Jalal-ud-Din Akbar (1556-1605), the son of Humayun had three main phases in his life. One was firm belief in religion holding the founding tenets of Islam. The second started when he opened the doors of religious natters and dialogues in which he invited the religious scholars of different sects of Islam in the “Ibadat Khana” (the place of worship) but soon he was disillusioned with the attitudes of the Maulvies and scholars who started losing their tempers and even abused one another on petty issues.
Therefore the subsequent phase resulted in the promulgation of a new religion, din-e-Elahi. He accumulated the best practices of Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Jainism and propounded the new religion in 1581.
Din-e-Elahi was more an ethical cult than a religion as it did not present any common prayers or system as all these eclectic religions offered. It was based on ethical values considering and propagating slander, lust, and pride as deadly sins whereas piety, kindness, mercy as the commonalities of the diverse religions and were appreciated. Slaughter of cow was prohibited to accommodate Hinduism and celibacy was venerated. The religion had no script or written documentations. Din-e-Elahi could triumph over only 19 adherents consisting mostly of Muslims. Hindus and other religions did not embrace it though they appreciated the religious move of Akbar. These adherents included Birbal, Sheikh Faizi, Prince Salim (the son of Akbar), Abul Fazl Ibn e Mubarak, Qasim Khan, Azam Khan, Sheikh Mubarak, Abdul Samad, Mullah Shah Mohammad Shahadad, Sadar Jahan, Sufi Ahmad, Mir Sharif Amal, Taki Shuster, Sultan Khawaja, Mirza Sadruddin, and the first and second son of Sadar Jahan, Sheikhzada Gosala Banarasi, and Jafar Beg.
Din-e- Elahi met with fierce criticism by the believers of Islam as he denied the foundations of religion by appreciating celibacy and the prohibition of cow. Syed Ahmad Shaheed declared it as blasphemy and heretical. The Hindus also could not accept it as a religion. Din-e-Elahi was intended to create harmony and integrity among the different religions though it could not bring the desired fruits.