Razia Sultana (1205-1240), the first female Muslim ruler of India, was the illustrious daughter of Shams-ud-din Iltutmish , the Great Slave Emperor of India. Iltutmish nominated his daughter, Razia Sultana, as his successor on the throne of
, because his most capable son died and the rest of his sons were incompetent.
Razia Sultana was a wise and just woman. She was also a great administrator and well-versed in governmental affairs. She was a great fighter who ably led her forces in the battlefield. Razia Sultana was in charge of the affairs in Delhi whenever Iltutmish had to leave his capital.
Following Iltutmish ís death, Rukn-ud-din Firuz, one of his sons, occupied the throne and ruled for about seven months. Razia Sultana, with the support of the people of Delhi, secured the throne after defeating her brother in 1236. She established law and order in the country. She always dressed as a man when appearing in public. She had to face opposition of the Turkish nobles, who resented a woman as their ruler. Some of the Turkish governors rebelled against her. It was during the suppression of these rebellions that she was dethroned and compelled to flee.