The Slave Dynasty History | The Delhi Sultanate History

The Slave Dynasty History | The Delhi Sultanate History-By the end of 12th Century Mohammad Ghori was successful in occupying Delhi and laying the foundation of the Muslim state in India. Qutb-ud-din Aibak, Mohammad Ghori’s deputy in India captured Ajmer and Meerut and raided Anhilwada By AD 1204, Mohammad-bin-Bakhtiyar Khilji succeeded in carrying the Turkish banner into Bengal and established a provincial capital at Lakhnauti. Following were the reasons of their success.

  • Absence of any powerful Central authority in India.
  • Disunity among the Rajputs.
  • Mutual jealousy among the Rajputs.
  • Lack of military system of Rajputs.
  • Religious zeal among the Muslims and lack of unifying force among the Hindus.

In 1206, when Mohammad Ghori killed and Qutb-ud-din-Aibak became the ruler of Hindustan, the Sultanate included many of the important towns and strategic places in Northern India.

Five Dynasties Ruled at Delhi from AD 1206 to 1526

  1. The Ilbari Turks (slaves) – AD 1206-1290
  2. The Khiljis – AD 1290-1320
  3. The Tughlaqs – (AD 1320-1413 )
  4. The Sayyids – (AD 1414-1451 )
  5. The Lodhis – (AD 1451-1526)

The Slave Dynasty (llbari) (AD 1206-1290)

The first dynasty of the Sultanate designated by various scholars as the Slave Dynasty or the Mameluq Dynasty or the Ilbari Dynasty. But it is incorrect to call the dynasty as the Slave Dynasty because out of nine rulers of Balban were slaves during their early life.

this dynasty only three i.e., Qutb-ud-din-Aibak, Iltutmish and The term Mameluq signifies a Slave born to the free parents but the connotation of slavery nevertheless persists.

Some important rulers of this dynasty are

Qutb-ud-din Aibak (AD 1206-1210)

He became the Sultan of India after the death of his master Mohammad Ghori in AD 1206. He had earned his laurels as a warrior during the 14 years he had acted as his master’s representative in Hindustan. The credit of laying the foundation of Delhi Sultanate goes to him. In a sense, he may be regarde as the first Sultan of Delhi though his capital remained at Lahore. He strengthened his position by matrimonial alliances with the influential rival Turkish chiefs. For his generosity, he was give the title of Lakh Baksh (giver of lakhs).

Qutub-ud-din constructed two mosques – Quwat-ul-Islam at Delhi and Adhai din ka Jhopra at Ajmer. He also began the construction of Qutub Minar, in honour of famous Sufi Saint Khwaja Qutb-ud-din Bakhtiyar Kaki. He was a great patron of learning and patronised writers like Hasan-un-Nizami, author of Taj-ul-Massiri, and Fakr-ud-din, author of Tarikh-e-Mubarak Shahi.

In 1210, while playing Chaugan (Polo), at Lahore, he fell off his horse and died of injuries.

Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236)

Aram Shah, the son of Aibak succeeded him but soon he was overthrown and Iltutmish was enthroned as the Sultan. Iltutmish was the real founder of Delhi Sultanate. He made Delhi as his capital, in place of Lahore. He saved Delhi Sultanate from the wrath of Changez Khan the Mangol leader by refusing shelter to Khwarizm Shah, whom Changez Khan was chasing. Iltutmish defeated Tajudin Yaldoj in the Battle of Terrain (1217) and killed him. He divided his empire into numerous big and small iqtas and assignment of land in lieu of salary, which he distributed to his Turkish officers.

He completed the construction of Qutub Minar. Iltutmish organised the Iqta system and introduced reforms in civil administration and army, which was now centrally paid and recruited. He set up an official nobility of slaves known as Chahalgani (group of forty or chalisa group).

He patronised Minaj-ul-Siraj, author of Tabaqat-e-Nasiri. Iltutmish acquired a certificate of legitimacy from the Caliph at Baghdad, Iltutmish belonged to Ilabarni clan, so his dynasty is known as first Ilbari dynasty.

  • Iltutmish issued Tanka (Silver) and Jital (copper) coins for the first time.
  • In eight years between AD 1226 and 1234, he conquered Ranthambore (1226). Mandawar (1227), Bayana, Jalor, Gwalior, Malwa, Bhilsa, Ujjain and Bengal (1231).

