Paragraph on Akbar (414 Words)

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Akbar was one of the greatest monarchs who ruled India in the second half of the sixteenth century. He is known in history for a broad and toler­ant religious policy.


He initiated a religious policy of Catholicism and magnanimity to other religions. His policy was based on the principle of Sulh-i-kul or uni­versal tolerance and peace.

In evolving the policy of religious tolerance, Akbar was influenced by many factors. His immediate surroundings provided the impetus to it. His father was a Sunni, mother and protector Bairam Khan were Shias. His tutor Abdul Latiff was a man of liberal views. Further, the period in which Akbar lived was that of syncretism. Bhakti saints especially Kabir and Nanak along with the liberal Sufis had created an atmosphere of tolerance.

Moreover, Akbar’s desire for an all India empire demanded cooperation from all sections. Akbar’s tolerant religious attitude found manifesta­tion in several fields. In 1563, he had established the practice of forcibly converting prisoners of war to Is­lam. Going by these liberal traditions, he abolished Zizya in 1564.

He established matrimonial alliances with lead­ing Rajput families. He married Rajput princess but gave them complete religious freedom. Further, to clear his mind on the religious issues he built Ibadat Khana and invited to it leading theologians from various re­ligions. He invited besides Muslims, Hindu, and Jain and Christian scholars to his court and tried to understand different aspects of all the religions.


Culmination of Akbar’s tolerant religious attitude can be seen in the issue of Mahar to curb the power of Ulemas and in promulgation of an order of Sufist type called the Tauhid Elahi.

He besides gave employment to the Hindus in his nobility and the Rajputs formed an important sec­tion of Hindus in his nobility. He also in accordance with his religious tolerance embarked on project to get Hindu works like Mahabharata, Ramayana, Atharvaveda etc translated in Persian from Sanskrit. He also passed many measures aimed at social and educational reforms.

Thus, he forbade sati and in­sisted on having second wife only in case the first one was impotent. Widow Remarriage was also le­galized. The age of marriage was raised to fourteen for girls and sixteen for boys. The sale of wines and spirits was restricted.

Akbar also revised the educational syllabus, lay­ing more emphasis on moral education also mathemat­ics and on secular subjects such as agriculture, ge­ometry, astronomy, logic, history etc. He also gave patronage to artists, poets, painters and musicians irrespective of their religious affiliation.

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