AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA. 27 starting upon any important undertaking, or that during - the siege of Chitor he made a vow to make a pilgrimage to a shrine in Ajmir after the fall of the fortress, and that after Chitor was in his power he performed this journey in the simplest pilgrim garb, tramping barefooted over the glowing sand,33 it is impossible for us to look upon Akbar as irreligious. On the contrary nothing moved the Em- peror so strongly and insistently as the striving after re- ligious truth. This effort led to a struggle against the most destructive power in his kingdom, against the Moham- medan priesthood. That Akbar, the conqueror in all do- mains, should also have been victorious in the struggle against the encroachments of the Church (the bitterest struggle which a ruler can undertake), this alone should insure him a place among the greatest of humanity. The Mohammedan priesthood, the community of the Ulemas in whose hands lay also the execution of justice according to the dictates of Islam, had attained great pros- perity in India by countless large bequests. Its distin- guished membership formed an influential party at court. This party naturally represented the Islam of the stricter observance, the so-called Sunnitic Islam, and displayed the greatest severity and intolerance towards the representa- tives of every more liberal interpretation and towards un- believers. The chief judge pf^Agira sentenced mjgji to death because they were Shiltes, that, is tCL3ay they^belongpadUto the other branch of Islan^and the Ulemas urged Akbar to proceed likewise against the heretics.34 That arrogance and vanity, selfishness and avarice, also belonged to the character of the Ulemas is so plainly to be taken for granted according to all analogies that it need hardly be mentioned. The judicature was everywhere utilized by the Ulemas as a means for illegitimate enrichment. ** Noer, I, 259. w J. T. Wheeler, IV, I, 156.