Tabaqat-i-Akbari a medieval text by Nizamuddin Ahmad. Son of Muqim Harvi, the author was holding a high post of first Bakhshi in the reign of akbar. Also known as Tarikh-i-Nizami, the book is a general history of the Muslim rule in India coming down to the year of its composition. The date of composition, expressed in a chronogram, is 1001 AH/1592-93 AD, but in the body of the book the narrative is brought down to the end of 1002 AH/1593-94 AD. The author died at Lahore in October 1594.
Written in simple language, the Tabaqat-i-Akbari is a dry chronicle. For the earlier history, he consulted the Muslim chronicles written before his time, but for the reign of Akbar he was a contemporary. Being the work of a successful courtier and a trusted officer, the book should be read carefully, particularly dealing with the reign of Akbar. Sometimes the author omitted many matters of importance. Nizamuddin made no mention of Akbar's religious vagaries, and seldom or never offered reflections on criticisms of the events and actions recorded.
The Tabaqat-i-Akbari is very important for the reconstruction of the history of Bengal in the sultanate period. Bengal is famous for lack of historical materials in the pre-Mughal period. Not a single contemporary historical work written in Bengal or dealing with the sultans of Bengal, has so far been available. So works written even during the later period are welcome if they contain discussion on the history of the pre-Mughal Muslim rulers. The Tabaqat is the first of the two histories written in the Mughal period, which includes a separate chapter on the history of pre-Mughal Bengal beginning with the conquest of bakhtiyar khalji. The other book is tarikh-i-firishtah.
Being a later work, The Tabaqat account on Bengal is short, the chronology defective and even names of some rules of Bengal are missing. But in spite of these shortcomings, Tabaqat-i-Akbari is the first history book to supply a more or less connected account of Muslim rulers of Bengal. [Abdul Kairm]