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Politics & War

Politics & War

Shams ud-Din Iltutmish

Shams ud-Din Iltutmish

  • Shams ud-Din Iltutmish was the third ruler of the Mamluk dynasty of Delhi of Turkic origin. He was a slave of Qutb-ud-din Aibak and later became his son-in-law and close lieutenant.
  • Shams-ud-din belonged to the tribe of Ilbari in Turkestan. He was sold into slavery at an early age. He was purchased by Qutub-ud-din-Aybak, then the Viceroy of Delhi.
  • He rose quickly in Aybak’s service, married his daughter, and served in succession as the Governor of Gwalior and Baran.
  • Iltutmish was appointed Governor of Badaun in 1206 and was serving in this post when Aybak died in a polo accident.
  • To his credit, he was the first Sultan of India who was recognized by the Khalifa. He became the Sultan of Delhi and ascended the throne in 1211 A.D. after the death of his great master.
  • Iltutmish ascended the throne of Delhi at a time of crises. The difficulties which his master Aibak had faced were not yet over. Therefore, he did not find the throne a bed of roses. He had to face a number of difficulties at home and from outside. After Aram Shah there were dangerous rivals like Taj-ud-din Yeldoz of Ghazni and Nassiruddin Qubacha of Uch’s upper Sind & Multan.
  • Yeldoz reasserted his sovereign power over Hindustan and treated Iltutmish as his vassal. Qubacha, the governor of Multan had marched upto Lahore by declaring his independence. Ali Mardan, the governor of Bengal and Bihar had declared his independence immediately after the death of Qutb-uddin.
  • The Rajput states like Ranthambhor, Jalor, Ajmer, Gwalior and others had stopped paying tributes and also had declared their independence. But Iltutmish was a man of high courage and determination. He accepted the challenge and faced the problems bravely.
  • Iltutmish considering it as the right time attacked Yeldoz and a battle between the two took place in the historic battle field of Tarain in 1215 A.D. Yeldoz was defeated and put to death.
  • During the reign of Iltutmish, the greatest danger to the country was the possible invasion of Mongols under the leadership of Chengiz Khan. It was in 1221 A.D., Chengiz Khan; the Mongol hero appeared at the border of India by following Jalal-ud-din Mangbarni, the defeated Shah of Khwarizm empire
  • Bengal another distant province in the east was under the authority of Delhi Sultan during the reign of Qutb-uddin Aibak. But she had declared her independence soon after the death of Aibak.
  • Iltutmish by sending an Expedition to Bengal defeated and killed Sultan Ghiyasuddin. He appointed his son Nasir-ud-din Muhmud as the governor of Bengal. After Nasirud-din’s departure there was again another rebellion in Bengal under the leadership of Balka Khalji. This was in 1230 A.D., Iltutmish proceeded to Bengal in person defeated and killed Balkha Khalji and Bengal was annexed to Delhi Empire.
  • After the death of Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the Rajput states had declared their independence. Iltutmish, as he was busy in northwestern frontier had no time to pay his attention to the Revolts of Rajput states.
  • The Rajput Kingdoms such as Ranthambhor, Jalor, Mander Kalinjar, Gwalior, Ajmer, Bayana, Thangir and many other had raised the standard of rebellion and put an end to the Turkish supremacy. Iltutmish dealt with them one after another and re-annexed those states
  • Iltutmish fell ill in 1235 A.D. due to continuous military operations. During his last expedition against Bayana, he was attacked by severe illness and was brought to Delhi immediately for treatment.
  • But he could not recover from such illness and struggling with life for about a year he breathed his last 1236. With his death the country lost a great ruler and also there came to an end the long twenty-five years glorious reign of Delhi Sultanate ADMINISTRATION 1. Organisation of the Group of Forty Slaves- Turkani-Chihalgani
  • ltutmish requested the Khalifa (Caliph) of Baghdad to grant him the title of Sultan. The request was accepted and emissaries from the Khalifa reached Delhi with a deed of investiture for Iltutmish in 1229 A.D. This gave Iltutmish legal claim over the Delhi Sultanate. It also helped him in making his rule hereditary which secured the succession of his children on the throne.
  • The early Ghurid rulers had maintained the Rajput coinage system based on the Hindushahi bull-and horseman coins in place at the Delhi mint.
  • Dehliwala, the standard coin, was a silver-copper alloy with a uniform weight of 3.38 grams, of which 0.59 grams was Silver.
  • In response to the lack of silver, Iltutmish introduced a new bimetallic coinage system to Northern India consisting of an 11 grams silver Tanka and the billon Jital, with 0.25 grams of silver.
  • The agricultural and land revenue system of the early Turkish Sultans rested on two foundations viz. the Iqta (assignment of land revenue) and Kharaj(Land revenue).
  • Under Iqta System, the land of the empire was divided into several large and small tracts called Iqta and assigned these Iqtas to his soldiers, officers