BiographyIltutmish biography – Early Life, Daughter, Death and Legacy

Iltutmish biography – Early Life, Daughter, Death and Legacy

Iltutmish, also known as Shams ud-Din Iltutmish, emerged from a humble background as a slave. He achieved great prominence through his remarkable martial skills and played a significant role in supporting Razia Sultan, the first Muslim female emperor.

    Fill Out the Form for Expert Academic Guidance!


    Live ClassesBooksTest SeriesSelf Learning

    Verify OTP Code (required)

    I agree to the terms and conditions and privacy policy.

    Iltutmish, the third ruler of the Ghurid territory in Northern India, held the distinction of being the first Muslim to govern from Delhi and is widely regarded as the founding figure of the Delhi Sultanate. He is renowned for overseeing the completion of the Qutub Minar, a project initiated by his predecessor, Qutubuddin Aibak.

    Qutubuddin, who endured a challenging early life as a slave in Ghazni and Bukhara, played a crucial role in Iltutmish’s journey. In 1190, Qutubuddin Aibak acquired Iltutmish, setting the stage for Iltutmish’s rise as a formidable warrior under Aibak’s leadership.

    This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of Iltutmish’s rule and his lasting impact. Following Iltutmish’s passing, his daughter, Razia Sultan, ascended to the throne, becoming the first female leader of the Ghurid Dynasty.

    Iltutmish Early Life

    Iltutmish, born into a tribal family, was the son of a Turkic tribe leader. Despite being a smart and good-looking boy, his jealousy-stricken brothers sold him to a slave trader. Iltutmish found himself in Bukhara after this sale, where he came under the care of Sadar-i Jahan. During his childhood, Iltutmish showed a keen interest in religious mysticism.

    One day, a family member of his initial master gave him money to buy grapes, but he lost it on the way to the market. He was in tears at the end of a street when a Sufi noticed him and exchanged grapes for a promise to treat religious devotees with respect.

    When Iltutmish came under Aibak’s leadership, he quickly rose to the position of head of the bodyguard and later became a key figure in the Delhi Sultanate due to his effective governance.

    Iltutmish Daughter

    Razia Sultan, born on October 15, 1240, was the daughter of Iltutmish. She made history as the first Muslim ruler of the Indian subcontinent and is celebrated as the sole female Muslim ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. When she decided to ascend to the throne, she faced a significant challenge from a united group of nobles, but some nobles rallied behind her cause.

    Territorial Expansion under Iltutmish’s Rule

    Iltutmish groomed his eldest son, Naseeruddin Mahmud, to follow in his footsteps as ruler. However, tragedy struck when Nasiruddin Mahmood passed away in 1229. Iltutmish’s strategy for expanding his territory can be split into different parts. The first part focuses on eastern India and Rajasthan, while the second part involves the acquisition of Qabacha’s empire.

    Iltutmish Administration

    Iltutmish, an influential ancient leader, is known for his effective governance. Let’s delve into his administrative strategies! Shamsuddin Iltutmish organized his kingdom into distinct regions, each overseen by a governor responsible for tax collection, rule enforcement, and border protection. One of Iltutmish’s notable initiatives was the “Chahalgani” system, in which 40 soldiers were assigned to each district to maintain peace and aid the local population.

    To fund the development of his kingdom, Iltutmish introduced a land-based tax system, utilizing the revenue to enhance the region. Iltutmish was known for his impartial treatment of people from various faiths, fostering trade, and supporting artists and scholars from diverse backgrounds, enriching the kingdom’s cultural diversity.

    His architectural passion resulted in landmarks like the Qutub Minar, alongside numerous mosques and structures. Iltutmish upheld fairness by establishing a judicial system to address legal matters, granting judges autonomy. Moreover, he maintained a well-balanced military force, preventing it from becoming overly dominant.

    Iltutmish Economy

    During Shamsuddin Iltutmish’s rule, he boosted the economy in several ways:

    1. Trade and Commerce: Iltutmish supported trade by constructing long roads for easier travel. This allowed traders to bring in exotic goods such as clothing, spices, and precious items from distant regions. This expanded choices for people and enriched the economy.
    2. Agricultural Improvements: Recognizing the importance of farming, Iltutmish ensured that farmers had access to water through canals and wells. He also encouraged the cultivation of special crops like cotton and indigo, increasing food production and sales.
    3. Infrastructure Development: To promote mobility and trade, Iltutmish invested in quality roads and sturdy bridges. Additionally, he established markets where people could buy and sell goods, ultimately benefiting the economy and enhancing daily life.
    4. Currency and Money: Iltutmish introduced a reliable currency known as the silver tanka. This easily accessible money simplified trade, gained trust, and facilitated economic growth while providing security for the people.
    5. Urban Growth: Under Iltutmish’s leadership, cities prospered, attracting skilled artisans who crafted items like clothing, pottery, and jewelry. These artisanal products stimulated job creation and reinforced the economy.
    6. Support for the People: Iltutmish ensured fair taxation, enabling the government to invest in essential services like schools, hospitals, and infrastructure. This not only improved the quality of life but also promoted happiness and well-being among the population.

