// Film: Jodhaa Akbar
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a_desert_rose
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« on: Mar 09, 2008 01:30 PM »




Summary from Wikipedia:

Jodhaa Akbar is a sixteenth century love story about a marriage of alliance that gave birth to true love between a great Mughal emperor, Akbar, and a Rajput princess, Jodhaa.

Political success knew no bounds for Emperor Akbar (Hrithik Roshan). After having secured the Hindu Kush, he furthered his realm by conquest until his empire extended from Afghanistan to the Bay of Bengal, and from the Himalayas to the Godavari River. Through a shrewd blend of diplomacy, intimidation and brute force , Akbar won the allegiance of the Rajputs. But little did Akbar know that when he married Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), a fiery Rajput princess, in order to further strengthen his relations with the Rajputs, he would in turn be embarking upon a new journey – the journey of true love.

The daughter of King Bharmal of Amer, Jodhaa resented being reduced to a mere political pawn in this marriage of alliance, and Akbar’s biggest challenge now did not merely lie in winning battles, but in winning the love of Jodhaa – a love hidden deep below resentment and extreme prejudice. Jodhaa-Akbar is their untold love story.


I have read about Akbar...apparently he blended Hinduism and Islam and formed a new religious cult called "Deen-i-Ilaahi", from what I've read he seems like a megalomaniac but a lot of Hindus praise him because he improved Hindu-Muslim relations, appointed many Hindus in important positions, repealed the jizya tax, things which very few Mughal emperors did.

About his wife Jodhaa, her real name was Hira Kunwari, and she changed her name to Mariam-uz-Zamani upon marriage when she "converted" to Islam, although Akbar allowed her to maintain her Hindu rituals so it seems she was a Muslim only by name. It's really confusing reading about Akbar's life because there are sooo many conflicting reports about him...

Has anyone seen the film? Any thoughts? All I hope is that it portrays Muslims in a positive light Smiley

Wassalam,
a_desert_rose

ps. trust Bollywood to take what could have been a historical epic and turn it into a mushy love story  Wink
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 09, 2008 08:02 PM »

 salaam

I've seen it.

It shows muslims in the extreme light ie the muslims are the ones who go around killing and oppressing the hindus in the guise of the mullahs.

They show Akbar as being weak and easily lead, first by his army general as a child and then by his wet nurse as an adult.

It hides these negative connotations pretty well as the main protaganist is Hrithik Roshan and not many people will be thinking hindu V muslims here, they'll be thinking awwww Hrithik and Aish what a cute couple.


I watched it as I was bored.
Akbar I think went mad in real life, his deen e ilahi was the insipiration for Sikhism but I'm not terribly sure about this last bit, he did go nuts tho, and his grave is not a pretty happy place either......go visit it sometime there's a lesson to be learned there somewhere.


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 10, 2008 12:40 AM »

Interesting opinions.

*small spoilers*

I saw this film twice, once at home and once in the movie theater and loved it. I don't know much about the "real history" although it seems quite disputed. However, my father is from India and quite scholarly about that stuff so I asked him quite a bit about it. We also visited a number of the famous Mughal sites in India such as Fatepur Sikri etc and learned about it when we were younger. So, sure a lot of stuff was made up, and liberal license was definitely taken into making the movie. (Like those whole made up conditions? Sorry women didn't have a say in anything back then! and ignoring the whole fact that she had converted to Islam and never had a temple in her quarters!) It's a true Bollywood style movie with romance, intrigue, betrayal, praying to hindu gods, huge songs, even elephants! etc.

They do show some subtle anti-Islamic things like he's only cured once she worships her god and how the only hijab wearing 'religious' wet nurse is evil, along with the self-righteous ulema. But I don't think they were obviously 'anti-islam'. It was more like they were trying to push secularism across.

