The ILBARI Dynasty (1206 – 1290)


The first dynasty of the Sultanate was called “the ilbari” because all rulers of this dynasty, except Qutubuddin Aibak, belonged to the ilbari tribe of Turk.  

QUTBUDDIN (1206-1210):-

  • Turk of Aibak tribe – Turkish mean “Lord of the Moon”.
  • Received from Mahmud of Ghur a deed of Manumission (freeing himself from slave status) & Chatr (Sovereign).
  • Laksh-baksh (giver of lakhs) because he gave liberal donation.
  • Foundation of Qutub Minar (Victory Tower) in Delhi after the name of famous sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, which was completed by iltutmish
  • He constructed two moseques – Quwat-ul-islam (Delhi, first mosque in India); Adhaidin-ka-jhopra (Ajmer).
  • Hasan-ul-nizami author of Taj-ul-massin or mahetir was patronised by him.
  • He died of a sudden fall from a horse at lahore while playing chaugan (Polo).
  • Succeeded by his son Aram Shah and deposed by iltutmish at Battle of Tarain.
ILTUTMISH (1206-1210):-
  • Shamsuddin iltutmish was the real founder of the sultanate.
  • Began his career as sar-jandar (head of royal bodyguard).
  • Time of Qutbuddin’s death, he was the governor of Badaun.
  • He made Delhi the capital of his empire.
  • Defeated yalduz in 1217 in the battle of Terrain and killed him.
  • Nasiruddin Qubacha drowned in Indus while trying to escape.
  • He refused to give asylum to Jalaluddin Mangbarni, the Khwarizmain prince who entered India on being chased by the notorious Chengiz Khan- thus arrested a major catastrophe for his kingdom & India.
  • Iltutmish expanded the kingdom by winning over Multan & Bengal in 1227-28, reasserted his authority in Bengal & Bihar in 1229 & conquered Ranthambhor & Mandor in Rajasthan.
  • In 1234-35 he led an expedition against Malwa & conquered Bhilsa.
  • 1229 – received a deed of investiture from the Abassid Caliph of Baghdad by which he became the legal sovereign ruler of India.
  • It was he who gave the country a capital, a sovereign state, a monarchial form of govt. & a governing class or nobility, known as Turkan-i-chahalgani or Chalisa (a group of forty) which was the ruling elite of the period.
  • Divided empire in to numerous Big & Small iqta, an assignment of land in lieu of salary. Muhammad Ghori was the first to introduce the iqta system, but iltutmish gave it an institutional form.
  • He introduced the silver tanka and the copper jital – two basic coins of the sultanate period.
  • Iltutmish declared Razia to be his successor but the amirs disproving his wishes put Rukh-ud-din (1236) on the throne, who was the son of Shah Turkan, mother of Iltutmish eldest surviving son.
  • Razia with the support of some nobles, the army and the people of Delhi she dethroned Ruknuddin after an unsuccessful reign of about seven months & occupied the throne.
RAZIA (1236-1240):-

  • First & last women ruler of medieval India.
  • her reign lasted three years & a half.
  • Razia rose up to the occassion & tried to establish a powerful government. It was in this context that she appointed an Abyssinian or a Habshi or Ethiopian slave Jamal-ud-din-Yakut as the superintendent of the Royal horses (amir-i-akhur), in order to destroy the power base of Turkish nobility. Due to this reason  Turkish nobles were offended & so they tried to tarnish her image through raising the issue of illicit relationship between Razia & Yakut.
  • Then a series of revolts started against Razia.
  • Firstly, Kabir Khan Aayaz, the governor of Lahore & Multan revolted against Razia. But Razia successfully suppressed this revolt.
  • Altunia, the governor of Bhatinda, also revolted. Razia move straight towards Bhatinda, but was defeated & taken prisoner by Altunia, who married her but both were killed by robbers while trying to recapture Delhi.
  • Even Minhaj-us-siraj accepts that she was having the ability of a great king but she was having only weakness & that was being a women.

BAHRAM SHAH (1240-42):-

  • Succeeded Razia on the condition that he appointed one of the Turkish rulers, Aitigin, to the post of naib or vice-regent.
  • Alauddin Masud Shah (1242-46) was killed through a conspiracy between Balban & Malik-i-jahan, the next ruler’s mother.

Nasiruddin Mahmud (1246-66):-

  • Was pious, kind-hearted & God fearing ruler.
  • Known as a Darvesh King in the history of India.
  • Balban, one of the leading Turkish noble, married his daughter to the sultan. In return the sultan appointed him to the post of regent (naib-i-mamlakat) with the title of Ulugh Khan (Premier Khan).
  • 14th century historian, Isami in Futuhat-us-Salatin as well as Ibn Batuta clearly state that the sultan was murdered by Balban.

Balban (1266-86):-

  • Knowing well that the Chahalgani was the source of all trouble, Balban introduced rigorous court discipline.
  • An official Amir-e-Hajib was appointed to regularise the proceedings of the court.
  • He borrowed the model of Kingship from Sassanid Persia, where kingship had been raised to the highest possible level.
  • He claimed his descent from the Iranian hero, Afrasiyab.
  • He impressed upon the people that kingship was vice-regency of God on earth (niyabat-i-khudai).
  • Called himself Zil-i-ilahi or Shadow of God on earth & Nasir-amir-ul-manin or Caliphs right hand man.
  • He introduced the persian (Iranian) customs of Sijda (prostration) &  Paibos (kissing the feet).
  • He was the first Indian ruler to introduce the celebration of the Persian New Year nao-roz in India.
  • Followed a policy of blood & iron.
  • Destroyed the Mewati Rajput brigade.
  • He suppressed the Tughril rebellion & appointed Bughra khan as the new Governor of Bengal, who was his son.
  • To control the onslaught of Mongols, he founded the Diwan-i-arz or Military department.
  • He was a patron of men of letters & showed special favour to the poet, Amir Khusrau.

Kaiqubad (1287-1290):-

  • was put on the throne by Fakr-ud-din, the Kotwal of Delhi & was succeeded by Kayumars.
  • Kayumars was the last ilbari ruler & was killed by Malik Firuz (later sultan Jalauddin Firuz Khalji).

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