    Iltutmish Culture

    During Iltutmish’s reign, significant cultural developments took place. Let’s delve into some of these noteworthy occurrences.

    • Iltutmish had a profound passion for construction, and he left his mark by creating remarkable structures. He erected towering edifices, stunning mosques, and robust forts. The famous Qutub Minar, an awe-inspiring tower, was completed during his rule, showcasing the Sultanate’s power and artistic prowess. Today, Iltutmish’s tomb stands within this complex.
    • The era of Iltutmish was marked by a flourishing interest in literature. People produced exquisite books containing captivating stories and poetry. A talented Sufi poet named Nasiruddin Mahmud crafted beautiful verses, and even Iltutmish himself contributed to the world of poetry.
    • Artistry thrived during this period as well. Artists painted intricate miniatures and practiced the art of calligraphy, creating ornate writing. Delicate sculptures demonstrated the remarkable skills of the artists, adorning palaces and mosques to the admiration of all.
    • Music and dance held a significant place in Iltutmish’s time. Musicians and dancers from diverse regions graced the Sultan’s court, enchanting audiences with sweet melodies and graceful movements. Sufi music, with its spiritual and touching essence, found widespread appreciation.
    • Sultan Iltutmish upheld the value of treating people kindly, regardless of their religious beliefs. Hindus, Muslims, and adherents of other faiths coexisted harmoniously, fostering a diverse and exciting cultural milieu. People celebrated their differences while discovering commonalities among themselves.
    • Trade and commerce flourished, with Delhi evolving into a bustling hub for transactions. Merchants from distant lands introduced new ideas, customs, and art forms, enriching the city with a tapestry of different cultures.
    • Education held a vital place during Iltutmish’s reign, with the establishment of special schools known as madrasas. Scholars imparted knowledge and nurtured young minds, making these schools crucial centers for learning and cultivating new ideas.

    Iltutmish Death

    In 1236, Iltutmish fell ill during a march to Bamyan. He returned to Delhi on April 20th, where his astrologers awaited him. Unfortunately, on April 30th, 1236, Iltutmish passed away and was laid to rest in the Qutub complex of Mehrauli. His death led to political turmoil in Delhi, as his four successors ascended to the throne and met tragic fates.

    In 1231, before leaving for a campaign in Gwalior, Iltutmish appointed his daughter Razia Sultan as an administrative leader. She officially became the ruler in 1231 upon his return from the march. However, on his deathbed, Iltutmish had a change of heart and decided to make his eldest son the emperor.

    This eldest son was Ruknuddin Firuz, who was unanimously declared the new king after Iltutmish’s passing. During Ruknuddin’s rule, his mother took control of state affairs, leading to unrest in the kingdom.

    FAQs on Iltutmish Biography

    Who was Iltutmish?

    Iltutmish, also known as Shams ud-Din Iltutmish, was a prominent figure in medieval Indian history. He emerged from a humble background as a slave but became the third ruler of the Ghurid territory in Northern India.

    What is Iltutmish best known for during his rule?

    Iltutmish is best known for his contributions to architecture and governance. He oversaw the completion of the iconic Qutub Minar, a towering monument, and demonstrated effective administration in Delhi. His reign also witnessed advancements in literature, art, music, and cultural diversity.

    How did Iltutmish rise to power, given his humble background?

    Iltutmish's journey to power began when Qutubuddin Aibak, a prominent figure in the Delhi Sultanate, acquired him in 1190. Under Aibak's guidance, Iltutmish rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a formidable warrior and a key leader in the Delhi Sultanate.

    Who is Razia Sultan?

    Razia Sultan, the daughter of Iltutmish, made history as the first Muslim ruler of the Indian subcontinent and the only female Muslim ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. Despite facing significant challenges from nobles when she ascended to the throne, she ruled with distinction.

    How did Iltutmish expand his territory during his rule?

    Iltutmish employed a multi-faceted strategy for territorial expansion. He focused on eastern India, Rajasthan, and the acquisition of Qabacha's empire. He also groomed his eldest son, Naseeruddin Mahmud, to continue his legacy, but tragedy struck when Mahmood passed away in 1229.

    Chat on WhatsApp Call Infinity Learn

      Talk to our academic expert!


      Live ClassesBooksTest SeriesSelf Learning

      Verify OTP Code (required)

      I agree to the terms and conditions and privacy policy.