Salim's betrayal

Although Akbar had eagerly welcomed the birth of his sons, each one proved to be a disappointment to him and Salim, the eldest, openly betrayed Akbar. While Akbar was waging war in the south of India, Salim proceeded to Allahabad and proclaimed himself Emperor. He then advanced on Agra with his army.

Akbar dispatched his faithful and much-favoured vizier or Prime Minister, Abu'l Fazl, to negotiate with Salim on Akbar's behalf, but Salim ordered his men to ambush the scholar-Prime Minister and assassinate him. The head of Abu'l Fazl was then sent to Salim to prove that his order had been carried out.

Akbar's grief knew no bounds. He decided to make Salim's eldest son, Khusrau, his heir instead of Salim. But a reconciliation between father and son was brought about by the female members of the family and Salim came to Agra to see his father. At this meeting, Akbar placed his own turban on Salim's head, thus acknowledging him to be his heir.

Then Akbar warned his ambitious son, "You hope to become Emperor after my death; but if you rule in the same manner in which you have acted so far, your empire will not last long."