Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji
From 1290 to 1296 Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji ruled the India as the first Sultan of the Khilji dynasty, reigning for six years. He was born in Afghanistan and also buried there. Jalaluddin established his capital at Khilughari which is a few miles from Delhi. From 1290 to 1296, he captured much of Northern India and ruled it.
History of Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji
Jalaluddin Khalji was born into the Khilji family in Qalat, Zabul Province Afghanistan. He belonged to the Turkic ethnic group. His father’s name was Malik Firuz.
Jalal-ud-din’s family had settled in India much earlier, and many of its members had served on official posts for an extended period. Jalal-ud-din rose to the rank of sar-i-jandar, or chief of the royal bodyguard on his merit. He was appointed as governor of Samana, where he fought many wars against the Mongols with great success under the Slave dynasty.
When grandson of Ghiyas-ud-din Balban, Muiz din Qaiqabad became the Sultan, he summoned him to Delhi and bestowed upon him the title of Shaista Khan and the title of Ariz-i-Mumalik, or Army-minister. He was also the head of the Khilji clan and the court’s non-Turkish nobles. When Turkish nobles plotted to assassinate non-Turkish nobles, including Jalal-ud-din, he outmaneuvered them and eventually claimed the throne after murdering Muiz ud din Kaiqubad (Last ruler of Slave dynasty) and Kayumars. On the 13th of June 1290, he was crowned at the fort of Kilokhari.
Jalaluddin Khilji sat on the throne at age of seventy, and his old age influenced his views and activities.
- He became disinterested in fighting and embraced a pacifist stance.
- He made an effort to alleviate the Turkish aristocrats, essentially letting them continue in their prior positions.
- He forgave thugs and robbers as well as those who rebelled against him.
- Like a religiously devoted old Muslim, he wanted nothing more than to live out his days in peace and good deeds.
- The former royal family had no relation to Jalal-ud-din. As a result, the people of Delhi, who only considered Ilbari-Turks capable of authority, saw him as a usurper and refused to recognize his claim to the throne.
- Under his leadership, the Turkish aristocracy, who saw Khiljis as non-Turks, felt embarrassed.
- In fact, instead of a generous Sultan like Jalal-ud-din, the Delhi Sultanate required a robust and persistent ruler.
- Jalal-ud-din failed to govern properly, which proved to be a crucial factor in his assassination.
Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji attempted to appease the Turkish aristocrats by allowing them to retain their prior positions.
- Fakhr-ud-din was retained as Delhi’s Kotwal who was also at this position under slave dynasty.
- Malik Chhajju the nephew of Muiz-ud-din Balban and the Slave dynasty’s lone survivor, continued as governor of Kara and Manikpur. It was because Jalaluddin was not interested in wars anymore.
- However He provided high positions to his sons and loyal nobility.
- His first son was given the title of Khan-i-Khan, his second son was given the title Arkali Khan, and his third son was given the title of Qadr Khan.
- Yaghrus Khan, his younger brother, was bestowed the title of Ariz-i-mamalik( Head of military departments).
- Malik Ahmad Chap, a relative, was raised to the rank of amir-i-hajib (An official who controls all court ceremonies, regulates protocol in court)
- He tried to appease the Turkish aristocrats while promoting his men to higher positions to maintain control over the administration.
Achievements of Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji
- Revolt of Malik Chhajju
- Policy towards Robbers and Thieves
- Conspiracy of the Nobles
- The assassination of Sidi Maula
- The Wars
Revolt of Malik Chhajju
Malik Chhajju was the nephew of Muiz-ud-din Balban (the last ruler of the Slave Dynasty). He was the first to take advantage of the Sultans over kindness. Malik Chhajju revolted in August 1290 A.D. He took the name Sultan Mughis-ud-din and issued coins with his name. Governor of Oudh Amir Ali Hatim Khan and several other nobles from the eastern provinces also joined him in this insurrection.
