“Tales as old as time,
True as it can be,
Barely even friends,
Then somebody bends
These are the most iconic lines that instantly take us back to the days where being a Disney Princess was something serious to consider. In 2017, Walt Disney and Mandeville Films have allowed us to relive these glory days, with the reminder, especially in today frantic world that unconditional love creates beautiful things.
However, did you know that Shah Johan and Mumtaz Mahal had a similar and yet better love story? Although there were no hairy beasts involved, but as described in the lyrics above, Shah Johan (a Lahore Prince) one day took a stroll that took an unexpected turn where he saw Mumtaz Mahal (a Muslim Persian princess).
“Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise”
Their solemnization was held after a 5-year courtship period and they would have lived happily ever after, if life was a fairy tale. Unfortunately, in reality, the beast has many forms, and in this story, it came as a complication during the birth of their child, and Mumtaz Mahal passed away. With the words of Edwin Arnold, “proud passion of an emperor’s love wrought in living stone”, the Taj Mahal was born. Located just the opposite of the Yamuna River, the longest river in northern India, this was indeed a great symbolization of the great lengths Shah Johan had gone to in order to declare his eternal love.
A Far Glance
Made with white marble, the mausoleum replicates a view of illuminating clouds with the contrasting colour of the bright blue and deep sapphire skyline, depending on the time of the day. The perfectly shaped dome is situated far from the centre to elongate the view as it nestles with the distant scenery. Without a doubt, the Taj Mahal truly resembles the same structural sight of a Mosque, and this is not a pure coincidence, but a reflection of Shah Johan’s strong faith and dedication to Islam.
There are four different gates standing at an approximation of 100 feet in height of the Taj Mahal, and each has been recognized as a holy grail of gate (literally!). Built with red sandstone each gate have been beautifully engraved with verses that can be found in the Quran, with all of the common ideologies of Judgments by Allah S.W.T and the promise pathway to paradise as you store your highest faith in Him. The calligraphy continues to surround every inch of the gate with the finishing touch of red floral patterns.
Placed in the burial chamber, a cenotaph was created for both Shah Johan and Mumtaz Mahal. Each embellished with pattern of flowers and precious stones, however only Mumtaz’s was inscribed with the delicate verse 30 of Surah 41:
Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah ” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.