Perhaps Lahore’s only pre-Mughal Muslim monument is Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak Tomb in Anarkali Bazar.
Qutb-ud-din was a Turk from the Aibak tribe and was born in Central Asia. He rose through the ranks to become Sultan Ghauri’s most trusted general. His greatest military successes occurred while he was directly under Sultan Ghori guidance and leadership. Qutb-ud-din was responsible for executing and consolidating Sultan Ghori’s conquests in northern India.
Qutb-ud-Din Aibak was appointed Governor of India in 1191 A.D. by Muhammad Ghori. He established the Slave Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate on the death of Muhammad Ghori in 1206 when he assumed independence of his reign and was followed by nine other slave kings.
Most of the nobles supported him, although he faced a brief contest with Taj-ud-din. Eventually Qutub-ud-din-Aibak emerged as an Indian Sultan, with Taj-ud-din remaining an Afghanistan Sultan. (A modern version would involve different war lords holding charge of different areas)
He was a patron of the building art and is known to have erected some monumental stone buildings in Delhi and elsewhere.
Bought as a slave by Muhammad of Ghor, Aibak was a strong, fair and able king. He is reported to rarely have lost a battle was known for delivering fair justice to his citizens. He attempted to bring peace and prosperity to his citizens in a turbulent time. He was a devout Muslim and built several mosques. His rule was very brief lasting only four years. He is the person who started the construction of the Qutab Minar in Delhi, which was completed by his successor.
A very avid player of polo, he died in Lahore in 1210 A.D., while playing the game.
After his death, a power struggle broke out and Malik Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, Qutub-ud-din- Aibak’s son-in-law, succeeded to the throne.Qutb-ud-din Aibak’s tomb is located behind Anarkali bazaar. In the early 1970’s, it was renovated at the orders of the then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.