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Who was the first Muslim Conqueror of Bihar?
A) Malik Ibrahim
B) Iltutmish
C) Bakhtiyar Khilji
D) Ali Mardan Khilji

Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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- Bihar has the most varied history in all of India because of its 3 distinct regions, each having their own history and culture. They are Bhojpur, Mithila and Magadha.
- The first Muslim Conqueror of Bihar was a Turko-Afghan military general.

Complete answer:
Let us look into the given options:
Option A) Malik Ibrahim - He was a sufi-saint warrior who conquered South Bihar in the 14th Century, i.e. 200 years after Bakhtiyar Khilji. Therefore Malik Ibrahim was not the first Muslim conqueror of Bihar, and it is the incorrect option.
Option B) Iltutmish - He was the third Mamluk ruler and the first Muslim sovereign to rule from Delhi. His forces invaded and captured Bihar in the 1210s, i.e. 10 years after Bakhtiyar Khilji. Hence, this option is incorrect.
Option C) Bakhtiyar Khilji - He was a Turko-Afghan military general. His invasions of the Indian subcontinent between A.D. 1197 and 1206 led to the killings of several Buddhists Monks.
He took a new turn in 1200 when he invaded Bihar and became the 1st Muslim Conqueror of Bihar. He later advanced his rule to Bengal and then he was successful in capturing the capital and prominent city of Gaur. During his reign in Bengal, he was responsible for the displacement of Buddhism and was said to have started the Islamic Rule in Bengal. Thus, this is the correct answer.
Option D) Ali Mardan Khilji - He became the Sultan of Bengal in 1210, but he was a very cruel and brutal ruler. Hence, he was assassinated in 1212 and his reign ended in 2 years. This option is also incorrect.

Thus, the correct answer is Option ‘C’ i.e, Bakhtiyar Khilji.

Note: Bakhtiyar Khilji's reign has severely damaged Buddhism in the parts of today’s Bihar. He destroyed a Buddhist Monastery and killed thousands of monks and burned millions of Buddhist books.
He was assassinated by Ali Mardan while he was lying ill after returning from Tibet, defeated. He earned the tag of political clout in the court of Delhi. Al Mahmud, a well renowned Bangladeshi poet, wrote a book of poetry depicting Bakhtiyar as a hero of the Muslim conquest in the Bengal region.