|Sultan of Delhi|
|Full name||Shams-ud-din Iltutmish|
|Died||May 1, 1236|
|Place of death||Delhi|
|Buried||Qutb Complex, Mehrauli, Delhi|
|Successor||Razia Sultana (his daughter)|
Shams-ud-din Iltutmish (Hindi: अलतामश/AlTaMash/Iltutmish)(Persian شمس الدین التتمش) (r. 1211–1236) was the third ruler of the Mamluk dynasty of Delhi of Turkic origin. He was a slave of Qutb-ud-din Aibak and later became his son-in-law and close lieutenant. He was the Governor of Badaun when he deposed Qutub-ud-din's successor Aram Shah and acceeded to the throne of the Delhi Sultanate in 1211. He shifted Capital from Lahore to Delhi, remained the ruler until his death on May 1, 1236. Iltutmish introduced the silver tanka and the copper jital-the two basic coins of the Sultanate period, with a standard weight of 175 grains. He introudced Iqtadari system: division of empire into Iqtas, which were assigned to the nobles and officers in lieu of salary.
He built the Hauz-i-Shamsi reservoir in Mehrauli in 1230, which also has Jahaz Mahal standing on its edge, used by later Mughal Emperors. In 1231, he built Sultan Ghari the mausoleum of his eldest son, Prince Nasiru'd-Din Mahmud, which was the first Islamic Mausoleum in Delhi. His own tomb exists, within the Qutb complex in Mehrauli, Delhi.
He suppressed all internal revolts and also checked external invaders successfully. He got completed the construction of qutub minar.
Sultan of Delhi 
Rise to power 
In 1210, Qutb-ud-din Aibak died. Muizzi amirs, who had been appointed by Muhammad of Ghor supported Aram Shah. Qutbi amirs, owing allegiance to Aibak, invited Iltutmish, then Governor of Badaun, to seize power in Delhi. Aram Shah acceded to the throne in Lahore. In 1211, Iltutmish claimed the throne in Delhi. Aram Shah marched towards Delhi but was slain in battle leaving Iltutmish unopposed in Delhi.
Early challenges 
On his accession, Iltutmish faced a number of challenges to his rule. In the aftermath of Aibak's death, the Ghurid dominions in India had divided into four. Iltutmish controlled Delhi. Nasir-ud-Din Qabacha, the Governor of Uch and Multan asserted his independence. Ali Mardan, a Khalji noble, who had been appointed Governor of Lakhnauti by Qutb-ud-din in 1206, had thrown off his allegiance to Delhi after his death and styled himself Sultan Ala-ud-din. His successor, Ghiyas-ud-din, conquered Bihar. Lahore was contested by Iltutmish, Qabacha and Tajuddin Elduz, Muhammad of Ghor's adopted son and successor in Ghazni. Elduz attempted to bring Delhi under his control. Initially, Iltutmish acknowledged Elduz's suzerainty by accepting the symbolic presents of the chatr and durbash. The Hindu princes and chiefs were discontented at their loss of independence and had recovered Kannauj, Benaras, Gwalior, and Kalinjar had been lost during Qutub-ud-din's reign while Ranthambore had been reconquered by the Chauhans during Aram Shah's rule. To add to Iltutmish's troubles, some of the Amirs of Delhi expressed resentment against his rule.
The new Sultan first suppressed a rebellion of the Amirs in the plain of Jud near Delhi, and then brought under his control the different parts of the kingdom of Delhi with its dependencies like Badaun, Benares and Siwalik.
In 1215-1216, Elduz, who had been defeated and expelled from Ghazni by the forces of the Shah of Khwarezm, moved towards Punjab and laid claim to the throne of Delhi as the heir to Muhammad of Ghor. Iltutmish refused, stating
the dominion of the world is enjoyed by the one who possesses the greatest strength. The principle of hereditary succession is not extinct but long ago destiny abolished this custom.
Iltutmish defeated Elduz at Tarain. Elduz was imprisoned in Badaun and was later executed.
In 1217, Iltutmish moved towards Qabacha at the head of a large army. Qabacha attempted to retreat from Lahore towards Multan but was defeated at Mansura. Iltutmish refrained from attacking Sindh due to the presence of Mongols on his north-west frontier. Iltutmish was preoccupied with the Mongol threat and did not threaten Qabacha until 1227.
