Biography of Qutbuddin Aibak

According to Minhaj-us-Siraj when the question of succession was asked of him as he had no son, Ghori replied firmly, “Other monarchs have one son or two sons. I have so many thousand sons, namely, my Turkish Slaves who will be heirs of my dominions and who after me will take care to preserve my name in the Khubta throughout the territory”.

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Therefore, after his death his empire was divided among his ambitious and powerful governors like, Tajuddin Yaldoz, Nasiruddin Qubacha and Qutbuddin Aibak. These governors were virtually slaves of Muhammad Ghori who rose to prominience as military generals due to expert guidance of Aibak and their own fighting skills and organizational qualities. As Muhammad Ghori loved his slaves like his sons, they served their master with profound loyality. Aibak was one of his faithful and trusted slave officers. He inherited his Indian empire after the death of Muhammad Ghori.

Early Career of Aibak:

Qutbuddin Aibak was born in a high family of Turkistan. Though he was ugly in appearance, he was intelligent and impressive in behaviour. He was taken as a prisoner and sold to the Qazi of Nishapur named Fakhruddin as slave in his childhood.

He was pro­vided with proper education and military training by the kind-hearted Qazi but soon after the death of the Quzi, his sons sold Aibak to Muhammad Ghori. He was well versed in Islamic theology, horse riding and swordsmanship. Owing to his skill and qualities, he soon attracted the attention of his master and was appointed commander of a troop.

Shortly after, he was promoted to the post of Amir-i- Akhur, the master of the royal stable. The title of Aibak was besto­wed upon him by Ghori but some historians are of the opinion that he belonged to Aibak trible of Turks which in Turkish language means ‘Lord of the Moon’.

Aibak expressed his ability and valour at the time of Ghori’s invasion on India.

When Ghori invaded India, Aibak came with his master and provided him his active support during wars. The successes of his master by and large depended on his military “skill. Ghori was immensely pleased with him and he appointed him his governor of the Indian empire. Aibak added power and prestige to the infant Muslim empire by his incessant labour and intelligence.

Achievements of Aibak as a Commander:

After the second battle of Tarain, Aibak was appointed viceroy of the conquered provinces of Ghori in India; He did yeoman service to the infant Muslim empire. Even during absence of his master he continued the series of victories and crushed the revolts of the Rajputs from 1192 to 1205 a.d.

He not only organized the provinces conqu­ered by Ghori buTalsoextended his Territory. Prominent historian Lanepoole “has written about him, “Aibak’s chief exploits were achieved during his Viceroyally.” The credit for the conquest of Ajmer, Kanauj and Kalinjar from 1193 to 1203 a.d. goes to him.

First of all Aibak invaded the fort of Hansi and established his sway over it. Later on, he defeated the Tomar ruler in 1193 a.d. and occupied Delhi. In the same year he achieved victory against Meerul and “Bulandshahar In 1194 a.d.

Ghori and invaded India in order to punish Jaichand, King of Kanauj. During this invasion Aibak greatly helped his master. Ghori after achieving victory against Kanauj handed over the province to Aibak for its administration.

Among the early achievements of Aibak the suppression of the revolt of Ajmer is a significant event in the history of Medieval India. Between 1192 to 1197 a.d. the Rajputs of Delhi and Ajmer revolted j against the supremacy of Ghori from time to time Aibak crushed these revolts successfully and saved the infant Muslim empire from decline. In 1192 a.d.

Hari Raj King of Aimer was the first to revolt against the Muslim rule. Aibak crushed the revolt but TnTT5TXIJ. Han Raj again revolted with the support of the Tomar King of Delhi. The army of Aibak could not succeed in crushing this revolt; hence Aibak himself went on this campaign and besieged the fort of Ajmer.

After defeat, Hari Raj committed suicide due to remorse and the reign of Muslims was established over Ajmer. In the saime year Aibak got success against the Jats and conquered the fort of Ranthambor.

Qutbuddin Aibak retaliated by invading Anhilwara and sacked the kingdom of Bhimdeo. In 1202 a.d. he invaded the fort of Kalinjar and compelled the Chandela ruler Parmardi Deva to be confined in his tort for some months. Ultimately the Turks became victorious and the same story of plunder and slaughter was repeated.

Aibak also gained victory in his expeditions against Mahoba, Kalpi and Badaun. When he was busy in attaining victories in southern and western campaigns, his able commander Ikhtiyaruddin Muhammad- bin-Bakhtiyar Khalji penetrated into Bihar and Bengal and achieved success. The credit of these victories achieved in the reign of Ghori goes to Aibak, therefore, after the death of Ghori in 1206 a.d., he could become Sultan in India without much opposition.

Accession of Qutbuddin Aibak:

In 1206 A.D. on his way to Ghazni Ghori breathed his last. His empire was inherited by his slaves as he had no son to succeed him. Aibak who was a Viceroy of his Indian empire was invited by the Amirs of Lahore to assume the powers for Ghori wanted it and already bestowed the title of Malik and Subedar on Aibak.

