[PDF Notes] Short Biography of Rukn-ud-Din Firuz Shah

Iltutmish had many sons but as all of them were incompetent, he appointed his daughter Raziah as his successor. Objections were raised to his choice and the reply of Iltutmish was: “My sons are devoted to the pleasures of youth and no one of them is qualified to be a king. They are unfit to rule the country and after my death you will find that there is no one more competent to guide the state than my daughter.”

In spite of this, when Iltutmish died, the nobles of the court who considered themselves to be too proud to bow their heads before a woman, put on the throne Rukn-ud-Din Firuz Shah who was the eldest son of Iltutmish. Before becoming king, Rukn-ud-Din had been in charge of government of Badaun and Lahore.

Experience showed that Rukn-ud-Din was an utterly worthless fellow. He spent most of his time in the satisfaction of his sexual thirst and neglected altogether the work of the government. He took pleasure in riding through the streets of Delhi on an elephant and scattering gold among the people. Buffoons and fiddlers were his companions. He has rightly been called a pleasure loving fellow.

Rukn-ud-Din left the work of the government in the hands of his ambitious mother, Shah Turkan. She was originally a Turkish handmaid. She had her revenge on all those who had offended her in her youth. Some of them were degraded and some were put to death.

Qutb-ud-Din, a son of Iltutmish, was got murdered. The result of all this was that rebellions occurred on all sides. The Governors of Multan, Hansi, Badaun and Lahore refused to acknowledge the authority of Rukn-ud-Din. It is true that the young king marched against them’ but he felt that he was deserted by his Wazir Muhammad Junaidi.

A conspiracy was hatched to murder Raziya but the same leaked out. All the Muslim nobles were disgusted and no wonder they put Shah Turkan to death. When Rukn came to the help of his mother, he too was defeated and put to death. The reign of Rukn-ud-Din lasted for six months and seven days.

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