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Pre 1897 thumbnails
Kizilbash, Nawab Fateh Ali Khan
Neg. No: 2650
Neg. Size: [ck]
Neg. Date: NONE

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Sitter: Nawab Haji Sir Fateh Ali Khan Qizilbash of Nawabganj (1862-1923), and unidentified sitter. [India] Click on the image to see some costume detail.

Nawab Sir Fateh Ali Khan Qizilbash of Nawabganj (1862-1923).

Biog: Leading Punjabi Muslim; representative of Punjab at Famine Conference 1897; reigned 1896-1923

Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab, Vol I, revised 1939

The Life and Time of Nawab Haji Sir Fateh Ali Khan Qizilbash with an introductory brief on Nawab Ali Raza Khan Qizilbash, his grandfather

Nawab Fateh Ali Khan Qizilbash was the son of Sardar Nisar Ali Khan Qizilobash, the youngest of three sons of Nawab Ali Raza Khan Qizilbash. His eldest son was Nawab Sir Nawazish Ali Khan Qizilbash C.I.E. and K.C.I.E. The British bestowed upon Ali Raza Khan the title of Khan Bahadur. He was created a hereditary Nawab in 1864 for his commendable services to the British during their campaign in Afghanistan and later on in India after the British withdrew from Afghanistan. Nawab Ali Raza Khan Qizilbash was also an Honorary Magistrate of Lahore justly possessing great influence in the city.

In 1857 when the English need was greatest Nawab Ali Raza Khan Qizilbash raised a troop of horses at his own expense by mortgaging his house and property in Lahore. Forming part of the celebrated Hodsons' horse the troop raised by Nawab Ali Raza Khan Qizilbash served with distinction throughout the Campaign where ever that gallant corps was sent and its gallantry was ever conspicuous. In raising this force he did not apply for any pecuniary assistance from the British.

Nawab Fateh Ali Khan Qizilbash's father Sardar Nisar Ali Khan Qizilbash the next in line to the family's title after his two older brothers, passed away during the lifetime of his second brother Nawab Nasir Ali Khan Qizilbash, hence Fateh Ali Khan Qizilbash inherited the title of Nawab from his uncle Nawab Nasir Ali Khan Qizilbash after the latter's death in 1896 consquent upon which control of the family's estate passed on to him.

Nawab Fateh Ali Khan Qizilbash was nominated a member of the Punjab Legistlative Council in 1897.

In 1902 he was invited as an official guest to the Delhi Darbar at which he was invested as a Companion of the Order of the British Empire.

In 1904 he was made an additional member of the Governor General's Legislative Council.

In 1911 he once again attended the Delhi Darbar as an official guest.

During the Great War he served the Empire with exemplary loyalty and devotion. Some of his war services include:

1. He dontaed Rs. 16,000/- towards the war effort when it broke out in 1914

2. A donation of Rs.6,000/- was paid by him towards the Aeroplane Fund in 1916

3. He contributed Rs.10,000/- to the First War Loan.

Apart from this he gave sums of money large as well as small aggregating to about Rs.100,000/- towards the prosecution of the war.

Besides, he supplied a large number of recruits both from the Punjab and his estate in the United Provinces. Moreover he offered himself and his eldest son Nisar Ali Khan Qizilbash for any service in connection with that campaign.

During the disturbances in the Punjab in 1919 the Nawab once again rendered valuable assistance to the administration.

At the time of the last Afghan War he was attached as liaison officer to the Kohat-Khurram Force.

The Nawab was very keen to promote education amongst the Muslim population so that they could keep pace with the Hindus and progress along with them. The Hindus had foreseen the advantages they could gain by mastering the the English language to qualify for important positions in the Government departments. This they knew was a sure way of stepping on to the first rung up the social ladder and thus gain influence in Government circles. They rightly believed that following this plan they would gain economically also and thus be in a position to dominate over the Muslim minority. Nawab Fateh Ali Khan Qizilbash foresaw this happening and thus dedicded to contribute in the noble cause of educating the Muslims and concentrated in this regard in two areas i.e. at Aligarh and the Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam, Lahore. He raised funds which he augmented with personal contribution and started a school and an intermediate college at Lucknow and became the Honorary General Secretary of these insitutions. This position he held for several years.

He also built a block for the use of doctors at the Mayo Hospital, Lahore.

In 1921 he was made the Knight Commander of the Indian Empire.

He was the President of the Punjab Chiefs Association, the Anjuman-e-Himayet-e-Islam, Lahore, the Punjab Muslim League and the Anjumane-Islamia, Punjab.

