Ala al-Din ascended to the throne after killing his uncle and father-in-law, Jalal-ud-Din Firuz Shah (not his brightest or proudest moment). However, his rule of almost 20 years was one of military conquest, territorial expansion and consolidation combined with agricultural, economic, social and monetary reforms. His armies succeeded in annexing and subjugating large parts of Western, Central and Southern India in a series of military campaigns. However some historians portray him as a cruel, ruthless, ignorant and inflexible despot who did not favour learning and controlled the masses through impoverishment, authoritarianism and religious suppression. Delhi Sultanate at the time of Jalal-ud-Din's ascension Delhi Sultanate at its Maximum extent Yet, contrary to this projected image, he introduced tax reforms by centralization of the collection procedure and sidelining the local regional and village heads, met with and had spiritual discussions with religious leaders of all faiths, married two Hindu wives, introduced a system of price control to reduce inflation, considered creating a new religion (something that the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great tried unsuccessfully many centuries later), granted the highest positions in his army and court to individuals of different faiths and successfully defended his borders against the Mongol hoards by controlling local dissent and inflicting a heavy defeat on the Mongol raiders. He was often referred to as ‘Sikander Sani (Thani)’, or the Second Alexander. When a person contemplates forming a new religion and encourages the induction of persons of different faiths within his court, military generals and even personal bodyguards, I have difficulty in accepting him as a narrow minded, intolerant, ignorant bigot. To me it demonstrates an ability to accept other faiths and have a highly intelligent insight into human behavior and psyche. Only a person with high intellect and a willingness to accept alternative views and opinions would ever contemplate starting a new religion or belief. To put down rebellions and dissent with brutal force was commonplace in those days otherwise the ruler was seen as weak and indecisive. But I leave it to you all to form your own opinions about him as a man and a ruler. Now to the coin itself: INDIA, Islamic Sultanates of Delhi. ‘Ala al-Din Muhammad (Alauddin Khilji). AH 695-715 / AD 1296-1316. AV Tanka (25mm, 11.03 g, 5h). Dar al-Islam mint. Dated AH 709 (AD 1309/10). CIS D220; Friedberg 427. The coin is graded MS65 and would appear to be the highest grade gold Tanka I have found, to date, not just of a gold issue by Ala al-Din but of any of the Sultans of Delhi. The closest was an MS64 Tanka of Muhammad bin Tughluq, sold just a couple of months ago. I would love to hear if someone has similar coins or knows of a better preserved gold issue by the Sultans of Delhi. Please feel free to post your coins of the Delhi Sultanate or any interesting Islamic dynasty.