empire. The Mughal boundaries, extending from Sind, Baluchistan, Kabul,
and Kashmir to the Hindu Kush, were the strongest line of defence that had
ever existed in India, and no other Indian ruler ever controlled such a
formidable frontier as Akbar. Deccan, Ahmadnagar, Chand Bibi, defended it
heroically.
Rajput Policy Raja Bharamal Kachchhwaha of Amber married his eldest
daughter to Akbar. Raja Bhagawan Das (Raja Bharamal’s heir) and Man
Singh (his nephew and adopted son) were subsequently given senior
positions in the imperial hierarchy.
    One by one all the Rajput states were subjugated and they submitted to
Akbar. But the Ranas of Mewar continued to defy Mughal suzerainty despite
several defeats, particularly the one in the battle of Haldighati (1576) in
which Rana Pratap was severely defeated by the Mughal army under Man
Singh.
Policy of Sulh-i-Kul
    In 1575 Akbar ordered the construction of the Ibadat Khana (House of
Worship) near the Jami Masjid in his newly built town of Fatehpur Sikri.
Only the Sunnis were initially allowed to participate in religious discussions.
Abdul Qadir Badauni and Abul Fazl were the principal debaters. Both had
been trained by Abul Fazl’s father, Shaikh Mubarak. After the battle of
Haldighati, Akbar resumed the theological debates with representatives of all
religious groups such as Shias, Hindus, Christians and Zoroastrians. He grew
convinced that all religions contained some truth and that this was not the
prerogative of Islam.
    During a crisis Shaikh Mubarak advised the emperor to obtain the written
verdict of ulema as to whether the ruler was empowered to decide in
accordance with expediency on controversial legal questions. A document
dated August–September 1579, known as the mahzar, was consequently
signed by the leading ulema under the guidance of Shaikh Mubarak and his
sons. It was not an ‘infallibility decree’ as claimed by VA Smith.
                                 SULH-I KUL