Be it not hidden from the enlightened hearts of those who enquire into the histories of Musalman sovereigns and rulers, that the commencement of the effulgence of the sun of the Muhammadan faith in the Kingdom of Bengal, dates from the period of the reign of Sultān Qutbu-d-dīn Aibak,* Emperor of Delhi. And the origin of the title “Aibak” is that his little finger was feeble; hence he was called ‘Aibak.’ When Sultān Qutbu-d-dīn in 590 A.H. wrested by force the fort of Kol from the Hindus, and captured one thousand horses and an immense booty, the news spread that Sultān Mui’zu-d-dīn Muhammad Sām, also called Sultān Shahābu-d-dīn, had planned expeditions for the conquests of Kanūj and Banāras. Sultan Qutbu-d-din marched forward from Kol to receive him, presented to him the booty of Kol with other valuables, and becoming recipient of a special Khila’t, formed the vanguard of the imperial forces, and marched ahead. And engaging in battle with the forces of the Rajah of Banāras, he routed them, and at length, slaying on the battle-field Rajah Jaichand, the Rajah of Banāras, he became vic­torious. Sultān Shahābu-d-dīn, marching with a force from the rear, moved up and entered the city of Banāras, and pillaging the whole of that tract up to the confines of Bengal, carried off as booty incalculable treasures and jewels. The Sultān then returned to Ghazni. And the Kingdom of Bengal as an adjunct of the Empire of Delhi, was left in the hands of Qutbu-d-dīn. Sultān Qutbu-d-dīn entrusted to Malik Ikhtīaru-d-dīn Muham­mad Bakhtiār Khiljī the Viceroyalty of the Provinces of Behar and Lakhnautī.* Muhammad Bakhtiār, who was one of the chiefs of Ghor* and Garmsīr, was a brave man, well-built and very strong.* In the beginning, he was in the service of Sultān Shabābu-d-dīn Ghori at Ghaznī. He was allowed a small allowance, as neither he was externally prepossessing, nor was his appearance grand. Becoming despondent, Muhammad Bakhtiār came to Hindustan in the company of the Sultan, stayed behind, and did not even then get into the good graces of the Ministers of Hindustan. Departing thence, he went to Burdāwon* to Angẖal Beg who was the ruler over the Doab country, and there gaining in eminence, he advanced himself to the exalted office of generalissimo. And the tract of Kambālah* and Betālī was given to him as a jāgīr. From there he went in the service of Malik Hassama-d-din* to the Ṣubah of Audh (Oude). Subduing that province, he advanced himself further in rank and dignity. When the fame of his bravery and liberality, and the reputation of his heroism and gallantry, spread over the confines of Hindustan, Sultān Qutbu-d-dīn who, not yet ascending the throne of Delhī, was still at Lāhor, sent to him valuable Khilá’t, and summoned him to his presence, and granting to him an illuminated Farmān of Chiefship over the province of Behār, deputed him there. And Muhammad Bakhtiār marching quickly to that side, spared no measure of slaughter and pillage. It is said that in Behār there was a Hindū Library which fell into the hands of Muhammad Bakhtiār. The latter enquired from the Brahmins as to the reason for the collection of the books. The Brahmins replied that the whole town formed a college, and that in the Hindī language a college was called Behār, and that hence that town was so called. After this, when Muhammad Bakhtiār being victorious* returned to the service of the Sultān, he became more renowned and enviable than other servants. And his rank was advanced so much, that the juice of envy set aflowing amongst Sultān Qutbu-d-dīn’s other officers, who burned in the fire of envy and shame, and combined to expel and destroy him, so much so, that one day in the presence of the Sultān, in regard to his strength and prowess, they said unanimously that Muhammad Bakhtiār, owing to exuber­ance of strength, wanted to fight with an elephant. The Sultān wondering questioned him. Muhammad Bakhtiār did not disavow this false boastfulness, though he knew that the object of the associates of the king was to destroy him. In short, one day when all the people, the elitē as well as the general public, assembled in Darbār, a white rogue elephant was brought to the White Castle (Qasr-i-Sufed). Muhammad Bakhtiār tying up the loin of his garment on the waist, came out to the field, struck the elephant’s trunk with