Muiz ud din Bahram, also known as Muiz Al-Din Bahram Shah, was honoured as the sixth sultan of the Mamluk Dynasty. The term “Mamluk” refers to an Islamically-converted soldier of slave heritage.
The Mamluks/Slave Rulers eventually rose to prominence as a powerful military elite in many Muslim civilizations, a development that began in the ninth century.
Qutb ud-Din Aibak, a Turkic Mamluk slave-general of Muhammad Ghori from Central Asia, established the Mamluk dynasty in Northern India, the first in the series of many Delhi Sultanates.
Most prominently in Egypt, the Mamluks also had political and military sway in the Levant, Iraq, Central Asia, and India. From 1206 until 1290, the Mamluk dynasty reigned.
This article will cover the history, origins, and reign of sultan Muiz ud din Bahram.
- Slave Dynasty: An Introduction
- Muiz ud din Bahram: Background
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Who was Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah?
- What were some significant events during Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah’s reign?
- When did Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah die?
- Who succeeded Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah?
- What was Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah’s relationship with his family?
- What was the significance of the Naib-i-Mamlikat’s execution?
- What was the Delhi Sultanate?
Slave Dynasty: An Introduction
The Slave Dynasty, also known as the Mamluk Dynasty, was a Muslim dynasty that ruled over parts of India from 1206 to 1290.
The dynasty was founded by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who was originally a slave and had served as a general in the Ghurid Empire. After the Ghurid Empire declined, Aibak became the governor of India under the Ghurid Sultanate.
Aibak eventually declared himself sultan and established the Slave Dynasty, which was named after the fact that many of its rulers were former slaves or military commanders who had risen to power through their military prowess.
The dynasty was also known for its use of Turkic slaves in its army and administration, which gave it a distinct character.
During the Slave Dynasty’s rule, the Delhi Sultanate was established as a major political and cultural centre in India.
The dynasty was marked by several notable rulers, including Iltutmish, who consolidated the sultanate’s power and expanded its territory, and Razia Sultana, who was the first and only female ruler of the Sultanate.
The Slave Dynasty’s reign was also marked by several conflicts with neighbouring kingdoms, including the Mongols and the Rajputs.
However, despite these challenges, the dynasty established a strong political and cultural legacy in India that would influence the region for centuries to come.
Muiz ud din Bahram: Background
The Mamluk dynasty’s sixth monarch, Sultan Muiz ud din Bahram Shah, was Razia Sultan’s half-brother and the third son of Shams ud din Iltutmish.
Shams-ud-din Iltutmish is regarded as the actual founder of the Delhi Sultanate since he was the first Muslim ruler to hold power in Delhi in his independent name.
Bahram Shah succeeded his half-sister Razia Sultan (while she was imprisoned by subedar Malik Altunia) and was succeeded by his nephew Alauddin Masud Shah (son of his half-brother Rukn ud din Firuz).
Razia Sultan, the first female Muslim ruler, reigned for a short period, continuously marred with controversies. From her being named the heir apparent to her final days of being killed on run by the Jats – the rebel chiefs – Turko-Afghan nobles never approved of her.
These nobles are better known as the ‘Corps of Forty’ or ‘Dal Chalisa’ or ‘Turkan-e-Chahalgani’.
Also, read about Ruknuddin Firuz another Sultan of the Slave Dynasty who ruled the Delhi Sultanate in 1236.
The forty chiefs voted Iltutmish’s son, Bahram, as the successor, following the death of Razia Sultan. Bahram Shah proclaimed himself Sultan on 21st April 1240.
Lal Mahal was the seat of power, but soon the forty chiefs wanted to dethrone Bahram.
- Delhi Sultanate Dynasty: Medieval Indian History
- Tughlaq Dynasty of Delhi: Medieval Indian History UPSC
- Khilji Dynasty: Medieval Indian History UPSC Notes
- The reign of Muiz Al-Din Bahram lasted for two short years from 1240 to 1242. Even outside of war, Bahram Shah was not an able ruler.
- The Turkish slaves created the post, Naib-i-Mamlakat, to undermine Sultan’s dignity. They gave away all the executive power to him. Aitigin became Bahram’s Naib and Bahram became powerless.
- Unlike other Sultans in Delhi, Muiz Al-Din Bahram Shah was not a notable ruler. The significance of his period in Indian history is due to the invasion of the Mongols.
- Ogedei Khan, a bloodthirsty ruler of the Mongols, was the third son of Genghis Khan/Changez Khan. His appointees, Dayir commander of Ghazni, and Menggetu commander in Kunduz wanted to consolidate power and were attracted by the riches of the sub-continent.
- During the winter of 1241, a Mongol besieged Lahore. The Mongols slaughtered the people and plundered the riches of the city.
- Muiz ud din Bahram Shah was too weak to react to these attacks, as a result, the Delhi Sultanate suffered a loss of pride & prestige apart from being a spectator to the blood bath of Lahore.
- Disgusted by the inability of the Sultan and the failings of the state administration & army, the Forty chiefs conspired to change the Sultan. In 1242, Bahram Shah was captured in Delhi and murdered.
- After Bahram’s death, one of the Turkish Nobles – Izzudin Kishlu Khan declared himself the ruler, but the same was not sanctioned by the rest of the nobles. So, ultimately, a royal descendent of Iltutmish -Ala-ud-din Masud Shah, nephew of Muizuddin Bahram Shah, declared himself Sultan and ruled for the next four years till 1246.
However, Bahram Shah’s show of real character came too late. Being offended by Aitigin marrying one of his sisters, Muiz ud din Bahram got the Naib-i-Mamlikat executed.
This terrified the Turkish Nobles who responded by getting him murdered in 1242. Ala-ud-din Masud Shah, son of Rukn ud-Din Firuz, who was Bahram’s nephew was put on the throne after nobles failed to select amongst them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who was Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah?
Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah was a ruler who reigned over the Delhi Sultanate in India in the 13th century. He ascended the throne after the death of his father, Iltutmish, in the year 1236.
What were some significant events during Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah’s reign?
During his reign, Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah had conflicts with the Mongols and the Mewatis, and his rule was also marked by internal power struggles. One notable event was his execution of the Naib-i-Mamlikat, which ultimately led to his downfall.
When did Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah die?
Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah was assassinated in the year 1242, after ruling for six years.
Who succeeded Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah?
After his death, the Turkish nobles were unable to agree on a successor, so his nephew, Ala-ud-din Masud Shah, was eventually chosen as the new ruler.
What was Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah’s relationship with his family?
Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah had several siblings, including sisters whom he was said to be protective of. His execution of the Naib-i-Mamlikat was reportedly due to his offence at the official marrying of one of his sisters.
What was the significance of the Naib-i-Mamlikat’s execution?
The execution of the Naib-i-Mamlikat is often cited as a turning point in Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah’s reign, as it ultimately led to his downfall. It was seen as a controversial move that angered the Turkish nobles, who later had him assassinated.
What was the Delhi Sultanate?
The Delhi Sultanate was a Muslim sultanate that ruled over parts of India from the 13th to the 16th century. Muiz Ud Din Bahram Shah was one of the rulers of this sultanate, which was known for its political and cultural achievements.