His Writings and Historiography
Abul Fazl’s Akbar Nama is a voluminous work. After narrating the history of
the Mughal royal family from Timur to Humayun, it deals with the history of
Akbar’s reign, year by year, down to 1602. It explains the reasons behind the
measures taken by the Emperor arid covers every aspect of the history of the
period. Inayatullah’s Takmil-i-Akbarnama is a continuation of Abul Fazl’s
work, carrying down the narrative to Akbar’s death.
     Abul Fazl’s Ain-i-Akbari is the principal source for Akbar’s
administrative institutions. It deals primarily with Akbar’s regulations in all
departments and on all subjects and includes, besides some extraneous
matter, a valuable and minute statistical account of his empire with historical
and other notes.
     There is a collection of Abul Fazl’s letters (Ruqqat-i-Abul Fazl) to Akbar
and members of the imperial family. This collection has been useful in
throwing light on several historical events.
Indo-Persian Imperial Society
Perception of Later Medieval Period as Early Modernism Several
essentials that would constitute modern social environments started emerging
in the sixteenth century, and this may be sufficient reason to describe the later
medieval period (1526–1757) as the ‘early modern’. In expanding agrarian
regions, urbanism increased dramatically. In 1595, Abu-l Fazl’s Ain-i-Akbari
mentions 180 large cities and 2,837 towns. Hierarchies of rank also emerge
more clearly in Mughal times. Large cities held the highest officers of state,
smaller cities, lesser officers, and so on, down the line. Bureaucracy and
geography shaped the identities of places and thus people inside them. The
highest elites were urban elites in the biggest cities, surrounded by provincial
elites and local elites.
                                 The bureaucracy that the Ain-i-Akbari records
Status and Role of Nobility