34 Facts About Razia Sultana


Raziyyat-Ud-Dunya Wa Ud-Din, popularly known as Razia Sultana, was a ruler of the Delhi Sultanate in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.

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Razia Sultana was the first female Muslim ruler of the subcontinent, and the only female Muslim ruler of Delhi.

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Razia Sultana's ascension was challenged by a section of nobles, some of whom ultimately joined her, while the others were defeated.

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Razia Sultana was born to the Delhi Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish, a Turkic slave of his predecessor Qutb al-Din Aibak.

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Razia Sultana's mother – Turkan Khatun was a daughter of Qutb al-Din Aibak, and the chief wife of Iltutmish.

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Razia Sultana was the eldest daughter of Iltutmish, and probably his first-born child.

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Razia Sultana performed her duties so well that after returning to Delhi, Iltutmish decided to name her as his successor.

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Several nobles and the army pledged allegiance to Razia Sultana, and placed her on the throne, making her the first female Muslim ruler in South Asia.

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Razia Sultana's ascension to the throne of Delhi was unique not only because she was a woman, but because the support from the general public was the driving force behind her appointment.

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Razia Sultana had ascended the throne with the support of the general public of Delhi rather than that of the powerful Turkic-origin provincial governors.

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Razia Sultana attempted to offset the power of the Turkic nobility by creating a class of non-Turkic nobles, which led to further opposition from the Turkic nobles.

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Razia Sultana was joined by four Turkic nobles, who had rebelled against Razia's predecessor Ruknuddin.

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Razia Sultana then led an army out of the fortified city of Delhi to fight the rebels and set up a camp on the banks of the Yamuna River.

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Razia Sultana appointed Khwaja Muhazzabuddin as her new wazir, and conferred the title Nizamul Mulk upon him.

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Razia Sultana appointed Malik Saifuddin Aibek Bahtu as the in-charge of her army, and conferred the title Qutlugh Khan upon him.

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However, Saifuddin died soon after, and Razia Sultana appointed Malik Qutubuddin Hasan Ghuri to the newly created office of naib-i lashkar.

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Razia Sultana assigned the iqta' of Lahore, formerly held by the slain rebel Alauddin Jani, to Malik Izzuddin Kabir Khan Ayaz, the rebel who had joined her.

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Razia Sultana appointed her loyalists to imperial household positions, including Malik-i Kabir Ikhtiyaruddin Aitigin as Amir-i Hajib and Malik Jamaluddin Yaqut as Amir-i Akhur.

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Razia Sultana's first military campaign directed at non-rebels was an invasion of Ranthambore, whose Chahamana ruler had asserted his sovereignty after Iltutmish's death.

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Razia Sultana sent a force to re-assert Delhi's control over Gwalior, but this campaign had to be aborted.

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Razia Sultana received the prince courteously, assigned him the revenues of Baran for his expenses, but refused to form an alliance against the Mongols.

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Nobles who supported Razia Sultana intended her to be a figurehead, but she increasingly asserted herself.

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Razia Sultana rode on elephants through the streets of Delhi, making public appearances like the earlier Sultans.

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Razia Sultana's increasing assertiveness and her appointment of non-Turkic people to important posts created resentment among the Turkic nobles.

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Razia Sultana treated him leniently; she took away the iqta of Lahore from him, but assigned him the iqta of Multan, which Iltutmish had assigned to Ikhtiyaruddin Qaraqash Khan Aitigin.

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Razia Sultana had recalled Ikhtiyaruddin Aitigin, a Turkic slave purchased by Iltutmish, to her court in Delhi, and made him Amir-i Hajib.

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Razia Sultana had bestowed favours upon another slave of Iltutmish – Ikhtiyaruddin Altunia, by assigning him first the iqta of Baran, and then, the iqta of Tabarhinda.

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Altunia and Razia Sultana were forced to retreat to Kaithal, where they were deserted by their soldiers, and were killed by a group of Hindus.

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Razia Sultana remains the only woman to have sat upon the throne of Delhi.

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Grave of Razia Sultana is located at Mohalla Bulbuli Khana near Turkman Gate in Old Delhi.

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The 14th century traveler Ibn Batuta mentions that Razia Sultana's tomb had become a pilgrimage centre: A dome had been built over it, and people sought blessings from it.

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Razia Sultana's grave is said to have been built by her successor and half-brother Bahram.

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Razia Sultana was a devotee of the Sufi saint Shah Turkman Bayabani, and the place where she is buried is said to be his hospice.

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Coins of Razia Sultana are found in silver and billon; one gold coin of Bengal style is known.

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