Akbar: The Great Mughal
Akbar's Education and Education
Akbar short for Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad Akbar also known as Akbar “The Great” was born on October 11, 1542 to the 2nd Moghul emperor “Humayun” and Hamida Banu Begam. His mother was a Persian Shi’ Muslim and “the daughter of a famous Persian scholar who served his youngest uncle, Hindal, as a civil servant” (Moujloum Khan, 172). His birth came at “an astrologically propitious hour. ‘The unique pear l of the vice regency of God came forth in his glory,’ wrote Abu-l-Fazl, ‘and at his birth the first opening of his eyes on the visible world, rejoiced the hearts of the wise with a sweet smile’” (Andre Wink 7). It was a very auspicious time to be brought to this world and his everyone rejoiced, as it is a sign of wisdom to be born with the eyes open on the stars. In addition he was born at time when his father Humayun was struggling with maintaining his power and expanding his empire even prior to his birth. Humayun’s father Babar, the founder of the Mughal Empire, had left the empire’s administration unstable and unorganized therefore Humayun had to face many problems soon after his father’s death as the successor of the empire. First he had to take action against the aggression of his biggest rival Sher Shah, founder of the Suri dynasty, to regain his power. He was then forced to flee for from time to time to Persian and Sindh and that is where he met Akbar’s mother. In addition Humayun’s rebellious and treacherous brothers Mirza Kamranm, Askari and Hindul were plotting against him and contributed immensely in his defeat and banishing by the Afghans, therefore he took military action against them and as a result he subdued them and took back Lahore, Punjab, Delhi and Agra, and reclaimed his power. After years of attempting to get his kingdom back, Humayun finally was able to get back his rule but not for too long. When Akbar was only 13 years old, his father died of an unfortunate accident in the palace while rushing to answer the call to prayer. The sudden turn of events changed Akbar’s life and he was suddenly thrust into an empire in jeopardy. *
Akbar was born at an adverse political period, which prevented him from attaining a proper education. When he was just a year and three months he was separated from his parents. The royal couple fled to Hijaz to preform pilgrimage and to solicit support from the emperor of Persia in order to regain control of Hindustan leaving baby Akbar with his uncle Askari. He was then taken to Qandahar where his uncle’s wife, Sultan Begam, took him in and raised him for a short period. In 1944, about a year after being separated from his parents, Akbar’s father Humayun returned to Qandahar with Persian auxiliary troops and took control while Akbar was taken to Kabul where he was to be handed over to Khazanda Begam, a sister of the late emperor Babur. He was a very fortunate little boy as his caretaker was very fond of him and took him in as her own son. Soon after his father-captured Kabul, Akbar was reunited with his parents after being away from them for more than two years. This period of time is known to be “the beginning of the beating of the drum of victory and conquest of His majesty” (Wink 9). Since the beginning of his life, Akbar did not have a proper home as his family was on the run from one place to another and he was deprived of formal education. For this reason he remained unlettered and he “failed to gain proficiency in literacy” (Moujloum Khan, 172). At the age of none he was given governance of the village of Carkh and just a year later when his uncle Hindal died he was given charge of his servants and entourage. As one could see that Akbar was given great responsibility despite his young age, which prepared him for his reign after his fathers demise. It is said that this great responsibility was given to him so “that his greatness might be tested… [and] that all might know his...
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