The Prince Mukarram Jah you never knew: Hyderabad mourns the passing away of the 8th Nizam

Mukarram Jah loved automobile engineering and heavy machinery. He was particularly fond of heavy automobiles and spent his leisure working on heavy machines.

By Syed Khaled Shahbaaz  Published on  15 Jan 2023 9:04 AM GMT
The Prince Mukarram Jah you never knew: Hyderabad mourns the passing away of the 8th Nizam

Hyderabad: Born in France and died in Turkey, Prince Mukarram Jah will be laid to rest in Hyderabad in the Asif Jahi Tombs at Makkah Masjid, where his royal ancestry from the second Nizam to the sixth Nizam rest in peace. The news of the last Nizam’s passing away left Hyderabadis in a pall of gloom. The 8th Nizam of Hyderabad Nawab Mir Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah Bahadur breathed his last peacefully at his residence in Turkey.

Mukarram Jah was the eldest son of Crown Prince of Hyderabad Nawab Azam Jah Bahadur and Princess Durrushehvar, the princess of Turkey and daughter of Turkey’s last ruler Khalifa Abdul Majeed II. Mukarram Jah was the scion of Turkish and Deccani royal families whose paternal and maternal grandfathers were the last rulers of their countries respectively.


He was the successor of the seventh Nizam Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan. After the passing away of the seventh Nizam in February 1967, the Government of India held a coronation ceremony on 6 April 1967 at Chowmahalla Palace where Mukarram Jah was officially declared as the eighth Nizam of Hyderabad.

Mukarram Jah was the darling of his paternal grandfather, the seventh Nizam Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan so much so that the seventh Nizam named Mukarram Jah, his grandson, as his successor instead of his own son Azam Jah. Born on 6 October 1933, Mukarram Jah was the eighth and last Nizam of the Asif Jahi Dynasty. Asif Jahi dynasty was founded by Mir Qamaruddin Siddiqui, Asif Jah I, in 1724 who was the Governor of Deccan in the Moghal sultanate from 1713–1721. There were three other rulers, Nasir Jung, Muzaffar Jung, and Salabat Jung, the children of Asif Jah 1 were not officially recognised as the Asif Jahs.


Mir Akbar Ali Khan Sikander Jah Asif Jah III, Mir Farkhunda Ali Khan Nasir ud Dawlah Asif Jah 4, Mir Tahniath Ali Khan Afzal-ud-daula Asif Jah 5, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Asif Jah VI, and Mir Osman Ali Khan Asif Jah VII were his ancestors. Madrasa-i-Aliya, Jagirdar College, Doon School of Dehradun, Eton College in London, and Sandhurst Military College in London, were the alma mater of the eighth nizam where the likes of King Hussein of Jordan were among his classmates.

Mukarram Jah loved automobile engineering and heavy machinery. He was particularly fond of heavy automobiles and spent his leisure working on heavy machines. He was deeply passionate about educating the community and donated the Masarath Mahal, an ensemble of six palaces, to Mukarram Jah Trust for Education and Learning (MJTEL). The premises is now also home to Mukarram Jah School. According to Nawab Faiz Khan, trustee MJTEL, Prince Mukarram Jah visited the Mukarram Jah School occasionally and showed great interest in educational activities.


He donated many properties for the cause of education in Aurangabad and Maharashtra.

Despite being one of the richest nobles, he was simple, down-to-earth, and very pious. He revered Sufi saints and visited the shrine of Hazrath Khaja Bande Nawaz whenever he found an opportunity. According to the late Nawab Habeeb Jung, the grandson of Nawab Iqbal ud Dawlah, who was the contemporary and childhood friend of Mukarram Jah Bahadur, Prince Mukarram Jah often sought his advice and asked for special invocations whenever he felt depressed or anxious about anything.

He offered late-night prayers (Namaz-e-Tahajjud) regularly, whose marks could be seen on his ankles. Despite this, some vested interests who were close to him falsely propagated about him. His trusted people who looted his wealth, antiques, and jewellery created a distance between the prince and the common people. Unlike the propaganda, Prince Mukarram Jah never had more than one wife.

Though the prince lived in Austria and Turkey most of his life, he had a sentimental and emotional connection with Hyderabad and visited the city whenever possible. Though he was not interested in politics, some political parties never wanted his presence in Hyderabad although Jawaharlal Nehru liked him very much. Nehru wanted to appoint Prince Mukarram Jah as the Ambassador of a Muslim country, but the prince politely refused. From Nehru to Rajiv Gandhi, the prince had cordial relations with everyone, but never took advantage of his relations.

It is likely that he will be laid to rest with full state honours when his mortal remains arrive in the city on 17 January. The historic Makkah Masjid will once again witness an immense gathering at his Namaz-e-Janaza. It is also likely that parts of the Old City of Hyderabad may partially remain closed, as a mark of respect to Hyderabad’s last Nizam.

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