He was also a liberal subscriber to all charitable causes and earned the respect of all classes both as a public spirited citizen and a leading Muslim nobelman of the Punjab.

Nawab Sir Fateh Ali Khan Qizilbash died on 28th October 1923 after suffering a protracted kidney condition. He added substantially to the property he had inherited from Nawab Nasir Ali Khan Qizilbash and left behind a greatly developed estate.

[Information kindly provided by Begum Afsar Qizilbash, Lahore]


Daily Times - Site Edition Thursday, September 16, 2004

Nisar Haveli — at the centre of mourning

By Waqar Gillani

LAHORE: Though childless, Nawab Nisar Ali Khan Qizalbash will live on in Lahore, particularly among the Shia community in the Walled City. It is from the haveli named after him that starts the city’s biggest procession of the Ashura (10th of Muharram), the day Muslims mourn the death of Imam Hussain at Karbala 1,364 years ago.

The first procession to begin from the haveli was in the 1850s. It was then actually the Mubarik Haveli. The Nisar Haveli was one part of the Mubarik Haveli, which was divided in two after Partition as property was divided in the Qizilbash family in 1928. The part where the main Ashura procession begins was named the Nisar Haveli, while the other part retained the name Mubarik.

The Mubarik Haveli was built by the Mughals. According to legend, it was named Mubarik, which means blessing, because a royal son was born there. It is also said the Koh-e-Noor was kept there for a while. The Qizalbash family got it on lease from the Mughals. Maharaja Ranjit Singh took it over briefly, but it returned to the Qizalbash when the East India Company established itself in India.

Elderly Shia residents of the Walled City said the Qizalbash family were also the first to begin Zuljinnah processions in Lahore, which are now a vital part of Ashura processions.

The Qizilbash family has its roots in Iran and Afghanistan. According to one account, they came to India with the Mughal emperor Humayun from Persia. According to another, some Qizalbash came from Afghanistan with Ahmad Shah and Nadar Shah.

Nawab Nisar Ali Khan Qizalbash, who died in 1944, was the great grandson of Nawab Raza Ali Khan, one of the originators of processions in the area, and whose son Nawab Fateh Ali Khan also played a key role in promoting processions.

The current Nawab, who is also the license holder for the central procession, is also named Raza Ali Khan. His three sons are Nawab Fateh Ali Khan, Nawab Muzaffar Ali Khan and Nawab Jaan Ali Khan.

Syed Mustafa Ali Shah is the current caretaker of the Nisar Haveli, following on from his father and grandfather.

Some elders feel that the Nisar Haveli is now not big enough to handle the main procession, but don’t want to lose this traditional start. There is no land available around the Haveli for expansion because of the closely-packed architecture of the Walled City.

The Qizalbash family is also credited with holding the first Zuljinnah procession in Lahore, when they started mourning for Imam Hussain in the Haveli in the middle of the 19th century. At that time there was only one Zuljinnah, a horse meant to represent the steed Imam Hussain rode into Karbala.

Later, other imambargahs began holding Zuljinnah processions, and now there are believed to be more than 50 Zuljinnah kept by different families in the city. The Qizalbash Waqaf, or trust, takes care of seven Zuljinnah that are loaned out free to imambargahs for processions.

Prominent personalities such as former air force chief Syed Babar Ali, Rangers Director General Hussain Mehdi, and politicians and bureaucrats have attended the majalis at the Nisar Haveli in Lahore this Muharram.

Date: 1902

Occasion: Visit to England for Coronation of King Edward VII.

Location: Lafayette studio, 179 New Bond Street, London.

Descr: FL standing.

Costume: -

Orders, Decorations & Medals: -

Furniture & Props: Painted backdrop.

Photographer: Lafayette Ltd., 179 New Bond Street, London.

Evidence of photographer at work: -

All images of sitter:


Copyright: V&A

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Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.


Biog: The Times, 30 October 1923, p 11b; Who's Who of India, Lucknow, 1911; Who's Who; Conran, W.L. & Craik, H.D. ed, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab, Lahore, 1909, pp 257-9.

Occasion: The Times, 14 August 1902, p 8a; J.E.C. Bodley, The Coronation of Edward the Seventh: A Chapter of European and Imperial History, London, 1903, p 387; India Office, ref. L/P&S/7/142/420; Conran, W.L. & Craik, H.D. ibid.

Costume: -

Orders, Decorations & Medals: -

Reproduced: -

Acknowledgements: -

All images are copyright V&A Museum, London