The pathetic story of first and last Muslim princess - India
. India under Iltutmish.

Razia Sultana

Above image: Razia Sultana was the first women who ruled medieval India during Muslim empire - 1236 to 1240.

In Indian history there were many Muslim women, who under the compelling circumstances,  donned the role of male rulers  and proved their leadership qualities and administrative skills in running the kingdom effectively.  They played their role with care and  determination in order to keep the name and tradition of the ruling families.

Raziya al-Din (1205 in Budaun – October 13, 1240),  also known as Razia Sultana, was the Sultan of Delhi in India  during the period from  1236 to May 1240. She took the honor of becoming the first Muslim female ruler of a kingdom, having been trained in martial arts and military warfares.  Daughter of  Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, who designated her as his successor to the Delhi Sultanate, she was the first and last female ruler of Delhi Sultanate. As the Sultan's son died very young, the responsibility of running the Sultanate fell on his heir-princess  Razia. Unfortunately,  the Muslim nobility was against a woman succeeding the throne and upon the death of Delhi Sultan  Iltumish on 30th April, 1236   Razia's brother, Ruknuddin Firuz, was allowed to take up the mantle.

Sultan Razia's tomb.

Ruknuddin, being a young and immature ruler, was after the transient pleasures of the world and the trappings of the powerful position he was enjoying,  and in the process, he neglected his duty to run the administration effectively.  His mother,  Iltutmish's widow  Shah Turkaan,  for all practical purposes,   had to rule the country in the place of her son, who was busy in pursuit of his personal pleasure and enjoyment.  As a responsible mother,  Shah Turkaan failed to reprimand her careless and irresponsible son. In the meantime the people became outraged and angry. Ultimately one day, after six months in power,  both Ruknuddin and his mother were  assassinated. 

 Razia Sultan Serial on And TV.

Left with no alternative,  the Muslim nobility  asked Razia to succeed to the throne and rule the Sultanate. Naturally endowed with superior qualities,  ablity and the attributes of a ruler,  she tried to adjust herself to any kind of situation. So,  she gave up her veil, wore male attire and learned the intricacies of goverence of kingdom, including training in matters related to military. She ruled the country with sagacity and dispensed justice with fairness.  In the course of her rule, she became romatically involved with Malik Ikhtiar-ud-din Altunia, who at last, became her husbund,.

The Turkish nobles wanted to weaken the administration of Razia. Malik Ikhtiyar-ud-din Altunia, a childhood friend of Razia, during  her reign he stood by her and strenthened  her hand. He made some of her enemies run away. He wanted to marry her and Razia turned his proposal  for marriage on account of her royal commitment as a ruler.  Any way, quite pleased with his loyalty and  services, she made him  the Governor of Bhatinda which was under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate. During his absence Razia had to depend on  an Abyssinian Slave named Jamaluddin Yaqut. Being a loyal servent he gradually acquired a position of power and rank from simple Amir to Amir-ul-Umra (Chief of the Nobles); the higest rank was reserved for the Turkish noble and not for slave like Yaqut. Now, rumor mill worked over time among the nobles and they spread the news that Yaqut and Razia had llicit relationship and this made  Altunia jealous.  So he led a rebellion against her and in the ensuing battle Yaqut, was killed and Razia was jailed. However, Altunia visited her frequently while she was in jail and allowed her to say prayers in the mosque. He saw to it her  royalty was not taken away from her.  Over a period of time, the misunderstandings about her purported love affairs with Yaqut was cleared and they realized the folly that they were the victims of rumors and conspiracy. Atlast the lovers became unied and got married.

Back in the capital,  during the month of Rabi'-ul-Awwal, they were  unfortunately killed by  Muz-ud-din bahram, step brother of Razia. This is the story of a young first and last Muslim princess and her lover who lost their precious  lives  at their tender age at the hands of a fanatical, greedy  Musalman.