Shamsuddin Iltutmish – Founder of Delhi Sultanate – Third Ruler of Slave Dynasty – 1211 AD -1236 AD – Father of Razia Sultan

Iltutmish (1211 AD – 1236 AD)

Iltutmish is regarded by numerous historians as a real consolidator and founder of the Delhi Sultanate and the slave Dynasty. According to those historians, Qutub ud din Aibak ruled this dynasty for just four years. There was a lot of chaos after his death and the Delhi Sultanate seemed in total disarray and an influential leader was needed to manage the situation, then, Shams ud din Iltutmish came to power and controlled the anarchy.

Illtutmish, Shamsuddin - d. 1236 AD

Illtutmish, Shamsuddin – d. 1236 AD

When we read carefully the history we read that Mohammad bin Qasim was very first Muslim invader who came and conquered India but he just conquered Multan and Sindh around 712 AD.

Accounts and Reign of Shamsuddin Iltutmish

Stanley Edward LanePoole wrote that “it was a just an episode in the India’s History”. For circa 150 years there was no endeavor to found any Muslim kingdom in India. Mohammad Ghori conquered a huge area of India but he spent most of his time in Ghazni, outside of India. Ghori himself didn’t rule over India but handed over India to his viceroy named Qutub ud din Aibak. Aibak was the one who extended his kingdom and shaped a sovereign Muslim state in India. Because his rule was short-lived, he couldn’t combine the Sultanate. Certainly, Shams ud din Iltutmish was the one who strengthened the foundation and saved Muslim empire from collapsing.

Map of Delhi Sultanate, during Iltutmish, 1236 AD

Map of Delhi Sultanate, during Iltutmish, 1236 AD

On account of achievements done by Iltutmish for bringing political consolidation out of turmoil, a famous historian named Dr. R.P. Tripathi has observed, “Qutub ud din Aibak can’t be regarded ever as an independent ruler of Muslim India as no coins of his name are available & his name is prominent by its absence in the kings list organized by Ibn Batuta and in that written by Firuz – Shah Tughlaq.” He has further noticed, “The history of Muslim dominion in India starts properly speaking with Iltutmish.”

Coins of Shams ud din Iltutmish - 1230 AD

Coins of Shamsuddin Iltutmish – 1230 AD

Dr. A.L. Srivastva, another famous historian said “Iltutmish was indeed a brave but careful soldier. He was also a victorious general. He laid foundation of a military realm that was to serve afterward as the instrument of armed forces imperialism under the Khaljis”. Prof. K.A. Nizami said that “It was he who offered the country a known capital (Delhi), a sovereign state, a monarchial form of a governing class and a government.” Another famous historian Prof. A.B.M. Habibullah said, “Qutub ud din Aibak outlined the Sultanate of Delhi and its independent status, Iltutmish was indisputably was its first king.”

From above account it is apparent that Iltutmish was certainly a victorious ruler. He not only saved the Muslim Empire but also organised the scattered territories which were conquered by Qutub ud din Aibak and Mohammad Ghori into a well-administered and well-organized empire. Besides being a conqueror, Shams ud din Iltutmish was also a good administrator. He also gave a systematic administrative system.

Shams ud din Iltutmish – Death and Succession

Iltutmish was murdered in a military coup on 1st May 1236 and Delhi Sultanate was succeeded by his Daughter Razia Sultan, the first female empress of Delhi Sultanate. His tomb is situated in Mehrauli, New Delhi.

Tomb of Shams ud din Iltutmish in Mehrauli, New Delhi - Built in 1236 AD

Tomb of Shams ud din Iltutmish in Mehrauli, New Delhi – Built in 1236 AD

By : Mohammad Kamran

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