Qutb al-Din Aibak
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|Quṭb al-Dīn Aibak|
|Founder of Mamluk Dynasty in Delhi|
|Reign||25 June 1206 – 1210/1211|
|Coronation||25 June 1206|
|Predecessor||Muhammad of Ghor|
|Died||1210 (aged 60)
Quṭb al-Din Aibak was born to Turkic parents in Turkistan. In his childhood, Aibak was sold as a slave and raised at Nishapur, Persia, where he was purchased by the local Qazi. After the death of his master, he was sold by his master's son and eventually became a slave of Muhammad of Ghor who made him the Amir-i-Akhur, the Master of Slave.
Eventually, Aibak was appointed to military command and became an able general of Muhammad of Ghor. In 1193 and after conquering Delhi, his master returned to Khorāsān and left the consolidation of the Ghūrid conquests in northwest India to him. With his headquarters at Delhi, Aibak subjugated areas between the Ganges (Ganga) and Yamuna (Jumna) rivers. He then turned his attention to the Rajputs who were still resisting Ghūrid domination. In 1195–1203, he mounted campaigns against their strongholds, while his lieutenant Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji conquered Bihar and Bengal.
When Muhammad of Ghor was assassinated in 1206, Aibak was his logical successor. He was still technically a slave, but he quickly obtained manumission. He married the daughter of Taj al-Din Yildiz of Ghazna, one of the other principal claimants to succeed Muhammad of Ghor, and, by other judiciously arranged marriages, consolidated his rule.
He built the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque in Delhi and the Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra in Ajmer. He started the construction of Qutb Minar in memory of sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, which was completed by his successor, Iltutmish.
Surviving inscriptions describe Aibak as Malik (“King”), and the Quṭb Mīnār in Delhi still stands to commemorate his victories.
Death and successor
Aibak died of injuries received during an accident in a game of chaugan. He was buried in Lahore near Anarkali Bazaar. His successor, Shams ud-Din Iltutmish (r. 1211 – 36), basing his power on the conquests of Aibak, was able to establish the independence of the Delhi Sultanate under the Mamluk dynasty.
- Kutb al-Din Aybek, P. Jackson, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. V, ed. C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, B. Lewis, and C. Pellat, (Brill, 1986), 546.
- Encyclopædia Britannica
||Mamluk Dynasty (Delhi) (1206–1290)
||Sultan of Delhi