In the end, I think the movie showed what the director wanted to show and got the message he wanted to get across. He wanted to show that the Moghuls weren't evil conquerors. He wanted to show that Akbar was a truly great man, a humanist who had the vision and guts to unite India, and truly do what his forefathers weren't able to do -- position himself as an 'Indian' ruler and not a foreigner and subsequently conquer all of India. Many people say this deen-e-ilahi was just a half way thing that the hindus could be brought to accept until they could be eventually ready for Islam. It was just a different name for islam/tawheed after all it means 'religion of God'. If he had been harsh and pushed islam down peoples throats, he would never have 'won' the people, let alone have legitimacy of reign. If you are a smart ruler you make alliances, you arrange marriages with the enemies and conquered, you do all these things to bring peace to your empire. You respect the traditions, you incorporate the culture and traditions of the land while keeping ur religion, you make it your own. This is the way Islam spread across the world so quickly and peacefully.

[I think there's truly a lesson for us to learn here. As Islam spread, it spread as principles and practice, it incorporated the local culture. It didn't change who people were. It created a new culture that adhered to Islamic principles and kept their own traditions. Their societies were intact culturally. People were given freedom in what they wanted to believe. Today, we have like this black and white mentality. It's like something is either completely wrong if it isn't one certain way. Wearing ethnic dress: Haram. Wearing a black jilbab: Halal must do, only way to do. Being harsh to enemies and beheading them: Halal. It's like?? The world is not so black and white. We've truly somehow lost the Islam in there being like this you know what I mean?]
 
The director also showed the awesome scale of the Moghul power and pageantry, their love for arts, architecture, poetry. The main moral seems to be in the last words of the film: that only through respecting each other's traditions and religions will India ever have true peace and happiness. And that is definitely a very Islamic principle. Muslims ruled India for 800 years as a minority and you see that they were always allowed to keep their traditions and religions.

I loved the clothes and jewelery and to see Fatepur Sikri like that was like a vision come true. Truly beautifully filmed. Even the battle scenes, while gory were well choreographed and shot. The songs were poetry. And I also liked that they showed Akbar as a principled man, and spiritual with his Sufism stuff. And I also liked the whole playing out of an arranged marriage to good end, I thought the whole love story was done very well.

I hope Indians watch this in droves because there is no doubt it shows Muslims in a good light even if it doesn't seem like it to us. Extreme hindu groups in India are calling for banning it and bombing theaters because they think it shows Mughals in too good a light. Muslims say there's not enough strict "Islam" in it and of course that the whole love story/keeping her hinduism is fiction not to mention there are a number of loveydovey scenes in it during the love story and are protesting it. And then in Rajasthan it's banned because they don't like how it portrays their Rajput history. For a film that's trying to get across the message of religious harmony, it's sadly ironic.


PS.  I wouldn't really recommend this film for Muslims to watch because it's a straight out bollywood movie, but I would recommend for all of us to learn more about the history of this time period and think about the lessons for us maybe.

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« Reply #3 on: Mar 12, 2008 05:27 AM »

I had a good impression of the person Jannah.

But reading the persons reply to Topic Film: Jodhaa Akbar, i got disappointed. Not a
 Islamic thinking. Akbar sacrificed Islam for Empire (Married a mushrik which is haram,
 promoted dee-ne-ilahi, etc. etc.) but Islam teaches us to sacrifice everything for Islam.

The person should do touba and get his/her aqeedah corrected.

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« Reply #4 on: Mar 12, 2008 05:51 AM »

I had a good impression of the person Jannah.

But reading the persons reply to Topic Film: Jodhaa Akbar, i got disappointed. Not a
 Islamic thinking. Akbar sacrificed Islam for Empire (Married a mushrik which is haram,
 promoted dee-ne-ilahi, etc. etc.) but Islam teaches us to sacrifice everything for Islam.

The person should do touba and get his/her aqeedah corrected.
Yeah that jannah person is pretty out there!

