[PDF Notes] What is the Conception of Kingship of Ala-ud-Din Khilji?

In his conception of sovereignty, Ala-ud-Din departed from his predecessors. He had the courage to say that he was not prepated to be dictated by the Ulema. Qazi Mughis-ud-Din of Biyana used to visit the court very often and he was an advocate of the supremacy of the church.

However, Ala-ud-Din told him his views about kingship in these words: “To prevent rebellion, in which thousands perish. I issue such orders as I conceive to be for the good of the state and the benefit of the people.

Men are heedless, disrespectful and disobey my commands; I am then compelled to be severe to bring them into obedience. 1 do not know whether this is lawful or unlawful; whatever I think to be for the good of the state or suitable for the emergency, that I decree; and as for what may happen to me on the Day of Judgment that 1 know not.”

However, this does not mean that he disregarded Islam. Outside India, he was- known as a great defender of Islam. In the case of India, there is a difference of opinion. Barani and his followers emphasized the disregard of religion by Ala-ud-Din but Amir Khusro considered Ala-ud-Din as a supporter of Islam.

Ala-ud-Din himself is said to have told the Qazi: “Although I have not studied the Science or the Book, I am a Mussalman of a Mussalman stock.” The inscriptions on the monuments of Ala-ud-Din also show that Ala-ud-Din had faith in Islam.

Ala-ud-Din revived the theory of kingship of Balban. He believed in the majesty of the king who was the representative of God on earth. His conviction was that God had given more wisdom to the king than to any other individual and his will should be the law of the country.

He also believed that kinship knows no kingship. All people were to be either his servants or his subjects and he was not to be influenced by anybody in the administration of the country. Both the nobles and the Ulema were to be kept at a distance.

He inspired awe among all. He would like to rule over the country according to his own lights. He did not consider it necessary to get the sanction of the Khalifa to add to his authority and no wonder he did not apply for an investiture from the Khalifa. However, he styled himself as Yamin-ul-Khilafat Nasiri Amir-ul-Mumanin.

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