1- I want your opinions on Jalal Akbar and what do you think of this:
The foundation for the misunderstanding of Akbar's religious history was laid by Blochmann in the introduction to his translation of Abul Fazl's Ain-i-Akbari; here he set the pattern for relying on Badauni, Akbar's enemy, rather than Abul Fazl, his friend, for studying Akbar's religious history. The crucial question about Akbar's religious activity is whether he established a new religion or a new spiritual order. Badauni's account is clearly intended to give the impression that Akbar no longer respected Islam and, indeed, actively persecuted it./8/ The expressions used by both Abul Fazl and Badauni in this connection, however, are iradat or muridi (discipleship) but Blochmann habitually translates these expressions as "divine faith," thus converting a religious order (or even a bond of loyalty) into a [] new religion. He translated the expression ain-i-iradat gazinan, which correctly means "rules for the (royal) disciples," as the "principles of divine faith," and gives the subsection the heading, "ordinances of the divine faith," although there is no such heading in the original text./9/
The sharp difference between the viewpoints of Abul Fazl and Badauni is obvious, but our study of the subject has revealed a surprisingly large area of common ground between them, and if the present divergence of opinion about Akbar's religion is to be resolved, more attention will have to be given to what is common ground between these two principal sources of our information. It appears that modern historians, fascinated by the wit and sarcasm of Badauni, have paid scant attention to Abul Fazl's informative sections on Akbar's religion contained in his Akbar-Nama and Ain-i-Akbari. Akbar's regulations which were not of an ephemeral or tentative character have been preserved in the voluminous Ain-i-Akbari, and it would be illogical to suppose that important royal orders, which were to be given general currency in the empire, would have been omitted. Since the Ain's accounts of Akbar's religious innovations and of the practices of the royal disciples contain much that would shock an orthodox Muslim, there is no reason to suppose that regulations for the Din-i-Ilahi would not have been included. Judging by its contents and the public nature of the information which is sought, the Ain appears to be the most dependable source of information regarding Akbar's religious regulations and spiritual practices.
According to Ain-i-Akbari the emperor discouraged people from becoming his disciples, but the person whom he accepted for initiation approached him with his turban in his hand and put his head on the emperor's feet. This was to express that the novice had "cast aside conceit, selfishness—the root of so many evils." The emperor then stretched out his hand, raised up the disciple and replaced the turban on his head. … The novice was given a token containing the ruler's symbolic motto Allah-u-Akbar (God is Great). When the disciples met each other, one would say, "Allah-u-Akbar" and the [] other responded, "Jall-u-Jallaluhu." "The motives of His Majesty in allowing this mode of salutation," Abul Fazl wrote, "is to remind men to think of the origin of their existence and to keep the Deity in their fresh, lively and grateful remembrance."/10/ The disciples were to endeavor to abstain from flesh and not to make use of the same vessels as butchers, fishermen, and bird catchers. Each disciple was to give a party on the anniversary of his birthday and to bestow alms. The dinners customarily given after a man's death were to be given by a disciple during his lifetime.
2- I am looking for books, sites, videos , documentaries with balanced views on the great history and civilization of islamic india. What do you recommend ?
Jazakum Allahu khaira