Born on 5 January 1592, Shah ab ud din Muhammad Khurram, which was Shah Jehans birth name, was the third son born to Emperor Jehangir, his mother was a Rajput princess from Marwar called Princess Manmati her official name in Mughal chronicles being Bilquis Makani. The name Khurram was chosen for the young prince by his grandfather, Emperor Akbar, with whom the young prince shared a close relationship. When Khurram was only six days old, Akbar handed him over to his first wife and chief consort, Empress Ruqaiya Sultan Begum, who was childless.Ruqaiya assumed the primary responsibility for Khurrams upbringing and he grew up under her care.Her step son, Jahangir, noted that Ruqaiya loved Khurram a thousand times more than if he had been her own son.As a child, Prince Khurram received a broad education befitting his status as a Mughal prince, which include martial training and exposure to a wide variety of cultural arts, such as poetry and music, most of which was, according to court chroniclers, under the watchful gaze of his grandfather. In 1605, as the Emperor Akbar lay on his deathbed, Prince Khurram, who at this point was 13,remained by his bedside and refused to move even after his mother tried to retrieve him. Given the politically uncertain times immediately preceding Akbars death, Prince Khurram was in a fair amount of physical danger of harm by political opponents of his father and can be understood to be a precursor of the bravery that he would later be known for.
In 1605, his father acceded to the throne after crushing a rebellion by Prince Khausrau Prince Khurram remained distant from the court politics and intrigues in that events immediate aftermath, which was apparently a conscious decision on Jahangirs part. As the third son, Prince Khurram did not challenge the two major power blocs of the time, his father and his step brother, thus he enjoyed the benefits of Imperial protection and luxury, while being allowed to continue with his education and training. This relatively quiet and stable period of his life allowed Prince Khurram to build his own support base in the Mughal court, which would be useful later on in his life.Due to the long period of tensions between his father and step brother, Prince Khurram began to drift closer to his father and over time started to be considered the de facto heir apparent by court chroniclers, this status was given official sanction when Jahangir granted the jagir of Hissar Feroza, which had traditionally been the fief of the heir apparent, to Prince Khurram in 1607.