Summary on Ilbary Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate

The Ilbary Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate was the first Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate and the various historians designated as the Slave Dynasty or the Mameluq Dynasty or the Ilbari Dynasty. Here, we are giving a complete Summary on the Ilbary Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate which can be used as revision capsule by the aspirants of different competitive examinations.
Updated: May 8, 2017 15:50 IST

The Ilbary Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate was the first Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate and the various historians designated as the Slave Dynasty or the Mameluq Dynasty or the Ilbari Dynasty. It is incorrect to call the Dynasty as the Slave Dynasty because out of the nine rulers of this dynasty only three i.e. Qutb-ud-din Aibak, Iltutmish and Balban were slaves during their early life and they too had been manumitted by their masters long before assuming the sovereign powers.

The term Mameluq signifies a "slave born to the free parents" but the connotation of slavery nevertheless persists. Therefore, the term Ilbari has gained wide recognition as all rulers of this dynasty except Qutb-ud-din, belonged to the Ilbari tribe of Turks. Here, we are giving a complete Summary on the Ilbary Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate which can be used as revision capsule by the aspirants of different competitive examinations.

 Ilbary Dynasty

Summary on Ilbary Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate

The Ilbary Dynasty was founded by Qutub-ud-Din Aibek who slave of Muhammad Gori and commander of his army. The assumption of sovereign powers by Qutub-ud-Din Aibek in 1206 is regarded as the foundation of the Sultanate of Delhi and the first dynasty of the Sultanate.

Qutub-ud-Din Aibak (AD 1206-1210)

1. Made Lahore as capital and later Delhi.

2. First Muslim king in India and the founder of Ilbari Dynasty.

3. Originally a Turkish Slave but was bought by Muhammad Ghori and gradually rose to be his trusted general on account of his soldierly abilities. He assumed power in 1206.

4. During his brief rule of four years, he did not make any fresh conquests because his entire attention was devoted to the establishment of law and order and strengthening of the army.

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

6. Qutub-ud-din was also a great builder. He began the construction of Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque (Delhi), Adhai Din Ka Jhopra (a mosque at Ajmer) and Qutb Minar, 72 1/2 meters (238 feet) stone tower in Delhi (after the name of Khwaja Qutb-ud-din Bakhtiyar Kaki), a Muslim saint. The construction of Qutb Minar was finally completed by Iltutmish, his successor.

7. For his generosity he was known as “Lakh Bakhsh or "giver of Lakhs”.

8. Aibak was a great patron of learning and patronised writers like Hasan Nizami and Fakhruddin. Tazul Maasir of Hasan Nizami is a work primarily dealing with Aibak.

Shams-ud-Din Iltutmish (AD1211-1230)

He was a slave of Qutb-ud-din Aibak. By sheer ability, he rose to be his son-in-law and the Governor of Badaun. In AD 1211, he deposed Aram Shah, the successor of Qutb-ud-din and became king himself. He ruled for a quarter of a century and proved a very strong and worthy ruler and completed the work of Aibak.

 Challenges Faced by Iltutmish

1. He tackled these problems very tactfully. In eight years, between AD 1226 and 1234, he conquered Ranthambor (1226), Mandawar (1227), Bayana, Jalor, Gwalior, Malwa, Bhilsa, Ujjain and Bengal (1231).

3. He defeated Yalduz in the Battle of Terrain (1217) and killed him. Likewise, in 1228 he carried a march against Qubacha and put him to death.

4. A notable event of the reign of Iltutmish is that for the first time the Mongols came as far the frontiers of India. In AD 1221, the Mongol chief, Changez Khan, one of the mightiest conquerors the world has ever seen, reached the Indus in pursuit of an enemy Jalal-ud-din, King of Khwarizm or Khiva. Iltutmish at this time saved the Sultanate by refusing to give any shelter to Jalal-ud-din.

5. He consolidated his empire by conquests and strengthened his rule over Northern India and carried the Muslim rule up to Ujjain.

6. It was he who gave the country a capital, a sovereign state, a monarchical form of government and a governing class or nobility, known as Turkan-i-Chahalgani or Chalisa (a group of forty) which was the ruling elite of the period.

7. He divided his empire into numerous bid and small iqtas, and assignment of land in lieu of salary, which he distributed to his Turkish officers.

8. He used this institution for centralising the administration and liquidating the feudal order.

9. He introduced reforms in civil administration and army which was now centrally paid.

10. He was the first Sultan to recognize the economic importance of Gangetic basin.

11. He issued the coins of Silver (tanka) and copper (jital) to facilitate trade and commerce. These coins being the first purely Arabic coins issued from Delhi.

12. He is considered to be the real founder of the Sultanate.

Razia Begum (AD1236-1240)

She was the daughter of Iltutmish who nominated her as successor. The members of the Turk-e-Chahalgani selected an incompetent prince Rukunuddin Firoz. Razia became the first lady Sultan of India, on the basis of her talent and popularity among subjects.

