(Last Updated on : 22/10/2012)
Qutub-ud-din Aibak was the founder of the Slave dynasty
in India. He is regarded as the real founder of the Turkish rule. After ascending the throne at Delhi, Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak
decided to keep himself independent and keep his kingdom free from the politics of Central Asia. He first strengthened his position in Delhi
and then in Lahore. He influenced most of the Turkish nobles in India to accept his subordination and married his sister to Qabacha and his daughter to Iltutmish
. During his short tenure, he established a sound system of administration in the country. The whole thing was based on the military. He kept garrisons not only at the capital but also in all important towns of his kingdom.
Political achievement of Qutub -ud-din Aibak
Qutub-Ud-Din was troubled by the instable affairs of Bengal and Bihar
. Ali Mardan, who had set himself as an independent ruler, was dethroned and imprisoned by the Khilji nobles. There Muhammad Sheran was offered the throne on the condition that he too would maintain the independence of Bengal. After the demise of Bhaktiyar, Ijjuddin Muhammad Shiran Khilji captured Ali Mardan, and declared himself the successor. After that he escaped and complained to Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who was ruling Delhi as a governor of the Ghoris. Qutb-ud-din Aibak sent Kayemaz Rumi from Luknow
to help, he appointed Hisham-ud-din Iwaz as ruler from Devkot, who handed over control to Ali Mardan when he was appointed by Qutb-ud-din in around 1210 AD. On the request of Ali Mardan to interfere in the political affairs of Bengal, Qutub-Ud-Din handed over the task to his noble Qaiwaz Rumi Khan. He used both force and diplomacy and ultimately succeeded in convincing the Khilji nobles of Bengal that they should accept Ali Mardan as the governor of Bengal under the flagship of Delhi. Finally, Ali Mardan became the governor of Bengal and agreed to pay an annual tribute to Qutub-Ud-Din.
Diplomacy of Qutub-ud-din Aibak
Qutub-Ud-Din could not practice the policy of extension of his kingdom. He could not even divert his attention towards the Rajputs
who were successful in recovering few of their places from the Turks. He was mostly pre occupied in defending his independent position and therefore, the affairs in the North Western part of India and Bengal in the east remained his basic concerns. This is the reasons why he mostly remained at Lahore instead of Delhi. Qutub-Ud-Din got a very little time as an independent ruler. The rise of Qutb-ud-Din Aibak aroused the envy of Taj-ud-Din Yildoz of Ghazni. Aibak charged him with doing of undue influence on Mahmud of Feroz Koh. There he marched against him. In 1208, he occupied Ghazni and also won over Sultan Mahmud
to his own side. However, Aibak was driven out of Ghazni by Yildoz. Aibak came back to Lahore.
So far as Bengal and Bihar were concerned, the death of Ikhtivar-ud-Din Khalji threatened to break the relation of Delhi with Bengal and Bihar. Ali Mardan Khan declared himself independent of Lakhnauti in modern Gaur, but the local Khilji Chiefs replaced him by Muhammad Sheran and imprisoned him.
However, Ali Mardan Khan managed to flee from prison and went to Delhi. He also persuaded Aibak to intervene into the political affairs of Bengal. The Khilji nobles accepted the rule of Sultan Qutub-ud-din Aibak. They also agreed to send the annual tribute to Delhi
. On account of his being otherwise very busy, Aibak could not follow a policy of aggression against the Rajputs
. The local administration was in the hands of the populace of the country. Muslim officers were merely put in charge of various departments and most of them were soldiers. The administration of justice must have been crude. It is too much to say that during his reign "wolf and the sheep drank water out of the same pond." It is also not correct to say that Aibak was sympathised to Hindus as there is evidence to show that during his wars against Chalukyas of Anhilwara
and Kalinjar, the Hindus were enslaved and converted into Muslims and mosques were built on the ruins of the Hindu Temples. However, in times of tranquility Aibak was really tolerant.
Art and architecture in Aibak`s rule
Qutub -ud- din Aibak ruled Delhi for very short period of time. However he had a great interest in laying the foundation of Slave dynasty
in India. This was influenced in the art and architecture at that time. During his reign, he destroyed an ample number of Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries in India and the Delhi as well. With the help of the stones of those architectural monuments he built the mosques and Madrasas for the Muslim community in Delhi. He built on mosque at Delhi and another at Ajmer
. Aibak, as a Sultan won a large number of victories in battlefields during the lifetime and thereby added to his glory. He rarely lost a battle. According to Tabakat -I- Nasiri
, Aibak was a "high-spirited and open hearted monarch. He was very generous." "His gems were bestowed by hundreds and thousands." He has been given the title of "Lakh Bakhsh" or Giver of Lakhs. Hasan-un-Nizami, the author of Taj-ul-Massir, tells that Aibak "dispensed even handed justice to the people and exerted himself to promote the peace and prospertiy of the realm." He was a great patron of learning and he patronized writers like Hasan-un-Nizami and Fakhr-ud-Din.