a mace, when the elephant ran away roaring. All the spectators, including those assembled, and the envious, raising shouts of applause to the sky, were confounded. The Sultān bestowing on Malik Muhammad Bakhtiār special Khila’t and many gifts, ordered the nobles to bestow on him presents, so that all the nobles gave him numerous largesses. Muhammad Bakhtiār, in the same assembly, adding his own quota to all the largesses, distributed the same amongst those present. In short, at this time, the Viceroyalty of the Kingdoms of Behār and Lakhnautī was bestowed on him; and with peace of mind, having gained his object, he proceeded to the metropolis of Delhi. That year* Malik Bakhtiār, bringing to subjugation the Sūbah of Behār, engaged in introducing administrative arrangements, and the second year coming to the Kingdom of Bengal, he planted military out­posts in every place, and set out for the town of Nadiah, which at that time was the Capital of the Rajahs of Bengal. The Rājah of that place, whose name was Lakhmania, and who had reigned for eighty years over that Kingdom, was at the time taking his food.* Suddenly, Muhammad Bakhtiār, with eighteen horsemen, made an onslaught, so that before the Rājāh was aware, Bakhtiār burst inside the palace, and unsheathing from the scabbard his sword that lightened and thundered, engaged in fighting, and put the harvest of the life of many to his thundering and flashing sword. Rajah Lakhmaniā getting confounded by the tumult of this affair, left behind all his treasures and servants and soldiers, and slipped out bare-foot by a back-door, and embarking on a boat, fled towards Kāmrūp.* Muhammad Bakhtiār sweeping the town with the broom of devastation, completely demolished it, and making anew the city of Lakhnautī, which from ancient times was the seat of Gov­ernment of Bengal, his own metropolis, he ruled over Bengal peacefully, introduced the Khutbah, and minted coin in the name of Sultān Qutbu-d-dīn, and strove to put in practice the ordinances of the Muhammadan religion.* From that date* the Kingdom of Bengal became subject to the Emperors of Delhi. Malik Ikhtiārud-din Muhammad Bakhtiār was the first Muhammadan ruler of Bengal. In the year 599 A.H. when Sultān Qutbu-d-dīn after conquest of the fort of Kālinjar,* proceeded to the town of Mahūbah* which is below Kālpī* and conquered it, Malik Muhammad Bakhtiār going from Behar to wait on him, met the Sultān, at the time, when the latter was proceeding from Mahūbah towards Badāun.* He presented jewelleries and divers valuables of Bengal and a large amount in cash. And for a time remaining in the company of the Sultān, he took permission to return, and came back to Bengal, and for a period ruling over Bengal he engaged in demolishing the temples and in building mosques. After this, he planned an expedition towards the Kingdoms of Khata* and Tibbat, with a force of ten or twelve thousand select cavalry,* through the passes of the north-eastern moun­tains of Bengal. Guided by one of the Chiefs of Koch, named ‘Ali Mich, who had been converted to Muhammadan faith by Muhammad Bakhtiār, he reached towards those mountains. ‘Alī Mīch led Bakhtiār’s forces to a country, the town whereof is called Abardhan.* and also Barahmangadī. It is said that this town was founded by Emperor Garshāsp.* Facing that town, flows a river called Namakdi,* which in its depth and breadth, is thrice as much as the river Ganges. Since that river was tumultous, broad, and deep, and fordable with difficulty, marching along the banks of the river for ten days,* he reached a place where existed a large bridge* made of stone, and extending over twenty-nine arches, erected by the ancients. It is said that Emperor Garshāsp, at the time of invading Hindūstān, constructed that bridge, and came to the country of Kāmrūp. In short, Muhammad Bakhtiār sending across his forces by that bridge, and posting two commandants for its protection, planned to advance. The Rājah of Kāmrup, dissuading him from an advance, said that if he (Muhammad Bakhtiār) would postpone his march to Tibbat that year, and next year collecting an adequate force would advance towards it in full strength “I too would be the pioneer of the Moslem force, and would tighten up the waist of self-sacri­fice.” Muhammad Bakhtiār absolutely unheeding this advice, advanced, and after sixteen days,* reached the country of Tibbat. The battle commenced with an attack on a fort which had been built by king Garshāsp, and was very strong. Many of the Moslem force tasted the lotion of death, and nothing was gained. And from the people of that place who had been taken prisoners, it was ascertained that at a distance of five farsang from that fort, was a large and populous city.