Who was Malik Kafur?
Malik Kafur was the slave general of Sultan Alauddin Khilji who had won for him the Deccan territories of Warangal, Devgiri, Madura and Dwarasamudra, etc. Alauddin Khilji was the Sultan of Dehli.
Malik Kafur was originally a Hindu slave who fell into the hands of the Muslims at Cambay after the conquest of Gujarat. Alauddin’s general Nusrat Khan had paid 1,000 dinars to buy him and that is why Malik Kafur is also known as the “Hazardinari.”
Because of his abilities and service, he won the confidence of the Sultan who raised him to the position of the ‘Vazir’ or the Chief Minister. Soon he was made the Commander-in-Chief of the royal forces that were sent for the conquest of the Deccan.
Malik Kafur proved a very capable general. Within a short time he won the Deccan states of Warangal, Dwarasamudra, Devgiri, and Madura and brought enormous booty for his master.
The conquest of Deccan was the greatest achievement of Malik Kafur, and because of this achievement his influence over Alauddin Khilji increased abnormally and nobody could dare to oppose him. It was he who told the Sultan that his wife and sons were conspiring against him and consequently he got Malika Jahan and Alauddin’s two sons imprisoned. Similarly Malik Kafur got his rivals heavily punished under the orders of the Sultan.
Malik Kafur was very ambitious and intriguing. After Alauddin’s death he tried to get the throne for himself and for this purpose he put a minor son of the late Sultan (named Shihab-ud-Din Umar) on the throne. Then he began to get rid of the survivors of the Khilji Sultan one by one. Malika Jahan was robbed of all her jewellery and thrown behind the bars. The other sons of Alauddin Khilji were blinded and their supporters dismissed.
Malik Kafur also tried, to lay his hand on Mubarak, who luckily escaped. But such acts made him very unpopular and a conspiracy was organized against him. The conspiracy proved successful and exactly 36 days after the death of Sultan Alauddin Khilji (i.e. on February 6, 1316) he was murdered with his associates.
Though ambitious and intriguing he proved himself to be a great general who carried the banner of Islam to the Deccan States of India.