Noor Jehan Biography, Age, Death, Husband, Career and Net Worth

Published on Nov 17, 2023 by

Allah Rakha Wasai (Noor jahan) Biography
Full Name Allah Rakhi Wasai
Nick Name Noor Jehan
Profession Actress, Playback Singer
Date of Birth September 21, 1926
Birthplace Kasur, Punjab
Age 74 Years
Death Date December 23, 2000, Karachi
Nationality Indian, Pakistani
Eye Colour Black 
Hair Colour Brown 
Figure Measurement N/A
Hobbies Singing, reading, gardening and painting
Religion Islam
Zodiac/ Star Sign Virgo
Gender Female
Height 5 ft 6 inch (1.70 m)
Weight 68 kg (128 lbs)
Father’s Name Imdad Ali 
Mother’s Name Fateh Bibi
Siblings Eiden Bai (sister), Muhammad Husain (brother), Muhammad Shafi (brother), Haider Bandib (brother), Inayat Hussain (sister), Mian Nawab Din (brother), Gul Muhammad(sister)
Marital Status Married twice 
Husband Name Shaukat Hussain Rizvi (1942-1953), Ejaz Durrani(1959-1971)
kids Zile Huma, Hina Durrani, Akbar Hussain Rizvi, Nazia Ejaz Khan, Mina Hasan and Asghar Hussain Rizvi
Father-in-Law Name N/A
Sister-in-Law Name N/A
Mother-in-Law Name N/A
Net Worth Approx. $5 million

Noor Jehan’s Introduction

Noor Jehan Biography

Noor Jehan, Malika-e-Tarannum, was a famous Pakistani singer and actress. Born as Allah Rakhi Wasai on September 21, 1926, in Kasur, Punjab.  She was 74 years old. She died on December 23, 2000, Karachi. She grew up in a musical family and started singing at a very young age. Her talent was recognised early, and she received training in classical singing, excelling in styles like thumri, dhrupad, and khyal. She was known for her beautiful voice and her ability to bring deep emotion to her songs, earning her the title Queen of Melody.

Noor Jehan’s Family

Noor Jehan Family

Noor Jahan was born into a Punjabi Muslim family as Allah Rakhi Wasai. She was one of seven children of her parents, Madad Ali and Fateh Bibi, both of whom were musicians. From an early age, Noor Jehan showed a natural talent for music, which her parents nurtured. She has seven siblings named Eiden Bai (sister), Muhammad Husain (brother), Muhammad Shafi (brother), Haider Bandib (brother), Inayat Hussain (sister), Mian Nawab Din (brother), Gul Muhammad(sister). Among her siblings, two of her sisters, Eidan Bai and Haider Bandib, also pursued careers in acting. They were active in the rural Taka Theatre in Lahore. The family’s collective involvement in music and acting played a crucial role in shaping Noor Jehan’s career, both as a singer and an actress.

 Her family moved to Calcutta in the early 1930s. She gained early fame with her stage name Baby Noor Jehan. This rich family background in the arts provided a strong foundation for her successful career in the Pakistani film industry.

Noor Jehan’s Husband and Kids

Noor Jehan husband and kids

Noor Jehan was married twice in her life. Her first marriage was to Shaukat Hussain Rizvi, a film producer-director, in 1942. The couple had three children, Akbar Hussain Rizvi, Asghar Hussain Rizvi, and Zil-e-Huma together, but their marriage ended in divorce in 1953. Later, in 1959, Noor Jehan married Ejaz Durrani in 1959, who was also a film actor, director, and producer. They also had three children: Nazia Ejaz Khan, Hina Durrani, and Mina Hasan. However, this marriage also ended in divorce in 1971. Across these two marriages, Noor Jehan had a total of six children, contributing to her rich family life alongside her illustrious career in the Pakistani film and music industry.

Noor Jehan’s Career in British India

Noor Jehan’s Career in British India

Noor Jehan started singing when she was six years old. She liked many types of music, including folk songs and theatre songs. Her dad saw she was good at singing and sent her to learn classical music with Ustad Ghulam Mohammad when she was 11. She learned in Calcutta about different styles like thumri, dhrupad, and khyal.

At nine, a Punjabi musician named Ghulam Ahmed Chishti noticed her talent. He helped her start performing on stage in Lahore and wrote songs for her. She wanted to act and sing in movies. After training, she and her sister sang and danced in cinemas before the movies started.

Diwan Sardari Lal, a theatre owner, took her to Calcutta in the early 1930s. Her whole family moved there to work in movies. A singer named Mukhtar Begum helped them get into the film industry. She also introduced them to her husband, who had a big theatre. Noor Jehan got the name “Baby Noor Jehan” on this stage. Her sisters also got film jobs and were known as the Punjab Mail.

