Department of History
In the late 1500s, Emperor Akbar from the Mughal Empire was the most well known emperor for his religious tolerance. As Europe faced the flames of the Inquisition Era, down in the Indian subcontinent, Akbar was determined to make his empire a place of unity and peace. This desire which I examine is largely due to his experiences in a cosmopolitan area where Akbar saw the unity already there. With the cultural and religious tensions that occurred all throughout the Mughal Empire, Akbar established the House of Worship and his own Divine Religion in efforts to unite his people. These two points, in particular, caused massive controversies, as some praised the idea, while others opposed it greatly. Most historians agree that both of these establishments were created as a way for Akbar to establish imperial stability. However, throughout my research, I analyze a variety of different historians, along with the primary sources written by those who have observed the emperor greatly and hence argue that Akbar wanted to prove to his people through the establishment of the Ibadat Khana and the Din-i-Ilahi that all religions have the same fundamental principles.
Sadia, Khadija S., "Akbar's Religious Reforms: Unifying Mortal Enemies" (2019). Honors Capstones. 117.