Dr. A.L. Srivastava supports this on the basis of the writings of Pakhr-i- .Mudabbir who refers to the appointment of Qutbuddin Aibak-as Wali Ahd (heir apparent) after the victory against Khokhars in 1205 a.d. Professor Habibullah also writes that powers of commanding the vanquished territory were given to” Qutbuddin after the second battle of Tarain but K. A. Nizami does not agree and holds a different view.

He writes, “The actual position seems to have been that Muizuddin’s death left Yaldoz, Aibak and Qubacha to struggle for supremacy and decide the issue on the basis of the survival of the fittest. Aibak had, therefore, to press hard to get his position recognized.” Ghori’s nephew Ghiasuddin who succeeded him at Ghazni was not a competent ruler.

However, Aibak did not assume the title of Sultan, nor did he issue currency in his name. It was because he had not received formal manumission from Muhammad Ghori and as a shrewd politician, he did not want to become a prey of the jealousies of Turkish nobles; rather he wanted to consolidate his position and power through diplomatic measures.

To achieve his mission he adopted the policy of matrimonial alliances. He gave away his daughter to Iltutmish and his sister to Nasiruadin Qubacha in marriage. He himself married the daughter of Yaldoz. Thus lie tried to establish sweet relations with all the powerful persons of his times so that his position could be strong.

He also requested Ghiasuddin, the nephew of Ghori to recognize him assail independent ruler of India and assured him all help against the ruler of Khwarizm.

Ghiasuddin accepted his request and sent him the royal insignia and standard and also bestowed on him the title of Sultan. Thus the formal manumission was granted to Aibak in 1206 A.D.

Although Aibak was confronted with various problems of inten­sive nature, he faced them all with courage, bravery and farsighted­ness. After becoming the ruler of India he passed his time in crushing the revolts, struggling against the opponents and in solving the other problems. He ruled only for four years.

He did not make fresh invasions during his reign and tried to establish law and order and to strengthen his army. He wanted to establish a separate entity of the Turkish Empire free from the politics of Central Asia. First of all he consolidated his position in Delhi and Lahore and then persuaded the Turkish nobles to recognize his sovereignty. His matrimonial policy further strengthened his position.

Tajuddin Yaldoz:

The entire period of the reign of Qutbuddin Aibak passed in struggle. Yaldoz and Qubacha were his deadliestfoes. They regarded themselves equivalent to Aibak and never paid respect to him. Yaldoz being the Sultan of Ghazni regarded himself to the ruler of “Delhi as well.

Although Aibak endeavoured to maintain sweet relations with him, yet when he tried to establish him­self in Punjab being driven from Ghazni by Khwarizm Shah, he sent an army against him and defeated Yaldoz. Chasing Yaldoz Qutb­uddin reached Ghazni and occupied its throne but he could not rule there for more than forty days.

After this Yaldoz again occupied the throne of Ghazni. The reasons of the short slay of Aibak in Ghazpi have created differences of opinion among the historians. 1 his is entirely a wrong version that Aibak failed to rule over Ghazni for a long time because of his sensuous nature. None of the contemporary sources has confirmed it.

In fact, the people of Ghazni were not pre­pared to be ruled by India; rather they desired to rule over India through Ghazni. No doubt, Aibak could not rule over Ghazni for a long time but he created a terror in the heart of Yaldoz and he could not again rise against the ruler of Delhi. Thus Aibak saved the newly founded Muslim empire from decline and separated it from the politics of Central Asia.

Tajuddin Qubacha:

Qubacha was also an independent ruler in Sindh and Multan. He had occupied this region after the death of Ghori and he also wanted to establish his away over India. But Qutbuddin was a great diplomat. He established matrimonial relations with Qubacha and avoided the future conflict which otherwise would have put great hurdle in his way of peaceful rule.”

Bengal:

The province of Bengaihadalways was a problem for the Sultans of, Delhi throughout the reign of Slave Dynasty. Ali Mardan Khanjjvas the ruler of Bengal. He was a man of very un­certain temperament; therefore, Khalji nobles dethroned and impri­soned him.

They placed Muhammad Sheran on the throne on the condition that he would not accept the sovereignty of the Sultan of Delhi- Ali Mardan who was a very clever person managed to escape from the prison.

He reached Delhi and requested Aibak to interfere in the politics of Bengal. He assured him that, in case, he was re- enthroned he would rule over Bengal as a subordinate of Delhi Sultanate.

After paying much attention to his proposal Aibak pro­vided him military assistance by which he could get the throne of Bengal again and began to rule under the suzerainty of Delhi Sulta­nate. Thus Aibak not only succeeded in establishing peace in Bengal but also brought it under the supremacy of Delhi Sultanate and received annual tribute from Ali Mardan Khan.

Aibak and the Rajputs:

Aibak did not adopt the policy of extinction; rather he resorted to the policy of consolidation. Owing to his short period of reign he failed to pay attention towards the Raiputs who were trying to throw off the yoke of Muslim slavery. No doubt, they were a threat to the existence of Aibak, but he was so much absorbed in the politics of north-west frontier and Bengal that the Rajputs remained and secure against any punitive action.

Death of Aibak:

Aibak ruled only for four years as an independent Sultan. In 1210 a.d. while playing Chaugan, (Horse Polo) he fell down from his horse and received serious head injury that ultimately resulted in his death. He was buried at Lahore.