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Qutubuddin Aibak Biography

Qutubuddin Aibak, a ruler of medieval India, was the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate and also the founder of the Slave dynasty. He was a Turkish of the Aybak tribe and was the sultan for only four years, 1206-1210. He was captured in his childhood and sold as a slave to the chief Qazi of Nishapur, a town situated in the northeastern Iran.

He was very well treated by the Qazi and imparted good education, including training in archery and horsemanship in his childhood. However when the master died, his jealous sons, sold Qutubuddin Aibak to a slave merchant.

He was finally purchased by the ruler of Ghor in central Afghanistan, Sultan Muhammad Ghori. Qutubuddin Aibak, gradually rose to the rank of General and became one of the most trusted nobles of Sultan Ghori. The conquests of northern India were executed mainly by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, which helped Ghori to consolidate his position there. Gradually, as Sultan Ghori concentrated on Central Asia after 1192, he was given the independent charge of the conquests in India..

Muhammad Ghori established himself as strong ruler with his empire extending over Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northern India. Qutubuddin Aibak, crowned himself the Sultan of Delhi in 1206, when Muhammad Ghori was killed in the battlefield. After his death when Aibak came to throne he ruled over those places where he was appointed as the local receiver-general of Sultan Ghori. Despite the rebellions by nobles like Taj-ud-din Ildiz and Nasir-ud-din Qubachah, he strengthened the administrative system, which was established by Ghori.

Though Qutb-ud-din Aibak started the construction of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and the Qutub Minar, which were among the earliest Muslim monuments in Delhi, he couldn’t complete them. This mosque was built by destroying the Hindu temple, which was built by Prithvi Raj, and certain parts of the temple were kept intact outside the mosque. These architectures were later completed by his successor Iltutmish.

In 1210, Qutb-ud-din Aibak died in an accident while he was playing polo. He fell from the horseback and was severely injured. He was buried in Lahore near the Anarkali bazaar. He was succeeded by Iltutmish, another slave who rose to the level of a Sultan, thus extending the Slave Dynasty.