hadith worshipers' access to a mosque; sacred texts were adduced in a matter that came to the court as an issue of law and order.

35. Government surveillance identified individual Ahl‐i Hadith followers linked to Siddiq Hasan, as well as communities, even some fifty washermen and tailors in Calcutta who were drawn to a former regimental munshi in the British Army who had turned to disseminating Ahl‐i Hadith teachings. See, for example, a memorandum from Deputy Commissioner of Police, Calcutta, to Secretary, Foreign Department, February 10, 1881, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, July 1886, “Compilation and circulation of seditious works by Nawab Sadik Hassan, Consort of the Begam of Bhopal,” R/1/1/32. A second example of participation in Ahl‐i Hadith teachings comes from an English‐language pamphlet produced in Lahore by followers representing a more elite social background, published as “Affairs in Bhopal: A Defence of the Nawab Consort” (Bombay, 1887). It was also printed in their own journal, Ishaat‐us‐Sunnat, and as a supplement to a Lahore journal, Advocate of India.

36. ˁAbd al‐Wahhab, alone of the great eighteenth‐century reformist thinkers, allied with an oppressive regime whose program he furthered and whose power he used energetically to his own ends. Dallal, “The Origins and Objectives of Islamic Revivalist Thought.”

37. Harlan O. Pearson provides background and bibliography on this movement. Pearson, Islamic Reform and Revival in Nineteenth‐Century India: The Tariqah‐i Muhammadiyah (New Delhi, 2008). I provide a brief analysis and a translated excerpt of the movement's most influential document, the Taqwiyatul Iman, in Barbara D. Metcalf, “The Taqwiyyat al‐Iman (Support of the Faith) by Shah Ismaˁil Shahid,” in Metcalf, Islam in South Asia in Practice, 201–211.

38. Griffin at one point amassed information on Siddiq Hasan's contacts from a local informant, the British consul in Jedda, police in Calcutta, the Resident at Hyderabad, and officials in Bombay and Madras. BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, August 1886, “Wahabi Agents despatched by Sadik Hassan, husband of the Begam of Bhopal, to the Soudan, Hodeida, Yemen, and Mecca,” R/1/1/40.

39. See Seema Alavi, “Fugitive Mullahs and Outlaw Fanatics,” Lecture at Royal Holloway Colleges, podcast,‐alavi‐fugitive‐mullahs‐and‐outlaw‐fanatics/ (accessed October 14, 2010). Rahmatullah Kairanawi, founder of a madrasa in Mecca, was one of the leading Indian intellectuals who sought refuge in the Hejaz. See Avril A. Powell, Muslims and Missionaries in Pre‐Mutiny India (Richmond, UK, 1993).

40. Shah Jahan's first husband, for example, had had a business with branches in Mecca, Medina, and Egypt offering credit lines and other financial services to pilgrims; it also dealt on a large scale in grain, cloth, and pearls. Sultan Jahan Begum, Tazkira‐i‐Baqi, 59.

41. Gayatri Sinha judges the Begums of Bhopal, and Shah Jahan in particular, as the foremost women patrons of architecture in the whole sweep of Indian history—not Chola queens, Mughal princesses, Awadhi begams, or the cathedral‐building Begum Samru. Sinha, “Women Artists in India: Practice and Patronage,” in Deborah Cherry and Janice Helland, eds., Local/Global: Women Artists in the Nineteenth Century (Aldershot, 2006), 73. It is worth noting that Shah Jahan Begum did not imagine herself as a “woman” but as a second Mughal Shah Jahan.

42. See the many negotiations carried out by Shah Jahan Begum for the financing and control of the railways in Charles U. Aitchison, comp., A Collection of Treaties, Engagements and Sanads Relating to India and Neighbouring Countries, vol. 4: The Treaties etc. Relating to the Central India Agency (Calcutta, 1933), 122–130.

