Ala-ud-din's Relationship with Malik Kafur

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Malik Kafur Hazar Dinari was a handsome slave whom Nusrat Khan, Ala-ud-din's wazir, had seized from a merchant at Cambay. He was called Hazar-dinari since he was originally purchased for 1000 dinars. Badauni calls him Malik Manik. Khusro calls him Malik Naib Barbek Izzud-daula. Barani writes that Kafur's beauty captivated Ala-ud-din, who afterwards made him Malik Naib (deputy governor). Kafur was also a military genius who won for the Sultan, Devagiri (1308), Warangal (1309), Ma'bar (Madurai) and Dwarasamudra (1310). Ferishta says that Kafur was made Malik Naib on the occasion of his conquest of Devagiri.

Last Days of Alau-d din Khilji, the Second Alexander:

Alau-d din Khilji


Ala-ud-din Khilji came to the throne by murdering his uncle Sultan Jalal-ud-din Khilji, founder of the Khilji dynasty. His chief queen Mallika Jahan had two sons: Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan. Ala-ud-din in his life time had declared Khizr Khan as the heir-apparent. Ala-ud-din, though an illiterate man, was a powerful monarch, and was victorious in all his conquests. He considered himself the second Alexander. He protected India from continuous Mongol invasions. Historians lists the below details as causes of the downfall of his empire:


Towards the close of Ala-ud-din's reign, he became so enamoured and infatuated with the slave Malik Kafur, that he resigned the reigns of power completely into his hand, whom he blindly supported in every occasion. He distinguished him above all. This gave disgust to the nobles. We know that Muhammad Ghori had many faithful slaves, of which the distinguished ones were Aibak and Iltumish. But Malik Kafur was not at all faithful to his master, and was making schemes to secure the kingdom for himself. A deadly enmity arose between Malik Kafur and Alp Khan, the maternal uncle and father-in-law of Khizr Khan.

Sometime after this, Ala-ud-din was taken ill. Ferishta states that the queen Mallika Jahan and Khizr Khan neglected him entirely, and spent their time in riot and revelry. At that time the queen was preparing the marriage of her son Shadi Khan to a daughter of Alp Khan. Taking advantage of the circumstance, Malik Kafur informed the Sultan that the queen, Alp Khan and Khizr Khan were conspiring against the Sultan's life. According to the advice of Kafur, he ordered Khizr Khan to go to Amroha and stay there till he should recover himself. Khizr Khan had made a vow that as soon as his father would recover, he would come on foot on a pilgrimage to the saints of Delhi. And when he heard the news of the recovery of the Sultan, he came on foot to Delhi, before the command for his return could issue. Kafur poisoned the the Sultan's ears against Khizr Khan; he declared that the disobedience of the prince coming without his father's permission, to an intention of intriguing with the nobles and thereby exciting a rebellion. Ferishta says, "Ala-ud-din did not give entire credit to these insinuations; but send for Khizr Khan". When Khizr Khan came to the presence of his father, the chord of fatherly affection was stirred in the heart of the Sultan, who embraced him with affection, and seeing him weep, seemed convinced of his sincerity, and ordered him to see his mother and sisters. Finally, by a thousand wiles and artifices, Malik Kafur accomplished his purpose, and prevailed on the Sultan to imprison his two sons, Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan, in the fort of Gwalior, and their mother in the old fort at Delhi.

After a time the Sultan was attacked with dropsy. Kafur acted craftily, and informed the Sultan that Alp Khan wanted to install Khizr Khan on the throne and to become Naib himself. He had a desire of making himself all-in-all in the state. He thus induced the Sultan to have Alp Khan killed, although he had committed no offence. Alp Khan' s brother, who succeeded to the office was also assassinated. Revolts broke out in many parts of the kingdom. Kamal Khan, who was sent to suppress the rebellion at Gujarat, was slain by the adherents of the late Alp Khan. Rajputs of Chittor also rebelled and declared their independence. Harpaldeva, the son-in-law of Raja Ramadeva of Devagiri, initiated rebellion in the Deccan. On receiving these accounts, the Sultan became enraged, which increased his disorder. Shortly after this, the Sultan expired; it is said that Malik Kafur poisoned him. Before Ala-ud-din's illness grew worse, he had told Malik Kafur to bring Khizr Khan, that he might proclaim him his successor. But Malik Kafur delayed from day to day to execute the order, and whenever his master inquired about the matter, he replied that his son would soon arrive. He continued to act thus until the Sultan died.

Events After the Death of Ala-ud-din: After the death of Ala-ud-din in 1316, Kafur placed the Sultan's youngest son Shahab-ud-din Umar, a child of six years, on the throne and himself became the regent. He then sent a man to Gwalior, to put out the eyes of the princes Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan. Kafur then married the mother of prince Umar, the late Sultan's third wife.

Malik Kafur, the slave of Alau-d din Khilji


Death of Malik Kafur: He also attempted to assassin prince Mubarak Khan (afterwards Sultan Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah, son of Ala-ud-din by another wife), who was confined in his house, which did not succeed. Ferishta describes this event thus: "When the assassins entered Mubarak's apartment, he conjured them to remember his father, whose servants they had been. He then untied a string of rich jewels from his neck and gave it them. They abandoned their purpose; but when they got out, they quarreled about the division of the jewels, which they at last agreed to carry to the chief of the foot-guards, and acquaint him with what the prince had said, and with their instructions from Malik Kafur. Mubashshir, the commander of the foot-guards and his lieutenant Bashir, who both owed every thing to the favour of the deceased king, shocked at the villainy of Malik Kafur, conspired against the eunuch. They accordingly entered his apartment a few hours after, and assassinated him, with his companions." Thus ended the life of the traitor. (thirty-five days after Ala-ud-din's death)

References:

Tabaqat-i-Akbari of Nizam-ud-Din Ahmad, Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh of Badauni, Tarikh-i-Ferishta, Tarikh-i Firoz Shahi of Ziauddin Barani, Ashiqa & Khazain-ul-Futuh of Amir Khusro, Rehla of Ibn Batuta

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