Mamluk dynasty (Delhi)

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The Mamluk Dynasty (sometimes referred as Slave Dynasty or Ghulam Dynasty) was directed into Northern India by Qutb ud-Din Aibak, a Turkic Mamluk slave general from Central Asia. The Mamluk Dynasty ruled from 1206 to 1290; it was the first of five unrelated dynasties to rule as the Delhi Sultanate till 1526.


Nasir ud din Mahmud[edit]

  • The Tarikh-i-Muhammadi gives a clear idea of the psychology of the rulers in this regard. Its author was a contemporary of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud, the son of Firoz Tughlaq. He says that while fighting Rai Subir (Sumer) in the vicinity of Iraj, the Sultan thought: ‘If I will give orders to the army to fight (outright), they will not leave even a trace of the Kafirs in the region, but if I shall advance slowly, then probably these people will agree to embrace Islam.”
    • Muhammad Bihamid Khan, Tarikh-i-Muhammadi. Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.

Ghiyas ud din Balban[edit]

  • Minhaj Siraj writes that Ulugh Khan Balban’s “taking of captives, and his capture of the dependents of the great Ranas cannot be recounted”. Talking of his war in Avadh against Trailokyavarman of the Chandela dynasty (Dalaki va Malaki of Minhaj), the chronicler says that “All the infidels’ wives, sons and dependents… and children… fell into the hands of the victors.” In 1253, in his campaign against Ranthambhor also, Balban enslaved many people. In 1259, in an attack on Haryana, many women and children were enslaved. Twice Balban led expeditions against Kampil, Patiali, and Bhojpur, and in the process enslaved a large number of women and children. In Katehar he ordered a general massacre of the male population of over eight years of age and carried away women and children. In 658 H. (1260 C.E.) Ulugh Khan Balban marched with a large force on a campaign in the region of Ranthambhor, Mewat and Siwalik. He made a proclamation that a soldier who brought a live captive would be rewarded with two silver tankahs and one who brought the head of a dead one would get one silver tankah. Soon three to four hundred living and dead were brought to his presence.
    • Minhaj; Elliot and Dowson, II, 348, 367, 371, 380-81, Farishtah, I, 73. Farishtah, I. 73. As quoted from Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5
  • Balban, when he was Ulugh Khan Khan-i-Azam, once brought to Delhi (in about 1260) two hundred fifty 'Hindu leading men and men of position” from Mewar and Siwalik, bound and shackled and chained. During the expedition he had proclaimed that a royal soldier would be rewarded with two silver tankahs if he captured a person alive and one tankah if he brought the head of a dead one. They brought to his presence 300 to 400 living and dead everyday. The reigning Sultan Nasiruddin ordered the death of the leading men. The others accompanying them were shaken to the bones and completely tamed.
    • Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5
  • As a minister Balban was not softhearted. When he became the Sultan, he followed the policy of blood and iron, which means that his killings became even more sanguinary. His sphere of operations was, however, confined to the Ganga-Jamuna doab and Avadh, Katehar and Mewat. In Katehar large sections of the male population were massacred and, according to Barani, in villages and jungles heaps of human corpses were left rotting. During his expedition to Bengal, ‘on either side of the principal bazar (of Lakhnauti) in a street two miles in length, a row of stakes was set up and the adherents of Tughril were impaled upon them.’
    • Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • It is true that Balban also made detailed enquiries about the families of all his officers. He refused to grant audience to a low-born officer (Amir-i-Bazariyan) for “granting him an interview would reduce the status of the king in the eyes of the common people and diminish the prestige of the throne”.
    • Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • Muslim power in India suffered a serious setback after Iltutmish. Balban had to battle against a revival of Hindu power. The Katehar Rajputs of what came to be known as Rohilkhand in later history, had so far refused to submit to Islamic imperialism. Balban led an expedition across the Ganges in 1254 AD. According to Badauni, “In two days after leaving Delhi, he arrived in the midst of the territory of Katihar and put to death every male, even those of eight years of age, and bound the women.” But in spite of such wanton cruelty, Muslim power continued to decline till the Khaljis revived it after 1290 AD.
    • `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni, quoted from Goel, Sita Ram (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India. ISBN 9788185990231 Ch. 6

External links[edit]

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Slave Dynasty