Well I was just waiting for someone to call me haram for watching a movie but this is even better Wink Umm so did you even read what I wrote? First of all, Akbar by all reports was married to only Muslims, one of his wives WAS Hindu before he married her. There is some controversy whether "Jodha" was his daughter-in-law or his wife but the majority says she was his wife. Whoever she was originally, she took the name Maryam az-Zamani upon becoming Muslim on the marriage. So why are you accusing him of marrying a mushrik? Rasulullah (s) also married many non-Muslims who became Muslim before their marriage. So what's wrong with that? Also as I said i don't know anything about the "deen e ilahi" but relaying what is an opinion of some people. I'm sure it's a very debatable subject, so you can just go argue it out with them.

And what does tawbah and aqeedah have anything to do with this? To accuse someone of having wrong aqeedah is to accuse them of going into the Hellfire because our aqeedah determines our intention and actions. Now you are saying that because I wrote an OPINION ON A MOVIE that you don't AGREE with that I'm on the wrong aqeedah and going to the Hellfire, and I'm assuming you haven't even seen the movie either! Seriously now. Go up and read what I wrote in [] brackets again and think about it. This totally is speaking to you.

EVEN IF Akbar married a million mushriks and lived a life of shirk and I liked the movie or liked him for some reason it does NOT give you the right to accuse anyone of having a wrong aqeedah. Seriously go learn what aqeedah is first too.

Last thing, obviously many Muslim rulers were messed up and I doubt any would fall under the category of "perfect Muslim", but if you're from India and Muslim this is one man you should thank for that.

wsalam
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 14, 2008 12:06 PM »

slm, pls can someone explain this song.  My husband was at a function at a mosque last week and they had a qawali performance (i'm assuming it was qawali and not naaths, so don't shoot me).  Anyhow, this Pakistani group sang this song and we were later told it was from this movie.  What is the song about please?

Jzk.
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 14, 2008 03:59 PM »


I found the translation from a quick google search:

Khwajaji, khwaja (O saint khwaja)
Khwajaji, khwaja, khwaja ji (O saint khwaja) ; (O saint khwaja)
Ya gharib nawaz (The one who cherishes/soothes the poor)
Ya moinuddin, ya khwaja ji (O moinuddin chisti), (O khwaja saint)
Khwaja mere khwaja (O saint khwaja)
Dil mein sama ja (Reside in my heart)
Shaho ka shah tu (You are the king of kings)
Ali ka dulara (Ali's beloved)
Khwaja mere khwaja dil mein sama ja (O saint khwaja); (Reside in my heart)
Beqaso ki taqdeer, tune hai sawari (The destiny of the ones in despair, you have changed for the better)
Khwaja mere khwaja (O saint khwaja)
Tere darbar mein khwaja (At your door, o khwaja)
Door toh hai dekha (Ive seen it from far)
Sar jhuka te hai auliya (Your confidents/protectors/confessors bow down to you)
Tu hai Hindalwali khwaja (You are the hindalwali Khwaja)
Rutba hai pyara (Your status is glorious/great)
Chahne se tujhko khwaja ji mustafa ko paya (By wishing/worshipping you Khwaja, I have found muhammed [the chosen one])
Khwaja mere khwaja (O saint khwaja)
Dil mein sama ja (Reside in my heart)
Shaho ka shah tu (You are the king of kings)
Ali ka dulara (Ali’s beloved)
Mere peer ka sadka (The alms of my old age)
Hai mere peer ka sadka (It is the charity of my old age)
Tera daaman hai thama (That I have come in your refuge)
Khawajaji
Tali har bala humari (All my problems/crisis have been averted)
Chaya hai khumar tera (Your trance is all over me)
Jitna bhi rashk kare beshak (No matter how much one may envy(rashk) be jealous)
Toh kam hai ae mere khwaja (Its just too less, o khwaja)
Tere kadmo ko mere rehnuma nahi chodna gawara (Its not acceptable(gawara) , o my guide(rehnuma), to leave your feet(kadmo)now.)
Khwaja mere khwaja (O saint khwaja)
Dil mein sama ja (Reside in my heart)
Shaho ka shah tu (You are the king of kings)
Ali ka dulara (Ali’s beloved)
Khwaja mere khwaja dil mein sama ja (O saint khwaja); (Reside in my heart)
Beqaso ki taqdeer, tune hai sawari (The destiny of the ones in despair, you have changed for the better)


