Malik Ambar was born in Ethopia in 1548 with the name Chapu and was sold into slavery. He was eventually bought by a leading member of the Nizam Shahi court of Ahmadnagar, one of the fragile sultanates of the Deccan. The slave became a soldier, and eventually a commander of the Nizam Shahi army, leading it against the Mughal army of the emperor Akbar. By 1600 he had become Regent of the Kingdom, effectively ruling Ahmadnagar until his death in 1626. His army scored significant victories against the Mughals during the reign of Jahangir. The Mughal army was led by Jahangir’s son, Shah Jahan, who rebelled against his father in 1624 and sought support from his former enemy. It is likely that Hashim was sent with Shah Jahan’s envoy and painted this naturalistic portrait after seeing the subject at first hand.