Razia Sultana

Razia Sultan (1236-1240)

A decade after death of Iltutmish was tumultuous for the Sultanate.

Iltutmish’s eldest son had died prematurely. All other sons were ill qualified and Iltutmish was aware of this fact. He had declared Razia, his daughter who was given military training as his heir apparent.

But “The Forty” had become very strong during the reigns of Qutub-ud-din & Iltutmish and they did never want that a woman sits above them. So, Iltutmish was succeeded by his son Rukn ud din Firuz, a handsome, generous and young fool, who was overindulged in sensuality, spent money on singers and dancers and once known to have showered gold upon the admiring crowed when he was passing the bazaars, drunk. The affairs of the state were managed by his widowed mother. Both the son and mother duo were assassinated within 7 months.

Raziya was chosen at his place who became first female Sultan of India in 1236.

She was a great monarch, wise, just and generous possessing all qualities of a King except sex.

She sat on the throne of Delhi in 1236 and reigned for only three and half years till 1240. She did all what she could do to prove her a "Man". She wore manly dress and showed her face bravely, but the Chihalgani or “The Forty” of the Turkish Chiefs could not be convinced that they should be ruled by a woman.

The wise politician in Raziya was able to keep the Turkish Nobles in check but her preference for the Abyssinian Yakut, though seems innocent , roused the jealousy of the dominant Turks.

Turko-Afghan Nobles were not able to endure an Abyssinian sitting over them side by side a women. They rose in rebellion when Yakut was appointed the superintendent of the Stables. The rebellion was joined by Malik Altunia, the Governor of Bhatinda and there was a battle. Yakut was killed and Raziya was taken prisoner.

Being a woman, Raziya was able to subdue her capturer Altunia by marrying him. But, meanwhile her brother Muizuddin Bahram Shah usurped the throne, while she was at Bhatinda. Both Raziya and her husband tried to take the sultanate back, but were defeated and fled towards Kaithal. Their forces abandoned them and both of them were captured by the Jats and assassinated.

Muiz ud din Bahram reigned for 2 years and these two years were spent in plots and counter plots and cruel murders. He was killed by his own exasperated army.

His was followed by his son Ala-ud-din Masud, who played as a puppet of the chiefs. He soon became infamous for his love of wine. In due course of time he acquired the habit of seizing and killing the Nobles. He was removed and replaced with his uncle Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, youngest son of Iltutmish. His reign was from 1246 to 1266. Meanwhile another Turk Balban rose to power and succeeded him for, Nasir ud din Mahmud had no son.

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