What is Din-e Ilahi?


Quick Answer

Din-e Ilahi was an eclectic religion that blended Hinduism and Islam, along with certain ideas from Jainism and Zoroastrianism. Mughal emperor Akbar the Great invented the religion in the late 16th century.

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Full Answer

The name "Din-e Ilahi" means "Divine Faith." In order to unify his empire, Akbar wanted to develop a religious system that integrated elements of all the religions in his domain. As his empire lay in north India, the primary two were the Hinduism of his subjects and the Islam of his imperial elite. The new syncretic religion tried to bridge this divide by prescribing an ethical system that prohibited sins of the flesh and encouraged virtues, such as kindness and prudence. It also incorporated the veneration of fire and the chanting of the names of the Sun. The religion never found much of a foothold, and it withered away after Akbar's death in 1605.

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