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What Is Love?

People have pondered that question for millennia. In Ancient Greece, love was a concept considered by some of history’s most famous philosophers including Plato and Aristotle. Greek philosophers attempted to explain love rationally and categorized the different kinds of love people could feel.

Love is an intense emotion that is one of the most wonderful parts of being human. It can also be one of the most painful of human experiences. Love comes in many forms including contented, passionate, unrequited and in the instance of the Taj Mahal, eternal.

Over the centuries, the Taj Mahal (crown palace) has endured as a symbol of eternal love. The Taj Mahal represents Shah Jihan’s love for Mumtaz Mahal (Light of the Palace), his favorite wife.

Mumtaz Mahal’s beauty was so arresting that Shah Jahan fell in love with her on sight. They were married in 1612. Mumtaz died giving birth to their 14th child in 1631, and the Shah never fully recovered from the loss. For the next two decades, he focused on building a timeless memorial to their eternal love.

Partly because Shah Jahan was so preoccupied with the Taj Mahal, the empire was neglected. In 1658 their son Aurangzeb killed his three brothers and wrested control from his father. He imprisoned Shah Jahan for life in the Agra Fort where he could gaze at the Taj Mahal from afar. He died there in 1666.

Qu’ranic inscriptions reveal that the monument represents the throne of God over the garden of paradise on the day of judgment, a testament to the Shah’s love not only for Mumtaz, but also for God. Isn't that what all human love is about? We all seek a reflection of Divine love in our relationships.

Spread the love and Happy Valentine's Day!

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