The great Mughal ruler Akbar (r. 1556-1605) succeeded in consolidating an empire that extended over half of India. The power, wealth, and grandeur of his and succeeding Islamic courts became legendary in contemporary Europe. Monumental architecture received tremendous patronage from Mughal rulers and their artistic accomplishments owed much to Persian traditions. Following the edicts of Islam that generally forbid figural representation, most Mughal buildings, regardless of purpose, utilized geometric or floral decoration. Beginning with the reign of Shah Jahan (1628-1666), floramania ran riot and architectural craftsmen specialized in carving refined, formal reliefs of poppies, tulips, irises, and lilies into decorative panels that adorned important mosques, palaces, and tombs.