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Wed. Sep 28th, 2022
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HYDERABAD: Little-known evidence in the form of correspondence between Mir Momin Astarabadi, the erstwhile peshwa (prime minister) and architect of Hyderabad, and Shah of Iran Abbas Safacityvi prior to the laying of Hyderabad’s foundation in 1591 indicates that the city’s layout was made in the name of Haidar – the title of Prophet Mohammad’s son-in-law Hazrat Ali.
The layout included the signature landmarks of the Charminar and the Char Kamans. The correspondence, as per historian Salma Ahmed Farooqui, is the earliest available evidence that the city was named after Haidar right from conception to foundation. So far, only numismatic evidence was available that the city was named Hyderabad after Hazrat Ali.
Farooqui, director of HK Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies under Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad, told TOI that two letters were exchanged between Mir Momin and the Shah of Iran. In his letters, Mir Momin describes how he had drawn up the architectural blueprint of Hyderabad in the name of Haidar as a tribute to Hazrat Ali, he said.
“In the foundation of Hyderabad laid by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, Mir Momin designed Charminar as the first building of the new city and Badashahi Ashoorkhana, meant for mourning the tragedy of Karbala, as the second building,” the historian stated.
According to the historian, the naming of Hyderabad after Haider also reflected the patronage sought from the Shah of Iran, who was in position to exert pressure on Mughals in their expansionist plans related to Golconda – as the region was known then. Referring to the letters, Farooqui said that the Shah of Iran was impressed by Momin’s efforts to build “Haidarabad” as part of a larger welfare plan for the Golconda Sultanate and propagate Shia Islam.

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