In 1935, she acted and sang in a Punjabi movie, “Pind di Kuri.” The song “Lang Aaja Patan Chana Da” became a hit. She did more movies and songs in Calcutta. In 1938, she went back to Lahore. In 1939, music director Ghulam Haider made her famous with his songs.

In 1942, she acted as an adult in “Khandaan” with Pran, which was a big hit. This success led her to move to Bombay. She sang in “Duhai” (1943) and lent her voice to another actress. She got married the same year. From 1945 to 1947, before moving to Pakistan, she was a top actress in India. Her movies like “Badi Maa,” “Zeenat,” “Gaon Ki Gori,” “Anmol Ghadi,” “Mirza Sahiban,” and “Jugnu” were very popular. “Mirza Sahiban” was her last Indian movie.

Noor Jehan’s Acting Career in Pakistan

Noor Jehan’s Career in pakistan

In 1947, Rizvi and Noor Jehan moved to Pakistan when India was divided after independence from Britain. They left Bombay and made Karachi their new home.

In Pakistan, three years later, Noor Jehan acted in her first Pakistani movie, “Chan Wey” (1951), with Santosh Kumar. This was also her first time as a main actress and singer in a Pakistani film. She and Rizvi directed this movie together, and this made Noor Jehan the first woman director in Pakistan. “Chan Wey” was a big hit in Pakistan in 1951. Her next movie was “Dupatta” (1952), which was even more successful.

Noor Jehan and Rizvi had problems and divorced in 1953. Noor Jahan kept her three kids. In 1959, she married Ejaz Durrani, a younger film actor. Durrani wanted her to stop acting, and her last movie as an actress and singer was “Ghalib” (1961). This made her even more famous. She sang a famous song in the film “Qaidi” (1962). Noor Jahan’s last acting role was in “Baaji” in 1963, but not as the main actress.

In 1963, after 33 years in movies, Malika-e-Tarannum Noor Jahan stopped acting. She had six kids and was married to Durrani, so she decided to focus on her family. She acted in 14 Pakistan films, including 10 Urdu and four Punjabi.

Noor Jahan’s Career as Playback Singer

After she stopped acting, Noor Jahan focused on playback singing. She started playback singing for movies in 1960, with her first film being “Salma.” She had already done playback singing for the 1951 film “Chann Wey,” where she was also the director. The government of Pakistan gave her the Pride of Performance award in 1965. She sang duets with famous singers like Ahmed Rushdi and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. She was friends with many Asian singers and went to concerts of famous musicians like Ustad Salamat Ali Khan.

Lata Mangeshkar praised her voice, saying she could sing high or low and always sounded good. Singing was hard work for Noor Jahan, both emotionally and physically. In the 1990s, she also sang for new actresses like Neeli and Reema. She became more popular with her patriotic songs during the 1965 Pakistan-India war.

In 1971, she went to Tokyo for a World Song Festival as Pakistan’s representative. In 1982, she visited India for a movie celebration and met many famous people there, including the Indian Prime Minister and other movie stars.

In 1991, actress Vanessa Redgrave invited her to sing in London at a fundraiser for Middle Eastern children. Famous singers and actors attended this event. She also sang a song for a Pakistani film, “Dam Mast Kalander/Aalmi Gunday.”

Noor Jehan’s Films

Year Film Notes
1935 Pind Di Kudi as Child artist
1935 Sheela
1936 Misr Ka Sitara as Child artist
1937 Heer-Sayya as Child artist
1939 Gul Bakawli
1939 Imandaar
1939 Pyam-e-Haq
1936 Gul-e-Bakawali as Child artist
1940 Sajani
1940 Yamla Jat
1941 Chaudhry
1941 Red Signal
1941 Umeed
1941 Susral
1942 Chandani
1942 Dheeraj
1942 Faryad
1942 Khandan Shot in Lahore.Second Highest Grossing Indian Film of 1942
1943 Naadaan
1943 Duhai
1943 Naukar Fifth Highest Grossing Indian Film of 1943
1944 Lal Haveli
1944 Dost
1945 Zeenat Highest Grossing Indian Film of 1945
1945 Gaon Ki Gori Second Highest Indian Grossing Film of 1945
1945 Badi Maa Third Highest Grossing Indian Film of 1945
1945 Bhai Jaan
1946 Anmol Ghadi Highest Grossing Indian Film of 1946 (with Surendra (actor))
1946 Dil
1946 Humjoli
1946 Sofia
1946 Maharana Pratap
1947 Mirza Sahibaan Fourth Highest Grossing Indian Film of 1947
1947 Jugnu Highest Grossing Indian Film of 1947 (with Dilip Kumar)
1947 Abida
1947 Mirabai
1951 Chanway First Film in Pakistan, Biggest Hit of 1951
1952 Dopatta Biggest Hit of 1952 in Pakistan
1953 Gulnar
1955 Patey Khan
1956 Lakt-e-Jigar (released 17 February 1956)
1956 Intezaar (released 12 May 1956)
1957 Nooran (released 30 May 1957)
1958 Choo mantar
1958 Anarkali (released 6 June 1958)
1959 Neend (released 16 October 1959)
1959 Pardaisan
1959 Koel (released 24 December 1959)
1961 Ghalib (released 24 November 1961)
1994 Danda Peer
1996 Dam Mast Kalander/Aalmi Gunday (released 27 September 1996)

