Friday, January 1, 2016

Abu'l-Fath Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar

Abu'l-Fath Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar, popularly known as Akbar I ("the great"; 15 October 1542– 27 October 1605) and later Akbar the Great (was Mughal Emperor from 1556 until his death. He was the third and one of the greatest rulers of the Mughal Dynasty in India. Akbar succeeded his father,Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India. A strong personality and a successful general, Akbar gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent north of the Godavari river. His power and influence, however, extended over the entire country because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance. To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralized system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. In order to preserve peace and order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his non-Muslim subjects. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar strived to unite far-flung lands of his realm through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to himself as an emperor who had near-divine status.

Akbar's reign significantly influenced the course of Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal Empire tripled in size and wealth. He created a powerful military system and instituted effective political and social reforms. By abolishing the sectarian tax on non-Muslims and appointing them to high civil and military posts, he was the first Mughal ruler to win the trust and loyalty of the native subjects.

Akbar’s Early Life:

Akbar was born to the second Mughal Emperor Humayun and his teenaged bride Hamida Banu Begum on October 14, 1542 in Sindh, now in Pakistan. Although his ancestors included both Genghis Khan and Timur (Timerlane), the family was on the run after losing Babur’s newly established empire.

Humayun would not regain northern India until 1555.

With his parents in exile in Persia, little Akbar was raised by an uncle in Afghanistan with help from the series of nursemaids.

Akbar takes Power:

In 1555, Humayun died just month after retaking Delhi. Akbar ascended the Mughal  throne at the age of 13 and become the King of Kings. His regent was Bayram Khan, his childhood guardian and an outstanding warrior/statesman.

The young emperor almost immediately lost Delhi once more to the Hindu leader Hemu. However, in November of 1556, Generals Bayram Khan and Khan Zaman I defeated Hemu’s much larger army at the 2nd Battle of Panipat. Hemu himself was shot through the eye as he rode into the battle atop an elephant; the Mughal army captured and executed him.

When he came of age 18, Akbar dismissed the increasingly overbearing Bayram Khan and took the direct control of the empire and army.  Bayram was ordered to make the hajj to Mecca; instead he started the rebellion against Akbar. The young emperor forces defeated Bayram’s rebels at Jalandhar in the Punjab, rather than executing the rebel leader, Akbar mercifully allowed his former regent another chance to go to Mecca. This time, Bayram Khan went.

Mughal India developed the strong and stable economy, leading to commercial expansion and greater patronage of culture. Akbar himself was the patron of art and culture. He was fond of literature and he created the library of over 24,000 volumes.  Akbar’s courts at Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri became the centres of arts, letters, and learning.

Akbar’s reign significantly influenced the course of the Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal Empire tripled the size and wealth. He created a powerful military system and instituted effective political and social reforms.

He was artisan, warrior, artist, armour, emperor, general inventor, animal trainer, technologist and theologian.

On 3rd October 1605, Akbar fell ill with an attack of dysentery, from which he never recovered. He is believed to have died on or about 27 october 1605, after which his body was buried at the mausoleum in Sikandra, Agra.

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