Muiz Ud Din Bahram: Sultan Of Slave Dynasty

muiz ud din bahram of slave dynasty

Muiz ud din Bahram, also known as Muiz Al-Din Bahram Shah, was honored 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 the sultan Muiz ud din Bahram.

Muiz ud din Bahram: Background

Sultan Muiz ud din Bahram Shah (sixth ruler of the Mamluk dynasty), was the third son of Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, as well as a half-brother to Razia Sultan. 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.

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  1. The reign of Muiz Al-Din Bahram lasted for two short years from 1240 to 1242. Even outside war, Bahram Shah was not an able ruler.
  2. The Turkish slaves created the post, Naib-i-Mamlakat, to undermine the Sultan’s dignity. They gave away all the executive power to him. Aitigin became Bahram’s Naib and Bahram became powerless.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Invading the Indus valley and laying siege to Lahore in the winter of 1241 was a Mongol troop. The Mongols slaughtered the people and plundered the riches of the city.
  6. Muiz ud din Bahram Shah was too weak to react to these attacks, as a result, the Delhi Sultanate suffered the loss of pride & prestige apart from being a spectator to the blood bath of Lahore.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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