Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar (Persian جلال الدین محمد اکبر - Ǧalāl ad -Din Muhammad Akbar, * October 15, 1542 in Umarkot, Sindh, † October 27, 1605 in Agra ) succeeded his father Nasir ud din Muhammad Humayun as Mughal emperor of India in the years 1556 to 1605, and is, next to Ashoka, one of the most important rulers in the history of the country. He consolidated as an outstanding diplomat and military strategist his newly gained territories through a policy of religious tolerance in dialogue with representatives of the major faiths. Akbar married the first Mughal ruler, a Hindu, a Rajput princess from Amber and abolished the non-Muslims imposed special taxes. As he often won through marriage, the loyalty of local princes, he managed to introduce an efficient tax system.


Akbar ascended the throne at age 13 and initially was under the regency of Bairam Khan. At this time the Mughal empire was in a deep crisis and controlled only Delhi and a few surrounding villages. Akbar and his guardian were victorious in the second battle of Panipat in 1556 against Hemu, a minister of Suri, who had occupied Delhi in October 1556 and become independent. In 1560 he deposed the regent Bairam Khan and 1561 the counterparty, by letting fall to death his foster-brother Adham Khan. From now on, he ruled himself

Akbar undertook a number of smaller conquest. In these campaigns he continued war elephants and quick, light cavalry, as well as cannons, musketeers and pioneer corps. His troops were maintained in peacetime by drive hunts in practice. Sometimes Akbar fought with his life itself, there are many examples of his great personal courage. Akbar's strategy was to treat defeated opponents generously and to commit them to yourself. The same goal he pursued with his wide-ranging personal marriage policy.

On the side of the Rajput Ranas were Udai Singh (reigned 1537-1572 ) and Pratap Singh (reigned 1572-1597 ) of Mewar, the main opponent. As Akbar attack 1567/68 Chittorgarh, Udai Singh left the city and founded Udaipur. When Akbar conquered Chittor after a long siege, he let out a massacre Serve (1568). Although the hard core of the Rajputs never capitulated, succeeded Akbar to pull some of them (eg the Raja of Amber ) on his side. Until about 1580, he succeeded in establishing a stable empire in northern India, stretching from Kabul to Bengal.

Two major uprisings of Muslim nobility of Afghan origin and turkomongolischer threatened his rule. They both wanted to Akbar's half-brother Hakim, the chief prince of Kabul, making the ruler. One of them was 1580/81 was: In Bengal, the Afghan ruler Adel Hakim exclaimed, and then Akbar conquered Kabul in 1581 personally. It seems that here in the interest of the central government held influence shifts not only religious but also ethnic lines and rose the disadvantaged.

Akbar abolished the religious tax ( Dschisja 1564 and 1580) for non-Muslims from, allowing parts of the Hindu rituals ( festivals, clothing) at court and married in 1562 Hira Kunwari (also Harkha Bai, Jodha Bai ), the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amber. She went under the name of Mariam - uz - Zamani converted to Islam and became the mother of Salim. Hindus have been used not only as a minor official, but sometimes also as the highest dignitaries. For example, if a Hindu named Man Singh, the governor of Kabul, as well as reduced the risk of detachment that province. The administrative and fiscal reformers Todar time was, for example, a Hindu from humble. In the last three decades as Akbar was a Hindu- Muslim mixed culture in which also translates Hindu works ( the orthodox Muslim Bada'uni had, for example, translate the Mahabharata ) and were celebrated at court. The court language was Persian.

Before his death, it came to rivalries among the princes, and between Akbar and his eldest son Salim. Salim, who later became Emperor Jahangir, brought to the Minister Abu 'l- Fazl and moved already to Agra, as the women of the court reached a reconciliation ( 1602/ 03). Akbar Salim would like to be kept away from the line of succession, but left him last only the choice between Salim and his son Khusrau, as his other two sons had already died.

Administrative reforms and development of the land

Akbar was an administrative reformer, who with the help of his ministers (Abu 'l- Fazl, Todar time and others) organized a central administration, which was quite effective given the size of the empire, especially when compared with his successors the. The breakdown of the top administration under twelve ministers by subject area was one of the innovations that established Akbar. In practice, for example, four officers and a minister had to sign a Soldan requirement for an officer before it ever an account has been set up. Then it took to the approval of the ruler, the three ministers and six officials before the wages were paid.

His administration abolished the lump-sum taxation of villages and let the taxes instead calculated using the income; a previously never been practiced in India approach. In order to have direct access to the tax, he managed the subordinate administrative divisions into countries and explained the whole kingdom to a royal possession. Royal officials exaggerated collected taxes, no longer represented the local princes. Taxes were the farmers increasingly demanded in the form of money. With this money, Akbar turned to a standing army. Conversely, farmers were compensated for crop losses that caused the army.

The state still made ​​an effort to increase the production areas, securing the streets and to the improvement of the postal system. Under Akbar himself established a new monetary system. The introduced by Sher Shah Suri rupee became the principal silver coin of the realm, resulted Akbar a golden mohur. They parted from older, located in the decline in the value coin bet. Also weights and measures should be unified. This, however, was to streamline the administration of justice, which, by today's standards, cruel sentences were up to the death penalty continued to be imposed.

Many of Akbar's actions were already under previous rulers, but his long, relatively peaceful reign, it has established particularly true or gave them in the first application. In the social field, he took action against child marriage, bride burning and gambling and prostitution limited. He was a great patron of science, art and literature, especially the Persian language - the court language of the Mughals. After all, he himself remained illiterate.

Cultural interaction

Akbar was also a philosopher and thinker, the "true" dedicated his life to the search for a busy faith, even if the orthodox Muslims (eg Bada'uni ) finally accused him of apostasy from Islam. His freethinking was favored by liberal religious movements ( Sufism, Bhakti, Sikhism ). He invited representatives of various religions to his court, including the Portuguese Jesuits from Goa ( inter alia Rodolfo Acquaviva ). Akbar reserved the decisive word in religious matters and entered in 1579 even the pulpit of the mosque in Fatehpur Sikri. His sermon closed - yet - with "Allahu Akbar ," the general Islamic creed. A few years later he defined his own faith, but remained his private faith. Nevertheless, the merit of religious tolerance and approximate equality of Muslims and Hindus adheres to it, which also contributed to the stabilization of the Mughal Empire. At his court he employed Miyan Tansen ( a Hindu, appointed in 1562 ), a legendary musician, the miracles, were such as the rainy spell rumored.

Akbar was a great builder, who from 1569 to 1576 with Fatehpur Sikri, a - had built a new capital, which he hardly inhabited by these continuous change of location - unusual in architectural terms. In 1585 he left the city and stayed for fear of an Uzbek incidence thirteen years in Lahore, apart from three side trip into the beloved Kashmir. Today, only a small part of the city is still inhabited. In addition, the Red Fort in Agra came and the mausoleum of his father Humayun in Delhi, which characterize him as builders. His tomb in Sikandra ( Akbar 's Tomb ), probably still go back its plans in part to himself, treading in terms of architecture in new directions.