Ghiyasuddin Balban | History, Administration, Death
Who was ghiyasuddin balban?
Ghiyasuddin Balban was the ninth and important ruler of the Slave dynasty, he ruled from 1266 AD to 1287.
The Early life of Balban
Ghiyasuddin Balban belonged to the Iltbari tribe of Turkey, Balban was kidnapped by the Mongol invaders early in childhood, and the Mongols sold Balban in a slave market in Baghdad to a man named Jamaluddin Basri.
At that time slaves were bought and sold based on their Height and strength. Although Balban was smaller in height but he had the ability to become a leader.
After some time, Jamaluddin Bashari brought Balban to India and sold him to Sultan Iltutmish, a few months later, due to his courageous and diplomatic qualities, Balban became a special man of Iltutmish.
Ghiyasuddin balban History
Balban’s date of birth is not seen in any historical book, yet historians believe that Balwant was born in 1200.
Iltutmish was very happy because of Balban’s sharp wit. therefore Iltutmish included Balban in his most trusted group (Amir-i-chahlgani). This group consisted of 40 members and all 40 people were close and most relatable people of Sultan.
After the death of Iltutmish in the year 1236, Rukanuddin Shah was declared sultan by 40 members of (Amir-i-chahlgani). Although Iltutmish had chosen his successor Razia but still Razia came to power with the support of the general public.
Balban was appointed as the head of the post of (Amir-i-chahlgani) during the reign of Razia Sultan. In the beginning, he was very loyal to Razia but soon after he started rebelling with Razia and he met them. Who did not like Razia as Sultan
After Razia’s death on 14 October 1240, Bahram Shah ruled from 1240 to 1242 and during that time he appointed Balban to the post of Amir-e-akhur (supervisor of the royal stable).
After Bahram Shah, Iltutmish’s grandson, Alauddin Masud Shah, the son of Ruknuddin Firoz, came to power and he ruled from 1242 to 1246. During his reign, Ghiyasuddin Balban started expanding his powers and he imprisoned Alauddin Masud Shah. And later Alauddin Masud died in Jail.
Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah, the youngest son of Iltutmish after Alauddin Masood Shah, came to power in the year 1246 and ruled till 1265. It is believed that Nasiruddin was a very peace-loving ruler as he used to study the Holy Quran in his free time.
Ghiyasuddin got pleased with Nasruddin’s peace-loving nature and got his daughter married to him, after which Nasruddin gave Balban the title of Ulugh Khan.
Ibne Battuta describes in his book Rahela that Balban came to power after killing Nasiruddin.
Ghiyasuddin Balban theory of kingship
Gyanasuddin Balban had adopted two principles immediately after becoming Sultan (Theory of Kinship) and (Blood and Iron)
Theory of Kinship
Ghiyasuddin believed that the Sultan is everything. If anyone tried to revolt against the Sultan or disobeyed his decision, he would be strangled to death.
He believed that to govern completely, it is very important to behave like a dictator.
He restored all those powers which had ended during the reigns of Masud Shah, Bahram Shah, and Naseeruddin Mahmud Shah.
Blood and Iron
This theory imported being cruel to the opponents, use of weapons, brutality, and strictness, and shedding blood.
Sijda and paibos system
Under this law, if any person entered the palace of the Sultan, then that person had to bow his head in front of Ghiyasuddin Balban.
Under this law, if any person entered the palace of the Sultan, then it was mandatory for him to kiss Balban’s feet.
Apart from Sijda and paibos, Ghiyasuddin Balban also made many other laws
- He banned alcohol
- He also banned dancing and laughing inside the palace.
Ghiyasuddin was a person of calm nature, he himself did not drink alcohol and did not laugh and joked and did not express his feelings to anyone, even when his son died, he did not express any kind of grief. Although he was upset.
Destruction of (Amir-i-chahlgani)
It was a Turkish people group consisting of 40 members. In this group, members were chosen by their intelligence and loyalty. Before becoming Sultan, Ghiyasuddin was also a member of this group.
It was a very powerful group, even the members of this group could make anyone Sultan and remove anyone from the post of Sultan, due to this group, Razia could not rule effectively for a long time.
Ghiyasuddin Bulban was well aware that in order to rule completely, all the members of (Amir-i-chahlgani) group would have to end, because even before Ghiyasuddin Balban, the members of this group had made all the Sultans, and Members of this group considered Sultan to be only a puppet in their hands.
Balban made a plan to end the Amir-i-chahlgani group, under which he started appointing junior Turkish officials to top positions.
Gyanasuddin Balban started punishing all the members of the (Amir-i-chahlgani) group for making small mistakes, due to which the importance of all the members of this group began to diminish in the eyes of the general public and other officials of the palace.
After this, he started killing many members of the group one by one. He did not want any member of this group to be sidelined during his rule, this was Balban’s first step towards autocracy.
Ghiyasuddin Bulban formed a new army and appointed an army officer named Imad-ul-Mulk and he was also the Minister of War.
The land which Qutubuddin Aibak provided to his soldiers in exchange for service in military, Ghiyasuddin took back all those lands and in return, Balban started giving currency to the soldiers.
