Aram Shah

aram shah of slave dynasty

In medieval history, the first dynasty to rule Delhi was the Slave dynasty. In Northern India, Qutb-Ud-Din Aibak, a Turkic Mamluk slave-general, established the Mamluk dynasty. The Delhi Sultanate was controlled by five separate dynasties until 1526. However, the first one was the Mamluk dynasty, which lasted from 1206 until 1290.

Aram Shah was the second sultan of this powerful dynasty. This article focuses solely on his life, and the events that shaped Delhi’s history. Continue reading to learn about this king’s reign and deeply appreciate this remarkable figure. This will be helpful for your UPSC preparation.

Who Is Aram Shah?

Aram Shah, honored as the Mamluk dynasty’s second sultan, was elected in 1210. The death of Qutb-Ud-Din Aibak tossed the Sultanate of Delhi amid a turbulent time, due to the issue of succession of the throne. Hence, Aram Bakhsh briefly occupied the throne.

Following this, Iltutmish of Badaun defeated him, as they fought for Delhi’s throne in 1211. Aram Shah ruled Delhi’s Sultanate for a precise period of eight months only. The provincial governors benefited during the rugged reign of Aram Bakhsh and declared their independence.

His father (unclear) was Qutbuddin Aibak, whose death created chaos among his followers. It’s rather unclear how Aram Bakhsh is related to his predecessor Qutb Ud-Din Aibak.

The phrase “bin Aibak” (“son of Aibak”) appeared after his name in certain manuscripts’ chapter titles, leading other authors to conclude he was Aibak’s son. However, maybe the scribe added “bin Aibak” in error to the headline. In some context, Aibak had three daughters but no son.

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  1. When Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak died, he vacated the throne without the announcement of the upcoming beneficiary. This untimely death created chaos among his men and established a critical moment. A group of Turkic nobles (amirs and maliks) from the land of Lahore decided to enthrone Aram Shah as Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak’s successor.
  2. Aram Baksh was the second ruler (1210-1211) who merely be on the throne for eight months under the title Aram Shah.
  3. However, he was a weak and incapable monarch. The regional governors began claiming independence under Aram Shah’s brief eight-month tenure.
  4. Some of the Turkish nobles such as the Khalji nobles of Bengal didn’t agree with his ascension. Another group of military justiciar (Amir-i Dad) Ali-Yi Ismail nobles brought Iltutmish into the scenario to take over the throne.
  5. The nobility thought Iltutmish, the governor of Badaun and an erstwhile slave of Aibak, was a worthy contender for the throne because of his remarkable service history and the fact that Aibak had named him a son.


Iltutmish was persuaded to sit on the throne by a group of nobles. The nobility considered Iltutmish a strong contender for the crown because he was a competent person with a remarkable service record. After advancing towards Delhi to grab power, Iltutmish went on to defeat Aram Shah’s army in Bagh-i Jud. The Tabaqat-i Nasiri claims that Aram Shah was “martyred”; however, it is unclear if this meant that he was executed while a prisoner of war or murdered on the battleground. Aqsanqar and Farrukh Shah, two of his key officers, perished in the battle zone. Later, Iltutmish solidified his dominance.


The Sultanate of Delhi became chaotic under Aram Shah’s eight-month rule, and the regional governors significantly increased their power and declared their independence. Iltutmish was therefore faced with a number of issues following his throne.


Who Established The Delhi Sultanate?

Under the Mamluk dynasty, Qutb-Ud-din Aibak established the Delhi Sultanate in 1206.

Why Is The Mamluk Dynasty Called So?

In Arabic, the word “Mamluk” denotes ownership. The Mamluk dynasty earned the nickname “slave dynasty” because its rulers were either former slaves or the offspring of former slaves.

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