Noor Jehan’s Songs List

  • Mundeya Dupatta Chad Mera
  • Mere Pairan Di Lachhi
  • Kuch Der To Ruk Jao
  • Dil Da Jani
  • Tere Naal Mein
  • Pendi Ae Barsaat
  • Mere Dil De
  • Tu Jo Mere Hamesha Kol
  • Aaja Meri Barbaad Mohabbat Ke
  • Jawan Hai Mohabbat
  • Main Tey Mera Dilbar
  • Too Te Meri Akhyan Di
  • Tera Ishq Vi Pagal
  • We Ik Tera Pyar
  • Munda Patwari Da
  • Har Lehza Hai Momin
  • Mahi Aave Ga
  • Hum Se Badal Gaya
  • Chandni Raatein
  • Chan Sajna Nehre Nehere Ho
  • Har Lehza Hai
  • Sayoni Mera Mahi
  • Yaari Lani Ae Te Paki Paki La
  • Jhanjhar Di Pawan
  • Vaikh Ve Din Chariya Ke Nahin
  • Dil
  • Badiyan Ashiq Mazaj Akhan
  • Dil Da Faisla Ae
  • Jhanjhar Di Pawan Chankar
  • Kee Dam Da Bharosa Yaar
  • Mera Dilbar
  • Asi Kale Nai Kharab

Noor Jehan’s Awards and Nomination

Year Awards
1945 Gold medal for ‘Zeenat’ by Z.A Bukhari
1945 First woman to sing Qawwali in film ‘Zeenat’
1957 President’s Award for film ‘Intezar’
1965 Special Nigar Award for wartime songs
1965 Pride of Performance by the President of Pakistan
1965 Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for moral support in Indo-Pak war
1972 Silver Disc Award for Best Ghazal Singer
1981 Special Nigar Award for 30 years of excellence
1987 NTM Life Time Achievement Award
1991 First Pakistani singer to sing at the Royal Albert Hall
1996 Sitara-e-Imtiaz
1998 PTV Life Time Achievement Award
1999 Millennium Award for services to Pakistani Cinema
2000 Voice of Century title by Pakistan Television (PTV)
2002 First Lux Life Time Achievement Award
2014 Greatest Female Singer Of Pakistan
2017 Top Female Pakistani Singer
2017 Cultural Ambassador of Pakistan

Noor Jehan’s Death

In 1986, Noor Jehan, on a tour in North America, had chest pain. Doctors found she had a serious heart condition, and she needed surgery. Her daughter said that in her last years, Noor Jehan also had a kidney problem and was on dialysis. In 2000, she was in a hospital in Karachi and had a heart attack. She died on December 23, 2000. She died at the age of 74 years. Her funeral in Karachi was very big, with more than 400,000 people coming.

She was buried in Karachi. The President of Pakistan then, Pervez Musharraf, wanted her to have a big funeral and be buried in Lahore, but her daughters chose to bury her in Karachi immediately. A famous Indian writer, Javed Akhtar, said after her death that even when India and Pakistan had problems, shared culture kept them connected. He thought Noor Jehan was important in keeping this connection and was worried her death might affect it.

Noor Jehan’s Net Worth

Noor Jehan Net worth

Noor Jehan had earned a lot of money from her work. She had about $5 million, which is a really big amount. This is a sign of very good or hard work. She set a high benchmark in Pakistan as well as in the Indian film industry with her singing talent. She got this money because she was good at singing and acting in movies, and many people liked her work.


Who was Noor Jehan?

Noor Jehan was a famous Pakistani singer and actress known for her powerful voice and her contributions to the Pakistani film industry.

When and where was Noor Jehan born?

Noor Jehan was born on September 21, 1926, in Kasur, Punjab, British India.

Did Noor Jehan have any children?

Noor Jehan had six children from her two marriages.

When did Noor Jehan pass away?

Noor Jehan passed away on December 23, 2000, due to heart failure.

What was Noor Jehan's real name?

Her real name was Allah Rakhi Wasai.

About the Author: Gulrukh Chaudhary

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.

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