43. Until the advent of British rule, women's names had been suggestive of beauty or adornment. It was in the wake of the first agreement with the British that a girl was named “Sikandar,” the Alexander the Great of Persianate tradition. She married her paternal cousin, who bore the name of the fourth Mughal, Jahangir, and their daughter bore the name of the fifth (r. 1628–1658), Shah Jahan (Begum). Islamic reform brought further change. Shah Jahan's grandchildren and beyond had the kinds of names she favored in her guide for women, names that were gender‐specific and indicative of submission to Allah—for example, the male Hamidullah (a praiser of Allah) or the female Abida (a worshiper). The guide opposed the kind of typical male Pathan names common in the dynasty that suggested Sufi‐like devotion to Muhammad—names such as Dost (friend) or Faiz (the grace) or Nazar (favorable regard) of Muhammad—and were seen to risk polytheism. See Shahjahan Begam, Tahzibun niswan wa tarbiyatul insan, ed. Maulana ˁAbdul Khaliq Quddusi (1883–1884; repr., Gujranwala, Pakistan, 1970), 46–50.

44. Catherine Asher, “The Architecture of Raja Man Singh: A Study of Sub‐Imperial Patronage,” in Barbara Stoler Miller, ed., The Powers of Art: Patronage in Indian Culture (New Delhi, 1992), 183–201.

45. For the princes as the first India‐wide social class, see Aya Ikegame, “Space of Kinship, Space of Empire: Marriage Strategies amongst the Mysore Royal Caste in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries,” Indian Economic and Social History Review 46, no. 3 (July–September 2009): 343–372.

46. The locus classicus for this view of the history of the Rajputs was produced by the Scot official James Tod. See Ramya Sreenivasan, The Many Lives of a Rajput Queen: Heroic Pasts in India, c. 1500–1900 (Seattle, 2007), for a study of how this view became a theme in nineteenth‐century nationalist fiction. See also, for the engagement with the colonialist image on the part of Rajputs themselves, Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, “The Political Modernization of an Indian Feudal Order: An Analysis of Rajput Adaptation in Rajasthan,” Journal of Social Issues 24, no. 4 (1968): 93–128.

47. Despite the tidy title of its English translation, the History was at once history, travelogue, memoir, and gazetteer, and thus an example of the “generic instability” or experimentation characteristic of vernacular writing of the era as languages such as Urdu took on new forms of prose writing. See Francesca Orsini, Print and Pleasure: Popular Literature and Entertaining Fictions in Colonial North India (New Delhi, 2009). For the claim on the Mughal past, see Hannah Archambault, “Shah Jahan Begum's Taj‐ul Iqbal in the Nineteenth Century: Laying the Foundations of Prosperity” (M.A. thesis, University of California, Berkeley, forthcoming).

48. For discussion of proper terminology for late Mughal architecture, see Chanchal Dadlani, “‘Twilight’ in Delhi? Architecture, Aesthetics, and Urbanism in the Late Mughal Empire” (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 2009). The architectural thesis of Manu P. Sobti provides drawings and discussion in remarkable detail of Shah Jahan's buildings and urban planning; Sobti, Urban Form and Space in the Islamic City: A Study of Morphology and Formal Structures in the City of Bhopal, Central India (Ahmedabad, 1993). Shah Jahan's achievement rested not only in the design of individual buildings but in an ability to use the city's sloping terrain to great effect, including a lavish use of gardens and elaborately engineered water features.

49. These buildings deserve extensive study, as does the historical context that has allowed their destruction, for example, the use of the Taj Mahal Palace for Sindhi refugees after Partition. Serge Santelli, the organizer of an Indo‐French project, “The Bhopal Workshop,” has said that the Taj Mahal is “one of the best palaces in the world.” “The ruins in Bhopal have no parallel … The locals seem obsessed with the idea of razing old structures.” Lamat R. Hasan, “Heard of the Taj Mahal in Bhopal?” PTI, November 27, 2006, (accessed November 5, 2010).