He traveled towards Delhi to take the throne. However, Jalal-ud-din took action against him. The Sultan’s son, Arkali Khan, marched on and defeated Chhajju near Badaun. However Malik Chhajju escaped at that time but was caught later. Chhajju was brought before the Sultan in Chains and filthy clothes.
The Sultan mourned his misfortune but later Sultan not only freed him, rather invited him to a feast, where he lauded him and his supporters for their loyalty to the Slave dynasty.
Policy towards Robbers and Thieves
After Ghiyas-ud-din Balban, the Delhi sultanate was unable to maintain control over the state. Taking advantage of the Sultanate’s shortcomings, robbers and thieves became exceedingly fearless.
No one was dared to injure anyone in the kingdom during Ghiyas-ud-din Balban’s reign. But later Sultans made the public’s life and property dangerous, causing confusion and fear throughout the Sultanate specially during the regin of Jalaludin Firuz Khilji the crime rate was increased at everywhere.
Officers once caught a gang of robbers and thieves after great effort. However, Sultan Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji did not punish them but instead deported them to Bengal, where they were set free. In the history of the Delhi Sultanate, no Sultan had ever dealt with robbers and thieves with such delicacy. As a result, it outraged the Amirs and nobility, who began plotting against the Sultan’s life. .
Conspiracy of the Nobles
The Sultan’s liberal policies prompted the nobles to devise a plot to depose him. However, they were well aware that if they were caught and their plan failed, they would not be punished.
When the Sultan found out about the conspiracy of Nobles, he summoned the nobles who had been busted in a wine party where they were remarking disrespectfully against the Sultan. He scolded them but subsequently forgave them. But many nobles remained active in conspiracy against him beacause he was a weak ruler.
Sidi Maula was a student of Pak Pattan’s Sheikh Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shakir. People from all around remained in his Khanqah, where free meals were served to everyone.So many people started to discuss political matters there also.
Sheikh Fariduddin instructed his disciple Sidi Maula not to engage in politics and to avoid nobles and amirs, but Sidi Maula disobeyed his teacher’s instruction. As a result, his Khanqah quickly became a gathering spot for disgruntled politicians and aristocrats. They plotted to assassinate Sultan Jalaluddin Khalji and proclaim Sidi Maula as Sultan. But it was came to know by Sultan so he ordered to capture him and then executed him.
Jalaluddin Khilji was also poor in areas of foreign policy. Rana Hammir Deva, the Chauhan ruler increased his power by defeating the rulers of Gonda and Ujjain and captured all areas which were under the control of Jalal-ud-din. After this Jalal-ud-din decided to limit his power. He raised the army and captured the fort of Jhain along the route. Then his troops also captured the Malva and ravaged the country’s borderlands. Then Sultan proceeded to Ranthambore Fort and defeated Rana Hammir Deva.
The Mongols, led by a grandson of Hulagu Khan, raided Punjab in 1292 A.D. and arrived near Sunam. Jalal-ud-din marched against them right away, reaching the Indus River’s banks. At the bank of Indus both armies fought with each other. Jalal-ud-din’s son-in-law Alauddin Khilji was leading the army. Alauddin defeated the Mongols. After the defeat the Mongols left the India but Ulghu khan, a descendant of Chengiz Khan, converted to Islam and opted to stay in India with 4,000 followers. They were known as “New Muslims” and lived in the Delhi suburbs.
After that Ala-ud-din attacked Bhilsa in 1292 A.D after obtaining Sultan’s permission. He conquered Bhilsa and sent a portion of the loot to the Sultan. Jalaluddin became very happy and Ala-ud-din and after this he received the governorships of Awadh, Kara, and Manikpur as a reward.
Death of Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji
His nephew Alauddin devised a conspiracy to assassinate him. Sultan hugged his nephew and son-in-law. At the same time, on the signal of Alauddin, Muhammad Salim killed the Sultan by the sword. The Sultan’s head was separated from his body, and the Sultan’s other followers got killed as well. Alauddin became the second Sultan of Khilji Dynasty.