Sultan Qaiqabad, who reigned over Delhi from 1286 to 1290, was the grandson of Balban. The 18-year-old Sultan was addicted to wine and other sensual pleasures. Seizing this opportunity, Nizam-ud-din, the chief magistrate, cunningly exploited the Sultan's weaknesses, effectively usurping control over the entire kingdom.
Eventually, Qaiqabad managed to break free from Nizam-ud-din's influence with the guidance of his father, Bughra Khan. However, when Nizam-ud-din was killed, there was no one capable enough to fill his position.
The Sultan summoned Malik Firoz Khilji, the governor of Samana, and appointed him Aariz-ul-Mumalik, (Commander-in-chief of the army) and governor of Baran, bestowing upon him the title of Shaista Khan. Two Balbani nobles, Malik Aitamur Kachhan and Malik Aitamur Surkha, were appointed as Barbak and Vakildar respectively.
Malik Firoz was the leader of a powerful and influential clan spread throughout the kingdom. However, the Turks of Delhi, who held a disdainful view of the Khiljis as non-Turks, were hostile towards them.
Meanwhile, Qaiqabad health rapidly declined, leaving him paralyzed and bedridden with no hope of recovery. This created an opportunity for the ambitious nobles to seize power.
The loyal Balbani nobles, who wanted to preserve the throne for the family of Balban, took action to prevent Firoz Khilji from seizing control of the kingdom. They brought out Qaiqabad's three-year-old son, Kaimurs, from the harem and placed him on the throne with the title of Shams-ud-din. The infant prince was taken to Nasiri Chabutara, where the royal court was held. Meanwhile, Qaiqabad received medical care and treatments at Kilokhari.
The ascension of Kaimurs caused a division among the nobility of Delhi. The Turks, headed by Aitamur Kachhan and Aitamur Surkha, supported the young king, while the Khiljis rallied behind Firoz.
Jealous of the power of the Khiljis, Kachhan and Surkha, decided to eliminate them. They compiled a lengthy list of Khilji members who were to be targeted.
Malik Firoz's Revolt:
By chance, that paper containing seditious content fell into the hands of Ahmad Chap, the Amir-i-Hajib of Aitamur Kachhan, who belonged to the Khilji lineage. He discreetly delivered it to Firoz.
Firoz, upon seeing his name at the top of the list, fled from the capital and gathered a formidable group of relatives and supporters under the pretense of conducting an army muster in Bhokal Pahari (Bhokal Pahari, also known as Bhojla Pahari, can be found in present-day Old Delhi). To conceal his true intentions, rumors of an approaching Mongol threat as far as Samana were widely spread.
During this time, a message arrived from Kaimurs' royal court, demanding Firoz's immediate presence. Kachhan and Surkha had devised a plan to assassinate Firoz upon his arrival. However, Firoz, being keenly aware of the plot, managed to evade compliance by making one excuse after another. Thereupon Kachhan personally went to invite him.
Firoz pretended to show respect and warmly welcomed Kachhan, engaging him in conversation for a while. Then he signaled to Ali, his son-in-law, (afterwards Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji) to behead Kachhan. After placing Kachhan's severed head on a spear, Firoz put it in front of the palace at Kilokhari.
The two factions now engaged in open conflict. The next day, Firoz crossed the river Yamuna with his army and prepared for action. The Turk maliks and amirs came out to oppose him. The paralytic Qaiqabad was carried to the top of the palace by his attendants. The Turk officers who were sent to attack Firoz, were all ended up joining forces with him instead.
Malik Jhaju (Kishlu Khan), the nephew of Balban, declared his intention to send Sultan Qaiqabad to his father Bughra Khan at Lakhnauti, while remaining in the service of Kaimurs.
Aitamur Surkha kept Kaimurs under his protection, stationed with his own troops at the Kilokhari palace, where he resided in order to consolidate his power. However, Firoz's son, Arkali Khan, made an assault upon Surkha's camp and captured prince Kaimurs, taking him to their father. Surkha, along with some Balbani officers, attempted to retrieve the young king, but they were captured and killed. During this encounter, the sons of Fukhr-ud-din Kotwal also fell into Firoz's hands as prisoners.
When news of kidnapping of their king reached the city, the people of Delhi assembled before the city and prepared to march against Firoz. However, Fukhr-ud-din Kotwal intervened and persuaded them to turn away in order to save the young prince as well as his own sons, who were under Firoz's custody.
With the deaths of Aitamur Kachhan and Aitamur Surkha, the Turkish party lost its power and there was no longer any opposition to Firoz's authority. Furthermore, Firoz now had the infant king in his possession, while Qaiqabad was approaching the final moments of his life.
Firoz As Regent of Kaimurs:
Subsequently, Firoz placed Kaimurs on the throne of Kilokhari. Notable amirs, such as Fukhr-ud-din kotwal and Malik Jhaju, came to offer their congratulations. Firoz then turned to Jhaju and entrusted him with the role of representing the prince, saying, "This prince is like a son to you; he is now the Sultan. Let me have control over the districts of Multan, Bathinda, and Dipalpur so that I may depart immediately." Jhaju, however, responded, "It would be more suitable for you to have the vizirate and vice-regency. Give me the fief of Kara, and I will go there." Fukhr-ud-din kotwal also supported Jhaju's suggestion and requested Firoz to follow Jhaju's advice. Malik Jhaju then proceed to Kara.
Murder of Sultan Qaiqabad:
After Qaiqabad was deposed, he was left without food or drink. He had no attendants by his side. Thus, he remained in the palace of Kilokhari, disgusted with the world. Taking advantage of this situation, a malik, whose father had been killed by order of Sultan Qaiqabad, entered the palace of Kilokhari. He gave him a few kicks, wrapped him in a bedsheet, and threw him into the Yamuna river.
Firoz acted as the deputy of Kaimurs for about three months. Badauni states that Firoz would bring the prince into the durbar hall and personally handle important state affairs and audiences.
Subsequently, friends and opponents now made peace with Firoz, who now sat on the throne of Kilokhari, assuming the title of Jalal-ud-din Firoz Shah, and established the Khilji dynasty, the second Turkish dynasty of Delhi.
Before his usurpation, Firoz had Kaimurs imprisoned, who eventually met his death in captivity. Some historians claim that Kaimurs was executed. The only other claimant to the throne was Malik Jhaju, who presently held the position of the governor of Kara.