in Arabic, this term is drawn from a Sufi mystic principle. As applied by
  Akbar, it described a peaceful and harmonious relationship among
  different religions. In keeping with efforts to integrate the diverse
  populations of his realm, Akbar proposed unity and peace among all
  human beings. The concept implies not just tolerance, but also a sort of
  balance, civility, respect, and compromise required to maintain harmony
  among a diverse population.
  In the field of interfaith dialogue, tolerance plays an important role in
  constructive interactions, so the concept of sulh-i kul has great potential
  relevance to discussions of intercultural dialogue specifically, and cultural
  diversity more generally. It was invented to describe universal peace,
  specifically with regard to interfaith tolerance and equal treatment for all,
  regardless of religious beliefs. Given continuing religious conflicts
  matched to the reality of cultural pluralism, it seems useful to resurrect
  this historic term as a modern tool.
     Father Monserrate, a member of the first Jesuit mission at Akbar’s court
(1580–3), who accompanied the emperor in the Kabul campaign (1581)
against his half-brother Mirza Hakim, has left a lively account of the religious
debates during the journey. Father Daniel Bartoli, a later Jesuit author, claims
that after his return from Kabul, Akbar made himself the founder and head of
a new religion. This religion, Bartoli continues, was discussed by a council of
learned men and commanders. This council is regarded by modem scholars
as the inauguration of Akbar’s new faith, the Din Ilahi (Divine Faith). The
letters and reports of three Jesuit missions which visited Akbar, however,
indicate that no new religion was ever promulgated. The examination of
contemporary sources does not lead us to the conclusion that Akbar invented
a new religion. Essentially he expected his state grandees to follow the four
degrees of devotion or discipleship, denoting readiness to sacrifice their life,
property, honour and religion to promote the interest of their imperial master.
     In the Ain-i-Akbari, Abul Fazl deals with a number of laws made by
Akbar for secularising the state, which were, however, termed as ‘illegal’ by
the orthodox Badauni. For instance, Akbar prohibited polygamy and allowed
a second wife only in exceptional circumstances. He also prohibited child
marriages, the circumcision of