Reference: http://wonderfuldestiny.blogspot.com/2008/02/meaning-of-khwaja-mere-khwaja-song.html

I don't like it personally, because it has bid'ati undertones but that's just me  oldshaykh.

Wassalam,

a_desert_rose
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« Reply #7 on: Mar 14, 2008 09:39 PM »

salam

An interesting topic with differing viewpoints, so typical of any history discussion. I
 thought I would post my views on Akbar (not the movie), this got me thinking about history
 as a subject. So I called my parents in the middle of the night my time (mid day for
 them). I asked them what they thought of Akbar or had learnt about Akbar’s rule when they
 were kids, my mom started off about what she was reading about Jodha-Akbar in the news
 papers, I had to ask them now go back about 40-50 years what tell me what did you learn
 about Akbar in school, any ways what they had to say is for another day Wink

I just wanted to correct a factual error

Quote
  his deen e ilahi was the insipiration for Sikhism


Akbar was born in 1542 and become the emperor 13-16 years later but the founder of
 Sikhisim guru nanak died about three years before Akbars birth 1539

 Mughals ruled India from 1526 to 1847 and left a mixed legacy.  Babur was the founder
 and Bhadur Shah Zafar a poet but politically inept was the last and was exiled by the
 British to Burma/Myanmar. In the modern world they are mostly recognized for the Taj which
 architectural marvel but a monumental waste, people of Agra to this day live in utter
 poverty.

There was a short period of 5 years (between Humayun and Akbar) where a progressive and
 reform minded non-Mughal king who ruled India. His name was Sher Shah Suri, who at the age
 of 68 years defeated Humayun. Sher Shah worked tirelessly for his subjects building
 schools, roads, inns, post offices, and structured local level administrative offices
 (Parganas). The grand trunk road built in his time stands even today as a stark contrast to the
 palaces of the Mughals.

For all the hindi movie buffs check out Mughal –e-Azam and Anarkali.

Legend has it that Saleem (later called Jahangir) was enamored by  Anarkali a slave girl.
 Akbar didn’t like this so he had her buried alive behind a brick wall. Some report
 that her grave is still there in Lahore Pakistan.


Oh btw do you think word Mogul (movie Mogul) is a derivative of Mughal?
wsalam

This is a clip of the movie Anrakali's final scene (She is played by Bina Roy)

http://www.youtube.com/v/RnZNAumqlhs&hl=en

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« Reply #8 on: Mar 14, 2008 10:47 PM »

salam

Ah thanx for correcting that. I wasnt sure.

Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 14, 2008 11:29 PM »


Quote
I just wanted to correct a factual error

Quote
  his deen e ilahi was the insipiration for Sikhism

Akbar was born in 1542 and become the emperor 13-16 years later but the founder of
 Sikhisim guru nanak died about three years before Akbars birth 1539

That's interesting. I read somewhere that some Muslims believe that Guru Nanak converted to Islam, he performed Hajj at any rate and at the time of his death there was a severe dispute between his Muslim and non-Muslim "followers" as to the rite of burial, the Hindus wanting to cremate him. To prevent this happening, his corpse was carried away and secretly buried by Muslims. I found this on Wikipedia which seems to, if not confirm, then lend a bit of credibility to this particular claim:

There are numerous folklores and tales relating to Nanak. One such folklore narrates that when it became clear that the death of Guru Nanak Dev was near, a dispute arose among his followers. His Hindu followers wanted to cremate the remains while the Muslim followers wanted to bury the body following Islamic tradition. Nanak brokered a compromise by suggesting that each group should place a garland of flowers beside his body, and whoever's garland remained unwilted after three days could dispose of his body according to their tradition. However, the next morning, upon raising the cloth under which the Guru's body lay, only the flowers shared between his followers were found. The Hindus cremated their flowers whereas the Muslims buried theirs.

