Indo-Persian poet and literary patron. Name variations: Zeb-un-Nisa, Zeb-un-Nissar, Zebunnisa; (pseudonym) Makhfi ("the hidden one"). Born 1639 in Delhi, India; died 1702 in Delhi; eldest dau. of Aurangzeb (1618–1707), Mughal emperor (r. 1658–1707); her mother was his 1st wife who died in 1657; studied Arabic, Persian, mathematics and astronomy; never married.
In early years, had sway over her father, had her own court, which attracted scholars and poets, and established a library; influenced by her paternal aunt Jahanara, became a Sufi; when her brother Akbar tried to usurp the throne (1681), was imprisoned for 21 years in Salimgarh Fort, an island prison, accused by father of being part of the conspiracy; wrote some of her poetry under the name Makhfi, using elements of Hinduism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism. Years after her death, over 400 of her poems were collected and published in Persian as Diwan-i-Makhfi (1724, English translation published as The Divan of Zeb-un-Nisa ).