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AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.                         13

of the native inhabitants by lifting the hated poll tax which
still existed side by side with all other taxes.

The founder of Islam had given the philanthropical
command to exterminate from the face of the earth all fol-
lowers of other faiths who were not converted to Islam,
but he had already convinced himself that it was im-
possible to execute this law. And, indeed, if the Moham-
medans had followed out this precept, how would they have
been able to overthrow land upon land and finally even
thickly populated India where the so-called unbelievers
comprised an overwhelming majority? Therefore in place
of complete extermination the more practical arrangement
of the poll tax was instituted, and this was to be paid by all
unbelievers in order to be a constant reminder to them
of the loss of their independence. This humiliating burden
which was still executed in the strictest, most inconsiderate
manner, Akbar removed in the year 1565 without regard
to the very considerable loss to the state's treasury. Nine
years later followed the removal of the tax upon religious
assemblies and pilgrimages, the execution of which had
likewise kept the Hindus in constant bitterness towards
their Mohammedan rulers.

Sometime previous to these reforms Akbar had abol-
ished a custom so disgusting that we can hardly compre-
hend that it ever could have legally existed. At any rate
it alone is sufficient to brand Islam and its supreme con-
tempt for followers of other faiths, with one of the greatest
stains in the history of humanity. When a tax-collector
gathered the taxes of the Hindus and the payment had
been made, the Hindu was required "without the slightest
sign of fear of defilement" to open his mouth in order that

This was much more tEan a disgusting humiliation. When
the tax-collector availed himself of this privilege the Hindu
"Noer, II, 6, 7; G. B. Malleson, 174 175-