Alauddin Khalji

Alauddin Khalji

Alauddin Khalji
Alauddin Khalji

Sultan of Delhi in Khalji Dynasty
Reign – A.D. 1296 to 1316
Father –Shihabuddin Masud

Alauddin Khalji was born in A.D. 1266. His early name was Ali Gurshap. His father, Shihabuddin Masud, was the brother of sultan Jalaluddin Firoz Khalji. Alauddin Khalji was brought up by his uncle Jalaluddin due to untimely and sudden death of Shihabuddin.

Alauddin did not received proper education. He grew up to be great warrior. He was married to one of the daughters of sultan Jalaluddin Khalji. The title of Amir-i-Tuzuk, (Master of Ceremonies) was bestowed on him by the Sultan. He took active part in suppression of the revolt of Malik Chhajju.

The family life of Alauddin was unhappy and he was fed up with the ironical remarks of his wife, the daughter of the Sultan, and his mother-in-law, Malika-i-Jahan. Both of them wanted to establish their sway over Alauddin.

Alauddin’s successful campaign against Deogiri made up for this deficiency and a conspiracy was hatched to get the throne of Delhi. As luck would have it, his chicken-hearted uncle, the Sultan of Delhi, became an easy prey of his treacherous design due to his greed for gold. The old Sultan proceeded to Kara to congratulate his victorious nephew and to collect the huge booty which he brought from Deogiri. Alauddin Khalji got him killed by a conspiracy on 19th July A.D. 1296 and declared himself the Sultan of Delhi on 20th July.

He found the throne of Delhi a bed of thorns. The nobles, governors and citizens of the Sultanate hated him as he was enthroned after bloody assassination.

Historians are not unanimous about the achievements, success, works and policies of Alauddin Khalji but there is no denying the fact that he was one of the best Sultans of Delhi Sultanate. Elphinstone remarks, “Alauddin’s reign was glorious and in spite of many absurd and oppressive measures he was, on the whole, a successful monarch, and exhibited a just exercise of his power.” Barani has also commented, “Alauddin Khalji could not read or write a letter, and was bad-tempered, obstinate and hard-hearted.”

Dr. Ishwari Prasad has written, “The reign of Alauddin Khalji represents the highest watermark of Mohammadan despotism.”  As a man he had no love for anybody nor did he observe morality at all. He was faithless  to his wife and cruel to his children. He assassinated his uncle and benefactor, Sulatn Jalaluddin Khaljiand blinded his sons in order to capture the throne. He killed the Jalali nobles and Ranmal after the achievement of his target.

He adopted a cruel and stern manner to establish his authority and awarded severe punishments to his opponents and rebels in order to created terror among them.

It is accepted by all the scholars that he was a brave soldier and a successful commander. His ambition, his firmness and his courage deserve all praise. He was the first ruler of Delhi who organized a permanent army and extended his foot beyond the Vindhya region. In the medieval period for the first time in his reign, Political unity of India was established similar to the reign of Chandra Gupta Maurya, Ashoka, Samudra Gupta and Chandra Gupta Vikramaditya in ancient India.

Besides being a successful victor he was also an effective administrator.  He uprooted corruption from every department and removed their defects. He introduced total change in the revenue department and got the land measured.

Alauddin Khalji was the first Turk ruler who separated politics from religion and dared reject the authority of powerful Ulemas and forced them to work on his commands. Dr. Ishwari Prasad has aptly remarked that he did not want to become a tool in the hands of the orthodox Muslims.

Sultan Alauddin Khalji introduced various reforms in the army setup of Delhi sultanate. He organized a large and powerful army.  He removed all the deficiencies in the army by introducing Dag, Huliya, distribution of cash salaries and abolishing the Jagirdari system.

He reorganized the spy system and strengthened it. Police department was also organized by him. He introduced several social reforms in order to improve morality of the people. He declared drinking and gambling a crime.  He also punished the saints and medicants who cheated the people. A person found guilty of rape was given capital punishment. Thus by stern laws, he tried to reform the society.

Besides this the Sultan crushed the revolts and established law and order in the society. By crushing the Mongol invasions he saved the infant Muslim empire from external invasions.

Alauddin Khalji was an ambitious ruler but he was very intelligent. In the beginning he was interested in gaining victory over the entire world and he assumed the title of Sikandar Sani, but later on, when he gave up this idea and realized the real position, he did not even incorporate the Deccan States into Delhi sultanate and only contented himself after extracting booty and annual tribute from them. Really, he was an efficient judge of circumstances.

Alathogh Alauddin Khalji was an illiterate Sultan, he patronized several artists and men of letters. He always paid his regards to Sheikh Nazamuddin Auliya and Muhammad Shamsuddin Turk. Amir Khusrau and Amir Hasan of Delhi were unique gems of his court. He was a lover of architecture and constructed the fort of Siri and some other buildings, such as, palace of one thousand pillars, mosques and sarais. Alai Darwaja was his finest achievement.

Besides the virtues mentioned above, he had certain faults too, his personal life was corrupt and his family life was sad. He was selfish and never realized his responsibility towards his children. His anti-Hindu policies proved fatal for the Sultanate but in all he was a successful ruler and historians have praised him. Dr. S. Roy has observed, “Alauddin Khalji was the first Muslim administrator of India. The history of Muslim empire and Muslim administration in India really begins with him.”


Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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