If you have been following me for a while you know that I have a monthly feature where I post about Muslim women throughout Islamic history because they do not get the recognition they deserve. There are so many incredible women and we don’t ever hear about them and they are never included in books about female empowerment either so I decided to share them myself. You can find all the previous posts on my blog under the Inspirational People section.
This month I will be talking about an incredible woman called Razia who became a queen in India and the only woman to ever lead the Delhi sultanate.
She was the daughter of the then Sultan’s slave and eventually her father, who the Sultan adored found himself in line for the throne. When her father became Sultan he ensured she received the same education as her brothers. He taught her to be a warrior and a leader and before he died, he named her successor. However, people did not want her to rule and so her half brother became sultan even though he was unfit to rule. He was selfish and didn’t care about his people and it wasn’t long before he was assassinated. Razia then became Sultan.
When she became Sultan she devoted herself to running her empire. She led her armies into battles and strengthened her kingdom in many ways. She was a major patron of learning and set up schools, libraries and more. She supported the works of scholars and those who studied and taught Quran. She loved her people and they loved her. She proved herself to be was fierce, competent leader and Sultan.
However the nobles were jealous of her and bitter that a woman was ruling the empire and secretly plotted to overthrow her. They spead lies and discord among the people, saying she is unfit to rule and when Razia found out she raised an army and led them into battle against the nobles who had conspired against her. She was outnumbered however and lost to them, they took her throne and some say they killed her and other sources say they imprisoned her.
Even though her throne was taken from her, she remains an incredible woman who achieved so much in helping her empire and her people and will always be known as the fierce warrior queen.