Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thirty-five day criminal rule of Malik Kafur

Malik Kafur was the lieutenant of Alauddin Khilji, the most powerful Khilji ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. He was a Hindu turned Muslim slave captured by Nusrat Khan, Alauddin commander, during the conquest of Gujarat in 1299. Kafur soon rose in ranks and was given the exalted title of malik naib (regent). He successfully executed his master’s expeditions to the South India and brought immense wealth from the South Indian kingdoms after demolishing many temples. With the passage of time Kafur became Alauddin’s Man Friday and so much so that the Khilji Sultan came under his complete influence. 

Alauddin died in 1316. His eldest son Khizr khan was the claimant to the throne. However, on the second day of Alauddin’s death, Kafur placed five or six year old Shihabuddin Umar, another son of Ala-ud-din, on the throne and himself became his regent by producing a will of late Sultan. Then began the thirty five day criminal rule of Malik Kafur marked by bloody killings and imprisonment of the possible claimants to the throne. Alauddin’s sons, Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan were blinded. The queen dowager Malika-i-Jehan (wife of Alauddin) was imprisoned. 

Malik Kafur now turned his attention to Mubarak, the third son of Alauddin. Mubarak was placed in confinement in Hazar Sutun (the palace of a thousand pillars) by Kafur who tried to blind him too. However, Mubarak became successful in escaping. The nobles and slaves owing allegiance to the Khiljis bore the burnt of Kafur’s high-handedness. This period of mayhem came to an end after 35 days when Kafur was himself murdered by bodyguards of late Sultan Alauddin Khilji.

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