Ala-ud-din's Relationship with Malik Kafur

In 1299, Ala-ud-din Khilji conquered Gujarat. Malik Kafur Hazar Dinari was a slave whom Nusrat Khan, Ala-ud-din's wazir, had seized from a merchant at Cambay, during the conquest of Gujarat. 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. Ferishta clearly says that Kafur was one of the Sultan's catamites. 'Sultan Ala-ud-din, upon seeing Kamla Devi, the beautiful wife of the Raja of Gujarat, took her in marriage. But this did not satisfy his abominable lusts. Malik Kafur, a slave who had been taken on that expedition, engaged his unnatural passion, which he publicly indulged to the disgrace and debasement of human nature'. Kafur was also a military genius who won for the Sultan, Devagiri (1308), Warangal (1309), Ma'bar (Madurai) and Dwarasamudra (1310).

Kafur was made Malik Naib on the occasion of the conquest of Devagiri in 1307-08. Ferishta writes, 'The Sultan's attachment to Malik Kafur now exceeded all bounds, and his wish now was to raise him to distinction among the nobles. He gave him the title of Malik Naib Kafur, and the nobles were directed to pay their respects to him daily, as to a sovereign. This created great disgust, but no one dared to complain'.

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

Alau-d din Khilji

Ala-ud-din Khilji came to the throne after treacherously murdering his uncle Sultan Jalal-ud-din Khilji, founder of the Khilji dynasty. His queen Mahru had two sons: Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan. Ala-ud-din in his life time had declared Khizr Khan as his heir-apparent. Though illiterate, Ala-ud-din 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:

Historical Romance: Dewal Devi and Khizr Khan

Towards the close of his reign, Ala-ud-din 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. But the queen Mallika Jahan and Khizr Khan neglected him entirely, and spent their time in riot and revelry. 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: The day after the death of Ala-ud-din Khilji, Malik Kafur assembled the nobles and produced a fake will of the deceased King, in which he had appointed Shahab-ud-din Umar, the youngest son, his successor. Kafur himself became the regent. His first act was to sent a malik to Gwalior, to put out the eyes of the princes Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan. The Mallika Jahan was put into closer confinement. Kafur then married the mother of prince Shahab-ud-din Umar, the Devagiri princess.

Malik Kafur, the slave of Alau-d din Khilji

Death of Malik Kafur: Malik Kafur took the prince Mubarak (afterwards Sultan Qutb-ud-din Mubarak, son of Ala-ud-din by his second wife) into custody with an intention to blind him, but one night he sent some assassins to behead Mubarak. Ferishta describes this event thus: "When the assassins entered Mubarak's apartment, he conjured them to remember his father, whose servants they were. He then untied a string of rich jewels from his neck and gave it to 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 of 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 in a few hours, and assassinated him, with his companions." Thus ended the life of the traitor. (thirty-five days after Ala-ud-din's death)


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