It's really difficult to disentangle the confusing and conflicting accounts of historians so take everything with a grain of salt. This claim of some Muslims (in particular those belonging to the Qadiyani sect) that Guru Nanak was a Muslim is of course strongly opposed by Sikhs. From what I've read, it seems his main aim in life was to stress the Oneness of God and to bring together Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs.

Wallahu A'lam

Wassalam,
a_desert_rose

PS: sorry for going off-topic!
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« Reply #10 on: Mar 15, 2008 12:55 AM »

Assalamo elikuim
Speaking of "off-topic" Smiley,Bhadur Shah Zafar's poetry is nice. Any one read/heard it.
Wasalam
tq
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« Reply #11 on: Mar 15, 2008 06:20 AM »

Anarkali contd........

Premise: Akbar wants Anarkali to get away (die) from Saleem (Jhangir, Akbar’s son.It
 was Saleem’s son who built the Taj)

Anarkali: “It will happen the way you want (Akbar wants)”

Akbar:” If it does not happen this (his way) then Saleem will not let you die and I
 will not let you live”

Anrakali: “This salve girl has long been dead, (covering her face with a duppta) please
 permit this Janazah (bier) to leave”.

Akbar turns around and then puts a tiara on Anarkali’s head (signifying a royal death
 decree)

Akbar: “You can leave now”

Anarkali: “In lieu of the emperor’s largesses, this slave forgives Jalaluddin
 Mohammed Akbar her blood (death)”


This scene is from the movie Mughale-Azam, which was first released in B&W and then was
 digitally colorized; some colors may look kind of whack. It was one of the biggest hits of
 its time.

The dance is called Kathak, which was popularized by the Mughals

Akbar played by Prithvi Raj Kapoor (sorry no Hritik Roshan here, btw he was Kareena
 Kapoors grand dad)
Anarkali played by Madhubala
Saleem played by Dilip Kumar

Btw Madhubala and Dlip Kumar are both Muslim

Enjoy Wink



http://www.youtube.com/v/ZIqUHTUBa3A&hl=en

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« Reply #12 on: Mar 15, 2008 06:21 AM »

Quote
Speaking of "off-topic" ,Bhadur Shah Zafar's poetry is nice. Any one
 read/heard it.


Zafar was a patron of literature and his court was a hub for poets.
He patronized a few and neglected others (like Ghalib), inadvertently creating an
 atmosphere of poetic rivalry. His court poet and teacher was Zauqh

Though some rumors have it that Zauqh ghostwrote Zafar’s poems he was a poet in his own
 right. His most famous poems are those that described his despair after the exile. Zafar
 and Zauqh were both eclipsed by the brilliance of Ghalib who was and is one of the most
 famous urdu poets. Ghalib wrote in urdu the language of his time  (it is kind of hard to
 understand them now because urdu has changed over the years) while his peers and
 predecessors heavily used Farsi (Persian) in their works.A few years back I had the opportunity
 to visit the street (Balli maraan) where Ghalib lived in old Delhi.