50. Its capacity is estimated at 175,000. The much smaller, exquisite Moti Masjid, completed in 1867, was also modeled on the great mosque of Delhi. “The Moti Masjid would be considered a grand monument for any period and in any country”; Rousselet, India and Its Native Princes, 452.

51. This transition from a primarily Sufi focus was in fact begun by her mother, whose prime minister and cherished adviser, Munshi Jamalud Din, was a disciple of Shawkani. Note Shah Jahan's reformist perspective on practices at the great shrine at Ajmer, one of several places she and her mother visited following the darbar in Allahabad in 1861: “There are many attendants at the tomb, and contrary to the true faith, they pray excessively to the departed, and disturb the saint's soul thereby.” Shahjahan, The Táj‐ul Ikbál Tárikh Bhopal, 95.

52. Schimmel, “A Nineteenth Century Anthology of Poetesses,” 57. See also note 37 above.

53. Shahjahan Begam, Sabeel‐Ur‐Rashad Lima Yahtaju Elaihil Ebad (Agra, 1884–1885).

54. Shahjahan Begam, Khizanatul lughat, 2 vols. (Bhopal, 1886–1887). English and Sanskrit terms were given in their respective scripts and also transliterated into the nastaliq conventionally used for Persian and Urdu.

55. In 1888, Shah Jahan Begum asked permission of the government to distribute the work to important libraries and other institutions throughout India. The secretary to the Board of Examiners in Calcutta offered reassurance that the book harbored nothing subversive, but he dismissed its scholarly value out of hand. AGG to Secretary, “Circulation to all important institutions throughout India of a dictionary compiled by Her Highness the Begum of Bhopal,” August 11, 1888, National Archives of India [hereafter NAI], Foreign Department, Internal‐B, September 1888.

56. Shahjahan Begam, Khizanatul lughat, 8–9. Francesca Orsini, a specialist in Hindi literature and a gifted translator, uses context‐specific terms to translate randi, but they still suggest the marginality and negative valence carried by the term. On one occasion she uses the phrase “mercenary women” coupled with badmash and gonad, and on another, “wench.” Orsini, Print and Pleasure, 222, 251. According to John T. Platts, “prostitute” is “the common signification in Urdu.” Platts, A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English (1884; repr., London, 1960), 600. Platts's dictionary treats Hindi and Urdu as basically one language with two scripts.

57. Shahjahan Begam, Tahzibun niswan wa tarbiyatul insan. For the primary role of men in nineteenth‐century social reform movements, see Gail Minault, Secluded Scholars: Women's Education and Muslim Social Reform in Colonial India (New Delhi, 1998).

58. The Bihishti Zewar of Maulana Ashraf 'Ali Thanawi, published in segments during the first decade of the twentieth century, is widely regarded as the most influential work dealing with Muslim women's behavior down to the present in South Asia. Of the Tahzibun niswan, Thanawi writes: “This is a very good book, but its legal points are not in accord with the law school of our Imam.” He has less confidence than Shah Jahan does in women's ability to manage their health. “In matters of medical treatment, you should not undertake a cure by looking at the book without asking a hakim.” He commends the book, however, for its overall counsels. Thanawi, Perfecting Women: Maulana Ashraf ˁAli Thanawi's “Bihishti Zewar,” trans., annotation, and introduction by Barbara D. Metcalf (Berkeley, Calif., 1990), 377.

59. Siddiq Hasan also wrote at least one tract on women. He emphasized seclusion and women's particular responsibility for ending contemporary deviation in ritual and life‐cycle practices. He also urged women's participation in public prayer. Interestingly, he seems to have expanded the circle of those with whom a woman need not practice purdah beyond the usual circle of close kin forbidden in marriage, including, for example, “her brothers‐in‐law and the cousins of her husband” when she was at home. See Claudia Preckel, “Combating Female Indian Muslims' Bad Manners and Superstitions: Hujaj al‐kirama by Siddiq Hasan Khan” (paper presented at the 5th Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies, Bethesda, Maryland, May 28–30, 2004).

