Monday 25 November 2019

120 - The Grave of Shah Shuja in Dharema (district Sargodha)

Dharema is a small typical town of Punjab in district Sargodha about 10 kilometers from Sargodha city on Shahpur road. There is nothing significant about it except the one fact that there is a grave that attracts the attention of many students of history. This grave is said to be that of Shah Shuja a Mughal prince and a brother of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. This grave is located inside the mausoleum of a saint Mian Habib Sultan Nangiana, who died in 1088 AH, which corresponds to  1677 AD. His mausoleum is located at 32° 9'19.97"N, 72°35'37.31"E

Shah Shuja was born in 1616 in Ajmer. Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal had four sons, Dara Shikoh, Shah Shuja, Aurangzeb and Murad Bakhsh. Dara Shikoh was the eldest and the favourite of his father and was also made heir apparent by him. In 1657 the health of Shah Jahan declined and rumours spread about his death. This was a signal to his sons to start their struggle to capture the throne of Delhi, in line with the traditions of the Mughals. The four brothers were holding important positions in the four corners of the Empire, Dara Shikoh in the north in Delhi, Shah Shuja in the east in Bengal, Aurangzeb in the south in Deccan and Murad Bakhsh in the west in Gujrat. All the four made their advances towards Delhi and fought one of the most famous civil wars in the history of India. We all know that eventually, Aurangzeb won this desperate and bloody struggle between the real brothers and all the three losers lost their lives. 

Aurangzeb killed his two brothers Dara Shikon and Murad Bakhsh in captivity. However, the fate of Shah Shuja is not certain. He twice attempted to march on Delhi. In the first attempt, he was defeated by Dara Shikoh near Banares in May 1658 and retreated towards Bengal. He made the second attempt in January 1959, this time against Aurangzeb, who in the meantime had defeated Dara Shikoh. Shah Shuja failed again and again took shelter in Bengal. But this the army of Aurangzeb was on his hot pursued and after many battles, he decided to leave Bengal and take shelter in Arakan, a region in the present day Myanmar. He arrived with his family and entourage in Arakan in August 1660. His plan was to migrate to Makkah to spend his life in peace with his family. But fate had something else in store for him. The immense wealth he was carrying with him became a big source of trouble for him. The ruler of Arakan made his life miserable and he met a tragic end. The following account is given on Wikipedia about his last days.

Shuja and his entourage arrived in Arakan on 26 August 1660, and were greeted at the capital, Mrauk U, with courtesy. The Arakanese king, the powerful Sanda Thudhamma, had previously agreed to provide ships for Shuja and his family to travel to Mecca, where the prince had planned to spend the remainder of his life. The half a dozen camel-loads of gold and jewels that the Mughal royals had brought with them was beyond anything that had previously been seen in Arakan.
After eight months and numerous excuses however, Sanda Thudhamma's promise of ships had not materialised. Finally, the latter demanded the hand of Shuja's daughter in marriage, which the prince refused. Sanda Thudhamma responded by ordering the Mughals to leave within three days. Unable to move and being refused provisions at the bazars, Shuja resolved to attempt to overthrow the king. The prince had two hundred soldiers with him, as well as the support of the local Muslims, giving him a good chance of success. However, Sanda Thudhamma was forewarned of the coup attempt. Shuja was therefore forced to set fire to the city in the hopes of cutting his way out in the confusion. Much of his entourage was captured, and though he himself initially escaped into the jungle, he was later captured and executed.
Shuja's wealth was taken and melted down by Sanda Thudhamma, who took the Mughal princesses into his harem. He married the eldest, an event that was subsequently celebrated in song and poetry. The following year however, suspicious of another coup, Sanda Thudhamma had Shuja's sons decapitated and his daughters (including the pregnant eldest) starved to death. Aurangzeb, angered by the deaths, ordered a campaign against the kingdom. After an intensive siege, the Mughals captured Chittagong and thousands of Arakanese were taken into slavery. Arakan was unable to return to its previous dominance and Sanda Thudhamma's eventual death was followed by a century of chaos.
It is generally believed that he died on 7 February 1661. But nobody knows about his grave. However, there is one grave in Dharema, the tombstone of which carries his name. And that is the second part of our story. 