These are a few lines of my most favorite poem Zafar wrote. The last verse is very
 poignant and touching in the context of them coming from a ruler who spent most of his life in
 comfort and was exiled to an undignified end by the British in the twilight years of his
 life.Zafar  witnessed the beahding of some of his children and a lot of fighters he "led"
 (titular) in 1857 during the first war if Independence and the 
end of a glorious empire spanning over three hundred years.


in hasraton se keh doh ,kahin aur jaa basen
itni jagah kahaan hai, dil e daag daar mein

umr e daraaz maang kar laaye the chaar din
do aarzu mein kat gaye, do intezaar mein

din zindagi ke khatam hue, shaam ho gayi
phaila ke pair soyenge kunj e mazaar mein

Kitna hai badnaseeb zaffar, dafan ke liye
do gaz zameen mil na saki, ku e yaar mein

O desires leave me alone and go some place else
My scarred heart has no space for you to live in it

Four days of long life I asked and received
Two days were spent in wishing for good things
And the other two were spent in waiting for those wishes to be fulfilled

The days of my life are over and no it’s the evening
I will spread my legs and sleep in comfort in a very tight grave

Look how unlucky Zafar is , that he did not even get
Two gaz (six feet) of land to be buried, in the streets of his beloved (Delhi)


--------------------------------------------------------------------
This poem/lament by Zafar was sung beautifully by Mohammed Rafi for the movie Lal Qila
 (Red fort) check it out

Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon

Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon
Na Kisi Ke Dil Ka Qarar Hoon
Jo Kisi Ke Kaam Na Aa Sake
Main Woh Ek Mushth-E-Ghubaar Hoon
Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon

Na To Main Kisi Ka Habeeb Hoon
Na To Main Kisi Ka Raqeeb Hoon
Jo Bigad Chala Gaya Woh Naseeb Hoon Jo Ujad Gaya Woh Dayaar Hoon

Mera Rang Roop Bigad Gaya
Mera Yaar Muhjse Bichad Gaya
Jo Chaman Khizaan Mein Ujad Gaya
Main Usi Ki Fasl-e-Bahar Hoon

Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon
Na Kisi Ke Dil Ka Qarar Hoon

Pay- Faatiha Koyi Aaye Kyon
Koyi Chaar Phool Chadaye Kyon
Koyi Aake Shama Jalaye Kyon
Koyi Aake Shama Jalaye Kyon
Main Woh Be-Kasi Ka Mazaar Hoon
Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon
Na Kisi Ke Dil Ka Karar Hoon
Jo Kisi Ke Kaam Na Aa Sake
Main Woh Ek Musth-E-Gubaar Hoon
Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon

Main Kahaan Rahoon Main Khahan Basoon
Na Yeh Mujhse Khush Na Woh Mujhse Khush
Main Zameen Ki Peeth Ka Bojh Hoon
Main Falak Ke Dil Ka Gubaar Hoon
Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon

(The translation is mine and I am sorry that I have not been able to convey his emotions)


I am not the light of anybody’s eyes
I am not the tranquility of anybody’s heart
I am just a fistful of dust that is of no use to anyone

I am nobody’s friend
I am no body’s confidant
I am that qadar/destiny/naseeb that has gone awry
I am that field that has been uprooted

I have lost all my beauty (wealth, glory, kingdom)
I have lost my dear friend (land/people)
I am the fruit of that garden that has been destroyed in its fall (season)/end

Why will some one visit my grave
Why will some one lay a few flowers
Why will some one light a candle
I am that mausoleum of helplessness/loneliness

Where will I live, where will I stay
These people aren’t happy with me nor are those
I am just a burden on this earth
I am just a speck of dirt in the sky/heavens

I am not the light of anybody’s eyes………




http://www.youtube.com/v/D-Qefo1OQT0&hl=en

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« Reply #13 on: Mar 26, 2008 10:07 AM »

Salaams,

I belong to the Mughal family... yeah to your knees everyone!

Salaams,
Shahzada Mirza AZ Baig

PS: I agree with jannah's post. I watched the movie twice myself just to know the directors take on history, and I could see a rationale behind how a king was handling things to unite his people. I skipped the songs and mid-riff revealing dress scenes though.