Razia Sultana (AD 1236-40)

Though, Iltutmish had nominated his daughter Razia Sultana as the successor, the nobles placed Rukn-ud-din Firoz on the throne. However, Razia got rid of Rukn-ud-din and his powerful mother, Shah Turkan and ascended the throne. Razia was popular among the people but was not acceptable to the nobles and theologians. She further offended the nobles by her liking for an Abyssinian slave-Yakut.

She appointed Yakut to the post of Amir-e-Akhur (master of the horse). Soon after her accession, the Governors of Multan, Badaun, Hansi and Lahore openly revolted against her. There was a serious rebellion in Bhatinda. Altunia, Governor of Bhatinda refused to accept her supremacy. Razia, accompanied by Yakut marched against Altunia. However, Altunia got Yakut murdered and imprisoned Razia. Subsequently Razia married Altunia and both of them marched towards Delhi. In AD 1240, Razia became the victim of conspiracy and assassinated near Kaithal.

Bahram Shah (AD 1240-42)
Under him, the power of the nobles increased and a new post of Naib-e-Mamaliqaut (deputy to the king) was created to satisfy the aspirations of the nobles. He was later deposed by the nobles.
Masud Shah (AD 1242-46)
He was a puppet in the hands of the nobles.
Nasir-ud-din Mahmud Shah (AD 1246-66)
Nasir-ud-din Mahmud was put on throne by Turkan-e-Chahalgami after the puppet rulers Behram and Ala-ud-din Masud were removed in quick succession. He was quiet gentle and studious in nature. Imad-ud-din Raihan a convert, who was his wazir was replaced by Balban, who was the most powerful noble of the time. Balban married his daughter to the Sultan thus strengthening his own position.
The Slave Dynasty History The Slave Dynasty History

Ghiyas-ud-din Balban (AD1266-87)

Balban ascended the throne in AD 1266. He broke the power of Chahalgami (chalisa group) and restored the prestige of the crown. That was his greatest contribution towards the stability of the Sultanate. To keep himself well informed Balban appointed spies. To keep check on any possibility of rebellion he acquired very hard policy towards his officials. Malik Bakbak (Iqtadar of Badaun) give capital punishment which Malik Haibat Khan (Iqtadar of Audh) was canned. Even after these measure, there were revolts against him like that of Tughril Khan of Bengal. Shahjada Mohammad killed in a battle against Mongols.

Theory of Kingship

  • The theory borrowed from the model of kingship from Persia. This has been discussed at length by Barani in the Tarikh-e-Frozshahi.
  • Balban projected monarchy as semi-divine institution. He declared himself to be a successor of Afrasiyab, an Iranian warrior.
  • He maintained that kingship was the Niyabat-i-Khudai (gift from God) the title Jil-i-llahi (shadow of God on Earth).
  • In his court, he introduced some formalities like Sijda (prostration) and Paibos (Kissing of feet). The Iranian festival of Nauroz or New Year celebrated in the court.
  • Nobles have to maintain the proper decorum in the court.
  • The theory reflected racial leanings as well. excluded Indian Muslims from all positions of power and authority and reserved high offices for llbari Turks of noble birth. & also he maintained that kingship knows no kinship and while performing his duties as a ruler he raised above all consideration of personal and family ties.

He created a strong centralised army to deal with the internal disturbances and to check Mongols, who were posing a serious threat to Delhi Sultanate. & he established the military department Diwan-e-Arz.

The Persian Court model influenced Balban’s conception of kingship. He took up the title Zil-e-Ilahi (shadow of God). He introduced Sijda (prostration before the Monarch) and Paibos (kissing the feet of the Monarch) as the normal forms of salutation.

Fall of the Slave Dynasty

  • On Balban’s death, his grandson est Kaiqubad, succeeded him to the ose throne at the age of 17 or 18. Although, Balban nominate Kai Khusrau as his successor but the nobles raise Kaiqubad to the throne. He give region to pleasure and the guidance of government entrusted to his Wazir. During his short reign of 3 years, he became paralysed.
  • Jalal-ud-din Ariz-e-Mumalik (Minister of war), route the Turkish nobles (Amirs) Kaiqubad murdered in his place and Jalal-ud-din ascended to the throne. The rule of Ilbari Turks came to an end in AD 1290.

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The Slave Dynasty History
The Slave Dynasty History

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