The Ain-i-Akbari, or “Administration of Akbar,” is a 16th-century detailed text detailing the Mughal Empire’s administration under Emperor Akbar, written in Persian by his court historian, Abu’l Fazl. It is Volume III and the concluding portion of Abu’l-considerably Fazl’s longer document, the Akbarnama (Account of Akbar), which is also in three volumes. The Ain-i-Akbari is indeed the third volume of the Akbarnama, which contains administrative records on Akbar’s reign, comparable to a gazetteer. “It contains Emperor Akbar’s (i.e. manner of ruling), and is in fact the administrative report and statistical return of his administration as it was approximately 1590,” Blochmann explains.
There are five books in the Ain-i-Akbari. The first volume, manzil-abadi, is about the imperial home and its upkeep, while the second, sipah-abadi, is about the emperor’s servants, civil and military services. The third section covers imperial administration and includes rules for the judiciary and executive. The fourth section discusses Science, social norms, Hindu philosophy and literature. The fifth volume contains Akbar’s sayings, as well as an explanation of the author’s ancestry and life.
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Historical Source of Ain-I-Akbari
The administrative system of Akbar is described in detail in Ain-i-Akbari. However, Abul Fazl’s decorative writing style, which he used to attempt to imbue the spiritual consequences of Akbar’s administrative system on the reader’s mind, makes the book difficult and boring.
The author of Ain-i-Akbari attempted to consult several Sanskrit academics in order to provide a more straightforward form in terms of the book’s language. He described Hindus as having a highly tolerant religious outlook and treating their visitors with respect. In a straightforward and open manner, he had lived to respect, seriousness, honesty, and innocence. He, like Al-Biruni, accepts monotheist Hindus.
Many causes of emerging differences among followers of different religions in India have been mentioned by Abul Fazl. For example, he believes that language diversity is one of the causes. He claims that differing languages make it difficult for individuals to comprehend religious topics, ceremonies, and customs of people of other religions. Second, he claims that the inability to explain religions results in discrepancies between persons of different religions. Third, he claims that there is a lack of zeal among various people to try to comprehend the teachings of various religions.
According to Abul Fazl, rulers who are narrow-minded and obsessive are also to blame since they implement anti-people actions and policies against people of other religions.
Abul Fazl has adopted Mughal Emperor Akbar as his personal ‘Hero,’ as evidenced by Akbarnama and Ain-i-Akbari. He praised Akbar’s secular policies. According to the author of Ain-i-Akbari, the fundamental goal of Akbar’s conquests was to bring as many people as possible under his liberal, tolerant, just, and peaceful administration and rule in order to deliver maximum political benefits to as many people as possible in India.
Contents of Ain-I-Akbari
The Ain-i-Akbari is divided into five books those are discussed below:
The volume contains 90 ‘Ain’ or Regulations that deal with and describe various aspects of administration and employment at the time. The imperial mint, its workers, and their process of purifying and extracting silver and gold, as well as the dirham and the dinar, are among the many ains. The Imperial Harem (Ain 15), the royal seals (Ain 20), the imperial kitchen (Ain 23) and its cuisine, and the laws governing the days of abstinence are all covered (Ain 26). The volume includes a full explanation of the trade and business of fruits, vegetables, perfumes, carpets, and other products, as well as art and painting. Ain-i-Akbari is a fantastic source of information on the Mughal army’s upkeep during Akbar’s reign. From Ain 35 onwards, the use and maintenance of weaponry, the upkeep and branding of royal horses, camels, mules, and elephants, and even the food supplied to animals are discussed. The volume also contains regulations governing labourer compensation, construction estimates, and other matters.
The second volume is about the emperor’s employees, the military and civil services, and court attendants whose literary genius or musical skill was encouraged by the emperor, and who similarly praise the great value of their work.
The third book is entirely devoted to judicial and executive branch regulations, the dawn of a new and more realistic era, land surveying, tribal divisions, and the finance minister’s rent-roll.
The fourth chapter examines the Hindus’ social position, literary activity, especially in philosophy and law, as well as their political development, which the emperor saw as a guarantee of his realm’s security. There are also chapters about foreign conquerors of India, notable travellers, and Muslim saints and their sects.
The emperor’s moral sentences and epigrammatical sayings, observations, and precepts of wisdom are compiled in the fifth volume by Abu’l Fazl Volume 1.
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Throughout India’s history, there have been numerous educated men. But the man we’re talking about, “Abul Fazl Allami”, was a rare mix of a bright scholar, a great munshi, a famous historian, a smart administrator, and a splendid statesman. He is recognised as one of the most accomplished historians of Akbar’s court, and his ‘Akbar Nama’ and ‘Ain-e-Akbari’ testify to his extensive scholarship and grasp of Persian prose. In a nutshell, The Ain-i-Akbari, also known as the “ Constitution of Akbar,” is a 16th-century detailed book authored by Emperor Akbar’s vizier, Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak, that records the governance of his empire. It is the third and last volume of the Akbarnama, or Book of Akbar, which was also written by Abul Fazl and is divided into three volumes.