Akbar The Great, The Second Ruler Of The Mughal Empire

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Akbar the Great, the second ruler of the Mughal Empire, was enthroned at age 14. His reign extended for the next 49 years until his death. Akbar was unlike any other Mughal ruler because of how progressive he was for his time. Throughout his reign, there was encouragement for religious freedom because, he himself was an incredibly spiritual and intellectual person. Badayuni, a contemporary historian during Akbar’s time, said, “His majesty spent whole nights in praising God… and from a feeling of thankfulness for his past successes he would sit many a morning alone in prayer and meditation on a large flat stone of an old building which lay near the palace in a lonely spot, with his head bent over his chest, gathering the bliss of the early hours of dawn”(Smith 715). As can be interpreted by this quote, Akbar valued connections to a higher power, no matter what that higher power was. This way of thinking led to an impressive religious tolerance policy that was apart of his empire, one that helped to unite the country, and to bridge the divide between Hindus and Muslims specifically. “[Akbar’s] syncretistic genius had its impact not only on the political affairs of the Mughal Empire but also on the development of the arts”(Koch 43). The Sufi sect held the majority of the Islamic population in India at this time. And although Sufism holds more similarities to Hinduism than Orthodox Islam, there was still great animosity between the two religions. This only pushed Akbar further

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