A Study on Universal Peace and Harmony in Akbar's Religious Policy (with Reference to Din-I-Ilahi and Sulh-i Kul)

Nguyen Tran Tien


Abu’l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar popularly known as Akbar the Great (1556-1605) is considered as one of the greatest Mughal emperors for his achievements in the military, politics, and administration. In fact, he was the real founder of the empire after his victory at the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556 AD. The victory has paved the way for Akbar to become the sole emperor in the Indian sub-continent and continued to wage wars against the Hindu rajahs. During his reign, Akbar was credited with his liberal ideas and religious policies. These religious policies emerged from different internal and external factors and his success stemmed from his religious policy that was based on Sulh-i Kul (universal peace and harmony between all his subjects regardless with their social, ethical or religious identities). In 1582 A.D, he propounded a new religious ideology namely the Din-i Ilahi (Religion of God). This was a syncretic religious movement and was one of the most substantial dimensions of mutual interaction and relationship between Hinduism and Islam.

This paper aims to examine the factors influencing Akbar’s religious policy and to critically analyze Akbar’s Din-i-Ilahi and Sulh-i Kul by dealing with its basic features and virtues which shaped his attitudes towards other religious and social groups.

Received 5th March 2018; Revised 2nd April 2018; Accepted 30th April 2018


Mughal empire; Akbar; religious policy; Din-i-Ilahi; Sulh-i Kul.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/vjossh.v4i2.355


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