Although God-given wisdom and the science of Divine knowledge (theology) adorn his holy personality and illumine his actions, yet, owing to the utter marvelousness of his nature, he every now and then draws a special veil over his countenance, and exercises world-sway and speaks and acts in accordance with the requirements of the time. At the present day, when the morning-breeze of fortune is blowing, and the star of success is continually acquiring fresh radi­ance, he, by his practical knowledge and farsightedness, makes external ability the veil of spirituality and appraises the value of the mortifiers of the passions, and the calibre of scientists. It has been mentioned* that he, in his ample search after truth, had laid the foundation of a noble seat for intellectual meetings. His sole and sublime idea was that, as in the external administration of the domin­ion, which is conjoined with eternity, the merits of the knowers of the things of this world had by profundity of vision, and observance of justice, been made conspicuous, and there had ceased to be a brisk market for pretence and favouritism, so might the masters of science and ethics, and the devotees of piety and contemplation, be tested, the principles of faiths and creeds be examined, religions be investi­gated, the proofs and evidences for each be considered, and the pure gold and the alloy be separated from evil commixture. In a short space of time a beautiful, detached building was erected, and the fraudulent vendors of impostures put to sleep in the privy chamber of contempt. A noble palace was provided for the spiritual world, and the pillars of Divine knowledge rose high.

At this* time, when the centre of the Caliphate (Fatḥpūr Sīkrī) was glorified by H. M.'s advent, the former institutions were renewed, and the temple of Divine knowledge was on Thursday* nights illuminated by the light* of the holy mind. On 20 Mihr,* Divine month, 3 October 1578, and in that house of worship, the lamp of the privy chamber of detachment was kindled in the banqueting-hall of social life. The coin of the hivers of wisdom in colleges and cells was brought to the test. The clear wine was separated from the lees, and good coin from the adulterated. The wide capacity and the 253 toleration of the Shadow of God were unveiled. Ṣūfī, philosopher, orator, jurist, Sunnī, Shīa, Brahman, Jatī,* Sīūrā* Cārbāk,* Nazarene, Jew, Ṣābī (Sabīan),* Zoroastrian, and others enjoyed exquisite pleasure by beholding the calmness of the assembly, the sitting of the world-lord in the lofty pulpit (mimbar), and the adornment of the pleasant abode of impartiality. The treasures of secrets were opened out without fear of hostile seekers after battle. The just and truth-perceiving ones of each sect emerged from haughti­ness and conceit, and began their search anew. They displayed profundity and meditation, and gathered eternal bliss on the divan of greatness. The conceited and quarrelsome from evilness of disposition and shortness of thought descended into the mire of presumption and sought their profit in loss. Being guided by ignorant companions, and from the predominance of a somnolent fortune, they went into disgrace. The conferences were excellently arranged by the acuteness and keen quest of truth of the world's Khedive. Every time, eye and heart gained fresh lustre, and the lamp of vigils acquired new glory. The candle of investigation was lighted for those who loved darkness and sequacity. The families of the colleges and monasteries were tested. The handle of wealth and the material of sufficiency came into the grasp of the needy occupants of the summit of expectation. The fame of this faith-adorning method of world bestowing made home bitter to inquirers and caused them to love exile. The Shāhinshāh's court became the home of the inquirers of the seven climes, and the assemblage of the wise of every religion and sect. The veneer and the counter­feitness of all those who by feline tricks and stratagems had come forth in the garb of wisdom were revealed. A few irreverent and crafty spirits continued their old tactics after the appearance of Truth and its concomitant convictions, and indulged in brawling. Their idea was that as in the great assemblies of former rulers the purpose of science and the designs of wisdom had been but little explored owing to the crowd of men, the inattention of the gover­nor of the feast, the briskness of the market of praters, etc., so perhaps in this august assemblage they might succeed by the length of their tongues, and a veil might be hung over the occiput (farārū) of truth. The Khedive of wisdom by the glory of his mind carried out the work to a conclusion deliberately and impartially, and in this praiseworthy fashion, which is seldom found in the saints of asceticism,—how then is it to be found in world-rulers?—tested the various coins of mortals. Many men became stained with shame and chose loss of fame, while some acquired wisdom and emerged from the hollow of obscurity to eminence. Reason was exalted, and the star of fortune shone for the acquirers of knowledge. The bigoted 'Ulamā and the routine-lawyers, who reckoned them­selves among the chiefs of philosophies and leaders of enlightenment, found their position difficult. The veil was removed from the face of many of them. The house of the evil-thinking coiners became the abode of a thousand suspicions and slanders. Though the 254 wicked and crooked-minded and disaffected were always speaking foolishly about the pious Khedive, yet at this time they had a new foundation for their calumnies, and descended into the pit of eternal ruin. Inasmuch as the warmth of the Shāhinshāh's graciousness increases daily, and he was aware of the ignorance of those turbulent ones, he did not proceed against them with physical and spiritual vigour and with external and internal majesty. Rather, he restrained his heart and tongue from uttering his disgust, and did not allow the dust of chagrin to settle on the skirt of his soul. In a short space of time many of these fortunately fell into fatal evils and suffered losses and died, while some who were of a good sort became ashamed, and took up the work (of study) anew. From a long time it was the custom that the dull and superficial regarded the heartfelt words of holy souls as foolishness. They recognized wisdom nowhere but in the schools, and did not know that acquired knowledge is for the most part stained with doubts and suspicions. Insight is that which without schooling illuminates the pure temple of the heart. The inner soul receives rays from holy heaven. From eternity, the ocean of Divine bounties has been in motion, and the cup of those who are worthy of the world of creation is filled to the brim therefrom. Always have the mag­nates of Use and Wont in spite of their great knowledge sought the explanation of wisdom and ethics ('ilm u 'amal) from this com­pany of the pure in heart, and have waited in the antechamber of the simple and beautiful* of soul, and have gathered bliss there­from. Accordingly histories tell of this, and it transpires in biographies(?).* God be praised for that at this day the Lord of Lords of inspired (ladunī) wisdom is represented by the Holy Personality of the Shāhinshāh. The difficulties of sect upon sect of mankind are made easy by the flashings of his sacred soul. The attainment of enlightenment is not the first* robe of honour which the eternal needle sews. He who knows the secrets of the past, and the reader of ancient stories, is well aware of this. Still more is it known to the awakened, the truth-choosing and the acute! May the Almighty God ever keep verdant and watered this tree which is rich in spiritual and material fruit!