And that bit about deen-e-elahi being there to make it easier for non-muslims to come close to islam, like the first big step... also sounds logical. But then again, there are many versions of these stories. My grand father also wrote a book on Mughals but it only covers my ancestors who were the sipa-salaars in mughal army.

And yeah, I know i'm writing in post script.

Bye!

The knight doesn't wait when he's ill or has cancer brother, the knight fights on... He finds a strategy, changes tactics, and hits hard.
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008 01:01 AM »

This isn't about Akbar but about Aurangzeb, two generations down, interesting anyhow:

=================================================
Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb: Bad Ruler or Bad History?
Dr. Habib Siddiqui

Of all the Muslim rulers who ruled vast territories of India from 712 to 1857 CE, probably no one has received as much condemnation from Western and Hindu writers as Aurangzeb. He has been castigated as a religious Muslim who was anti-Hindu, who taxed them, who tried to convert them, who discriminated against them in awarding high administrative positions, and who interfered in their religious matters. This view has been heavily promoted in the government approved textbooks in schools and colleges across post-partition India (i.e., after 1947). These are fabrications against one of the best rulers of India who was pious, scholarly, saintly, unbiased, liberal, magnanimous, tolerant, competent, and far-sighted.

Fortunately, in recent years quite a few Hindu historians have come out in the open disputing those allegations. For example, historian Babu Nagendranath Banerjee rejected the accusation of forced conversion of Hindus by Muslim rulers by stating that if that was their intention then in India today there would not be nearly four times as many Hindus compared to Muslims, despite the fact that Muslims had ruled for nearly a thousand years. Banerjee challenged the Hindu hypothesis that Aurangzeb was anti-Hindu by reasoning that if the latter were truly guilty of such bigotry, how could he appoint a Hindu as his military commander-in-chief? Surely, he could have afforded to appoint a competent Muslim general in that position. Banerjee further stated: "No one should accuse Aurangzeb of being communal minded. In his administration, the state policy was formulated by Hindus. Two Hindus held the highest position in the State Treasury. Some prejudiced Muslims even questioned the merit of his decision to appoint non-Muslims to such high offices. The Emperor refuted that by stating that he had been following the dictates of the Shariah (Islamic Law) which demands appointing right persons in right positions." During Aurangzeb's long reign of fifty years, many Hindus, notably Jaswant Singh, Raja Rajrup, Kabir Singh, Arghanath Singh, Prem Dev Singh, Dilip Roy, and Rasik Lal Crory, held very high administrative positions. Two of the highest ranked generals in Aurangzeb's administration, Jaswant Singh and Jaya Singh, were Hindus. Other notable Hindu generals who commanded a garrison of two to five thousand soldiers were Raja Vim Singh of Udaypur, Indra Singh, Achalaji and Arjuji. One wonders if Aurangzeb was hostile to Hindus, why would he position all these Hindus to high positions of authority, especially in the military, who could have mutinied against him and removed him from his throne?

Most Hindus like Akbar over Aurangzeb for his multi-ethnic court where Hindus were favored. Historian Shri Sharma states that while Emperor Akbar had fourteen Hindu Mansabdars (high officials) in his court, Aurangzeb actually had 148 Hindu high officials in his court. (Ref: Mughal Government) But this fact is somewhat less known.

Some of the Hindu historians have accused Aurangzeb of demolishing Hindu Temples. How factual is this accusation against a man, who has been known to be a saintly man, a strict adherent of Islam? The Qur'an prohibits any Muslim to impose his will on a non-Muslim by stating that "There is no compulsion in religion." (surah al-Baqarah 2:256). The surah al-Kafirun clearly states: "To you is your religion and to me is mine." It would be totally unbecoming of a learned scholar of Islam of his caliber, as Aurangzeb was known to be, to do things that are contrary to the dictates of the Qur'an.

