Kaiqobad (1287—1290 A.D.


Balban wanted to make his eldest son Muhammad his successor but the” premature death of the crown prince shattered all his hopes and he himself breathed his last due to this fatal shock. The death of Balban not only proved fatal or the dynasty of the so-called slaves but also ended the grandeur of the Delhi Sultanate. Dr.

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Ishwari Prasad writes, “Authority forgets a dying king and no sooner were his eyes closed in death than the nobles and officers opposed his last testament and elevated Kaiqubad to the throne, an unhappy choice which ultimately led to the fall of the Slave Dynasty.”Balban declared Kai Khusrau his successor before his death. Comparatively, Kai Khusrau was a better candidate. Hence the selection of Balban was justified, but the Turkish Amirs were divided on the issue of succession after the death of Balban. Malik Fakhrudd in, Kotwal of Delhi, was the leader of one group and another group was led by Hasan Basari. Fakhruddin was against the nomina­tion of Kai Khusrau and he wanted to enthrone Kaiqubad. He argued that in order to save Delhi from internal conflict it was neces­sary to enthrone a son of Bughra Khan in place of Kai Khusrau and -at last he succeeded in putting Kaiqubad on the throne.

Early Career and Administration of Kaiqubad:

When Kaiqubad ascended the throne of Delhi, he was-seventeen years old. He had an attractive personality and polite nature. He had been brought up under the strict watch of his grandfather, Balban, who was a great disciplinarian.

Barani writes that by the time of his enthronement he had not tasted a drop of wine nor had he seen the fair face of a beautiful damsel. After his accession to the throne, he found himself free from the bondage of his grandfather. His suppressed passions were now in full play and he lost himself in wine, women and luxury. The splendour and magnificence of the court changed him a lot. He became so much absorbed in luxuries that the administration of the Sultanate began to suffer. The atmosphere of Balban’s court was completely changed. Discipline and conventions vanished and the court became a centre for dancers and buffoons. The nobles and courtiers also followed in the footsteps of the Sultan and gave themselves up to luxuries and sensual pleasures.

One Nizamuddin, son- in-law of Fakhruddin, the Kotwal of Delhi, held the powers of the kingdom in his own hands and the position of the Sultan became weak He was not more than a puppet whose strings were in the hands of Nizamuddin Dr. A. L. Srivastava remarks about it, “Within the kingdom, law and order were disregarded by ambitious people. Nizamuddin sedulously removed ail competent rivals from his path of ambition with a view to seize the throne for himself.”

Conspiracy of Nizamnddin:

Nizamuddin was a judge and Vakil-i-Dar of Delhi. He was very clever, intelligent and ambitious.

Gradually, he established his influence over Kaiqubad andjtaptured the powers of Sultan. Nizaamuddin wanted to indulge him in wine and women and to occupy the throne of Delhi after his death. Nizamuddin sought the services of his wife and sent her in the palace of Kaiqubad; so he could establish his complete sway over Kaiqubad through his wife as she was a beautiful lady and the Sultan a sensual pleasure seeking lad. Kai Khusrau, the rival claimant to the throne was secretly put to death by Nizamuddin and the former wazir was insulted and exiled by him. The Turkish nobles and Amirs were also hurdles in the way of Nizamuddin ; he accused them of treachery and either got them murdered or exiled them from the capital. The vacant posts were filled by the faithful servants of Nizamuddin and his influence went on increasing day by day.

At the same time the Mongols attacked the country under the leadership of Tamar Khan of Ghazni. They badly plundered Lahore. On the advice of Nizamuddin, Kaiqubad got murdered those new Muslims (Mongols) and Turkish Amirs who were either friends or relatives of the Mongols.