60. The quotation continues: “In contrast, [to be on] a horse allows full control. Whatever direction you pull the reins, [you get] a turn. An elephant is in the control of the mahout.” Shahjahan Begam, Tahzibun niswan wa tarbiyatul insan, 128.

61. Robinson, Islam and Muslim History in South Asia, especially chaps. 3–5. See also Martin Riexinger, “How Favourable Is Puritan Islam to Modernity? A Study of the Ahl‐i Hadis in Late Nineteenth/Early Twentieth Century South Asia,” in Gwilym Beckerlegge, ed., Colonialism, Modernity, and Religious Identities: Religious Reform Movements in South Asia (New Delhi, 2008), 147–165.

62. General Henry Daly, the agent to the governor‐general preceding Lepel Griffin, expressed puzzlement at her decision, since at the time she married Siddiq Hasan, Shah Jahan Begum had pointed out “that living as she did outside the purdah, managing public affairs, the presence of a husband was necessary to save her from scandal.” Officiating AGG to Secretary, June 21, 1873, NAI, Foreign Political A, July 1873, No. 407.

63. “Shah Jahan Begam had a distinctly different approach to ruling—and, in fact, life in general—than her female predecessors … [She was] much more interested in the feminine pursuits of cooking, needlework and cleaning.” Siobhan Lambert‐Hurley attributes her seclusion to her “feminine demeanour”; Lambert‐Hurley, Muslim Women, Reform and Princely Patronage: Nawab Sultan Jahan Begam of Bhopal (London, 2006), 31. Khan says she was “besotted by one man who spun a web of charm and allurement”; The Begums of Bhopal, 120.

64. Mushirul Hasan, A Moral Reckoning: Muslim Intellectuals in Nineteenth‐Century Delhi (New Delhi, 2003). In Hasan's judgment, “a central ambiguity is clearly evident in [Nazir Ahmad's] concern for the emancipation of Muslim women and his defence of veiling or purdah.” He quotes Nazir Ahmad as saying that “the moral structure of our society rests on purdah,” even though he acknowledges that its customary practice in India exceeds Qurˀanic requirements (164–166).

65. Scott Kugle notes the limitations for such activities placed on “ordinary women” (126) and provides a study of a poet who may have been the first woman to compile an Urdu diwan, Mah Laqa Bai (d. 1824). She was a courtesan in Hyderabad whose erotic and spiritually charged poetry focused on devotion to the Shiˁi Imam ˁAli. See Kugle, “Courting ˁAli: Urdu Poetry, Shiˁi Piety and Courtesan Power in Hyderabad,” in Dennis Hermann and Fabrizio Speziale, eds., Muslim Cultures in the Indo‐Iranian World during the Early‐Modern and Modern Periods (Berlin, 2010), 125–166.

66. “Observance of parda by Nawab Shah Jehan Begum of Bhopal” [1873], NAI, Bhopal Agency, Vernacular File, Part IV, No. 317.

67. In her memo justifying purdah, she said that it was a rule, hukm, of all followers of Islam, the mazhab‐i ahl‐i islam. Ibid. See also HH the Begum to Political Agent, April 20, 1873, NAI, Foreign Political A, July 1873, No. 408.

68. Supplement to the Illustrated London News, February 5, 1876, 137. This was the most important visit made by any member of the royal family in the nineteenth century. Chandrika Kaul, “Monarchical Display and the Politics of Empire: Princes of Wales and India, 1870–1920s,” Twentieth Century British History 17, no. 4 (2006): 464–488.

69. According to W. H. Russell, one of the journalists in the entourage, “The Begum was very much at her ease, and chatted very pleasantly with the Prince, whilst her daughter engaged in conversation with Sir Bartle Frere.” Sir William Howard Russell, The Prince of Wales' Tour: A Diary in India (London, 1878), 321.

