The Slave Dynasty


The Slave Dynasty

All the muslim rular that ascended the throne of Delhi after the death of Muhammad Ghori in 1206 till 1290 were either themselves slaves or the descendants of these slaves rular. That is why the rular belonging to this dynasty are generally known as 'Slave Rulars' or the 'Mameluk Sultans' and the dynasty is known as 'Slave Dynasty'.

It was founded by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, who declared himself the Sultan after the death of his master, Muhammed of Ghori. Most of the nobles supported him, although he faced a brief contest with Taj-ud-din. Eventually Qutub-ud-din-Aibak emerged as an Indian Sultan, with Taj-ud-din remaining an Afghanistan Sultan.  After his death a power struggle broke out and Malik Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, Qutub-ud-din- Aibak's son-in-law succeeded to the throne. After ascending to the throne, he went about consolidating his position and through a series of battles extended the empire. In 1229 AD Iltutmish received an important honor from Ali Mastansir Billah, the Khalifah of Baghdad. He was given the title of Sultan-I-Azam (Great Sultan) and recognized as the sovereign ruler of the land that he had conquered. This raised Iltutmish's stature and authority in the Muslim world, and was an important step in creating a separate identity for the new rulers of India. In 1221 AD Iltutmish had to fend off a Mongol attack lead by the famous Chengiz Khan. Iltutmish was one of the greatest rulers of the early Sultanate. He played a key role in ensuring that the Sultanate was able to maintain its hold over India and extended the empire to a large part of the country. He was fond of art, literature and architecture and completed the Qutab Minar of Delhi. At the time of his death he nominated Raziyya his daughter to be the next Sultan, as he felt that none of his sons were capable of running the empire. Raziyya was a very capable ruler and was able to overcome the many difficulties that confronted her. She discarded female attire and dressed like a man, endeavoring in every way to function as a male king would. Many governors accepted her as their Sultan.