In the year 1296, a tragic event unfolded in the history of India. Sultan Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji, who had ruled from 1290 to 1296, met a gruesome end at the hands of his own nephew and son-in-law, Ali Gurshasp, the future Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji. The incident took place at Kara and quickly spread to Delhi, where the Mallika Jahan proclaimed her youngest son, Qadr Khan, still a boy, under the title of Rukn-ud-din Ibrahim, with herself as the regent.
At the time, Arkali Khan, the second son and heir of Jalal-ud-din Khilji, was in Multan. He was a brave warrior who had successfully suppressed the rebellion of Malik Jhaju, the nephew of Balban. Barani mentions that if Sultan Jalal-ud-din got angry with any of his subjects, he threatened them with Arkali Khan's hot temper.
It is rumored that there had been some disagreements between the mother and son during the Sultan's lifetime. When Arkali Khan learned of his mother's unkind and improper actions, he was deeply hurt and chose to remain in Multan.
The day after his uncle's brutal murder, Ala-ud-din declared himself Sultan and bestowed royal titles upon his loyal friends and followers. His faithful brother, Almas Beg, was granted the prestigious title of Ulugh Khan, while Sinjar, the brother of his wife Mahru, was given the title of Alp Khan. Other notable figures in his inner circle included Nusrat Khan, and Zafar Khan, Ala-ud-din's nephew.
As he learned the affairs of Delhi, Ala-ud-din discovered that his only remaining rival, Arkali Khan, had yet to make an appearance in the city. This news delighted the new ruler, who set out from Kara to Delhi during the height of the rainy season. Along the way, he distributed gold and money like rain to the people, recruiting many to his service. By the time he reached Budaun, Ala-ud-din's force had swelled to an impressive sixty thousand.
Meanwhile, the queen grew increasingly anxious about the precarious state of the kingdom. She humbly wrote to Arkali Khan, admitting her mistake in placing his younger brother on the throne and implored him to come to her aid. The queen warned that if Arkali refused to take the throne of his father, Ala-ud-din would come with power and grandeur, seizing Delhi and sparing neither her nor him.
Despite her pleas, Arkali Khan refused to come to her aid, citing the defection of the nobles and their retainers to Ala-ud-din's side.
Upon receiving this intelligence, Ala-ud-din ordered the drums of joy to be beaten. He made his way across the river Yamuna and set up camp opposite the north-east gate in Delhi. He knew that he needed to win over the maliks and amirs of the late Sultan to his side, so he distributed a vast amount of gold and money to them.
Rukn-ud-din marched forward to oppose Ala-ud-din's army, but he soon realized that he was no match for their strength.
Barani says, 'Ala-ud-din covered his horrible crime [murder of his own uncle] by scattering honours and gifts upon all classes of people. His gold was enough to persuade the nobles to desert the sons of their late benefactor and support him'.
Rukn-ud-din fled to Arkali Khan at Multan, accompanied by only a few loyal followers, including his mother and wife.
Ala-ud-din's Accession: (r: 1296-1316)
In October 1296, Ala-ud-din Khilji made his grand entrance to Delhi and took his place on the throne in the luxurious Kushk-i-Lal, or Ruby Palace. He began to plan the destruction of the sons of Jalal-ud-din Khilji. To carry out his plan, he sent Ulugh Khan and Zafar Khan to Multan with a large force.
Arkali Khan and Rukn-ud-din, were no match for the invading army and retreated to the safety of the fortress. Ulugh Khan laid siege to Multan for two months, but in the end, the inhabitants surrendered the two princes and their family on the condition that their lives be spared.
Ulugh Khan and Zafar Khan proceeded in triumph towards Delhi with the captive princes. However, as they approached Hansi, they were met by Nusrat Khan, who had been had been tasked with blinding the princes, as well as two other important figures: the Mongol Alghu Khan, who was a son-in-law of Sultan Jalal-ud-din, and Ahmad Habib, a loyal slave of the Sultan. The helpless princes were then handed over to the Kotwal of Hansi, who afterwards martyred them alongside the two sons of Arkali Khan. Jalal-ud-din's wives and the rest of his children were imprisoned in Delhi, and Multan was bestowed upon Alp Khan.
Many believed that the destruction of Jalal-ud-din's family was the result of the vengeance of the dervish Sidi Maula
Malika-i-Jahan was a title bestowed upon the chief consort of Muslim rulers of South Asia.
Jalal-ud-din Khilji had three sons: Khan-i-Khanan (passed away before his father), Arkali Khan and Qadr Khan.