Mohammed of Ghor (Ghori)

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Article Sub-Category: MEDIAEVAL INDIA FROM 1193 TO 1526

Title: Mohammed of Ghor (Ghori)
Mohammed of Ghor (Ghori): conquest of Hindustan, Bengal, and Bihar; Kutb-ud-din Ibak; the Sultanate of Delhi; the Mangol (Mohul) invasions; end of the Slave Kings

Mohammed of Ghor (Ghori): conquest of Hindustan, Bengal, and Bihar; Kutb-ud-din Ibak; the Sultanate of Delhi;
the Mangol (Mohul) invasions; end of the Slave Kings

           Mohammed of Ghor (Mohammed Ghori, Shihab-ud-din).  Sultan Ala-ud-din Husain, the destroyer of Ghazni, died
about four years after the sack of that city (ante,p.94), and was succeeded in Ghor by his son, who was assassinated a year
later.  The local nobles then raised to the throne the murdered chief's cousin, elder son of Baha-ud-din Sam, who assumed
the title of Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din.  His uounger brother, Mohammed, was known in early life as Shihab-ud-din ('the flame of religion'),
but afterwards as Sultan-Muizz-ud-din.  His coins alos describe him as Mohammed son of Sam.  The historians of India are accustomed
to designate him, with various corruptions, either as Shihab-ud-din or Mohammed Ghori.  We shall call him Mohammed of Ghor.

           Occupation of Sind and the Panjab.  Mohammed of Ghor, having reduced Ghazni to the will of his brother, turned his
attention to the rich plains of India.  In 1175-6 he attacked Multan, and shortly afterwards obtained possession of Uchh in Sind
Through the treachery of the Rani.  In 1178-9 Mohammed attempted to penetrate into Gujarat, but was badly defeated by the
Raja of Anhilwara.  In 1186 or 1187, as already mentioned (ante, p.94), he deposed Khusru Malik, the last prince of the house of Sabuktigin, and so
made himself master of the Panjab, as well as of Sind.

           First and second battles of Tarain.  But the ambition of Mohammed was not satisfied by the possession of these
frontier provinces.  He desired to enjoy the plunder and acquire the sovereignty fo the richer kingdoms of the interior.
The Hindu Rajas combined against him, as they had done against the Amir Sabuktigin and the Sultan Mahmud, and met the invader on the plain of Tarain or Talawari,
fourteen miles from Thanesar.  The Hindus, under the supreme command of the brave prithraj Chauhan, Raja of Ajmer and Delhi (ante, p.96),
routed the Sultan, who was wounded in the arm (1191).  Next year, 1192, Sultan returned, fought the Hindu confederacy on the same
ground, charged the enemy with twelve thousand picked cavalary, utterly defeated them, and captured the commander-in-chief,
Prithiraj, who was executed.  Ajmer was sacked and the inhabitants either killed or sold as slaves.

           Death of the Sultan.  After these momentous events the Sultan, who had succeeded his brother early in 1203,
returned to Ghazni, but in the cold season of 1205 was recalled to India by the revolt of the Khokhars, a powerful tribe
in the Central Panjab.  Having 'set a river of blood of those people flowing', he started for Ghazni, and was murdered on the
road by a fanatic of the Mulahidah sect in March 1206.
The martyrdom of the sovereign of sea and land, Muizz-ud-din, From the beginning of the world the like of whom no monarch
arose,On  the third of the month Sha'ban in the halting-place of Damyak.  [Dhamiak in Jihlam(Jhelum) District.]

           Kutb-ud-din Ibak as general and viceroy.  The successes gained in India by the arms of Mohammed of Ghor were
largely due to the ability of his general, Malik Kutb-ud-din Ibak, a native of Turkistan, who had been bought as a slave
by the Sultan, and was still legally a slave when he subdued Hindustan.  HE led the Vanguard in the action of Chandwar
near Itawa, when Raja Jaichand of Kanauj was killed by an arrow which struck him in the eye.  He then pushed on to
Benares and acquired a vast amount of booty.  The Sultan having returned to Ghazni, Kutb-ud-din was left in charge of the operations
in India.  The capture of Kalanjar was his work,and on that occasion fifty thousand captives were enslaved.  He next
occupied Mahoba, the Chandel capital (ante,p.80), and thence returned to Delhi through Budaon.  He received the title of Sultan
from Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Mahmud, the successor of Mohammed of Ghor on the throne of Ghor and Ghazni. 

