Alauddin Khilji’s father Shihabuddin Mas’ud, was the elder brother of the Khalji dynasty’s founder Sultan Jalaluddin.Alauddin was brought up by Jalaluddin after Shihabuddin’s death.Both Alauddin and his younger brother Almas Beg married Jalaluddin’s daughters.Alauddin Khilji murdered his uncle and father-in-law Sultan Jalaluddin,the founder of the Khalji dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate and then assumed power as Sultan.
Alauddin was not on good terms with his wife Jalaluddin’s daughter and his mother-in-law .
In November 1296, Alauddin sent an army led by Ulugh Khan and Zafar Khan to conquer Multan. On his orders, Nusrat Khan arrested, blinded and/or killed the surviving members of Jalaluddin’s surviving family.
In early 1299, Alauddin sent Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan to invade Gujarat, where the Vaghela king Karna offered a weak resistance. Alauddin’s army plundered several towns including Somnath, where it desecrated the famous Hindu temple. The Delhi army also captured several people, including the Vaghela queen Kamala Devi, and the slave Malik Kafur, who later led Alauddin’s southern campaigns.
During the army’s return journey to Delhi, some of its Mongol soldiers staged an unsuccessful mutiny near Jalore, after the generals forcibly tried to extract a share of loot (khums) from them. Alauddin’s administration meted out brutal punishments to the mutineers’ families in Delhi, including killings of children in front of their mothers.
Alauddin captured Chittor after an eight-month long siege. According to his courtier Amir Khusrow, he ordered a massacre of 30,000 local Hindus after this conquest.
Around 1308, Alauddin sent Malik Kafur to invade Devagiri, whose king Ramachandra had discontinued the tribute payments promised in 1296, and had granted asylum to the Vaghela king Karna at Baglana. Kafur was supported by Alauddin’s Guarat governor Alp Khan, whose forces invaded Baglana, and captured Karna’s daughter Devaladevi (later married to Alauddin’s son Khizr Khan).
In late 1309, he sent Malik Kafur to ransack the Kakatiya capital Warangal. Helped by Ramachandra of Devagiri, Kafur entered the Kakatiya territory in January 1310, ransacking towns and villages on his way to Warangal.After a month-long siege of Warangal, the Kakatiya Prataparudra agreed to become a tributary of Alauddin, and surrendered a large amount of wealth (possibly including the Koh-i-Noor diamond) to the invaders.
A section of Mongol leaders plotted to kill Alauddin, but the conspiracy was discovered by Alauddin’s agents. Alauddin then ordered a mass massacre of Mongols in his empire, which according to Barani, resulted in the death of 20,000 or 30,000 Mongols.
Alauddin and his generals destroyed several Hindu temples during their military campaigns. These temples included the ones at Bhilsa (1292), Devagiri (1295), Vijapur (1298-1310), Somnath (1299), Jhain (1301), Chidambaram (1311) and Madurai (1311).
Religious violence in India continued during the reign of Jalaluddin Firoz Shah Khilji and Allauddin Khilji of Khilji dynasty. Their army commanders such as Ulugh Khan, Nusrat Khan, Khusro Khan and Malik Kafur attacked, killed, looted and enslaved non-Muslim people from West, Central and South India. The Khilji dynasty’s court historian wrote (abridged),
“ The (Muslim) army left Delhi in November 1310. After crossing rivers, hills and many depths, the elephants were sent, in order that the inhabitants of Ma’bar might be made aware of the day of resurrection had arrived amongst them; and that all the burnt Hindus would be despatched by the sword to their brothers in hell, so that fire, the improper object of their worship, might mete out proper punishment to them.
– Amir Khusrow, Táríkh-i ‘Aláí
Nusrat Khan, a general of Allauddin Khilji, retaliated against mutineers by seizing all women and children of the affected area and placing them in prison. In another act, he had the wives of suspects arrested, dishonored and publicly exposed to humiliation. The children were cut into pieces on the heads of their mothers, on the orders of Nusrat Khan
Ala-ud-Din was very cruel towards the Hindus. He adopted all kinds of measures to crush them in every possible manner. The Qazi Mughisuddin of Bayana explained the policy of the state towards the Hindus and Ala-ud-Din followed the same. According to the Qazi, the Hindus “are called Khiraj guzars and when the revenue officer demands silver from them, they should without question and with all humility and respect, tender gold.
If the Muhassil chooses to spit into the mouth of a Hindu, the latter must open his mouth without hesitation. The meaning of doing such a thing is that the Hindu by acting in this way shows his meekness and humility and obedience and respect.
The glorification of Islam is a duty and contempt of the religion is vain. God himself has commanded their subjection, in as much as the Hindus are the deadliest foes of the Prophet. The Prophet has said that they should either embrace Islam or they should be slain or enslaved and their property should be confiscated to the state.
No one except the great doctor Abu Hanifa allows the imposition of the Jizya upon the Hindus, while other schools are of opinion that there is no other alternative for them but death or Islam.”
Ala-ud-Din adopted many measures by which the Hindus were reduced to poverty and misery. Zia-ud-Din Barani tells us that the Chaudhries, Khuts and Muqaddams were not able to ride on horseback, to find weapons, to get fine clothes or to indulge in betel. Their wives were forced to work as maid-servants in the houses of the Muslim neighbours.
According to Prof. S. R. Sharma, the choice offered by Ala-ud-Din to the Hindus was to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, the helots of the Empire. No wonder, Ala-ud-Din boasted that “at my command, they are ready to creep into holes like mice.”
According to Sir Wolseley Haig, “Hindus throughout the kingdom were reduced to one dead level of poverty and misery, or, if there were one class more to be pitied than another, it was that which had formerly enjoyed the most esteem, the hereditary assessors and collectors of the revenue.”