July 24 1206 – Qutub-ud-din-Aibak Is Crowned at Lahore


On July 24th 1206, Qutub-ud-din-Aibak was crowned in Lahore upon the death of Muhammad of Ghur.


The Delhi Sultanate was the first Muslim Sultanate in northern India. Existing between the thirteenth and the sixteenth century, the sultanate owed its origin to Muhammad of Ghur and his lieutenant Qutub-ud-din-Aibak. Between 1175 and 1206 CE, Muhammad of Ghur annexed large areas of territory for himself, establishing a power so superior that it would last many generations. Till the coming of the Mughals in 1526 CE, the Delhi Sultanate remained one of the most important Muslim dynasties to rule India.


The Slave Dynasty (1206-90 CE) was one of the first lines of the Delhi Sultanate that reigned for almost a century. The dynasty owed its name to Muizuddin, who was also popularly known as Muhammad of Ghur. Qutub-ud-din-Aibak was originally a slave in the household of Qazi of Nishapur, who had trained Aibak very well. Later, Aibak came under the wing of Muhammad of Ghur who was impressed by Aibak’s extraordinary abilities. Aibak soon displayed his exemplary skills as a soldier and a general. Muhammad of Ghur, upon this, appointed Aibak as his military commander and it was he who founded the Slave Dynasty.


After the second Battle of Tarain in 1192 CE, through which the Turks attained a number of Indian territories, Muhammad left for Khurasan leaving Aibak in charge of annexing territories in northwest India. Aibak established his headquarters in Delhi and was quick in occupying the Doab region between the Ganga and the Yamuna. After that, he turned to the Rajputs who had been evading Ghur's dominance. While Aibak tried to wrestle control from the Rajputs, his lieutenant Bakthiyar Khilji gained control of Bihar and Bengal.

In 1206 CE, Muhammad of Ghur was assassinated in Lahore and it was but natural that Aibak would declare himself the next king of the Delhi Sultanate. As the new king of the Delhi Sultanate, Aibak shifted his base from Delhi to Lahore (now in Pakistan), where he got into a disagreement with Tajuddin Yildoz of Ghazni, also a slave of Mohammad of Ghur, who wanted a share of Ghur’s Indian territories. Aibak craftily dealt with this situation by marrying Yildoz’s daughter and, through other such carefully planned arranged marriages, came to control a much larger territory than he had before.


In 1208 CE, Aibak defeated Yildoz, but was soon compelled to leave again. This time Aibak made peace with his Indian territories. In 1210 CE, Aibak died in a polo accident and his Empire was handed over to his son-in-law Iltutmish.


Qutub-ud-din-Aibak was known as a just, knowledgeable and generous ruler who promoted peace and prosperity among his people. Aibak got rid of crimes such as highway robbery and is known for establishing peace among his subjects. Aibak was also a devout Muslim and had two mosques built, in Ajmer and Delhi. He was a secular ruler and treated Hindus in his kingdom with respect and equality. Famous for his generosity, Aibak was also known as Lakhbaksh (the giver of lakhs). Qutub-ud-din-Aibak remains as a ruler who made an important contribution to history by being the founder of a Muslim state in India.


Also On This Day:


1911 - Flautist Pannalal Ghosh is born.


1991 - Industrial licensing is scrapped.


1997 - The Bharat Ratna is posthumously conferred on freedom-fighter Aruna Asaf Ali.


2000 - S. Vijayalakshmi becomes the first Indian woman Grandmaster.

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