* Fifty thousand Mongolian cavalry thirsty for blood and archers were assembled in that city. Every day in the market of that city, nearly a thousand or five hundred Mongolian horses sold, and were sent thence to Lakhnautī.* And they said “you have an impracticable scheme in your head with this small force.” Muhammad Bakhtiār, becoming apprised of this state of affairs, became ashamed of his plan, and, without attaining his end, retreated. And since the inhabitants of those environs, setting fire to the fodder and food-grains, had removed their chattels to the ambuscades of the rocks, at the time of this retreat,* for fifteen days, the soldiers did not see a handful of food-grains, nor did the cattle see one bushel of fodder.

Neither human beings saw any bread except the circular dise of the sun.
Nor did the cattle see any fodder except the rainbow!

From excessive hunger the soldiers devoured flesh of horses and horses preferring death to life placed their necks under their daggers. In short, in this straitened condition, they reached the bridge. Since those two commandants quarrelling with each other had deserted their posts at the head of the bridge, the people of that country had destroyed the bridge. At the sight of this destruction, the heart of the high and the low suddenly broke, like the Chinese cup. Muhammad Bakhtiār engulphed in the sea of confusion and perplexity, despaired of every resource. After much striving, he got news that in the neighbourhood there was a very large temple,* and that idols of gold and silver were placed there in great pomp. It is said that there was an idol in the temple which weighed a thousand maunds. In short, Muhammad Bakhtiār with his force took refuge in this temple, and was busy improvising means for crossing the river. The Rājah of Kām­rūp* had ordered all his troops and subjects of that country to commit depredations. The people of that country, sending out force after force, engaged in besieging the temple, and from all sides posting in the ground bamboo-made lances, and tying one to the other, turned them into the shape of walls. Muhammad Bakhtiíār saw that all chance of escape was slipping out of his hands, and that the knife was reaching the bone, so at once with his force issuing out of the temple and making a sortie, he broke through the stockade of bamboos, and cutting through his way, rescued himself from the hard-pressed siege. The infidels of that country pursued him to the banks of the river, and stretched their hands to plunder and slaughter, so that some by the sharpness of the sword and others by the inundation of water, were engulphed in the sea of destruction. The Musalman soldiers on reaching the river-banks stood perplexed. Suddenly, one of the soldiers plunged with his horse into the river, and went about one arrow-shot, when another soldier seeing this, plunged similarly into the river. As the river had a sandy bed, with a little movement, all were drowned. Only Muhammad Bakhtiār with one thousand cavalry (and according to another account, with three hundred cavalry) succeeded in crossing over;* the rest met with a watery grave. After Muhammad Bakhtiār had crossed safely over the tumultous river with a small force, from excessive rage and humiliation, in that the females and the children of the slaughtered and the drowned from alleys and terraces abused and cursed him, he got an attack of consumption, and reaching Deokot* died. And according to other accounts, ‘Ali Mardān Khiljī, who was one of his officers, during that illness, slew Bakhtiār, and raised the staudard of sovereignty over the kingdom of Lakhnauti. The period of Malik Ikhtiāru-d-dīn Muhammad Bakhtiār’s rule over Bengal was twelve years. When Muhammad Bakhtiār passed* from the rule of this transitory world into the eternal world, Malik* ‘Azu-d-dīn Khiljī succeeded to the rule over Bengal. Eight months had not passed, when ‘Alī Mardān Khiljī slew him.