Seeing her qualities benefiting a ruler, Iltutmish had nominated her his successor without caring for the Islamic traditions but after the death of Iltutmish, the nobles, who were not prepared to be ruled by a woman, set aside the will of Iltutmish and enthroned Ruknuddin.
Raziya could get the throne of Delhi in a very dramatic way. The reign of Ruknuddin and his mother proved a failure and revolts broke out here and there due to their atrocities and cruelties.
Raziya took advantage of the chaotic conditions and captured the throne with the help of the people of Delhi and a section of the army by making a pathetic appeal to them No doubt, the coronation of Raziya was performed but she lacked the support and confidence of the provincial governors of Badaun, Multan, Hansi and Lahore as they had not played any role in her enthronement; hence they were her opponents. Nizam-ul-Mulk Zunaidi, the wazir of
Ruknuddin Firoz, had also joined hands with them. All the conspirators besieged the capital. Although it was beyond the power of Raziya to defeat this group, yet she played a diplomatic trick very efficiently and divided them and won over two of the rebel governors to her side, namely, Malik Izzuddin Muhammad Salari, the Iqtadar of Badaun and Malik Izzuddin Kabir Khan Ayaz, the Iqtadar of Multan.
She also made propaganda on a large scale that the rest of the rebels would soon be irhprisoned without a fight. It alarmed the governors and they took to heels, each in distrust of the other. Junaidi, the Wwir of Firoz, fled to Sirmur hills and died as a fugitive. This incident led to the rise of the power and prestige of Raziya and she became the Sultan of Delhi in name as well as in fact.
Raziya and Her State Policy:
Raziya after her accession did not accept the influence of the Shamsi nobles. She rather endeavoured to strengthen her position as an independent ruler. She gave rewards to all those who had supported her at the time of peril and promoted her favorites.
After the death of Wazir Zunaidi she appointed Khwaja Muhazzabuddin to the post of Wazir. He was working as Naib Wazir during the reign of Ruknuddin Firoz. She also appointed some new persons on the post of governors and offered high offices to non-Turks in order to break the supremacy of the Turkish nobles.
Raziya was the worthy daughter of a worthy father. Kabir Kban Ayaz was assigned the province of Lahore. Two more important appointments were made by her. The post of Amir-i-Hajib (Head of the Festivals) was assigned to Ikhtiyaruddin Aitigin and Altunia was appointed governor of Bhatinda.
Although they were very loyal officers of Raziya, yet later on, they played a significant part in her decline. Malik Jamaluddin Yakut of Abyssinia was appointed on the post of Amir-i-Akhur (Head of Stables). Historians have difference of opinion about the relations between Raziya and Yakut. Some of the historians doubt that Raziya was in love with him but a majority of historians reject this theory However, Yakut’s existence proved harmful to Raziya and it caused her downfall.
For a short while, Raziya gained the favour of the people and discharged her duties very enthusiastically. In order to enhance the power and prestige of Delhi Sultanate, Raziya altogether changed her personal life.
She discarded Purdah, started dressing herself in male attire and held an open court. She started hunting and horse-riding. The fort of Ranthambhor had been preoccupied by the Chauhans after the death of Iltutmish. She directed her Naib Lashkar, Malik Hasan Ghori, to reconquer it. She got the fort back from the Rajputs and dismantled it for fear of its loss to the Rajputs again.
Raziya also faced the Mongols diplomatically like her father had done in 1238 a.d. Hasan Karlugh, Governor of Ghazni and Bayana wanted to take some assistance against the Mongols from Raziya.
She provided some financial help (income of the territory of Baran) to him but refused to give any military help as it would have hurled her in the whirlpool of problems. So she very politely expressed her inability in this regard.
Raziya ruled for three years peacefully but her position began to worsen later on, as the Turkish slave officers started opposing her. Raziya had sought no support from them at the time of her accession and so they, who considered themselves the king-makers, were annoyed with her.
Moreover, the policy of Raziya was detrimental to their interests; they, therefore, wanted to dethrone her. The forty slaves of Iltutmish conspired with Amir-i-Najib, Malik Altunia and the Governor of Lahore to depose Raziya from the throne.
But no conspire conspiracy against her could be successful as she had the confidence of the people of Delhi. Hence, the rebels planned to dethrone her far from Delhi. Kabir Khan, Governor of Lahore, was the first to raise the standard of revolt against Raziya in 1240.
Raziya attacked the rebel Governor so suddenly that he could not procure the help of his supporters in time. She defeated Kabir Khan and he was captured near the bank of river Chinab.
He failed to cross the river as the area across the river Chinab was the territory of the Mongols and it was suicidal to enter there. Raziya suspended hint from the governorship of Lahore and sent him to Multan.
Raziya had not heaved a sigh of relief when she heard of the revolt of Altunia, the Governor of Bhatinda, just after ten days of the revolt of Kabir Khan: Raziya at once marched against the rebel governor without caring for the scorching heat of the summer. As soon as she reached Bhatinda, the conspirators assassinated the Amir- i-Akhur, Jamaluddin Yakut It weakened the position of Raziya and she was at her wit’s end.
The conspirators imprisoned her by a surprise attack. They also madejBahram Shah, the third son of Iltutmish, the Sultan of Delhi. The post of Naib-a-Mamlakat was given to Aitigin who was the leader of the conspirators. But he did not remain on this post for more than two months, as he was murdered by the agents of the Sultan who was dissatisfied with the behaviour of the Naib.
Malik Altunia, Governor of Bhatinda, was not satisfied with the distribution of high offices of the state after the imprisonment of Raziya. He considered himself to be the greatest contributor to the defeat of Raziya and expected much as a reward of his valour which he could not get. He, therefore, married Raziya with the hope that both of them would reoccupy the throne of Delhi after wresting it from Bahram Shah.
Both of them were thinking of enhancing their status in their own way. The other nobles, who were dissatisfied, also joined hands with them. The army of Raziya and Altunia Wrched towards Delhi but they were defeated by the powerful and well organized army of Delhi and fled away in order to save their lives.
At Kaithal they gave a heroic fight to the royal forces but they were deserted by most of their followers and defeated. They were imprisoned on 13th of October 1240 a.d and beheaded the next day. Thus an efficient ruler and able administrator met her sad end.