70. Government of India, Selections from the Records of the Government of India in the Foreign Department [hereafter SEL REC GOI], No. 289, Report on the Political Administration of the Central India Agency [hereafter Report on the Political Administration] for 1891–1892, by Political Agent M. J. Meade, 17.

71. In his letter of November 22, 1891, Lansdowne also noted that she conducted him everywhere, (gloved) hand in hand. Quoted in Khan, The Begums of Bhopal, 143. Landsdowne's comments recall Russell's in 1876 complaining of Shah Jahan's burqah that it “completely hid features which reports says are not at all deserving of such strict concealment, though her Highness is nearly forty.” Russell, The Prince of Wales' Tour, 321.

72. C. W. Walton, “Sir Lepel Henry Griffin,” in Sir Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of National Biography: Second Supplement (New York, 1912). Thus in 1865 Griffin published biographical accounts of leading families in The Punjab Chiefs, followed by a study of the precolonial inheritance patterns of the Sikhs (1869), and subsequently a survey of The Rajas of the Punjab (1870).

73. See Lepel Griffin, “The Place of the Bengali in Politics,” Fortnightly Review, new ser., 51 (January–June 1892): 811–819, for an argument that they merit no place at all. For Leitner, see “G. W. Leitner Dead: An Orientalist and Linguist of Great Attainments,” New York Times, March 25, 1899.

74. In one scene, a concerned married woman alerts her young cousin Maud that Desvoeux (the Griffin figure) “is the most brilliant of all the young civilians … and is to do great things,” but to Maud's query of whether he is nice, she ventures that “he is more curious than nice.” H. S. Cunningham, Chronicles of Dustypore: A Tale of Modern Anglo‐Indian Society, 8th ed. (London, 1877), 50. For the complexity of the image of the civilian competition wallah as a “middle‐class hero,” including a discussion of this novel, see Sukanya Banerjee, Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late‐Victorian Empire (Durham, N.C., 2010), especially chap. 4.

75. Thus Lepel Griffin: “They neither ride, nor shoot, nor dance nor play cricket, and prefer the companionship of their books to the attraction of Indian society.” Griffin, “The Indian Civil Service Examinations,” Fortnightly Review 23 (April 1875): 522–536. Quoted in David Gilmour, The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj (New York, 2006), 63.

76. “The whole of the Punjab is astir … The light of battle is now in his eye; he is in uniform; a political sword hangs from his divine waist; a looking glass poses itself before him.” It was not his skills but his style that the satirist lit into. George R. Aberigh‐Mackay, “The Gryphon's Anabasis,” first printed in the Bombay Gazette, March 29, 1880. Reprinted in Aberigh‐Mackay, Twenty‐One Days in India; or, The Tour of Sir Ali Baba K.C.B. and the Teapot Series (London, 1910), 187–190.

77. The “governor‐general,” based in these years in Calcutta and Simla, was the head of the British administration in India. He also bore the title of “viceroy,” used after 1858 particularly in relation to the princes. Central India also included the major states of Indore and Gwalior as well as many minor states, among them Dewas Senior, later made famous by E. M. Forster's The Hill of Devi (1953), an account based on his life as private secretary to the raja in 1921 and an earlier visit in 1912–1913.

78. As the previous AGG, Sir Henry Daly, wrote, “He has little physical power or courage, and is quiet in demeanour.” BL, FOR SEC I, AGG to Secretary, January 31, 1881, “Compilation and circulation of seditious works by Nawab Sadik Hassan,” R/1/1/32.

79. Abida Sultaan records her grandmother, Sultan Jahan Begum, showing her scars from his beating, and attributing the great cruelty of her son Ubaidullah to his father's influence. See Sultaan, Memoirs of a Rebel Princess (New Delhi, 2005), 36, 38, 39, 83.