       Kutb-ud-din Ibak as Sultan of Delhi.  From this time (1206) Kutb-ud-din may be ragarded as an independent Indian
sovereign, the first of the long line of the Sultans of Delhi.  He strengthened his position by judicious matrimonial alliances,
himself marrying the daughter of Taj-ud-din U+Yalduz (Iyalduz), a rival chief, who, like Kutb-ud-din, had been a slave;
giving his sister to Nasir-ud-din Kubacha, another slave, who became the lord of Sind; and his daughter to Litimish (Altamsh),
governor of Bihar, and also a slave.  He died in the year A.H.607 (1210-11) from the effects of a fall from his
horse.  'His gifts', says the chronicler, 'were bestowed by hundreds of thousands, and his slaughters likewise were by hundreds
of thousands.'

       The Kutbbi mosque and minar.  During the period of his viceroyalty, between the years 1193 and 1198, Kutb-ud-din built
the great mosque near Delhi, which was subsequently enlarged by his son-in-law, the Sultan Iltutmish (Altamsh) who also finished
the celebrated tower known as the Kutb-minar.  Both mosque and minar are called Kutbi, not because they were built by Kutb-ud-din Ibak,
but because they are consecrated to the memory of the saint Kutb-ud-din Ushi, who lies buried close by.
      Conquest of Bihar.  Kutb-ud-din Ibak was well served by his lieutenant, Ikhtiyar-ud-din Mohammed, son of Bakhtyar, a Khalj Turk
who is ordinarily called in the text-books 'Mohammed Bakhtiyar', father and son being rolled into one.  In or about 1197, several
years after the fall of Delhi, this officer secured the control of Bihar by a raid of almost incredible audacity, seizing the fort
of the town of Bihar with a party of only two hundred horsemen.  The Buddhist monasteries, which still flurished under the patronage of
the Pala kings (ante, p.96), were destroyed, and the monks killed or dispersed.  The Mohammedan on slaught extinguished the life of
Buddhism in its old home and last refuge.  After this time the indications of the existence of that religion anywhere in India are very
     conquest of Bengal.  Bengal was brought under Moslem domination about two years later (1199) with even greater ease.  The Sena king,
perhaps Raja Lakhmaniya or Lakshmana Sena, surprised in his capital of Nudiah (Nudden, Navadvipa) by a party of only eighteen horsemen,
fled by the back door and took refuge in the Dacca District, leaving Nudiah to the fury of the conqueror, who sacked the town and made
Lakhnauati or Gaur the seat of his government.  Mohammed and his oficers endowed mosques, colleges, and Mohammedan monasteries in all parts of the kingdom, and sent much booty to their chief, Kutb-ud-din.

    Death of Mohammed, son of Bakhtyar.  some years later, in 1204-5 (A.H. 601),Mohammed, the son of Bakhtyar, rashly undertook to invade
the mountains.  He managed to enter those beyond Darjeeling, but, being unable to secure any safe foothold, was compelled to retreat.  During
the retirement he lost almost all his force.  Next year he was assassinated.
   The So-called Pathan dynasties' and 'pathan empire'.  The Sultans of Delhi , beginning with Kutb-ud-din in 1206, ending with Ibrahim Lodi in 1526
and including the Sur claimants up to 1556, are often errorneously called the "Pathan kings ', and their rule is designated the Pathan empire.  But,
as a matter of fact, only the Sultans of the Lodi and Sur families were Pathans (properly Patans), that is to say, Afghans.  Kutb-ud-din and the other
so- called Slave kings were natives of Turkistan, of Turkish blood. The Sultans of the Khilji (Khalji) dynasty also were Turks.  The Tughlak Sultans
seem to have been of mixed Turkish and Hindu blood, and the so-called Saiyid princess claimed Arab descent from the prophet Mohammed.
   Sultan Iltutmish (Altamsh).  Aram, the adopted son of Kutb-ud-din, succeeded him, but proved incapable, and was soon replaced (1211) by Shams-ud-din
Iltutmish (Altamsh, etc., of the text-books), governor of Bihar.  The new Sultan had to fight and overcome his brother slaves Taj-ud-din Yalduz (Iyalduz)
and Nasiur-ud-din Kubacha.  He compelled the successors of Mohammed, the son of Bakhtyar, in Bengal to acknowledge his authority.  After some more fighting
in various directions Iltutmish died in May 1236, and was buried beside the mosque which he had enlarged and the minar which he had completed at Delhi.
   Sultan Raziyah (Raziyyat-ud-din).  Rukn-ud-din, son of Iltumish, a worthless fellow, ' whose inclinations were wholly towards buffoonery,sensuality,
and diversion', was deposed after seven months of misrule, his place being taken by his sister Raziyyat-ud-din, commonly called Raziyah, a capable
sovereign, whose chief fault seems to have been her sex. 'Sultan Raziyyat-may she rest in peace!-was a great sovereign, and sagacious, just,beneficent,
the patron of the learned, a dispenser of justice, the cherisher of her subjects,  and of warlike talent, and was endowed with all the admirable attributes
and qualifications necessary for kings; but, as she did not attain the destiny in her creation of being computed among men, of what advantage were all
these excellent  qualifications unto her?' She tried to secure her throne by submitting to marriage with a turbulent Turki chief, but other nobles, who
would not endure a woman's rule, defeated her in October 1240, after a disturbed reign of three and a half years.  She and her husband were killed by certain Hindus.
   Sultan Nasir-ud-din Mahmud.  She was followed by two insignificant princes, and in 1246 Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, one of her brothers, became Sultan of Delhi.
He was a quiet, studious man, ill-fitted for rule in such times, but managed to retain his throne for twenty years by the help of an able slave minister,
Ulugh Khan, otherwise called Ghiyas-ud-din Balban, whose daughter was married to the Sultan, and who fought hard throughout his master's reign to establish
the Moslem supremacy in Hindustan.  The Tabakat-i-Nasiri, a valuable history by Minhaj-i-Siraj, the chief Kazi, was written in this reign and derives its
name from the Sultan.  Some quotations from it are made in this work.
  Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Balban.  'Balban, being already in possession of all the powers of king, found no difficulty in assuming the title.'  He was nearly
sixty years of age when he ascended the throne, but age had not quenched his vigour.  He proved himself to be a strong ruler, severe and even cruel in his punishments , and utterly
regardless of bloodshed.  The Mewatis near Delhi gave him much trouble, and were chastised with merciless ferocity.  His principal military operation was
the suppression of a revolt in Bengal.  His court was adnorned by many princely fugitives from various kingdoms of Asia then devasted by the Monglo hordes, and he was a
liberal patron of persian literature, and especially of Amir Khisru, the poet.

