Qutb al-Din Aibak

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Qutb al-Din Aibak
Founder of Mamluk Dynasty in Delhi
Reign 25 June 1206 – 1210/1211[1]
Coronation 25 June 1206
Successor Iltutmish
Born 1150
Died 1210 (aged 60)
Delhi Sultanate
Spouse Shamshad Begum (Valide Sultan)
Issue Aram Shah, Qutub Begum
Dynasty Mamluk Dynasty
Religion Islam

Quṭb al-Dīn Aibak[2] (Arabic: قطب الدين أيبك‎‎) also spelt Quṭb ud-Dīn Aibak or Qutub ud-Din Aybak, (1150–1210), was the founder of the Turkic Mamluk Dynasty in Delhi.


Quṭb was born to Turkic parents in Turkistan. In his childhood, Quṭb was sold as a slave and raised at Nishapur, Persia, where he was purchased by the local Qazi.[1] After the death of his master, he was sold by his master's son and eventually became a slave of Muʿizz al-Dīn Muḥammad, also known as Muhammad Ghori, who made him the Amir-i-Akhur, the Master of Slave.[1]

Eventually, Quṭb was appointed to military command and became an able general of Muʿizz al-Dīn Muḥammad. In 1193 and after conquering Delhi,[1] Muʿizz al-Dīn Muḥammad returned to Khorāsān and left the consolidation of the Ghūrid conquests in northwest India to Quṭb. With his headquarters at Delhi, Quṭb 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 Muʿizz al-Dīn was assassinated in 1206, Quṭb al-Dīn was his logical successor. He was still technically a slave, but he quickly obtained manumission. He married the daughter of Tāj al-Dīn Yildiz of Ghazna, one of the other principal claimants to succeed Muʿizz al-Dīn, 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,[1] which was completed by his successor, Iltutmish.

Surviving inscriptions describe Quṭb as Malik (“King”), and the Quṭb Mīnār in Delhi still stands to commemorate his victories.

Death and successor[edit]

He died of injuries received during an accident in a game of Chaugan.[1] He was buried in Lahore near Anarkali Bazaar. His son-in-law, able general, and successor, Iltutmish (reign: 1211–36),[1] basing his power on the conquests of Quṭb, was able to establish the independence of the Delhi Sultanate under the Mamluk Dynasty (Delhi)−Slave Dynasty.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g 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.
  2. ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica
Preceded by
Qutb-ud-din Aybak
Mamluk Dynasty (Delhi) (1206–1290)
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Qutb-ud-din Aybak
Sultan of Delhi
Succeeded by