Razia Sultan – Successor of Sultan Shams-ud-din Iltutmish – First Female Sultan of Delhi Sultanate – 1236 AD – 1240 AD

Razia Sultan (also called Radiyya Sultana or Raziyya Sultan or Raziya Sultan) is one of the most memorable names in Indian sub-continental history specially the Sultanate of Delhi. Jalalat-Ud-Din Razia shortly known as Razia Sultan was the Daughter of Sultan Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, who became the first and the last woman ascended to the throne of Delhi.

Razia Sultan - First Female Sultan of Delhi - 1236 AD

Razia Sultan – First Female Sultan of Delhi – 1236 AD

Razia Sultan – Accession to the Throne of Delhi Sultanate

She was born in 1205 AD. After the death of her father Sultan Iltutmish her brother Rukn ud din Firuz Shah (Firoz Shah) became the sultan of Delhi but very soon he proved himself incompetent. Rukn ud din Firuz abandoned himself to the pursuit of his pleasure and debauchery. Iltutmish’s wife Shah Turkan ran the government instead of her son Firoz Shah. Rukn ud din Firuz Shah and Shah Turkan were both assassinated by assassins on the order of Razia Sultan in November 1236 AD.

Razia Sultan Map of Delhi Sultanate 1238 AD

Razia Sultan Map of Delhi Sultanate 1238 AD

Razia Sultan took the place of her brother Firoz Shah. Raziya refused to call her “Sultana” because it means wife or daughter of a sultan. She declared herself “Sultan.” As a female child she had had a little contact with the women of the harem. So didn’t get the opportunity to learn the customary behave like women in the society of Muslim.  Razia Sultan was highly trained of battle. She always adopted men costumes and lead so many wars riding on an elephant. During Iltutmish’s reign she was reportedly preoccupied with the affairs of state.

Razia Sultan – An affair with Advisor Jamal-ud-din Yaqut

During Razia Sultan’s rule she involved in a relationship with one of the advisors of her. His name was Jamal-ud-din Yaqut who was a “Habshi”. Yaqut was appointed as superintendent of stables. At that time the Turkey morality was full of favoritism and egoistic. Yaqut was not a Turk. Because of not being a “Turk” many governors of her kingdom didn’t accept Yaqut. Many governors became rebellious.

Razia Sultan – Rebellion and Marriage with Malik Altunia to escape death

Rebels were shown the way by Malik Altunia. Altunia was the governor of Bhatinda and a very good friend of Razia Sultan. He made a rebel group with other rebellious governors of the kingdom. The governors refused Razia’s authority and lead to war. This was followed by a series of battles between Razia Sultan and Malik Altunia. Delhi army was defeated by Bhatinda and as a result Razia was held as a prisoner and advisor Yaqut was killed by Malik Altunia. To escape death Razia got married to Altunia.

Razia Sultan – Final war with Muiz ud din Bahram and Jat Forces

Razia’s brother Muiz ud din Bahram claimed the throne of Delhi. Razia and Altunia came back to Delhi to get back the Sultanate of Delhi from Muiz ud din Bahram. Muiz ud din Bahram declared a battle against Razia Sultan and Altunia. In the battle, Razia and her husband Altunia both were defeated and killed by Jats on October 13, 1240 AD.

Razia Sultan – Time of development of Delhi Sultanate

Razia Sultan was devoted to the development of her kingdom. The Sultan established many schools, academies, research centers and public libraries. In her research centers Muslims worked of ancient philosophers along with Quran and tradition of Muhammad.

Razia Sultan Grave - Bulbul-i-Khan, near Turkman Gate, New Delhi

Razia Sultan Grave – Bulbul-i-Khan, near Turkman Gate, New Delhi

Razia Sultan died and was probably buried in Bulbul-i-Khana near Turkman Gate in Delhi, though the controversy and mystery regarding Razia Sultan’s grave still prolongs.

By : Mahmud Hasan

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