80. Daly reported to Calcutta that “Sadik Hussain is a Wahabee, so was the Secunder Begum, so is Syud Ahmed … He is known to be something of a fanatic, but the same is known of the chief men in all Mahomedan capitals.” Since Sayyid Ahmad Khan, discussed below, was the Westernizing loyalist, and Sikandar Begum the hero of the Mutiny, clearly doctrine did not determine politics. AGG to Secretary, January 20, 1881, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, July 1886, “Compilation and circulation of seditious works by Nawab Sadik Hassan,” R/1/1/32.

81. Memorandum of Deputy Commissioner Police, Calcutta, February 10, 1881, ibid.

82. The decision was to go for a mild rebuke despite “los[ing] the chance of giving rather a marked lesson to the Indian Muhammadans in general.” Note by Secretary, February 13, 1881, ibid. As the secretary added, “I do not think [this action] will affect the railway question”; Note by Secretary, February 17, 1881, ibid.

83. David Cannadine, Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire (New York, 2001); and Alison Mackenzie Shah, “Constructing a Capital on the Edge of Empire: Urban Patronage and Politics in the Nizams' Hyderabad, 1750–1950” (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2005).

84. Shah Jahan Begam, Tanzimat‐i Shahjahani hasb al hukm [at the Order of] Navvab Shah Jahan Begam (Bhopal, 1877). It was published in both Urdu and Hindi, and all Vakils wishing to practice in the state courts were to be tested on it. SEL REC GOI, No. 187, Report on the Political Administration for 1880–1881 by AGG, 104–105.

85. Sayyid Muhammad Siddik Hasan Khan, Interpreter of Wahabiism, trans. with a preface by Sayyad Akbar ˁAlam (Calcutta, 1884). Opposition to jihad in colonial India was the Ahl‐i Hadith position generally, as it was of Muslim modernists and others as well. Jalal, interestingly, identifies Leitner among the Orientalists who agreed with the Indian Muslim writers—“even if [the well‐known writers] Hunter, Pfander, and Muir attributed to Islam [a] proclivity toward sedition and fanaticism.” She quotes Leitner as saying that it was “impossible for any modern Christian Government to commit … acts which would alone give a colour of justification to a jihad by its Muhammadan subjects.” G. W. Leitner, “Jihad,” Asiatic Quarterly Review 2, no. 4 (1886): 338–353; quoted in Ayesha Jalal, Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia (Cambridge, Mass., 2008), 161.

86. He also insisted that the meaning of some texts was transparent. Of the “Hidayat‐ul‐sail,” published right before the visit of the Prince of Wales, he writes, “if the hand of a fanatic had been raised against His Royal Highness no court of justice would have acquitted the author … of treasonable incitement.” AGG to Secretary, September 24, 1885, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, July 1886, “Seditious writings of Nawab Sadik Hassan,” R/1/1/33.

87. For background to the issue of sedition in colonial India, see Janaki Bakhle, “Savarkar (1883–1966), Sedition and Surveillance: The Rule of Law in a Colonial Situation,” Social History 35, no. 1 (2010): 51–75.

88. Memorandum of Deputy Commissioner Police, Calcutta, February 10, 1881, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, July 1886, “Compilation and circulation of seditious works by Nawab Sadik Hassan,” R/1/1/32.

89. Griffin was convinced that in the books being taken out of India, “very startling disclosures of the Nawab's treachery and his secret agencies will be made.” AGG to Secretary, August 14, 1885, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, August 1886, “Wahhabi Agents despatched by Sadik Hassan,” R/1/1/40. Of the confiscated books he writes, “works like these … are likely to excite the minds of uneducated people”; November 6, 1885, ibid.

90. Lepel Henry Griffin, Ranjit Singh and the Sikh Barrier between Our Growing Empire and Central Asia, Rulers of India Edition, ed. W. W. Hunter (Oxford, 1905), 15.

