Din-i Ilahi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Din-i-Ilahi)
Jump to: navigation, search
Abu'l-Fazl, one of the disciples of Din-i-Ilahi, presenting Akbarnama to Akbar, Mughal miniature

The Dīn-i Ilāhī (Persian: دین الهی‎‎ lit. "Religion of God")Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).

From the discussions held at the Ibādat Khāna, Akbar concluded that no single religion could claim the monopoly of truth. This inspired him to create the Dīn-i Ilāhī in 1582. Various pious Muslims, among them the Qadi of Bengal and the seminal Sufi personality Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi, responded by declaring this to be blasphemy to Islam. According to a renowned historian Mubarak Ali Din -I-Elahi is a name not present at Akbar's period at that time it was called Tohid-I-Elahi, as it is written by Abu Al Fazal, a court historian during the reign of Akbar. So it can be said that it was not a religion in proper sense or in comparison with the main stream religions. As there was no compulsion in its acceptance, no reward punishment and no establishment of religious institutions. Furthermore, it can be said that it was a political system to bring unity in plurality rather than a religion.

Dīn-i Ilāhī appears to have survived Akbar according to the Dabestān-e Mazāheb of Mubad Shah (Mohsin Fani). However, the movement never numbered more than 19 adherents.[1]

Din-i-Ilahi prohibits lust, sensuality, slander and pride, considering them sins. Piety, prudence, abstinence and kindness are the core virtues. The soul is encouraged to purify itself through yearning of God.[2] Celibacy is respected and the slaughter of animals is forbidden. There are neither sacred scriptures nor a priestly hierarchy in this religion.[3]


It has been argued that the theory of Din-i-Ilahi being a new religion was a misconception which arose because of erroneous translations of Abul Fazl's work by later British historians.[4] However, it is also accepted that the policy of sulh-e-kul, which formed the essence of Din-i-Ilahi, was adopted by Akbar not merely for religious purposes, but as a part of general imperial administrative policy. Sulh-e-kul means universal peace.[5][6] This also formed the basis for Akbar's policy of religious toleration.[7] At the time of Akbar's death in 1605 there were no signs of discontent amongst his Muslim subjects and the impression of even a theologian like Abdu'l Haq was that close ties remained.[8]


The initiated disciples of Din-i-ilahi during emperor Akbar the Great's time included (p. 186):[2]

  • Birbal
  • Prince Salim
  • Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak
  • Prince Murad
  • Qasim Khan
  • Azam Khan
  • Shaikh Mubarak
  • Abdus Samad
  • Mulla Shah Muhammad Shahadad
  • Sufi Ahmad
  • Mir Sharif Amal
  • Sultan Khwaja
  • Mirza Sadr-ud-Din
  • Taki Shustar
  • Shaikhzada Gosala Benarasi
  • Sadar Jahan
  • Sadar Jahan's first son
  • Sadar Jahan's second son
  • Shaikh Faizi
  • Jafar Beig
  • Vin Krishna

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Din-i Ilahi - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  2. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference MLR was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Children's Knowledge Bank, Dr. Sunita Gupta, 2004
  4. ^ Ali 2006, pp. 163–164
  5. ^ "Why putting less Mughal history in school textbooks may be a good idea". 
  6. ^ "Finding Tolerance in Akbar, the Philosopher-King". 
  7. ^ Ali 2006, p. 164
  8. ^ Habib 1997, p. 96