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Lal Ed Din Mohammed

akbar, system and ceeded

LAL ED DIN MOHAMMED, most noted of the Great Moguls, Emperor of Hindustan: b. Amerkote, 14 Oct. 1542; d. Agra 1605. His father, Humayun, was driven from the throne by usurpers and fled to Persia. It was during this flight that Akbar was born. After an exile of 12 years the father returned and suc ceeded in recovering his throne, but died within the year. Akbar succeeded him at the age of 14 and at first the administration was placed in the hands of a regent, but in 1560 he asserted his strong personality and took the reins of power into his own hands. At this time the territory under the rule of Delhi was limited to a few provinces. Within 12 years Akbar had con quered and consolidated under his administra tion the whole of Hindustan north of the Dec can. But although great in war, he was even more able as an administrator, being unexcelled, or even unequaled, by any of his predecessors or successors. He threaded his dominions with roads, established a uniform system of weights and measures and organized a vigorous civil police system. His powerful influence rested more on his strong sense of justice than on the military power with which he had first subdued his enemies. For the proper levying

of taxes, the lands were accurately surveyed and a careful census of the population taken. He forbade child marriages, encouraged widows to remarry and attempted to put an end to the hideous practice of suttee, whereby wives were burned on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Although a Mohammedan by faith, he was won derfully tolerant of other forms of belief and even invited Christian missionaries into the country. Schools were established for Hindus as well as for Mohammedans and numbers of Hindu works were translated from the Sanscrit into Persian. Abu-1 Faz1 (q.v.), his able vizier, has left detailed records of the entire administration of his reign in a work which has been translated into English by Gladwin under the title 'Institutes of Akbar' (3 vols., Calcutta 1786 and London 1800). He was suc ceeded by his son Selim, also known as Jehan gir, in 1605. Consult Malleson, (Akbar) (Rulers of India series, Oxford 1891-1901) ; Garbe, 'Kaiser Abkar von Indien' (1909) ; Modi, 'Parsees at the Court of Akbar) (1903).