Following the death of Iltutmish, Razia became the sultan of Delhi Sultanate. But it was not easy for her. The main reason behind her becoming the sultan was that Iltutmish had found all his sons ill qualified and Razia fit all the criteria of a worthy successor to the throne. Therefore, he had declared Razia as his successor. But the Chihalgni or The Forty of the Turkish Chiefs, opposed the deathwish of Iltutmish and made his son Rukn ud din Firuz sit on the throne.
Rukn ud din Firuz was incompetent and overindulged himself in sensuous pleasures and the affairs of the state were mismanaged. He was assassinated within 7 months.
He was succeeded by Razia in 1236. She ruled for three and half years till 1240. Although, she had all the qualities of a good monarch, the Chihalgani (the group of forty Turkish chiefs) couldn’t accept the rule of a woman. They rebelled against Razia when she appointed her favourite Yakut as the superintendent of the Stables. Yakut was an Abyssinian which raised the jealousy of Turko-Afghan nobles.
The rebel chiefs were supported by Malik Altunia, the governor of Bhatinda. Soon a battle ensued between the two rival groups following which Yakut was killed and Razia was taken prisoner.
Razia married Altunia and they jointly tried to take the sultanate back which was captured by Razia’s brother Muizuddin Bahram Shah. However, Razia and her husband were defeated and they were forced to flee. While fleeing to Kaithal, they were captured by the Jats and assassinated.
Muiz un din Bahram ruled for 2 years which was filled with murders and treacheries. Later, he was killed by his own army. The period ensued saw some puppet kings sitting on the throne of Delhi sultanate.
Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, the youngest son of Iltutmish ruled from 1246 to 1266, primarily assisted by a Turk chief Balban. Balban later on succeeded Nasir-ud-din Mahmud.