The reading; Abu-al Fazal’s book, Ai-ni Akbari, is a collection of oriental scholarly works from the reign of Akbar, the great Indian emperor of the 18th century. The book is about a highly reverenced king, referred to as His Majesty: how he seeks to live a simple life, his quest for wisdom and the truth, and his strive to make his life an adoration of God (Abu and Blochmann 163). Emperor Akbar exercises fairness over his servants through appointments and the payment of fair salaries. The author emphasizes the mentioned leader’s administrative prowess in running the matters of his empire-the Munghal dynasty. The king is also the supreme spiritual leader of his people who desire to learn how to have everlasting life and be free from selfishness and conceit of the heart from him.
The writing sheds light on Indian culture and the value that was placed on certain practices, such as temple worship. It enables one to understand the dynamics that existed in society and how people lived and respected the rules. For example, the king did not like eating flesh, so his followers decided to abstain from meat and interacting with those they suspected to have been in contact with flesh, such as, the butchers. The book expounds on the administrative aspect of the dynasty with emphasis on the emperor’s task of upholding justice. Since the ruler seeks to bring glory to God in all he does, he conducts his business fairly and teaches his novices to act in a similar manner. The wisdom of his Majesty is evident through the many wise sayings that are recorded in the book and how he connected all creation with God the Creator.
Abu-al Fazal sought to document the intricate details of his king. He dwelled in the emperor’s court. His knowledge of linguistics made him a great author, and he focused on preserving the wisdom of his great ruler through writing. He was influenced by Akbar’s religious views and administrative practices. Besides, he acknowledged the connection between the world and its beauty with the grandeur of the Creator. Therefore, his writing showers praise on His Majesty’s distinction from other men and how his wisdom helped him discern the needs of the nation and govern it with excellence. The author wants to show that God guided the Akbar’s in all his undertakings and that he knew the futility of life when men seek to satisfy their desires and deny deity. As is evident in ‘The saying of His Majesty,’ the material world was to be seen as a reflection of the spiritual world, thus dictating that men live uprightly.
The author focuses on the wisdom of the great emperor, which indicates his liking and personal bias towards the king. The reading contains details of the Indian way of life, including the position of men and women in society and the issue of marriage and childbearing among others. The reader is inclined to think that the author intends to pass cultural and religious information amassed in his lifetime to benefit the coming generations. The author also aims at depicting the virtuousness of the mentioned ruler. Equally, the writings are meant to serve as a guide and reminder of the great rule of Emperor Akbar thus preserve his fame for generations to come.
Abu, Al-Fazl M, and Henry Blochmann. The A’in-I Akbari by Abu’l-Fazl ‘allami. 2nd ed. Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1873.