Skip to main content

Full text of "Akbar, The Emperor Of India"

See other formats

AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.                         37
their loyal sentiments His Majesty forbids them, for such
manifestations of worship belong to God alone/'42 Finally
however Akbar felt himself moved to forbid prostration
publicly, yet to permit it in a private manner, as appears in
the following words of Abul Fazl43:
"But since obscurantists consider prostration to be a
blasphemous adoration of man, His Majesty in his prac-
tical wisdom has commanded that it be put an end to with
ignorant people of all stations and also that it shall not be
practiced even by his trusted servants on public court days.
Nevertheless if people upon whom the star of good fortune
has shone are in attendance at private assemblies and re-
ceive permission to be seated, they may perform the pros-
tration of gratitude by bowing their foreheads to the earth
and so share in the rays of good fortune. So forbidding
prostration to the people at large and granting it to the
select the Emperor fulfils the wishes of both and gives the
world an example of practical wisdom."
The desire to unite his subjects as much as possible
finally impelled Akbar to the attempt to equalize religious
differences as well. Convinced that religions did not differ
from each other in their innermost essence, he combined
what in his opinion were the essential elements and about
the year 1580 founded a new religion, the famous Din i
Ilahi, the "religion of God." This religion recognizes only
one God, a purely spiritual universally efficient being from
whom the human soul is derived and towards which it
tends. The ethics of this religion comprises the high
moral requirements of Sufism and Parsism: complete tol-
eration, equality of rights among all men, purity in
thought, word and deed. The demand of monogamy, too,
was added later. Priests, images and temples,—Akbar
would have none of these in his new religion, but from the
"In Noer, 11,409.
aInNoer, II, 347, 348.