The grave of Sultan Shuja. (17.07.2019.)

سلطان شجاع
شاہجہان مُغل شہزادہ
وفات 22 رمضان المبارک 1094 ہجری

Sultan Shuja
son of
Shah Jahan, Mughal Prince
Death: 22 Ramadan 1094 AH
(7 September, 1683 AD) 

Mausoleum of the saint  Hazrat Habib Sultan Nangiana. (17.07.2019.)

The main entrance. (17.07.2019.)

The grave of Hazrat Habib Sultan. (17.07.2019.)

Graves inside the mausoleum. (17.07.2019.)

Another view of the grave of Sultan Shuja. (17.07.2019.)

The mosque of the shrine(17.07.2019.)

A view of the shrine. (17.07.2019.)

 A graveyard in the compound of the shrine. (17.07.2019.)

Now the story goes that somehow Shah Shuja survived all the calamities fell on him and his family and reached this little known place and spent the last two decades of life praying and serving the holy man living at this place. But it defies all the reason and logic that a hotly pursued man reached all the way from Arakan to Dharema, almost 2,500 kilometers away, passing through the heart of the empire of a brother who was thirsty for the blood of any claimant to the throne.  It is also difficult to imagine that he remained hidden from the spies of an energetic ruler like Aurangzeb. It is also difficult to expect from Aurangzeb, who never forgot or forgave, to let him live in peace. So it cannot be said with certainty that who was this Sultan Shuja and how he became famous to be a Mughal prince. Perhaps similar names caused some confusion and later on, a legend grew and spread in the region. Anyway, it is an interesting subject for those who have an interest in history. 

Tariq Amir
November 26, 2019.
Doha - Qatar. 


  1. It's not another story but the authenticity which is needed to be explored by proper researches to tackle down the phoney stories floated by inglorious hindus to disrespect the Muslim rulers, Why I’m so sure about this discovery is because I'm the descendant of Shah Shuja from his son Zain-ul-Din (Ain-ul-Din) -- Our family-tree (Shijrah-Nassb) evidently shows this piecing together. As, per our elders they contribute in vital history with reference of book "Tazkira-e-Mughlia" in which it's clearly revealed the Shah Shuja along with his family with the help of his guards managed to escape from the assassins marked by the Aurangzeb -- Sanda Thudhamma who's portrayed everywhere in the history as a devil was actually the collaborator of Shah Shuja who managed his escape from the Aurangzeb's army (but he took all the wealth of Shah Shuja). It's also referred that the Shah Shuja travelled toward Punjab because this side of dynasty wasn’t highly alerted by King to hunt down the Shah Shuja so wisely taken decision caused him perfect escape. Shah Shuja died of a natural cause in 1683. Afterwards, in 1710 the Bahadur Shah-(I) who discovered the Shah Shuja’s remained family who were living in Punjab's city Patti, Amritsar and were later on recognized as Mughal princes and were allotted wealth and royal designations in relevant tehsil. These Mughals were well-known by their "Havelis of Mirzas" and Governors of Patti, India and these Mughals were the authentic descendants of Shah Shuja's son "Zain-ul-Din (Ain-ul-Din) these descendants lived more than 250 years and on 1947 the time of patrician these Mughal families were specific killing targets of Sikhs so they migrated to Lyallpur and Lahore, Pakistan.

    Abdullah Sultan


    1. Dear Mr Sultan,

      Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us.

    2. Mr. Sultan, please do not make new stories. History is history. You are showing your ugly communal face to the people of similar mentalities.

