Razia Sultan, also known as Razia Sultana, and by her regnal name Jalâlat-ud-Dîn Raziyâ, was the only woman to rule the Delhi sultanate suo jure. She preferred to be referred to as “Razia Sultan” as opposed to “Sultana”, as the latter literally meant “wife of a king” as opposed to what she truly was.
Razia’s father, Iltutmish, had been a slave before he became sultan. He rose through the ranks by gaining the trust of his master, and he was later appointed sultan. He was also the first in the history of the sultanate to appoint a woman as his heir apparent: his daughter Razia, in whom he recognized shrewdness of character and diplomacy to make a good ruler. Originally, his eldest son was groomed for the throne, but he died, leaving Iltutmish no sons whom he believed were worthy of the throne. When…
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