It terrified all the nobles. Although a complaint was lodged with the emperor against the conspiracy of Nizamuddin, it did not move the Sultan in the least and he imprisoned all the persons who filed the complaint However, the defence measures set up by Balban were quite strong to repulse the invasion of the Mongols and ultimately success was achieved against the Mongols. Nizamuddin who was an able administrator established his control over all the activities of the kingdom and Kaiqubad was eclipsed as his Vakil-i-Dar “was doing the work with his own axe to grind. Hence soon people began to hate him and they began to express their dissatisfaction with his affairs.

Bughra Khan’s coming to Delhi:

At the time of the death of Balban, Bughra Kban was the Gover­nor of Bengal Just after the death of his father, he assumed the title of Nasiruddin and declared his independence in Bengal Although Bughra Khan was happy that his son had succeeded in Delhi but he was not prepared to accept the subordination of his son, and ruled independently in Bengal for two years.

During this period he kept a close watch over the activities of his son but when lie became confi­dent that Kaiqubad was an unworthy ruler and he could put the throne of Balban in danger, he decided to intervene in the politics of Delhi. He warned his son through letters to mend his manners and to take personal interest in the affairs of the Sultanate but Kaiqubad was not moved by them. Seeing the gravity of the circumstances Bughra Khan marched from Bengal to Delhi in order to end the cons­piracy of Nizamuddin and to set Kaiqubad right. It alarmed Nizamuddin and he became afraid; so he made Kaiqubad understand that coming of Bughra Khan to Delhi was not a good sign. So he anyhow sought his permission to face the army of Bughra Khan and marched from the capital.

Both the armies encamped in front of each other for some time. Nizamuddin tried his best to avoid a meeting between the son and the father. He also endeavoured to start a war between the two, but some faithful servants of Balban were still alive and they, anyhow, arranged a meeting between Bughra Khao and Kaiqubad, Bughra Khan agreed to salute Kaiqubad in the court as he was the Sultan of Delhi. He kissed the earth thrice and entered the court.

As he advanced in the court after salutation, Kaiqubad could not check himself. His heart was filled with filial love and after getting down from his throne he fell down on the feet of his father Bughra Khan lifted and embraced him. Kaiqubad wanted to make him sit on the throne but he did not agree. Both of them lived together for some days.

During his stay in Delhi Bughra Khan advised his son to mend his ways and to get rid of the treacherous Nizamuddin. After this Bughra Khan went back to Bengal and Kaiqubad continued to rule over Delhi.

Murder of Nizamuddin:

In the beginning, Kaiqubad was immensely influenced by the advice of his father but after reaching Delhi-he.was again lost in wine and women but the advice of his father again shook his subconscious mind and he tried to remove Nizamuddin from his way.

He was transferred to Multan but he showed reluctance to obey the orders of the SuItan. When the opponents of Nizamuddin came to know the feelings of the Sultan, they po’soned Nizamuddin to death.

Assassination of Kaiqubad:

After the death of Nizamuddin, Sultan Kaiqubad made some new appointments for the smooth running of the administration. The post of Ariz-i-Mumalik (Chief Commander) was given to Jalaluddin Khalji thus the power of the Khaljis went on increasing day by day. The Turks could not tolerate this state of affairs. Hence Malik Kachhan and Aitmar Surkhk began to organize the Turks against the Khaljis. They conspired to assassinate Jalaluddin Khalji and hit supporters.

In the meantime Kaiqubad had an attack of paralysis, The Turks planned to execute their conspiracy but the secret was disclosed to Jalaluddin Khalji and he killed Malik Kachhan and Aitmar Surkha before they could execute their plan. As Kaiqubad was crippled by paralysis, Jalaluddin and the Turkish nobles installed Kayumars, an infant child of Kaiqubad on the throne. Kaiqubad was kicked to death by a Khalji soldier and thrown in the river Yamuna.

For sometime Jalaluddin held the charge of regent on behalf of the infant Sultan. He was got murdered after three months and Jalaluddin took over as the Sultan of Delhi. Thus a new Khalji dynasty came to power in place of the slave dynasty in 1290 A.D.