eldest surviving son, had her son crowned as Rukn-ud-din. When another son
of Iltutmish rebelled in Avadh, Ruknud-din marched out of the capital to
suppress the rebellion. This gave Raziya the opportunity to seize the throne
and put her brother to death.
After elevating many Tajiks to high positions, Raziya appointed Jamal-ud-din
Yaqut, an Ethiopian or Habshi slave, as superintendent of the royal horses,
which aroused resentment in a majority of the already disgruntled Turkish
nobles. Moreover, the Sultana began to appear unveiled in public. Though the
people of Delhi supported her, hostility mounted among the iqtadars. In
1239-40 she crushed some of the rebellious iqtadars, but one of them,
Altunia, killed Yaqut and took Raziya prisoner. In the meanwhile Iltutmish’s
third son, Bahram, was put on the throne by the powerful Turkish nobles.
Raziya married Altunia and their combined efforts to capture Delhi failed.
They were both killed by some robbers.
The fall of Raziya made the clique of Turkish nobles dominant in the
court, and they started a scramble for supremacy. Though Zia-ud-din Barani
calls them chalisa or chahalgani (the family of forty), they neither formed
any organised groups nor numbered forty. In fact, Minhaj Siraj gives the
biographies of merely twenty-five of Iltutmish’s leading maliks.
Bahram Shah (1240–42)
Bahram was made to create the position of regent (malik naib or naib-i-
mamlakat), who was intended to be the de facto ruler while the Sultan would
only be a de jure ruler. When Bahram’s attempts to assert his authority failed,
he was taken captive and put to death.
Masud, son of Rukn-ud-din, was made the next Sultan, but Balban
conspired with Nasir-ud-din Mahmud’s mother, Malik-i-Jahan, to overthrow
Masud. Consequently Masud was deposed and imprisoned.
Nasir-ud-din Mahmud (1246–33)
Being fully aware of the fate of his predecessors, Nasir-ud-din had no