  2. Shah Shuja “The Mysterious Mughal Prince” was born on 23 June 1616 in Ajmer and died on 14 September 1683 in Dharema, Sargodha, Punjab (now in Pakistan). The descendants of Shah Shuja are currently living in Punjab, Pakistan. This truth is bounded by the confirm grave of Shah Shuja in Dharema, as on gravestone the date of his death is clearly stated as 22 Ramadan 1094 (hijri) corresponding to 14 September 1683 (gregorian). Shah Shuja lived 22 years (1661 to 1683) after fleeing from the Bengal/Arakan. Somehow, he mysteriously managed the escape from Sanda Thudamma and bloodthirsty army of Aurangzeb, most probably Sanda by himself made a safe exodus of Shah Shuja in the exchange of Shuja’s pile of wealth, or it was prearranged by Hazrat Habib Sultan Nangiana who was also in Bengal for this specific time period. Following to the mysterious disappearance the rumor of Shah Shuja’s killing was spread all around on purpose to divert the attention of Aurangzeb. There are vibrant references that Shah Shuja departed to Mecca because a lot of people witnessed him in Mecca, hence after performing religious obligatory, he went to Iran to get allied with Abbas II, (Seventh Safavid King) who honored Shah Shuja with a warm welcome, this alliance had a common interest because Abbas II was worst enemy of Aurangzeb so was the Shah Shuja, thus the enemy of enemy glued a strong bond. The news of Shuja’s pilgrimage to Mecca and his alliance with Abbas reached to Aurangzeb who smilingly passed a sentence “It’s good to know that my brother has become “Haji” - Abbas II had a series of battles with Aurangzeb at Kandahar where he defeated Aurangzeb several times. Unfortunately, before any achievement the alliance of Abbas and Shah Shuja conk out due to the unexpected death of Abbas in 1666. After the death of Abbas the chaos took place in Safavid dynasty so Shah Shuja left Iran and solemnly decided to dedicate entire of his life in the way of Islam and became a saint (dervish) then he approached to Hazrat Habib in Punjab and started Islamic preach under the given honorary title of Bazeed Sultan from Hazrat Habib. Shah Shuja lived there till his death and his family got settled in the different areas of Punjab. The generation of Zain-ud-Din Mirza (Ain-ud-Din Mirza) son of Shah Shuja was settled in Patti, Punjab (now in India) where imminently they were recognized as royal beings and were selected for the royal designations of the Governor and Admins of Patti, then at the time of partition in 1947 these families migrated to Lyallpur/Lahore. Whereas, following to a number of oriented claimants the descendants of Zain-ul-Abidin Mirza and Buland Akhtar Mirza (other two sons of Shah Shuja) are presently living in Jhelum, Punjab, Pakistan.

    1. Dear Mr Beg,

      Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us.

    2. Brother we are from Pind Dadan Khan and our Nangiana peers claim our ancestry from Shah Shujah.

  3. Dear All,
    Mr.Tariq, Beg and Sultan,

    I am a researcher from Bangladesh. I studied a lot about shah shuja, and suddenly I got the link of this post.
    Its really surprising news for all the history lovers, because we knew that he was died in Arakan.
    Recently, I found that, from Arakan shuja went to tripura and manipur (India), where king Khujjaoba hide him from Aurangozeb.
    Then shuja went to Ukhrul hilly area and stay there for his last breath.

    However, according to your articles, it seems, sanda thudamma did not killed him even allow him to go. Or might be he was able to flew persia.
    So, its a new information. Can any one provide me any authentic evidence regarding Shuja's shift from Arakan/ Tripura to Panjab?
    It will be a great help for me as I am writing a book about him.

    Please take my regards and help me.

    1. Dear Nisharaga Meraj,
      Good Afternoon from Islamabad,
      I am researcher on working on a Sufi order which initiated from Bengla and founder was Saiyid Murtaza Shah (S/O Saiyid Hassan Bukhari, of Bereli) Aananadi, Bukhari, Dakhani, Charkhiwala, Al Hussani, Alsuharwardi who wrote Yoga Qalandar, Pada Wali and (Noor Qandeel, as per S.A.A. Rizvi) reported and his grave is mentioned in Suti, Near Charka, Murshdidabad, West Bengal.
      I am needed your support on three issues.
      1. I need Youga Qalandar, copy on in Persian or Bengali which Decca University published. I can share your the university library numbers too.
      2. Any Information about Saiyid Murtaza Shah and his shrine. Mr Kaith Edward Cantu, has completed his MSC, Thesis on his Yoga Qalander. I have English and French translations too which are available on internet too.
      3. Any information about Shah Shuja Mughal Mirza, whos has been renamed after accepting and adopting the Murtaza Shahi Sufi Order as Shah Habib, Multani.