  The Mongols or Moguls.  A young Mongol chief named Temujin, born in 1162, gradully acquired supreme power among the nomads of the steppes, and was elected as their sovereign
with the title of Chingiz Khan, by which (with various corruptions) he is generally known.  Having made himself master of Mongolis, Northern china, and Turkistan, he
fell with his savage hordes upon the kingdom of Khwarizm (Khiva), sacked Bukhara, Samarkand,Merv, and other cities, destroying the inhabitants by millions.  The murderous
conqueror and his generals then overran the country now called Afghanistan, sacked what remained of Ghazni, stormed Herat, and even occupied Peshawar.  Jalal-ud-din, the shah
of Khwarizm, who had fied before the Khan, attempted to make a stand on the Indus, but was defeated, and fled to Delhi, where he was received by the Sultan (1221,1222). The
Khan thought of returning to Mongolia through India and Tibet, and even asked the permission of Sultan Iltutmish to do so, but happily desisted from his purpose, so that India was spared
the unspeakable horrors which befell Central Asia, and from the effects of which those regions have never recovered.  Raids by bodies of Mongol troops long continued, and gave much
anxiety to the sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Balban, whose eldest son was killed in battle with them.  The death of this son, who became known as the Martyr Prince, deeply affected Balban, then
about eighty years of age, and hastened his end.  On the west the Mongol hordes pebetrated into Europe as far as the Dnieper in Russia.
  Sultan Kaikobad; end of slave kings.  When Balban died in 1287 he was suceeded on the throne of Delhi by his grandson Kaikobad (Muizz-ud-din), a good-for-nothing, debauched youth.
Some Turkish chiefs of the Khalj or Khilji tribe put him out of the way, and raised to the throne one of themselves, by name Jalal-ud-din.  Thus ended in (A.H. 689) 1290 the dynasty
of the Turkish slave-Sultans of Delhi, which had begun with Kutb-ud-din Ibak in 1206.

                                            Mohammedan Conquest of Hindustan

      Sultan Mohammed of ghor (Ghori, Shihab-ud-din,Muizz-ud-din)

             Occupied Uchh in Sind              1175-6

             Defeated by Raja of Gujarat        1178-9

             Deposed Khusru Malik of Lahore     1186 or 1187

             First battle of Tarain             1191

             Second battle of Tarain            1192

             Reduction of Delhi, Benares
             and Bihar                          1193-7
             capture of Anhilwara               1197

             Conquest of Bengal                 1199 or 1200

             capture of Kalanjar                1203

      Death of the Sultan                       1206
                                              The Sultans of Delhi

                                                The Slave kings

             Kutb-ud-din Ibak                    acc. 1206 (mosque at Delhi)
             Aram Shah                           acc. 1211

             Iltutmish (Altamsh)                 acc. 1211 (Mongol invasion, 1221, 1222)
             Rukn-ud-din and Raziyah             acc. 1236
             Bahram, etc.                        acc. 1240
             Nasir-ud-din Mahmud                 acc. 1246  (Tabakat-i-Nasiri)
             Balban (Ghiyas-ud-din)              acc. 1266
             Kaikobad (Muizz-ud-din)             acc. 1286 or 1287 killed 1290

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