Architectural Legacy of Zīb Al-Nisāʾ: Patron of First Mughal Woman Architect

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Sana Hafeez
Dr. Najma Kabir
Azka Ahsan


Standpoint Theory in the discipline of women studies suggests that prevailing knowledge of a society is governed by the powerful and therefore minorities and depreciated communities have historically been ignored or marginalized, especially when it comes to the production of knowledge.

As evident from the works of architect queen Nūrjahāṇ and architect princess Jahāṇāra Begum, it is clear that History of our region, has a fair share of women prodigies in every field and profession, and architecture is not an exception. Unfortunately, their works are seldom highlighted or researched on, resulting in important historical facts lost in confusion created by ahistorical statements and irresponsible conclusions.

The first and most beloved daughter Zīb al-Nisāʾ clashed with her father to retain control and authority that was available to her predecessor. Aurangzīb transformed himself into an absolute authority on state as well as religion and adhered to a strict orthodox interpretation of Islam. This not only adversely affect female power but unfavorably affected arts in general. Despite the challenges that female court faced during Aurangzīb era, highly educated, enlightened and wise ladies of Mughal court continued to contribute and leave their mark on Mughal architectural history.  

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How to Cite
Hafeez, S., Dr. Najma Kabir, & Azka Ahsan. (2024). Architectural Legacy of Zīb Al-Nisāʾ: Patron of First Mughal Woman Architect. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN AND SOCIETY, 4(1), 09-17. Retrieved from