Quṭb-ud-Dīn Aybak


Quṭb-ud-Dīn Aybak

▪ Muslim ruler of India

died 1210

      a founder of Muslim rule in India and an able general of Muʿizz-ud-Dīn Muḥammad of Ghūr.

      In childhood Quṭb was sold as a slave and raised at Nīshāpūr. He came into the possession of Muḥammad of Ghūr, who put him in charge of the royal stables. Eventually he was appointed to military command, and in 1193, after conquering Delhi, Muḥammad returned to Khorāsān and left the consolidation of the Ghūrid conquests in northwest India to Quṭb. With his headquarters at Delhi, Quṭb subjugated areas between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, and he then turned his attention to the Rājputs who were still resisting Ghūrid domination. In 1195–1203 he mounted campaigns against their strongholds, while his lieutenant Bakhtiyār Khaljī conquered Bihār and Bengal.

      When Muḥammad of Ghūr was assassinated (1206), Quṭb-ud-Dīn was his logical successor. He was still technically a slave, and he quickly obtained manumission. He married the daughter of Tāj-ud-Dīn Yildiz of Ghazna, one of the other principal claimants to succeed Muḥammad, and by other judiciously arranged marriages consolidated his rule. His son-in-law, ablest general, and successor, Iltutmish (reigned 1211–36), basing his power on the conquests of Quṭb, was able to establish the independence of the sultanate of Delhi.

      Surviving inscriptions describe Quṭb as malik (“king”), and the Quṭb Mīnār in Delhi still stands to commemorate his victories. He died of injuries received in a polo match. See also Delhi sultanate.

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Universalium. 2010.

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