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2                        AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.
sharply outlined, even though generally unpleasing, per-
Islam has justly been characterized as the caricature
of a religion. I^gi^icism-and fatalism are two conspicu-
ously irreligious emotions, and it is exactly these two emo-
tions, which Islam understands how to arouse in savage
peoples, to which it owes the part it has played in the his-
tory of the world, and the almost unprecedented success
of its diffusion in Asia, Africa and Europe.
About 1000 A. D. India was invaded by the Sultan
Mahmud of Ghasna. "With Mahmud's expedition into
India begins one of the most horrible periods of the history
of Hindustan. One monarch dethrones another, no dy-
nasty continues in power, every accession to the throne is
accompanied by the murder of kinsmen, plundering of
cities, devastation of the lowlands and the slaughter of
thousands of men, women and children of the predecessor's
adherents; for five centuries northwest and northern India
literally reeked with the blood of multitudes/'1 Moham-
medan dynasties of Afghan, Turkish and Mongolian origin
follow that of Ghasna. This entire period is filled with an
almost boundless series of battles, intrigues, imbroglios
and political revolutions; nearly all events had the one char-
acteristic in common, that they took place amid murder,
pillage and fire.
The most frightful spectacle throughout these reeking
centuries is the terrible Mongolian prince Timur, a suc-
cessor of Genghis-Khan, who fell upon India with his band
of assassins in the year 1398 and before his entry into Delhi
the capital, in which he was proclaimed Emperor of India,
caused the hundred thousand prisoners whom he had cap-
tured in his previous battles in the Punjab, to be slaught-
ered in one single day, because it was too inconvenient to
drag them around with him. So says Timur himself with
1E. Schlagintweit, Indien in Wort und Bild, II. 26 f.