1. It was for the first time that the people of Delhi participated in the matter of royal succession.

2. She discarded "purdah", held the court attired in the male dress and commanded the army herself.

3. She defeated the wazir, Nizam-ul-Mulk Junaidi, who had opposed her elevation and conquered Ranthambhore.

4. She tried to establish powerful governments but her attempt to create a party of nobles loyal to her and the appointment of a non-Turk. (Abyssinian) noble, Jamal-ud-din Yakut the high office led to opposition.

5. For these reasons the Governor of Lahore (Kabir Khan) and Bhatinda (Altuma), revolted. She personally led the expedition against Lahore, and suppressed the revolt.

6. On her way back to Delhi, Yakut was killed and Razia was imprisoned at Tabarhinda.

7. She married Altunia but murdered under a conspiracy along with her husband near Kaithal in AD 1240.

8. The contemporary historian Minhaj- us-Siraj accepts that she was having the ability of a great king, but the only weakness was that being a woman. Her rule marked the beginning of a struggle for power between the monarchy and the Turkish chiefs ("the forty" or "chahalgani").

9. She was succeeded, one after another, by two kings, viz, Bahram, her brother and Ala-ud-din-Masud, her nephew, but both of them were deposed on account of incompetence and then Nasir-ud-din came to the throne.

Nasir-ud-din Mahmud (AD 1246-1266)

Nasir-ud-din was the son of Iltutmish. He was very gentle, studious and pious, and on account of his simple habits is known in history as the Darvesh King. He did not take a single pie from the state treasury for his own use and earned his living by writing copies of holy Koran and selling them.

1. In the struggle between monarchy and Chahalgani, the Turkish chief Balban became the real ruler of the state.

2. He got one of his daughter married to the young Sultan which further strengthened his position.

3. He was assigned the post of Naib-i-Mamlakat (vice-regent) and got the title of Ulugh Khan.

4. Balban replaced Imaduddin Raihan to the post of "wazir" during Mongolian invasion. He served the sultan for twenty years and kept the empire intact. In 1266, when Nasir-ud-din died, Balban succeeded to the throne of Delhi.

5. Historians like Isami in Fatuhat-us-Salatin and Ibn Batuta states that the sultan was murdered by Balban.

List of Administrative and Agrarian Terms used in Sultanate Period

Ghias-ud-Oin Balban (AD 1266-1287)

Balban was an Ilbari-turk. His original name was Bahauddin. He was the slave of Iltutmish and gradually he occupied the throne of sultan.

Balban Challenges

1. In order to destroy the power of the Turk-e- Chihalgani and to increase the prestige and power of the monarchy, he propounded a new theory of kingship.

2. He refused to appoint low-born Muslim Kamal Amaya on the post of the Khwaja. He administered justice with extreme impartiality and even poisoned his cousin Sher Khan to break his power. An official Amir-e-Hajib was appointed to regularise the proceedings of the court.

3. His theory of kingship was based on power, prestige and justice. According to him the three essentials of kingship were army, treasury and nobles and the means of success was justice, beneficence, pomp and show.

4. He adopted two pronged strategies against the Mongols. Firstly, he exchanged embassies by the Mongol courts. Secondly, he created two defense lines. The first across the region of Lahore, Multan and Dipalpur under Prince Muhammad. The second line was laid in Sunam, Samana and Bhatinda under his youngest son, Prince Buhgra Khan.

5. The law and order situation in and around Delhi had deteriorated. The Mewati Rajputs plundered the country and had made life, property and trade unsafe in the Doab.

6. To deal with these elements Balban adopted a policy of blood and iron. The jungles were cut down and several forts got constructed in the area. Afghan mercenaries were appointed there. The fortress at Gopalgir guarded the city's South-Western entrance.

7. The most important event of the reign of Balban was the suppression of the Bengal revolt. Tughril Khan the Governor of Bengal, declared his independence under the impression that the' king was very old and his province is far away from Delhi. He even defeated two royal armies sent against him.

8. At last Balban himself marched with Bughra Khan towards Bengal. Tughril Khan left his capital, Lakhnauti, and fled to the forest of Jajnagar (Orissa), but was defeated and killed along with his family. Balban now appointed his son, Bughra Khan, as the Governor of Bengal.

9. In order to strengthen the monarchy, Balban reorganised the central military department, Diwan-i-Arz. For better supervision of the income of the Iqta, he appointed an officer Khwaja in Iqta.

10. Likewise, he organised the espionage department under an officer Barid-I-Mumalik. Thus, began an era of strong, centralised government.

11. In AD 1285, Prince Muhammad was killed in a battle against the Mongol leader, Tamar. The terrible hock of the death of his favourite son proved too much for the Sultan and he died in AD 1287, in Delhi. He is considered to be the real consolidator of Delhi Sultanate.

Kaiqubad (AD 1287-1290)

1. He was the grandson of Balban and the son of Bughra Khan (Governor of Bengal).

2. He was very indolent and luxury-loving.

3. In 1290, Firoz Shah, the Governor of Punjab, got him killed and became king under the title of Jalal-ud-din Khilji. Thus, the Khilji dynasty began in Delhi.

 Architectural Development during Delhi Sultanate Era

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