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Persian Nuqṭawīs and the Shaping of the Doctrine of “Universal Conciliation” (ṣulḥ-i kull) in Mughal India

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Chapter Summary

The principle of "universal conciliation", the core doctrine of the "Divine Religion" conceived under the Timurid ruler of India Jalāl al-Dīn Akbar, has been the subject to a number of historical studies and diverse interpretations. It goes without saying that the prosperous and religiously tolerant Timurid court of India, and its provincial vassalages and autonomous principalities that were not yet incorporated into Mughal Empire, offered luring alternatives to the suffocating conformity in Safavid Iran. The Nuqṭawī flight to Mughal India offered a level of security that made it safe to divulge their true antinomian beliefs. Of the thirty two identified Nuqṭawīs in the Iranian and Perso-Indian sources a majority of them are categorized as poets, artists, philosophers, physicians or simply as wandering dervishes. At the height of the movement in the late 16th century one can detect a number of influential Nuqṭawīs figures in the court of Akbar.

Keywords: Jalāl al-Dīn Akbar; Mughal India; Persian Nuqṭawīs; Timurid ruler; universal conciliation



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