91. Lepel Henry Griffin, The Great Republic, 2nd ed. (London, 1884). “Between woman and man there can be no true equality … if the woman allow her social and domestic position to be undermined, her victories in other fields will avail her little. And of this there are ominous signs in America” (58). “The political bias of republics to equality … dislike of inherited rank … redistribution of acquired property, all … discourage the growth of the leisured and refined class in whose existence is the best hope for … art” (91–92). Griffin deplored “manhood suffrage” as the source of America's endemic political corruption (116) and found the “greater fecundity” of the “negro” given his “incapacity … for improvement” to be a question of “extreme interest” (121).

92. Griffin, “The Place of the Bengali in Politics,” 811.

93. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak? Speculations on Widow Sacrifice,” Wedge 7–8 (Winter–Spring 1985): 20–30.

94. “All her attendants and relations attribute [his ascendancy] to charms which he has given her and which she wears in her hair … something almost miraculous in her steadfast adherence to a man whose forgeries, perjuries, and tyranny are thoroughly well known to her … For such complete possession of a woman by an evil sprit, we have to go to the Gospel narrative.” AGG to Secretary, March 10, 1886, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, July 1886, “Seditious writings of Nawab Sadik Hassan,” R/1/1/33. Griffin credulously reiterated this charge in his exit report, accusing Siddiq Hasan of employing “Hindu mendicants and ascetics as well as Muhammadan fakirs for his witchcraft.” March 24, 1888, NAI, Proceedings, May 1888, No. 52.

95. AGG to HH, August 9, 1881, reprinted in Shahjahan Begum, An Appeal to His Excellency the Viceroy and Governor‐General of India in Council by the Begum of Bhopal (Calcutta, 1889), Appendix A, 2.

96. Despite purdah, the AGG (while Griffin was on leave) wrote, “I have no reason [to think] that the State is badly governed.” SEL REC GOI, No. 116, Report on the Political Administration for 1884–1885, by P. W. Bannerman.

97. As a memo noted, “Indore is quite as bad, Kashmir was probably worse.” It also pointed out that “[we should] hear more of misgovernment through newspapers and memorials if it is that bad.” Note signed “C.P.I.,” October 7, 1885, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, July 1886, “Seditious writings of Nawab Sadik Hassan,” R/1/1/33.

98. AGG to Secretary, September 25, 1885, ibid.

99. Viceroy to Secretary of State for India, London, October 23, 1885, ibid.

100. “An English officer … if he be a capable man absorbs and devours all native agency and powers, as Aaron's serpent swallowed those of the magicians. The inferior race goes to the wall. If this were not an inevitable law, we should not be in India to‐day.” And as for the powers of the minister to be appointed, “I do not want to have a nominal Political superintendent at all … Indeed, my chief reason for wishing a Native Minister to be retained was, that the Muhammadan world would believe that real power had been left to the Begam.” AGG to Secretary, April 2, 1886, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, July 1886, “Seditious writings of Nawab Sadik Hassan,” R1/1/33.

101. “I do not for a moment suppose that this man, whom you probably know well, will prove a good administrator, but, unfortunately, this is not the most important point at present.” AGG to Secretary, December 31, 1885, ibid. The secretary worried that “Griffin has made a very questionable choice … a low class Muhammadan of no unusual capacity.” Secretary to D. Mackenzie Wallace, January 26, 1886, ibid.

102. Shahjahan Begum, An Appeal to His Excellency.

103. Note by Lord Lytton forwarding her letter to Viceroy, December 15, 1885, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, July 1886, “Seditious writings of Nawab Sadik Hassan,” R/1/1/33. Griffin's “zeal is greater than his judgment,” he wrote, adding that such fears from Residents were often disproportionate.

104. It was open primarily to Europeans but was also to be open with permission to Muslims of “good background” and “high‐caste Hindus.” The mosque, according to Leitner, was “proof of British toleration and must be used in that grateful and reverential manner.” The design was “Orientalist Indo‐Saracenic.” In the recent words of an art historian, “Its appearance of respect or sympathy was part of the management of consent essential to the dynamics of hegemonic power.” Mark Crinson, “The Mosque and the Metropolis,” in Jill Beaulieu and Mary Roberts, eds., Orientalism's Interlocutors: Painting, Architecture, Photography (Durham, N.C., 2002), 81–82.