One major task that he undertook in conquered lands was the construction of outstanding buildings for mosques, minarets, monuments and palaces. These were intended for declaring the might and glory of Islam, overshadowing the achievements of the native infidels. According to Chachnama, Qasim, informing of the building initiatives undertaken by him in Sindh, wrote to Hajjaj, `...the infidels converted to Islam or destroyed. Instead of idol temples, mosques and other places of worships have been built, pulpits have been erected"
Qutbuddin Aibak had started construction of the impressive Qwat-ul-Islam
(Might of Islam) mosque in Delhi as early as 1192, more than a decade before establishing Muslim rule in India (1206). Qwat-ul-Islam is known to be the first building in the entire Qutb Complex. The mosque was built in a period of four years (1192-97) acquired its first set of boundaries over the remnants of twenty-seven Hindu-Jain temples that were demolished deliberately as an act of war to establish the power of Ghurid Turk rule in the newly acquired city of Delhi. Expansion of the mosque continued after Aibak`s death by his able son-in-law and General of the Army, Iltutmish, in the year 1230. The extension of the western screen wall from either side, enclosing the original boundaries and the famous Qutub Minar resulted in a space almost double the size of the original mosque. According to Ibn Battutah, a Moorish traveler, the site of the Qwat-ul-Islam mosque `was formerly occupied by an idol temple, and was converted into a mosque on the conquest of the city.`
Aibak started the construction of the magnificent Qutub Minar
, a minaret for announcing the Islamic call to prayers in Delhi in 1199 A.D and the work was finished during the reign of Iltutmish
. The Qutb Minar `has no parallel in the land of Islam,` wrote eyewitness Battutah. This majestic cylindrical tower continues to be a representation of strength and architectural brilliance of the country .Its inception during the advent of Islamic rule, in a way marked an end to Hindu kingdoms, and the beginning of Muslim rule in the country. Rising up to nearly 72.5 m, the tower tapers extensively from a diameter of 14 m at the base to approximately 3 m at the top, as an embellished inverted cone reaching the sky. A spiral staircase inside with nearly 379 steps leads to the top. Unfortunately, access to the interior of the minar has been sealed recently to avoid accidents and ensure public security. Actually the Qutub Minar is a maznah (a tower adjoining a mosque, from where the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer) attached to the congregational mosque nearby which was built at roughly the same time. In practical terms however, it is too tall to have served such a purpose. In fact it is simply a victory tower proclaims the triumph of Mohammed Ghori
over Rajput king, Prithviraj Chauhan
, in 1192 by his then Viceroy, Qutbuddin Aibak - later the first Sultan of the Slave Dynasty. The construction began during the rule of Qutub-ud-din Aibak (1192-1210) who lived only to see the completion of the base and the first storey, 29 m high. The tower appears to have derived its name from its founder, Qutbuddin Aibak. Alternately, it is also believed that the minar was named in honour of a saint Qutub-ud-din Bakhtiyar Kaki
, popularly known as Qutub Sahib who had greatly inspired Sultan Iltutmish.
During the time of Aibak`s rule the Iron Pillar
was also built. Standing at the centre of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the Iron Pillar is undeniably amongst one of the most famous heritage attractions in Delhi and within the entire Qutub Complex. Dating back to fourth century AD, the pillar bears a four-lined Brahmi Script
centrally along its length that indicates the foundation of the pillar by Chandragupta II
Vikramaditya, in honour of the Hindu god Avatar Lord Vishnu
. Originally placed within a Vishnu Temple Complex at Udayagiri, the pillar for many unknown reasons and rumoured beliefs was later moved to its current location, being the solitary Hindu artifact in the extending portion of Qutub Complex. Being a part of the complex even before Aibak`s conquest, the iron pillar perhaps stimulated the idea of a taller minar, the Qutub Minar as one of the earliest structures of the Qutub Complex. It is an intriguing piece of architectural marvel and traditional knowledge, the pillar with its austerity and natural brilliance has never ceased to amaze archeologists, metallurgists, academicians, and of course tourists, for the way it has resisted corrosion through the last 1600 years.