The real name of Abu’l-Fazl, Abu’l Fadl and Abu’l-Fadl ‘Allami was Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak. This gentle and enthusiastic younger brother of Faizi later became a Vazir of Akbar. Abul Fazal was a man of wide culture and pure spiritual ideals. He was also one of the Navratnas in the court of Akbar.
- Abul Fazal was the author of Akbarnama, the official history of Akbar’s reign in 3 volumes. This book gives the history of Akbar’s forefathers from Timur to Humayun and Akbar’s reign till 1602.
- Third volume of above work is known as Ain-i-Akabari, which is the administrative report of Akbar’s reign.
- Another important work of Abul Fazal was Ruqaʿāt, which is a collection of letters to the princes of Akbar and other contemporaries. It was later compiled by his nephew Nuruddin Muhammad.
- Yet another work Inshā-i-Abu’l Fazl is the compilation of the letters written by Akbar to various contemporary rulers and nobles. He was also compiled by one relative of Abul Fazal.
Here, please note that one more Akbarnama was written in those times by Shaikh Illahdad Faizi Sirhindi. This was a derivative work based upon Tabaqat-i-Akbari.
- Tabaqat-i-Akbari was written by Nizamuddin Ahmad, Mir Bakshi of Akbar.
It was Abul Fazal who devoted himself to Akbar and encouraged him for debates on doctrinal and philosophical enquiries. Akbar displayed a curiosity in these discussions.
- The debate took place in the Ibadat Khana or Hall of Worship.
- The Ibadat Khana is now recognized to be the Diwan-i-Khas, which was founded in 1574 at the City of Fatehpur Sikri.
- It was opened for Sunni Muslims initially and was opened to all religions viz. Sufis, Shias, Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus and Jains.