[PDF Notes] Get Complete Biography of Qutb-ud-din Aibak

When Muhammad Ghoir died in 1206 A.D. he left no male heir to succeed him. Taj-ud-Din Yildoz, Governor of Kirman, ascended the throne of Ghazni. It seems that it was the desire of Muhammad Ghori that Qutb-ud-Din Aibak should succeed him in India.

That was probably the reason why Muhammad Ghori formally invested Qutb-ud-Din Aibak with vice regal powers and conferred upon him the title of Malik. After the death of Muhammad Ghori, the citizens of Lahore invited Qutb-ud-Din Aibak to assume sovereign powers. He went to Lahore and took up the reins of government in his hands. However, his formal accession took place on 24th June, 1206.

The rise of Qutb-ud-Din Aibak aroused the jealousy of Taj-ud-Din Yildoz of Ghazni. Aibak charged him with exercising undue influence on Mahmud of Feroz Koh and marched against him. In 1208, he even occupied Ghazni and also won over Sultan Mahmud to his own side.

He also secured from him a letter of manumission along with the paraphernalia of royalty or chatter and Durbesh and also authority to rule over Ghazni and Hindustan. However, Aibak was driven out of Ghazni by Yildoz. Aibak came back to Lahore.

So far as Bengal and Bihar were concerned, the death of Ikhtivar-ud-Din Khalji threatened to break the relation of Delhi with Bengal and Bihar. Ali Mardan Khan declared himself independent of Lakhnauti, but the local Khalji Chiefs replaced him by Muhammad Sheran and threw him into prison.

However, Ali Mardan Khan managed to escape from jail and went to Delhi. He also persuaded Aibak to intervene into the affairs of Bengal. The Khaljis agreed to recognise Aibak as their overlord. They also agreed to send the annual tribute to Delhi. On account of his being otherwise very busy, Aibak could not follow a policy of aggression against the Rajputs.

Aibak died in 1210 on account of injuries received as a result of fall from his horse while playing polo. By some writers, Aibak is not considered to be an independent Sultan of India. We have not come across any coin of Aibak. It is possible that he may not have struck any coin in his name.

Ibn-Batuta, the Moorish traveler of the fourteenth century, does not include the name of Aibak in the list of Muslim Sovereigns of India. His name is also not included in the list of Sultans whose names had been ordered to be inserted in the Friday Khutba.

Aibak rendered great services to the cause of Islam in India. For the last two centuries, India was a part of the Ghazni kingdom and the interests of the North-Western India suffered on account of the politics of Ghazni. By making Muslim India independent of Ghazni, Aibak “helped considerably in the expansion of power in India.” Hasan-un-Nizami observes: “By his orders, the precepts of Islam received great promulgation and the sun of righteousness cast its shadow on the countries of Hind from the heaven of God’s assistance.”

He built on mosque at Delhi and another at Ajmer. Aibak was a great military leader. He won a large number of victories in battlefields during the lifetime of his master and thereby added to his glory. He rarely lost a battle. According to Minhaj, Aibak was a “high-spirited and open hearted monarch. He was very generous.” “His gms were bestowed by hundreds and thousands.”

No wonder, he has been given the title of Lakhbakhsh or giver of lakhs. Hasan-un-Nizami, the author of Taj-ul-Massir, tells us that Aibak “dispensed even handed justice to the people and exerted himself to promote the peace and prospertiy of the realm.” He was a great patron of learning and he patronized writers like Hasan-un-Nizami and Fakhr-ud-Din. The former was the author of Taj-ul-Massir and the latter the of Tarikh-i-Mubarik Shahi.

Aibak was so much busy otherwise that he did not find time to establish a sound system of administration in the country. The whole thing was based on the military. He kept garrisons not only at the capital but also in all important towns of his kingdom.

The local administration was left in the hands of the people of the country. Muslim officers were merely put in charge of various departments and most of them were soldiers. The administration of justice must have been crude. It is too much to say that during his reign “wolf and the sheep drank water out of the same pond.”

It is also not correct to say that Aibak was kind to the Hindus as there is evidence to show that during his wars against Anhilwara and Kalinjar, the Hindus were enslaved and converted and mosques were built on the ruins of the Hindu Temples. However, in times of peace Aibak was really tolerant.

Dr. Habibullah gives the following estimate of Aibak: “A military leader of great energy and high rrferit, he combined the intrepidity of the Turk with the refined taste and generosity of the Persian; extreme liberality earned him the epithet of ‘Lakh Baksh’ (giver of lakhs), while, characteristically enough, his killing is also said to have been by lakhs.

Both Hasan Nizami and Fakhre Mudabbir found in him an appreciative patron and dedicated their works to him. On two occasions at least, he interceded with his master for the vanquished Hindu princes. It hardly needs emphasising that to his untiring exertion and devoted service Muizzuddin owed most of his success in India. For he merely supplied the motive power; Aibak was responsible for the detailed planning and initiation of the Delhi State.”

Prof. K. A. Nizami says that Kutb-ud-Din Aibek was a military leader par excellence. The conquest of Northern India was as much due to constant vigilance as to the dogged tenacity of purpose of Mohammad Ghori. While Mohmmad Ghori planned and directed, Aibak carried them out.

At a time when Central Asian adventures frequently interrupted the work of Mohammad Ghori, it was Aibek who successfully carried out his master’s expansion policy in India. So long as Mohammad Ghori was alive, Aibek looked to him for help in times of emergency.

But on his death, he had to depend exclusively on his own resources. He dealt with Ghiyasuddin Mahmud, Yalduz, Qubacha and Ali Mardan with great tact and used force, submission and persuasion as the circumstances demanded. Aibak possessed qualities of head and heart.

All contemporary and later chronicles praise the qualities of loyalty, generosity, courage and justice in his character. His generosity won for him the title of Lakh Bakhsh or giver of lakhs. The tales of generosity were circulated as far as the Deccan and Farishta tells us that when people praised anybody for his unbounded generosity they called him “Aibak of the time.

It is true that he spent practically the whole of his life in fighting, but the impression created by him in the minds of the people was not one of destruction and damage, but of justice and large-heartedness. That was due to his high sense of responsibility with reference to his dispensation of justice and the protection of the interests of the people when war conditions came to an end.

The view of Fakhr-i-Mudabbir is that in spite of the fact that his troops were drawn from various sources, such as Turks, phurids, Khurasanis, Khiljis and Hindustanis, no soldier dared to take by force a blade of’ grass or morsel of food, a goat from the fold, or a bird from the sown, or extract compulsory lodging from a peasant. Abul Fazal is all praise for him and sums up his estimate of Aibak in these words: “He achieved things, good and great.”

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