In the Mughal Empire, the reign of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, characterised throughout by intrigue and disorder, hit a low point in the years 1626-1627.

In 1626, the war of Shahjahan's Revolt had been won by the superior generalship of Mahabat Khan. However, the triumph of the general was not received with pleasure by the Empress Nur Jahan, who feared his growing popularity and power, and was concerned that he still backed Crown Prince Khurram (later emperor as Shahjahan) as heir.

Persuading the ailing emperor to "reward" Mahabat Khan by making him the governor of Bengal (far removed from the capital, and from influence at court), she went on to arrange false charges of disloyalty against him, convincing Jahangir to order his return to Lahore for trial.

Disobeying the order, Mahabat Khan led his army to the court in Punjab, and demanded an audience with Jahangir. When this was refused, he seized the emperor, but failed to capture Nur Jahan. The emperor, tricking Mahabat Khan, also managed to flee, escaping to Kashmir.

At a loss for options, Mahabat Khan took his army to Khurram, in the Deccan, and Khurram managed to convince him to submit to the emperor. Shortly thereafter, however, Jahangir died, and Mahabat Khan was never punished.

In the chaos immediately after Jahangir's death, Shahryar, Nur Jahan's protegé and rival claimant for the throne, was caught in an attempt to steal the imperial treasury at Lahore. He was blinded and imprisoned. The empress, defeated, agreed to retire on a pension.

Assuming the throne as Emperor Shahjahan, in 1628, Khurram appointed his father-in-law, Asaf Khan, prime minister. Asaf Khan's first job was to oversee the executions of all possible rival claimants to the throne - a brother, two nephews, and two cousins.