Raziyya al-Din (1205 – October 13, 1240) usually referred to in history as Razia Sultan, was the Queen of Delhi in India from 1236 to May 1240. Like some other Muslim princesses of the time, she was trained to lead armies and administer kingdoms if necessary. Razia Sultana was the only woman ruler of both the Sultanate and the Mughal period. She succeeded her father Shams-ud-din Iltutmish to the Sultanate of Delhi in 1236. Iltutmish became the first sultan to appoint a woman as his successor when he designated his daughter Razia as his heir apparent. She dressed like a man and sat in open durbar. She was an efficient ruler and possessed all the qualities of a Monarch. As a child and adolescent, Razia had little contact with the women of the harem, so she had not learnt the customary behavior of women in the Muslim society that she was born into. As Sultan, Razia preferred a man’s tunic and headdress; and contrary to custom, she would later show her face when she rode an elephant into battle at the head of her army. (+)
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The planning had been long, hard and exhausting at times even. The flight had been troublesome and she was feeling the ache of the long hours in most of her body as she walked in the snow. But now that she was here, bathed in the sunset light, she realized how much it was worth it. The beauty of the stars above her was breathtaking. Unable to tear her gaze away from the sky, she felt as if she was suddenly the only person in the world. A lone girl in a frozen land where even no wind disturbed the peaceful silence. It was disturbing how calm it made her feel. Minutes passed, or could it be hours, she didn’t know, and she didn’t want to move from where she was standing. She was home.