First Muslim ruler of India – Qutubuddin Aibaq,early life and achievement

First Muslim ruler of India – Qutubuddin Aibaq,early life and achievement

      One of the most controversial rulers in the subject of Indian history is the question of the selection of the first Muslim ruler in India. According to historians, Qutbuddin Aibaq who was a slave was never an independent ruler. He did not issue coins in his name. But will only the circulation of coins be considered as a measure of the stability of the rulers? Before the first Muslim ruler of India – Qutubuddin Aibaq, Muhammad-bin-Qasim was the first Muslim invader who attacked India for the first time (711 AD), after that Mahmud Ghaznabi invaded India seventeen times from 1000 AD to 1026 AD. Looted, after that Muhammad Ghori invaded India in 1191 AD, in which he was defeated in the First Battle of Tarain, but the very next year in the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192 AD, he defeated Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the ruler of Delhi, and started the rule of Muslims in India did.

qutubuddin aibaq


First Muslim ruler of India – Qutubuddin Aibaq,early life and achievement

   Early Life of Qutubuddin Aibaq

    Qutbuddin Aibaq was the de facto founder of the Turkish Empire in India. Qutubuddin was born in a family of Turkish parents and was also born in Turkistan. When Qutubuddin was a teenager, a merchant took him to Nishapur and sold it to a Qazi. The Qazi gave him military and religious education and training like his own sons as a slave. After Qazi his sons sold Aibak to another merchant. The merchant took it to Ghazni where Muhammad Ghori bought it.

The Rise of Qutbuddin Aibaq

       Qutubuddin Aibaq was a man of all virtues. Let all those elements affect anyone present in it. Although Aibaq was a man of great simplicity and there was no external flair in him at all. He attracted the attention of his master (Muhammad Ghori) with his valor, generosity and virility. He was so loyal to him that being pleased with him, he appointed him as the officer of the stables (Amir-i-Akhoor). He rendered such commendable service to Muhammad Ghori that after the Second Battle of Tarayan (1192 AD) made Aibaq the manager of Indian conquests. Thus he got complete freedom to exercise his discretion not only in the field of cable administration, but also in the field of his conquests more broadly.” Aibak made Idraprastha near Delhi his center.

 meaning of the word aibaq

     Originally Aibak is a Turkish word meaning “god of the moon”.

 How Aibak Made Himself Powerful

   In order to strengthen his position, Qutbuddin Aibaq established matrimonial relations with important persons. He married the daughter of Tajuddin Ylduj. Aibaq married his sister with Nasiruddin Qubacha. He married his daughter with Iltutmish. Thus he strengthened his position through these relations.
   Qutbbudin Aibaq suppressed the revolts in Ajmer and Meerut in 1192 AD. In 1194 AD, again suppressed another rebellion in Ajmer. In 1194 AD, he defeated Jaychandra, the ruler of Kannauj, in the battle of Chandabar. In 1197 AD, he punished Gujarat’s ruler Bhimdev, looted the capital of Gujarat and returned to Delhi by the same route.

        Continuing his conquest, Qutbuddin Aibaq besieged and captured the fort of Kalinjar in 1202 AD. He got a lot of money from the loot of the fort. Thousands of people were taken prisoner. From here he proceeded towards Mahowa city and took possession of it. He also captured one of the richest cities of India at that time, Badaun. After this Ikhtiyaruddin, a general of Qutubuddin, conquered some part of Bengal. Thus, before his accession in 1206 AD, Qutbuddin Aibaq had captured the whole of northern India as his master’s fighter and his representative in India.

   When did Qutbuddin Aibaq become the ruler?

      When Muhammad Ghori died in 1206 AD, he did not leave any successor. The governor of Kirman, Tajuddin Yaldoz became the ruler of Ghazni. It is said that Muhammad Ghori wanted Qutubuddin Aibaq to take over the empire of India. Perhaps this was to be done that Muhammad Ghori gave Aibak the royal powers and adorned him with the title of Malik. After the death of Muhammad Ghori, the citizens of Lahore invited Qutbuddin Aibak to assume all the royal powers. Therefore, Aibaq went to Lahore and assumed sovereign powers and was thus formally enthroned on 24 June 1206.

  Which dynasty was founded by Qutbuddin Aibak?
Thus, after the death of Muhammad Ghori, Qutbuddin Aibaq established the first Ottoman Empire in India, which is known in history as Das dynasty or Ghulam dynasty.

Challenges before Qutubuddin

     The becoming the ruler of Qutubuddin Aibaq in India aroused the jealousy of Tajuddin Ylduj of Ghazni. Aibak accused him of exerting undue influence on Mahmud of Firoz Koh and therefore proceeded against him. 

He captured Ghazni in 1208 AD and took Sultan Mahmud to his side. He received from him the Rajapad or ‘Chhatra’ and ‘Durvesh’ along with a Mukti Patra and the power to rule Ghazni and Hindustan. But in no time, Yalduz drove Aibaq out of Ghazni, Aibaq returned to India.

