Qutb Complex and Minar

Delhi Jan 31, 2020


What the Taj Mahal is to Agra, Qutb Minar is to Delhi.

The Contested Delhi

The Qutub complex is an array of monuments and structures in the  Mehrauli region in the Southern part of Delhi, which has the world-famous and the largest brick tower in the world,  The Qutb Minar which was built as Delhi’s first urban arrangement, on the boundary of a Hindu king’s fort, appears to spear the sky. The rocky remains of the fort, Qila Rai Pithora dating to the 12th century when the area first passed into Muslim hands, can still be seen. The complex was added to by many subsequent rulers, including Feroz Shah Tughluq and Alauddin Khilji as well as the British.

No region far enough for the inspired

In 1191 A.D, the Afghan sultan Mohammed Ghori led his army south across the mountains. Inspired under their commander, the soldiers marched through the plain, destroying temples and monasteries. After a year they reached the plains of Delhi, the general who led the attack, a slave called Qutbuddin Aibak, decided to dedicate Qila Rai Pithora to Islam’s victory over the infidel region.

A Multitude of stories

The reason why the minar(which was built was central to the other structures) is debated in the academia with groups of academics holding different viewpoints, each having a logical standpoint as its reasoning.  Many historians believe it to be a tower celebrating the victory of Islam over the infidels on a philosophical level and Prithviraj Chauhan fort on a military victory level. Qutb complex is an essential phase in Delhi’s history because its establishment signifies the beginning of a Muslim rule and for the very first time. Other historians hold a slightly more functional viewpoint towards the tower, because of its physical form which is built as a classical tower from which the calls for prayer are sung in Masjid (Mosque) today, The notion doesn’t, however, isn’t conclusive and views the Qutub Minar as a symbolic rather than a functional structure because it would take an extraordinary muezzin who would scale such a high tower and be able to sing loud enough to be heard from the height and do this every day, for five times. Other notions historians view the Minar as a symbol of the military might of the Slave dynasty, a symbol of a victory which was particularly important to them because they were all slaves of their predecessors. An inscription on the tower says that it was erected by Qutubddin, acting as the staff of God, to ‘cast the shadow of God over both East and West’.