    2. My email ID is,

  4. Dear Mr Nisharga Meraj,

    The story of Shah Shuja is indeed intriguing. You will find more information in the comments of an Anonymous reader, written above. If you could contact him, hopefully he would be able to provide you more information.


  5. All dear readers,
    I am from Dharema and have visited the shrine of Habib Sultan Nangyana (Nanga) and seen the alleged grave of Shah Shujja many times since my childhood.
    Although I have no authentic proof that said grave is of Shah Shujja; the brother of Aurangzeb. However, there are strong evidences which confirm that said grave is of a notable Mughal prince.
    Habib Sultan Nangyana was a famous Sufi of his time who used to mediate (Chillah kashi) at the top of Kirana hill near Sargodha. It is known that a Mughal prince became devotee of Habib Sultan and built a fortress at the top of Kirana hill near the Chillah gah of his Peer. Peoples of the nearby areas used to visit this place for centuries untill it was banned by government authorities due to security reasons. I have seen the remains of this fortress and a grave of a Hindu devotee to Habib Sultan built in Mughal style is still there in good condition. This coexistence of a Mughal fortress near Chillah gah and Mughal grave in the tomb of Habib Sultan Nangyana in Dharema are strong evidences that Shah Shujja son of Shah Jahan is buried in Dharema village 14 Km west of Sargodha city.

  6. There many other books regarding shujah's remaining life , according to these authors ,after hiding himself from his brother aurangzeb shujah went to his father in law to kishtwar kashmir and after some month he settled in poonch disst and got another marriage from a duli mughal a family , from this family he had tow sons named phair save khan and gair sev khan and descendents of phair sav khan now called maldial tribe living in poonch and bagh disst ,this book was written in 1935

    1. Please share book name, author name and publisher name...Regards

  7. Dear Mr Abdullah Sultan,(,
    I am very happy to find you and your comment on this page, because of more references, I have searched out.
    1. The Shah Shuja Mirza, has been re-named after accepting Sufism, Especially Murtaza Shahi in the same period in Bengal when he was government through his close friends and master Saiyid Murtaza Aananad, Bukhari, Charkhi Wala, Dakani, which is later called as Murtaza Shahiya Sufi Order.
    2. He has been called Shah Habib, Mughal Multani or Sakhi Shah Habib Multani.
    3. His grave has been identified and marked in Shamas Park, Multan on the right hand side of the entrance gate near the boundary wall.
    4. Another grave has been marked by local public in almost same location but out side of Shah Shams Park, but in front of same shah shams tomb, in Multan, behind the small shops of motor mechanics, same road out side the park wall.
    5. Both graves are not properly cared.
    6. Shah Shuja Mirza was the Murtaza Shahi Sufi.
    7. The grave in Dharema is also referred in Armghan e Multan boo.
    8. Some people says that Shah Shuja moved to wards dakan and aassaam etc, grave is not identified, etc.
    There are some more issues which I want to discuss with you if you please send me your an active email. Regards to All.
    Sajjad Anwar PK,
    email ID:

  8. Shah Shuja Mirza,s date of birth is available on wikipedia as 1616 to 1661, where as date of death on grave in Dharema, Sargodha to Mianwali Road, at Nangiana Shrine is 1683, which is most appropriate date of death. Because his governorships started in 1639 and he left Raj Mehal in 1661. Then he moved. Lets share any new information if you have..............Regards to all.

  9. Nice Post!
    Thanks for sharing amazing information. Visit Our Website Sikh History Books Canada and see more intresting Indian history books.

  10. Thanks for the nice readings.We Mughals from Pind Dadan Khan area also claim ancestry from Shah Shujah,as told by our Nangiana peers.

    1. Dear Faisal Sahib,

      Thank you for your comments. I belong to Lilla, tehsil P.D. Khan. I would like to know more about your family history and relation to Shah Shuja. Kindly contact me at: