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sultan iltutmish

 Iltutmish/Shams al din Iltutmish

Iltutmish biography

       Slave dynasty under Iltutmish

 Iltutmish, also known as Shams al-Din Iltutmish, was the third and greatest Sultan of the Slave Dynasty. Iltutmish was sold into slavery, but he married his lord’s daughter, Qutb al-Din Aibak. Turkan Khatun was the chief wife of Iltutmish. He was a very intelligent and brave administrator. He played an important part in consolidating and expanding the slave dynasty. In his era, the Slave dynasty was at its peak. Razia Sultan was the Daughter of Iltutmish. The wife of  Iltutmish was the daughter of Qutb al-Din Aibak.


Sultan Iltutmish was born in Central Asia to a Turkish family. He was from the  Ilbari tribe of Turks. Razia sultana was the daughter of Iltutmish. Raziya Sultana was the daughter of Iltutmish and also the only female ever to rule the Delhi Sultanate. Raziya was the eldest daughter of Iltutmish, a Delhi sultan of the thirteenth century who was of Turkish stock. Despite his attractiveness and intelligence, his brothers sold him as a slave to Jamal Ud-Din, a slave merchant. Next Jamal Ud-Din sold him to Qutb Ud-Din-Aibak after bringing him to Delhi.

Iltutmish biography

Iltutmish biography was mostly in consisit on struggle.  Iltutmish biography started as a soldier, he received training and learned to read and write. He quickly showed his ability and rose as a superb warrior. Muhammad Ghori was also impressed by his capabilities. Therefore, he recommended to Qutb Ud-Din-Aibak, “Treat Iltutmish properly. Iltutmish ascended through the ranks under Aibak, eventually becoming the Governor of Badaun before becoming Sultan.  Aibak made him his son-in-law.  However, due to luck and hard work, he rose to the throne of Delhi in 1211.

 Early Challenges

Sultan Iltutmish ascended to the throne of Delhi at a crucial moment in the state’s history. He didn’t find a rose-covered bed on the throne. He was confronted with several difficulties both at home and outside. Because after Qutb Ud-Din-Aibak’s death Aram Shah succeeded him, but many nobles favored Iltumish, who was Governor of Badaun ( Uttar Pradesh, India). In early he accepted Aram Shah’s authority, but in 1211 he dethroned him. 

  • After  Aram Shah, other deadly competitors like Taj Ud-Din Yeldoz and upper Sindh and Multan’s ruler Nasiruddin Qabacha started to claim the Slave dynasty.
  • Nasir ad-din Qabacha, the Governor of Multan, declared his independence and marched up to Lahore (the early capital of the Slave Dynasty)
  • Following Qutb Ud-Din’s death, the ruler of Bengal and Bihar “Din’s Ali Mardan,”  also declared his independence. 

The defeat of Yeldoz:

Taj Ud-Din Yeldoz was also a slave of Muhammad Ghuri who became ruler of Afghanistan and Central Asia states. He was Iltutmish’s most dangerous enemy. But Iltumish didn’t like to fight with Yeldoz at first because of internal concerns. After resolving Aram Shah’s problem, he prepared to face Yeldoz. At the same time, Yeldoz was defeated by Khwarizm Shah and escaped to India. In India, Yeldoz demanded the control of former Ghurid empire territories, but Iltumish refused to oblige him. In 1216  Iltutmish and Yeldoz fought on the battleground of Tarain. In this battle Iltumish defeated him.  After Yeldoz, Iltutmish attacked Nasir ad-din Qabacha and gained control of Lahore.

Changez Khan in India:

   Mongol Invasion

The greatest threat to the country during Iltutmish’s rule was the possibility of a Mongol invasion led by Changez Khan. Changez Khan first came to India in 1221  to catch  Jalal Ud-Din Mangbarni, the ruler of the Khwarizm kingdom.

 After the war with the Mongols, Jalal-ud-din escaped to Punjab, where he sought refuge and formed a connection with Punjab’s Khokhar head. Change Khan, on the other side of the bank of the Indus River, was noticing Jalal-ud-din’s actions. He warned Iltutmish not to provide Mangabarni any shelter and support.  Jalal-ud-din traveled to Lahore and dispatched a delegate to Iltutmish, requesting assistance and shelter. However, Iltutmish was a skilled and cunning monarch who understood that this would enrage Changez Khan, resulting in a massive Mongol invasion. As a result, he refused to assist or shelter Jalal-ud-din and was ordered to leave Punjab.

The defeat of Qabacha:

Achievements of Iltutmish

 War Against Yeldoz

Nasir Ud-Din Qabacha was Iltutmish’s other deadly foe. However, in the early days, there were many problems on different fronts. First, the attacks of Yeldoz seriously harmed Iltumish, and after that Mongol invasion was also a problem for him. After these problems ended, Iltutmish decided to attack Qabacha and put an end. 

For this purpose, he dispatched two armies, one from Lahore to attack Multan and the other from Delhi to conquer Uch. Nasir Ud-Din Qabacha was defeated during the capture of Uch and sought refuge in the fort of Bhakkar. The fort of Bhakkar was besieged by  Delhi Army. After failing to find a way out he committed suicide by drowning himself in the Indus River. As a result, Iltumish conquered Sindh and Multan and added them to his kingdom.

Suppression of Revolt in Bengal:

 Bengal was conquered by prince Nasir ud din ( youngest son Iltutmish ) in 1227. Iltutmish appointed his son as Governor of Bengal, but he died in 1229. After his death, Ikhtiyaruddin Balka Khilji ( army officer) revolted and declared independence. Iltumish himself went to Bengal and put down the rebellion in 1231.  

After that, he appointed Malik Alauddin Jani as  Governor to keep stability and peace in Bengal.  But Alauddin Jani declared his independence after three years of reign. Sultan Iltutmish removed Alauddin Jani as Governor of Bengal and replaced him with Malik Saifuddin Aibak. Soon after, Saifuddin passed away in 1235.  As a result, Iltutmish handed Bengal to Izzuddin Tughan khan’s authority. He was sincere with the Sultan and remained a successful governor in Bengal.  

The Conquest of Rajput Kingdoms:

The Rajput states declared their independence after Qutb Ud-Din Aibak’s death. Sultan Iltutmish was too preoccupied with the northwestern frontier to pay heed to the Rajput states’ revolts. Jalor, Ranthambhor, Mander, Gwalior Kalinjar, Ajmer, Bayana, Tanger, other Rajput kingdoms declared their independence, putting an end to Turkish dominance. Iltutmish started to fight against them one by one and recaptured the states.

Recognition  of Khalifa

He was the first Emperor of Delhi to be formally entitled as a Khalifa. Mustansir Billah, the Khalifa of Baghdad, gave him titles of “Sultan-i-Azam” (Sultan the Great)” and “Nasir-Amir-al-Mommin” (Right Hand of the God’s Deputy) in 1229 A.D. This recognition not only confirmed his claim to the throne but also boosted his influence and status in the Islamic world. Iltutmish issued a coin commemorating the incident, which contains his name as Khalifa. It was an outstanding achievement for him.

Some other Conquests of Sultan Iltutmish

During his campaign against Rajput nations, he conquered several left unconquered kingdoms, including Ajmer and Gwalior. In 1231, Kanauj and Benaras were retaken. Malwa and Ujjain were annexed to his empire in 1239 A.D. As a result, he expanded the Turkish kingdom in the subcontinent to the extent under Aibak’s reign.

 Death and Tomb of Iltutmish:

Tomb of Iltutmish

   Tomb of Iltutmish

Due to continual military actions, Iltutmish became ill in 1235 A.D. He was struck by a severe illness on his last expedition against Bayana and came back to Delhi for a cure. However, he could not recover from his illness, and after a year, he breathed his last in 1236. With his death, the country lost a magnificent ruler, and his twenty-five-year reign ended. The tomb of Iltutmish was built in 1235 CE. The Tomb of Iltutmish is also part of the Qutb Minar Complex. The Tomb of Iltutmish is situated in  Mehrauli, New Delhi (  Tomb of Iltutmish).

Achievements of Iltutmish

Achievements of Iltutmish are listed below.

  • Iltutmish is regarded as one of India’s most notable monarchs. By his talent, he rose from a slave to the Emperor of Delhi.
  • He defeated the forces of Yeldoz and Qabacha, securing his place on the throne of Delhi.
  • By adopting a philosophical stance and refusing to let Chengiz Khan’s opponent take refuge in Delhi, he spared the state from a massive invasion of the Mongols.
  • He fought a series of wars against the Rajputs and the rulers of Bihar and Bengal, eventually fully integrating them into his empire was the important Achievements of Iltutmish.
  • ‘The history of Muslim rule in India properly begins with Iltutmish,’ writes Dr. R.P. Tripathy.
  • He embellished the city of Delhi by building the magnificent Qutub Minar and mosques.
  • He also invited intellectuals, Muslim saints, painters, and artisans to Delhi to aid the city’s cultural and economic development was the one of most important Achievements of Iltutmish.
  • He desecrated Hindu temples such as the Mahakala Temple in Ujjain, infuriating Hindu religious feelings.
  • These all Achievements of iltutmish are included in his biography.


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