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Slave Dynasty or Mamluk Dynasty: (1206–1290)

                              Muslim rule in India was established by Muhammad Ghori in the 12th century CE. Ghori had no heirs.After Ghori’s death in 1206, Qutb-ud-din Aibak of a  slave dynasty named  ‘Pandakan proclaimed himself the king.He started the rule of slave dynasties.He founded the Mamluk dynasty . ‘Mamluk’ is an Arabic word  meaning ‘slave’.They were a slave dynasty and ruled for 84 years.

Mamluk Dynasty Rulers:

Name of the Ruler Years of Reign
Qutbuddin Aibak 1206–1210
Aram Shah 1210–1211
Shams-ud-din Iltutmish 1211–1236
Ruknuddin Ferruz Shah 1236
Razia Sultana 1236–1240
Muizzuddin Bahraram 1240–1242
Alauddin Masood 1242–1246
Nasiruddin Mahmood 1246–1266
Ghiyasuddin Balban 1266–1286
Mu’izz-ud-din Kaikubad 1287–1290
Kaimur 1290


Qutbuddin Aibak:

                                    Qutbuddin Aibak was sold as a  slave of Ghazni to Sultan Muhammad Ghori as a boy.Because of  his ability and loyalty, Muhammad Ghori appointed  him governor of a province.After Ghori’s death in 1206, Tajuddin Yaldaus, the  ruler of Ghazni,  claimed control over Delhi.Nasiruddin Kabacha, the governor of Multan and Uchch, wanted independence and had to face many rebellions by Rajputs and other Indian rulers.Qutbuddin Aibak of a slave dynasty called  ‘Pandakan proclaimed himself as the king.He started the rule of slave dynasties.

                         He established his rule with Lahore as his capital.Later he shifted the capital to Delhi.He was assisted by a  Turkish general named Muhammad-bin-Bakhtiar-Khalji who  came from Afghanistan  to conquer Bihar.Aibak built  Quwwat-ul-Islam-Masjid in Delhi,  the oldest mosque in India.Aibak was called “Lak Bakhsh” or “Giver of Lakhsby Muslim writers.He laid the foundation stone of Qutub Minan. Later his nephew Iltutmish was built.Aibak ruled for only four years.In 1210, he lost his life in an accident  during a game of chaukhan (horse polo) in Lahore.Later, his son-in-law Iltutmish took over the reins of the government.


                     Shamsuddin Iltutmish was a slave of Qutbuddin Aibak, a Turk  ,  and later  became his general and son-in-law.Aibak died in a horse race in 1210.Aibak’s son Aram Shah was an incompetent ruler.He was succeeded  by Iltutmish.Khwarizam Shah Jalaluddin Iltutmishtam, who had been  defeated and driven out by Genghis Khan of the Mongols, had sought refuge. By refusing the request, he was freed from the danger of theHe formed a group called ‘Sakalkhani’ to counter the Mongol attack.He brought merchants from commercial centres like Bukhara, Samarkanda  and Baghdad to Delhi.

                    He won victories against the army of Nasiruddin Qubza  in Lahore and Multan.He faced initial challenges such as rebellions and threats from neighboring countries.He successfully recovered the lost territories of Gwalior, Ajmer and Multan .He secured the western frontiers by defeating Kubacha and extending Delhi’s control up to the Indus River.He attacked the territories of the neighbouring rulers in East Bengal, Orissa and Assam.Iltutmish gave ‘iqtas’ of land as remuneration to the soldiers serving in his army.He completed the construction of the Quduminar  inaugurated by Aibak  . He died in April 1236 after a reign of 26 years.Since they belonged to the Adima dynasty, it  was not easy for the successors to rule.After his rule, his son , daughter and grandson came to power.

Razia (1236-1240):

When Iltutmish’s able son, Ruhuddin Firoz, died, he named another daughter, Razia Sultana, as the heir to the throne.She became the first and only woman ruler of the Delhi Sultanate.Razia fought to assert her right against her brothers as well  as against powerful Turkish nobles.Razia was a talented and  mentally strong player.He also faced an attack by the Mongols.His wazir, Nizam-ul-Mulk Junaidi, opposed his rule and sided with the rebellion of the nobles.He was accused of violating social norms and having a close relationship with Yaqut Khan, an Abyssinian.

                                       Revolts broke out in Lahore and Sirhind, and Russia  was forced to lead military campaigns.Despite the initial successes, the rebellions continued, which captured and imprisonedMalik escaped with Altunia, who captured her, and tried to regain control of Delhi, but was defeated in battle.Unfortunately, Razia was killed by bandits while fleeing in 1240.

Ghiyasuddin Balban (1266 – 1287):

                 After Razia, three weak Sultans ruled the country.Ulugh Khan, a Turkish chief, was later known as Balban.Balban had previously served as Nayab or Viceroy to Nasiruddin Muhammad, the younger son of Iltutmish.To strengthen his position, Balban married one of Nasiruddin Mahmud’s daughters to the young Sultan.Balban was replaced by Imaduddin Raihan on the Muslim throne of India .Balban  defeated and killedBalban eliminated rivals in various ways, asserting power within his own circle.

               Balban gradually consolidated his power, seizing the throne in 1266.Balban abolished the Turkish nobles known as the ‘Forty‘.He established spies to detect those who were conspiring against his rule  and obstructing it.Tughril Khan, the governor of Bengal, revolted and was arrested and killed.He maintained harmonious relations with the Mongols.Balban obtained an assurance  from Kulagu Khan, the grandson of Genghis  Khan, that the Mongols would not cross the Sutles.Balban built many forts to protect the country from attacks.Balban patronized the famous Persian poet Amit Kush.He adopted the policy of ‘blood and iron’ to deal with Rajput zamindars and dacoits of the Ganga-YamunaBalban died in 1286, which had a significant impact on the Delhi Sultanate.

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