Ghiyasuddin Bulban did not make many changes in the army but made the army so powerful that it was able to suppress any rebellion.
Ghiyasuddin Balban employed selected people in different departments to conduct espionage, including journalists and writers, Those spies who were unsuccessful in spying were punished. If any detective was successful in spying then he was honored.
Because of this spy system, Balban succeeded in controlling the people.
Suppression of rebellion
The people of Mewat revolted during Balban’s reign, many times they also looted the areas around Delhi.
When the people of Mewat revolted, there were thick forests around Delhi, due to which the rebels were easy to escape.
To suppress this rebellion, Ghiyasuddin built roads and cut down all the trees in the forest, and made clean ground.
According to Ziauddin Barani, the people of Katihar also revolted against Balban, after which Ghiyasuddin ordered his soldiers to kill all the men of Katihar and take their women and children captive and his army did so, After this, no citizen of Katihar dared to revolt again.
Administration of Balban
Ghiyasuddin’s administration was semi-civil and semi-military. All officers and soldiers of Balban both performed their duties. However, Balban had control over the entire administration. During the reign of Balban, there were no posts of Naib and the position of the minister was also quite unimportant.
Conquest of Bengal
Tughlaq Khan declared independence in Bengal in the year 1289. Although Tughlaq Khan was at one time a loyal servant of Balban and Bengal was also a part of the Delhi Sultanate but Tughlaq Khan revolted with encouragement from the Mongols and he knew that Ghiyasuddin is also old.
Ghiyasuddin did not give up easily and sent a man named Amin Khan to the Bengal War to suppress the Bengal rebellion, but unfortunately, Amin was easily defeated by Tughlaq Khan and Balban was very unhappy with this and that is why he made Amin Khan hanged to death.
After a few days, Balban sent another officer named Bahadur to fight the Bengal war and that person named Bahadur conquered Bengal and merged with the Delhi Sultanate, after which Ghiyasuddin appointed his son Nasiruddin bughra khan as the ruler of Bengal.
During the time of Balban, Mongol invaders frequently attacked the borders of India, among them the main borders of India were Lahore, Multan, and Sindh.
Ghiyasuddin Balban made several rows of forts on the Indian borders to protect his empire from the Mongols, and to protect the Indian borders, he sent a courageous commander named Sher khan to the border, Sher khan succeeded in protecting the Indian borders from Mongols. But after few days he died in 1270.
After Sher Khan’s death, the Mongols started looting at the Indian borders, to prevent this, Balban sent a man named Amen to the Indian borders, but he was not very successful to stop the Mongols invaders.
A few months later, Balban divided the boundaries into two parts and gave the first part to his elder son Prince Mohammed. That part included Multan Lahore and Sindh.
The second part was given by Balban to his younger son, Nasiruddin Bughra Khan.
Between the years 1279 and 1285, the Mongols invaded India twice but the Mongols failed both times but were successful when the Mongols attacked in 1286 and Prince Mohammad, the elder son of Balban died in the same attack.
Ghiyasuddin Balban death
Balban loved his elder son Prince Mohammed but his son was killed by a Mongol invader which caused a severe shock to Balban, although he did not express his feelings to anyone but Balban’s health slowly deteriorated due to shock. And in 1287 Balban died at the age of 80.
Ghiyasuddin Balban achievements
- He successfully ruled Delhi for 40 years.
- He successfully Destructed (Amir-i-chahlgani) group.
- He was successful to save his Empire from the Mongols.
- He ruled Rajputana states.
How did Balban rule successfully
Ghiyasuddin was an important ruler of the Delhi Sultanate who played an important role in guiding Delhi for 40 years.
During his reign, Balban did everything he could to keep the fear in the people and he kept a distance from the common people during his reign.
- He also took control of the rich people to maintain his control in the rule.
- He strengthened the judicial system to maintain peace in his empire.
Balban abolished Turkish Nobels
Ghiyasuddin abolished all the members of the (Amir-i-chahlgani) group, which was the biggest obstacle for him, that is, he did everything that he should have done to rule.
successfully protect India from Mongols
In Balban’s time, Mongol invaders attacked India many times but they failed every time.
Balban ruled over Rajputana states
Balban was a courageous ruler, he defeated the Rajputs and annexed the Rajputana kingdoms to the Delhi Sultanate, although the Rajputs ruled the Rajputana states but remained under the control of Ghiyasuddin.
Religion of Balban
He was a Muslim and a religious person, because of which the Islamic scholars had a lot of respect for Ghiyasuddin, He was also very interested in reading, writing, and learning new things, therefore he had two Persian poets in his palace, Amir Khusro, and Amir Hussain.
Was Ghiyasuddin Balban a cruel ruler?
Although Ghiyasuddin was a peaceful person but he was also cruel, he used to punish everyone to save his empire.
Tomb of Balban
Gaiyasuddin Balban’s tomb is located in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, this tomb was built in 1287. This mausoleum is a fine specimen of Indo-Islamic architecture.
Balban’s tomb is surrounded by a wall of stones, this tomb is historical, due to which it is given a lot of value.
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