   Bengal and Bihar problem

    Bengal and Bihar also emerged as a challenge before Aibak. The death of Ikhtiyaru-ud-din Khilji threatened to break Delhi’s relations with Bengal and Bihar. Ali Mardan Khan declared himself independent in Laknauti, but the local Khilji chieftains removed him and made Muhammad Sharan sit in his place and put him in prison, but Ali Mardan Khan made arrangements to escape from the prison and he escaped. Reached Delhi. Reaching Delhi, he tempted Qutbuddin Aibak, aware of the whole situation, to intervene in the matter of Bengal.
      When the Khiljis of Bengal came to know about the invasion of Aibak, they were furious to consider Aibak as their supreme leader. He agreed to pay his annual tax to the government of Delhi. Being very busy, Aibak could not adopt the policy of attack against the Rajputs. 

How did Qutbuddin Aibaq die?

     Qutbuddin Aibaq was fond of playing polo and one day while playing polo, Aibaq suffered a lot due to falling from a horse and died in 1210 AD.

qutubuddin aibaq,s tomb
Qutubuddin Tomb Lahore

Was Aibak an independent sultan of India

   Some historians are of the view that Aibaq was not an independent sultan of India. It is possible that he did not get any coin minted in his name. Ibn Battuta, a Moorish traveler of the fourteenth century, does not place Aibak in the list of Muslim sultans of India. His name is not even found in the list of the Sultans whose names were required to be mentioned in the Friday Khutba as ordered.

Aibaq’s Achievement

    Aibaq played a very important role in the spread of Islam in India. In the last two centuries, India was a part of the Ghazni Empire and India’s interests were greatly harmed due to Ghazni’s politics. By freeing Muslim India from Ghazni, Aibaq “provided considerable assistance for the spread of power in India.”

    Hasan-un-Nizami is of the view that “By his orders, the instructions of Islam were widely implemented and with the help of God the sun of truth cast its shadow over the territories of the Hind.”

Construction work of Qutubuddin Aibak

     Although Qutbuddin Aibaq got only a short time to rule in India and in that too he was busy in wars most of the time, so he did not pay much attention to construction work. Still he did the construction of the Qubbat-ul-Islam mosque in Delhi (in place of the Vishnu temple according to historians), and the ‘Dhai-Din ka Jhopra’ mosque (in place of a Sanskrit school) in Ajmer. Apart from this, the first Minar of Qutub Minar was built in Delhi (Qutub Minar is built in the memory of Sheikh Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki). It is said that during the reign of Aibaq, the goat and the lion used to drink water on the same place.


Construction work of Qutubuddin Aibak
Adhai-Din-Ka Jhopra Ajmer                             Qubbat-ul-Islam Mosque Delhi


Which Sultan of Delhi is known as Lakh Baksh?

     In Minhaj-us-Siraj, Aibaq was a “high-spirited and open-hearted ruler, he was also very generous.” Hundreds of people used to receive gifts from him every day. That is why he was called ‘Lakh Baksh’ (or giver of lakhs).
Hasan Nizami, the author of the Taj-ul-Masir, recounts that Aibak “dispensed justice to the people with his own hands and worked hard to infuse power and prosperity in the kingdom.”
    He was a great lover of knowledge and gave shelter to writers like Hasan-un-Nizami and Fakhruddin. Hasan-Nizami composed Taj-ul-Masir and Fakhruddin composed ‘Tarikh-e-Mubarikshahi’

  Qutubuddin’s successor

     As soon as the news of Qutbuddin Aibaq’s death spread, the Maliks and Sardars in Lahore suddenly placed Aram Shah on the throne “to satisfy the hearts of the military class, to keep peace among the common people and to stop the disturbance”.
Aramshah’s relationship with Qutubuddin
     There are differences of opinion regarding Aramshah’s relationship with Qutubuddin. One view is prevalent that Iltutmish was the son of Qutubuddin. But Miminhaj-us-Siraj refutes this view and says that Qutubuddin had three daughters i.e. no son. According to Abul Fazl, Aram Shah was the brother of Qutubuddin. According to another view, Aram Shah Qutbuddin was not related, but he was placed on the throne because he was available at that time according to the situation. Therefore, there is no concrete evidence in this regard.


    Thus Qutubuddin was the founder of the first Muslim kingdom of India. Although he did not get much time to rule and most of his time was spent in stopping the rebellions. Hence he was unable to enforce any definite law and order in the state. He was a slave but with his talent he won the trust of his master and became the Sultan of India. Although he was religiously fanatical and intolerant, he demolished various Hindu temples and built mosques in their place. He enslaved Hindu women and children during the invasions of Kalinjar and Anhilbara. But in peace time he was tolerant.



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