Lord, so long as the world hath glory and colour,
Heavens, motion, the earth, stability;

Make the world the possession of this lord of conjunctions,
Make the spheres friendly to this world-conqueror.

One night, the assembly in the 'Ibādatkhāna was increasing the light of truth. Padre Radīf,* one* of the Nazarene sages, who was singular for his understanding and ability, was making points in that feast of intelligence. Some of the untruthful bigots came forward in a blundering way to answer him. Owing to the calm­ness of the august assembly, and the increasing light of justice, it became clear that each of these was weaving a circle of old acquisitions, and was not following the highway of proof, and that the explanation of the riddle of truth was not present to their thoughts. The veil was nearly being stripped, once for all, from their procedure. They were ashamed, and abandoned such dis­course, and applied themselves to perverting the words of the Gospels. But they could not silence their antagonist by such arguments. The Padre quietly and with an air of conviction said, 255 “Alas, that such things should be thought to be true! In fact, if this faction have such an opinion of our Book, and regard the Furqān (the Qoran) as the pure word of God, it is proper that a heaped fire be lighted. We shall take the Gospels in our hands, and the 'Ulamā of that faith shall take their book, and then let us enter that testing-place of truth. The escape of any one will be a sign of his truthfulness.” The liverless and black-hearted fellows wavered, and in reply to the challenge had recourse to bigotry and wrangling. This cowardice and effrontery displeased his (Akbar's) equitable soul, and the banquet of enlightenment was made resplen­dent by acute observations. Continually, in those day-like nights, glorious subtleties and profound words dropped from his pearl-filled mouth. Among them was this: “Most* persons, from intimacy with those who adorn their outside, but are inwardly bad, think that out­ward semblance, and the letter of Muḥammadanism, profit without internal conviction. Hence we by fear and force compelled many believers in the Brahman (i.e. Hindu) religion to adopt the faith of our ancestors. Now that the light of truth has taken possession of our soul, it has become clear that in this distressful place of con­trarities (the world), where darkness of comprehension and con­ceit are heaped up, fold upon fold, a single step cannot be taken without the torch of proof, and that that creed is profitable which is adopted with the approval of wisdom. To repeat the creed, to remove a piece of skin (i.e. to become circumcised) and to place the end of one's bones on the ground (i.e. the head in adoration) from dread of the Sultan, is not seeking after God.”