105. AGG to Secretary, February 28, 1890, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, April 1890, “Question of the restoration to Maulvi Sadik Hassan, husband of Her Highness the Begam of Bhopal, of the title and salute of which he was deprived in 1885. His death,” R/1/1/106.

106. Shah Jahan Begum denied any such role; An Appeal to His Excellency, 172.

107. Sections of a report on Siddiq Hasan by Griffin contained the gist and some of the language of the article. Cf. AGG to Secretary, September 24, 1885, BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, July 1886, “Seditious writings of Nawab Sadik Hassan,” R/1/1/33.

108. The Times, December 27, 1886, included in BL, FOR SEC I, Proceedings, May 1887, “Enquiries in connection with an objectionable article in the ‘London Times’ regarding Her Highness the Begam of Bhopal,” R/1/1/55.

109. Viceroy to Her Highness, February 15, 1887, and Viceroy to AGG, March 14, 1887, both ibid.

110. AGG to Secretary, January 28, 1888, NAI, Proceedings of the GOI For. Dept. Secret‐I, May 1888.

111. “Sir Lepel Griffin,” The Times, March 11, 1908. See also his obituary in Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review and Oriental and Colonial Record, 3rd ser., 25, no. 49–50 (January–April 1908). This was a journal Griffin founded at Woking and ran from 1886 until 1890, when he handed it over to Leitner.

112. The inscription at the grave, with thanks to Azfar Moin, reads:

az wafat‐i amir wala jah
dar tap o tab yak jahan uftad
bar mazarash nigasht kilk‐i qaza
qasr‐i jannat nisheman‐i u bad

113. There is renewed interest in the history of the princely states in the colonial period, which has been relatively understudied as an embarrassment to nationalists and a footnote to the mainstream of modern Indian history. For a definitive synthetic treatment of existing scholarship, see Barbara N. Ramusack, The Indian Princes and Their States (Cambridge, 2004). For an introduction to what the editors call “new perspectives on the Indian princely states,” see Princely Spaces and Domestic Voices: New Perspectives on the Indian Princely States, ed. Aya Ikegame and Andrea Major, Special Issue, Indian Economic and Social History Review 46, no. 3 (July–September 2009).

114. She took precedence over Sir John Strachey at the initiation ceremony of the Star of India. Shahjahan, The Táj‐ul Ikbál Tárikh Bhopal, 164–174. Her rank, Knight Grand Commander, was the highest of three. In 1878, she was also made a member of the Imperial Order of the Crown of India, established by Victoria when she became empress of India in 1877; this order was intended for the wives and female relatives of the Indian princes as well as the wives of British viceroys, governors, and the commanders‐in‐chief in India and the wife of the secretary of state for India in London. The three Bhopal nawabs who were successively made members thus were somewhat anomalous.

115. See Rousselet's enchantment with this clan of several hundred French‐speaking Roman Catholics and his sketch of Elizabeth de Bourbon, the half‐English, half‐Maratha widow of the court's former prime minister and Sikandar Begum's closest confidante. He celebrated with them the fête of August 15, including a mass celebrated by their priest. Rousselet, India and Its Native Princes, 452–455, 474–477.

116. Rousselet described evenings at the court “when some clever story‐teller would relate some of the national legends to us, which he chanted in strophes, interrupted by a series of exclamations, as in our sailors' interminable tales; or else one of the young nobles, accompanying himself on a sort of lute, would sing the Taza‐bi‐Taza, and other poetry of the time of the Great Moguls.” Ibid., 466. Among the stories favored by the Mughals were Sufi‐infused masnavis or love stories, adventures like that of Amir Hamza, and epics such as the Ramayana.