Razia Sultan

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Razia Sultan Dynasty

 Razia Sultan Dynasty/Sultan of Delhi

Razia Sultana

Razia Sultana

Razia Sultan dynasty as the first Muslim female ruler in India was one of the great achievements of Razia. Razia Sultan ruled as the Sultan of Delhi from 1236 to 1240. Razia Sultan was the only woman ever to hold the throne, and for it, she beat all obstacles to do so, including overcoming issues about her gender and slave heritage. She was the fourth Mamluk Sultan and one of the ambitious female rulers in the history of Islamic cultures worldwide.

Razia also refused to be addressed as a Sultana (as per her gender). It meant “wife or mistress of a Sultan,” but instead claimed to call “Sultan” because she was the monarch.

Razia Sultan Biography

Biography of Razia Sultan was born in 1205 in the Indian city Budaun and her full name was Raziya al-Din. Shams ud-Din Iltutmish was her father, and she had three brothers. Her mother was Qutb-ud-Din’s daughter.

Biography of Razia sultan

Iltutmish proved to be a more capable ruler as well as a liberal thinker. Moreover, all of his children, including Razia, had a similar martial arts and administration education.

Razia had relatively little connection with the women in the harem throughout her formative years. Thus she never truly absorbed the normal modest behavior of women in contemporary Muslim society at the time. Rather, Razia Sultan Dynasty actively assisted her father in matters of state, even during his tenure as Sultan.

During this time, Iltutmish saw that Razia was the most skillful and sincere, while all of his sons were merely interested in royal advantages and pleasures. Thus he broke the Muslim canon of every dynasty before him, making her daughter succeed him as a Sultan in history.  

Razia’s Reign

Shams-ud-din Iltutmish died on April 30, 1236. He previously named Razia as his heir apparent but the  Muslim nobles opposed to a woman as Sultan. As a result, political pressure groups appointed Razia’s brother Rukn ud din Firuz as Sultan.

As a ruler, the new Sultan was a complete failure. Iltutmish’s widow Shah Turkana ran the administration, while the Sultan was busy in his royal status. Then, after only six months, Ruknuddin and his mother, Shah Turkana, were assassinated. 

  • On November 10, 1236, Razia ascended to the throne under the formal name “Jalalat-ud-Din Raziya.”

Razia’s Life and marriage 

Razia was the first and last female monarch of Delhi’s Sultanate. She broke conservative norms and demonstrated to the public for the first time that gender was not a barrier to talent.

She was close to one of her Abyssinian slaves, Jamaluddin Yaqut, during her tenure as Sultan. Her opponents utilized this to attack her character by circulating rumors that she was having an affair with him.

Razia also had a childhood friend Malik Ikhtiar-ud-din Altuna and she married him. Later Malik Ikhtiar-ud-din Altuna murdered Jamaluddin Yaqut.

Achievements of Razia Sultan

Razia Sultan was the ruler of the Delhi Empire from 1236-1240. She was an effective and capable ruler. However, she shaved her head, didn’t wear a veil, and looked like a male, equipped with a quiver, bow, and sword.

She used this outfit to conduct expeditions and mingle with her subjects, and hear their complaints. Raziya issued coins made with the following inscriptions upon her accession:

  • Sultana Raziya Bint Shams al-Din Iltutmish 
  • Queen of the Eras
  • The splendor of the Faith and the World
  • Pillar of Woman


These are notable because coins were one of the emblems (signs) of rulership and autonomy in the Muslim world. The first of Raziya’s inscriptions emphasizes her authority as a woman, while the second establishes her as a ruler was the great achievements of Razia Sultan.

Fighting for throne

After four years of power, a group of army officers rose against Raziya in favor of another half-brother, Bahram Shah. This uprising against the Sultana might be motivated by several factors. One factor is that because she fell in love with an Ethiopian slave, she raised him to a high position in court.

As news of the romance spread, Raziya’s name was ruined because of such a silly relationship and physical contact between a monarch and an inferior slave. There was hatred among Muslim intellectuals and their followers against the concept of a female reigning, and they preferred a male ruler. However, they got support for their cause from the people.

Razia Sultan Death

Razia Sultan death is described in two different ways. She fled from the battlefield when her forces got defeated. She ran with hunger and thirst and asked for assistance from a farmer. While sleeping, the farmer observed the gorgeous gem. He killed her while she was asleep, robbed her, and buried her in his field. When the farmer sold the stolen items in the market, he was instantly caught by the local magistrate. After that, the body of Raziya was unearthed, bathed, and reburied.

According to the second scenario, Raziya was kidnapped executed by Bahram Shah. These are the controversies about Razia Sultan death.

Tomb of Razia Sultan

There are contradictory accounts as to where she was buried. At least three assertions have been made about her final resting place. So far, no archaeological or archival evidence has been found to substantiate the location of her grave near the Yamuna river. The Tomb of Razia Sultan lies near the Turkman Gate in Old Delhi within the Bulbul-i-Khan locality which is located east of Kalan Masjid. But still, the controversy is there about the Tomb of Razia Sultan.

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