Short Biography of Shamsuddin Iltutmish

His father lIam Khan was the head of his tribe. Iltutmish was very handsome, virtuous and intelligent and his father loved him very much. Dr. R. C. Majumdar has written, “He Had a remarkably beautiful appearance and showed signs of intelligence and sagacity from his early days.”

His intelligence and virtues excited the jealousy of his half- brothers who sold him as a slave to a slave trader named Jamaluddin After passing through many hands; he was ultimately sold to Qutbuddin Aibak who treated him very kindly. Lanepoole remarks “what Aibak had been to Muhammad Ghori, Iltutmish was to Aibak who treated him like his own son.”

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Rise of Iltutmish:

As it was the fashion in those days that the slave traders used to train some promising young slaves, Iltutmish seems to have attained education and knowledge of the Islamic world during the early days of his adversity.

Aibak was very much impressed by his qualities and provided him with high practical military training Being influenced by his merits and ability he appointed him on various important posts, such as, Sir Jandar (Head of the Bodyguards) and, Amir-i-Shikar (Lord of the Hunts). Infact, he rose to higher positions by his own merit by winning the confidence and affection of his master.

In 1205 A.D. when Muhammad Ghori made an invasion against the Khokhars in Punjab, Iltutmish impressed the master of his master very much and he ordered his slave Aibak to free Iltutmish from slavery. Minhaj-us-Siraj remarks, “The Sultan (Muhammad Ghori) in the midst of the battle observed his feats of daring and courage and enquired who he was When His Majesty was enlightened upon this point, he called him into his presence and honoured him with a special notice Qutbuddin was ordered to treat Iltutmish well, as he was destined for great works. His Majesty then ordered the deed of his freedom to be written out and graciously granted him his liberty.

After the victory of Gwalior Iltutmish was appointed as in charge of the fort of Gwalior and Aibak gave his daughter to him in marriage, the title of Amir-ul-Umra was also bestowed on him. Subsequently, the governorship of Baran (Bulandshahar) was given to him. Finally, in 1206 A.D. he had the charge of Badaun as one of the most beloved lieutenants and son-in-law of Aibak.

It is really worth noticing that Ghori never granted manumis­sion to his own slave commanders like Tajuddin Yaldoz, Nagiruddin Qubacha and Qutbuddin Aibakjbut being very much influenced in the battle against Khokhars the directed his slave Aibak to grant manumission to Iltutmish in 1205 a.d.

Thus he was a free person in 1206 a. d. when the nobles of Delhi invited him to wear the crown in Delhi as Sultan. Iltutmish had to lead an expedition against Aram Shah who refused to abdicate. Aram Shah was defeated and deposed by Iltutmish in 1211 a.d. Thus he became the Sultan of Delhi by dint of his merit and ability.