Overview for Religious and Intellectual History of the Muslims in Akbar's Reign 1556-1605
This work examines the historical works and historiographical sources of Akbar's reign to strike a balanced evaluation of the relative importance of the works of Abu'l Fazl, and of the intellectual and political movements of his time. Full recognition is given here, for the first time, to Abu'l Fazl's influential contribution to epistolography, historiography and Islamic philosophy. The so-called "religion", the Din Ilahi, is discussed from the point of view, both religious and political, of Abu'l Fazl and the political elite, and many false assumptions often made are exploded by the force of evidence from contemporary sources. Contemporary and later mystical, philosophical and historical literature in Persian, Hindi and Arabic, to be found in libraries scattered throughout India, the Middle East, U.K. and Europe, is assessed. Thus the religious and intellectual history of the Muslims of Akbar's time can be considered against the wider perspective of the religious tensions in Muslim India from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries; and the nature of their response to contemporary challenges is discussed on the basis of firm historical evidence. New light is thrown upon some of Akbar's institutions; upon the 'Ibadat Khana, and the Translation Bureau (the Muktab Khana); upon the Declaration (Mahzar); and upon the composition and influence of the elite of his time, with a detailed analysis of the character and beliefs of such leading members as the sanctimonious and avaricious Shaikh 'Abdu'n-Nabi, the profuse yet orthodox Shaikh Farid Bukhari and that incomparable anecdotist, the able, fluent yet frustrated Mulla, 'Abdu'l-Qadir Bada'uni. In short, this work aims at giving an authoritative account of the life of Abu'l Fazl and of his contribution to a period which is still largely misunderstood even by its admirers.
Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi (Author)
Dr. S.A.A. Rizvi, M.A., Ph.D., D.Litt. has been working as Reader in the department of Asian Civilizations at the Australian National University, Canberra since 1967. in 1969 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Before joining the A.N.U. he worked as Head of the History Department, Jammu and Kashmir University, and earlier as Secretary of the History of the Freedom Movement Committee, Government of U.P. Dr. Rizvi was a Research Associate in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, during 1962-63 and was a Fellow in the same institution in 1969. In 1972 he was a Visiting Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Among Dr. Rizviâ€™s most important publications, are the following: Source Book on Medieval Indian History, in Hindi, Vols. I-X (Aligarh Muslim University, 1955-62); Freedom Struggle in U.P. Vols. I-VI (U.P. Government, Lucknow, 1957-61); Muslim Revivalist Movements in Northern India in the 16th and 17thCenturies (Agra, 1965); Fatehpur Sikri (New Delhi, 1972); Fatehpur Sikri in collaboration with Dr. V.J.A. Flynn (Bombay, 1975); Hindi translations of the Maqaddamah of Ibn Khaldun (Lucknow, 1961); Haqaâ€™iq-i-Hindi (Varanasi, 1957); Alakh Bani (Aligarh, 1971); Religious and Intellectual History of the Muslims in Akbarâ€™s Reign 1556-1605 with special reference to Abuâ€™l-Fazl (New Delhi, 1975); A History of Sufism in India, Vol. I (New Delhi, 1978); A History of Sufism in India, Vol. II (1983); Shah Wali-Allah and his times (Canberra, 1980) and Iran: Royalty, Religion and Revolution (Canberra, 1980); Landmarks of South Asian Civilizations (New Delhi, 1984). He has also contributed chapters to the Cambridge History of Islam Vol. II (Cambridge, 1970); the Cultural History of India (Oxford, 1975) and in the World of Islam (London, 1976). His research articles have been published in various international Journals. Forthcoming: A History of Islamic Proselytisation in India, A Short History of Sufism in India, Awrangzib and his time to be published by Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.