Although he was himself illiterate, Akbar's courts at Delhi, Agra, and Fatehpur Sikri were centers of the arts, letters, and learning. He was much impressed with Persian culture, and because of him the later Mughal empire bore an indelible Persian stamp. Apparently disillusioned with orthodox Islam and hoping to bring about religious unity within his empire, he promulgated (1582) the Din-i-Ilahi [divine faith], an eclectic creed derived from Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. A simple, monotheistic cult, tolerant in outlook, it centered on Akbar as prophet, but had an influence outside the court. Akbar, generally considered the greatest of the Mughal emperors, was succeeded by his son Jahangir.
See biography by V. A. Smith (2d rev. ed. 1966); R. Krishnamurti, Akbar, the Religious Aspect (1961).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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