Interestingly, the 1946 edition of the history textbook Etihash Parichaya (Introduction to History) used in Bengal for the 5th and 6th graders states: "If Aurangzeb had the intention of demolishing temples to make way for mosques, there would not have been a single temple standing erect in India. On the contrary, Aurangzeb donated huge estates for use as Temple sites and support thereof in Benares, Kashmir and elsewhere. The official documentations for these land grants are still extant."

A stone inscription in the historic Balaji or Vishnu Temple, located north of Chitrakut Balaghat, still shows that it was commissioned by the Emperor himself. The proof of Aurangzeb's land grant for famous Hindu religious sites in Kasi, Varanasi can easily be verified from the deed records extant at those sites. The same textbook reads: "During the fifty year reign of Aurangzeb, not a single Hindu was forced to embrace Islam. He did not interfere with any Hindu religious activities." (p. 138) Alexander Hamilton, a British historian, toured India towards the end of Aurangzeb's fifty year reign and observed that every one was free to serve and worship God in his own way.
Now let us deal with Aurangzeb's imposition of the jizya tax which had drawn severe criticism from many Hindu historians. It is true that jizya was lifted during the reign of Akbar and Jahangir and that Aurangzeb later reinstated this. Before I delve into the subject of Aurangzeb's jizya tax, or taxing the non-Muslims, it is worthwhile to point out that jizya is nothing more than a war tax which was collected only from able-bodied young non-Muslim male citizens living in a Muslim country who did not want to volunteer for the defense of the country. That is, no such tax was collected from non-Muslims who volunteered to defend the country. This tax was not collected from women, and neither from immature males nor from disabled or old male citizens. For payment of such taxes, it became incumbent upon the Muslim government to protect the life, property and wealth of its non-Muslim citizens. If for any reason the government failed to protect its citizens, especially during a war, the taxable amount was returned.

It should be pointed out here that zakat (2.5% of savings) and ‘ushr (10% of agricultural products) were collected from all Muslims, who owned some wealth (beyond a certain minimum, called nisab). They also paid sadaqah, fitrah, and khums. None of these were collected from any non-Muslim. As a matter of fact, the per capita collection from Muslims was several fold that of non-Muslims. Further to Auranzeb's credit is his abolition of a lot of taxes, although this fact is not usually mentioned. In his book Mughal Administration, Sir Jadunath Sarkar, foremost historian on the Mughal dynasty, mentions that during Aurangzeb's reign in power, nearly sixty-five types of taxes were abolished, which resulted in a yearly revenue loss of fifty million rupees from the state treasury.

While some Hindu historians are retracting the lies, the textbooks and historic accounts in Western countries have yet to admit their error and set the record straight.
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2008 08:46 PM »



Assalamualaikum

I always thought Aurangzeb was a goodie Smiley I think it was because he was one of the few Mughal emperors who were good, strong, just and all this BECAUSE of his religiousness and piety that he's been slandered in history.

Jazakallah for the article.
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 07, 2008 06:29 AM »

This is of all things a website for a jewelery store but they have some beautiful pictures from the Mughal time period, not to mention explanations of the different types of jewelery and their reproductions of them which are absolutely stunning.

http://www.tanishq-jodhaa-akbar.com/index.asp
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 24, 2008 10:32 AM »

International recognition for 'Jodhaa Akbar'
IndiaGlitz [Thursday, October 23, 2008] 
 
 
With superb performances from the lead actors and an excellent director making the decisions 'Jodhaa Akbar' set new standards in the craft of movie making in Bollywood.

The grace of this remarkable period film is still lingering on and is spreading its fragrance in far away places.

'Jodhaa Akbar' has won the Grand Prix Award at the International Film Festival of Muslim Cinema Golden Minbar in Kazan, Russia.

And adding to the glory is the award for the best actor in the festival that has gone to the best looking Indian actor Hrithik Roshan for his role as the Emperor Akbar.

The B-Town movie shared the honors with an Iranian film 'M for Mother'.

The jury at the festival selected the final winners from a group consisting of 35 films from around the world.
 
 

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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