Mongol threat 
In 1221, the Mongols, under Genghis Khan appeared for the first time on the banks of the Indus. They had overrun the countries of Central and Western Asia with lightning rapidity. The Mongols captured Khiva and forced its ruler, Jalal-ud-din Mangabarni to flee to the Punjab. He sought asylum in the dominions of Iltutmish. The Sultan of Delhi refused to comply with the request. Mangabarni entered into an alliance with the Khokhars, and after defeating Qabacha of Multan, plundered Sindh and northern Gujarat and went away to Persia. The Mongols also retired. India was thus saved from a terrible calamity, but the menace of the Mongol raids disturbed the Sultans of Delhi in subsequent times.
Consolidation of power 
Southern Bihar was captured by Iltutmish in 1225-26. Lakhnauti was captured in 1226. Revolts continued until the Khalji Maliks of Bengal were reduced to complete submission in the winter of 1231. Ala-ud-din Jani was appointed Governor of Lakhnauti.
With the death of Genghis Khan in 1227, Iltutmish attacked Qabacha. Multan and Ucch were captured. Qabacha was surrounded on all sides in the fort of Bhakkar, on the banks of Indus. He drowned while attempting to escape. Sindh and Multan were incorporated into the Delhi Sultanate and placed under separate governors.
Due to his problems first with Turkic nobles and then with the Mongols, Iltutmish had ignored the Rajputs, who had regained territory lost earlier to the Turks, for the first fifteen years of his reign. Starting in 1226, however, Iltutmish began a series of campaigns against the Rajputs. Ranthambore was taken in 1226, Mandsaur in 1227. Bayana, Ajmer and Sambhar were also captured. Nagaur was captured in 1230 and Gwalior in 1231. Iltutmish's army was forced to retreat with heavy losses from Gujarat by the ruling Chalukyas. In 1235, Iltutmish sacked Ujjain and destroyed its temples including the Mahakala Temple. .
Iltutmish's son Nasir-ud-din Mahmud captured the Gangetic valley territories of Budaun, Benaras, and Kanauj, which had fallen into the hands of local Hindu chieftains. Rohilkhand was taken with heavy losses.
Death and succession 
Iltutmish's eldest son, Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, had died in 1229 while governing Bengal as his father's deputy. The surviving sons of the Sultan were incapable of the task of administration. In 1236 Iltutmish, on his death-bed, nominated his daughter Raziya as his heiress. But the nobles of the court were too proud to bow their heads before a woman, and disregarding the deceased Sultan's wishes, raised to the throne his eldest surviving son, Rukn-ud-din Firuz.
The death of Iltutmish was followed by years of political instability at Delhi. During this period, four descendants of Iltutmish were put on the throne and murdered. Order was re-established only after Balban became the Naib or Deputy Sultan and later on Sultan in 1265.
See also 
- Faith & philosophy of Hinduism, Rajeev Verma, 2009, page 27
- Jackson 2003, p. 21
- Wink 1997, p. 154
- Mehta 1986, pp. 91–92
- Mehta, p. 93
- Wink 1997, p. 184
- Mehta 1986, p. 94
- McLeod 2002, p. 35
- Wink 1997, p. 156
- Jackson, Abraham Valentine Williams, History of India: The Mohammedan period as described by its own historians, (Edinburgh Press, 1907), 101.
- Hoiberg, Dale, and Indu Ramchandani, Students' Britannica India, (C&C offset Printing Co. LTD., 2000), 178.
- Ring, Trudy and Robert M. Salkin, Paul E Schellinger, Sharon La Boda, International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania, (Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1996), 837.
- Smith, Ronald Vivian (2005), The Delhi that no-one knows, Orient Blackswan, pp. 11–12, ISBN 81-8028-020-9
- Ikram 1966, p. 52
- Mehta, p. 98
- Dynastic Chart The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 2, p. 368.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Shams-ud-din Iltutmish|
- Ikram, Sheikh Mohamad (1966), Muslim Rule in India & Pakistan, 711-1858 A.C., Star Book Depot.
- Jackson, Peter (2003), The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-54329-0.
- Mehta, J.L. (1986), Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India, Vol. 1, Sterling Publishers.
- McLeod, John (2002), The History of India, Greenwood Press.
- Wink, Andre (1997), Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World, Vol. II - The Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest 11th-13th centuries, Brill, ISBN 90-04-10236-1.
Rukn ud din Firuz
|Sultan of Delhi
Rukn ud din Firuz