Denigrating personalities - not done
Ajaz Ahmad Kakroo reacts to an article by Tabassum Kashmiri about Iqbal, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and Kashmir.
Allama Iqbal is an icon, a phenomenon, a colossus. His contribution in the field of reconstruction of religious thought of Islam can't be underrated. While all regard him as one of its illustrious sons, there have been, time and again, some detractors of the Hakeem-ul-umat (RA) who have tried to denounce or misrepresent Iqbal’s contribution in the freedom struggle of Kashmir.
One such recent attempt has been by some Tabassum Kashmiri ( GK 26th Feb, 2010). Without going into the claim whether Allama Iqbal was the founding Father of Kashmir’s freedom struggle or not, let us bring about the facts as recorded by some scholars and historians. Ostensibly, the focus has to be to put the record straight and bring about the reasons that have made Allama Iqbal as a detestable person in view of a few.
The Muslims of Punjab, particularly Lahore, were deeply concerned about the plight of their fellow Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir who were being subjugated, humiliated and tortured by autocratic Dogra rulers. Several organisations and committees were constituted by Zinda-dilan-i-Lahore and Allama Iqbal was very active worker of all these organisations. The couplets reflecting the misery and agony of Kashmiri Muslims which were recited by Iqbal in the meeting of “Anjuman Kashmiri Musalman, Lahore” held in Dec, 1901 and which were later published in Kashmiri Gazette, Lahore bear testimony to his concerns about the pitiable condition of Kashmiri Muslims. After return from Europe in 1908, Allama Iqbal became the General Secretary of the Anjuman. After sometime, All India Muslim Kashmiri Conference came into existence and Iqbal was elected its first Secretary. During 1921, when Iqbal visited Srinagar, he had the opportunity of seeing himself, the enchanting beauty that God has bestowed Kashmir with and the immense misery the people of this beautiful vale, referred to as “Paradise on Earth” were made to suffer at the hands of autocratic Dogra rulers. The three poems titled, ‘Kashmir’,” Gani Kashmiri” and “Saqinama” in celebrated work of Iqbal, “ Payam-i-Mashriq” are the reminiscences of this visit. In 1931, when the cruelty by Dogra rule was worst, the “All India Kashmiri Conference” constituted committees at various places in India and Iqbal was elected as member and later president of Lahore chapter. Before I quote one of the most illustrious sons of our state, Qudratullah Shahab regarding the constitution of All India Kashmir Committee, I would like to quote him about the installation of Maharaja Hari Singh as successor to Maharaja Pratap Singh. Qudratullah Shahab writes in “Shahabnama”,
“ Maharaja Pratap Singh was issueless. He had adopted a young man from his own community. But Hari Singh’s father, Raja Amar Singh could not bear with this and wanted to install his son. To make his plan successful, he spread a chain of intrigues through the length and breadth of the state and in this conspiracy he was assisted by Hakeem Noor-ud-din, who was the royal physician from the times of Ranbir Singh and was the right hand man of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani”
Raja Amar Singh’s son Hari Singh was a debauch. After becoming
Maharaja in 1925, he indulged in debauchery giving a free hand to his Hindu Dogra employees to inflict severe miseries on Muslim subjects. In 1929, “Reading Room Party” was established in Srinagar and in Jammu, Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas and Allah Rakha Sagar established “ Youngmen’s Muslim Association”(Shahabnama, pages 358,359)
Qudratullah Shahab further writes, “ After the brutal firing of 13th july,1931 in Srinagar there was wave of grief and agony in the Muslims of the subcontinent. First of all a meeting of some prominent Muslims was held in the Multan road kothi of Khan Bahadur Rahim Bakhsh in which A.R Sagar represented Youngmen’s Muslim Association, Jammu. In the meeting it was decided to hold a meeting of all prominent and influential Muslim leaders to arrive at a consensus. So on 25th July, 1931 in the two storeyed “Fairview” banglow at Shimla, “All India Kashmir Committee” was established. The persons who attented this meeting were Allama Iqbal, Nawab Sir Zulfikhar Ali, Khaja Hassan Nizami, Nawab Kanjpora, Nawab Bhagpat, Syed Mohsin Shah, Khan Bahadur Rahim Bakhsh, Abdur Rahim Dard, Syed Habib, Ismael Ghaznavi, Sahibzada Abdul Latif and A. R. Sagar were topping the list. Besides some other persons, a representative from Kashmir Valley perhaps Meerak Shah also attended this meeting.
Unfortunately, the meeting was presided over by Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mehmood and he also became the president of the All India Kashmir Committee. This proved to be a well thought out intrigue of Qadianis. No sooner was this committee established, Mirza Bahir-ud-din Mehmood tried to spread an impression that after having set up this committee under his presidentship, the leading Muslim scholars have endorsed the religion propounded by his father Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani. Soon after, the qadianis in the backdrop of this canard and preposterous propaganda, deputed their preachers to several places in Kashmir to hoodwink the simpleton muslims to follow their so called “ prophet”. This campaign proved very successful and at several places, especially at Shopian, a considerable number of muslims turned “qadianis”. In Poonch city, the majority of muslims adopted qadiani religion. On hearing this, the Rayees-ul-Ahrar Moulana Attaullah Shah Bukhari rushed to Poonch and with his unparallel oratory reverted the entire population to Islam”(Ibid pages 360,370).
On seeing these intrigues of Mirza Bahir-ud-din Mehmood in the guise of presidency of All India Kashmir Committee, Allama Iqbal announced his resignation from the Shimla established Kashmir Committee and patronised the Kashmir movement launched with vigour by “Majlis-i-Ahrar”.
Regarding Kashmir Day celebrated on 14th Aug, 1931, Qudratullah Shahab writes, “ On 14th Aug,1931, ‘Kashmir Day’ was celebrated for the first time in Jammu city. A.R.Sagar and some of his associates had chalked out a programme of bringing out a procession from the premises of Anjuman-i-Islamia, Residency road but it was foiled by the Dogra Army. Later a procession was brought out from Jamia Masjid lead by A.R.Sagar” (Ibid pages 370,371)
Qudratullah Shahab further writes, “ Under the patronage of Allama Iqbal, the leadership of Kashmir movement got shifted from Bashir-ud-din Mehmood’s Kashmir Committee to Majlis-i-Ahrar. Qadianis tried hard to establish a parallel committee but they failed against Ahrars. Due to some reason of which I am not aware, Qadianis are trying to establish their hegemony on Kashmir from a long time. In view of growing agitation of muslims in the state, they had begun to daydream to fulfill their ambitions but Majlis-i-Ahrar smashed all their hopes and ambitions to the ground(Ibid page 372)
In 1932, Allama Iqbal was elected as president of All India Kashmir Muslim Conference and in his historical presidential address, he emphasized the historical perspective of Kashmir vis-à-vis its significance and the age old relation with muslims. After dissociating from Kashmir committee, Allama Iqbal continued to take interest in the problems faced by Kashmiris. In 1932, he released a statement in which he said, “Kashmiris are an integral part of Millat-i-Islamia. Not to consider their destiny our own destiny, is to damage and devastate the entire Millat”(Naqsh –Iqbal page 151)”
After smelling the foul played by Mirza Bashir, Iqbal wrote to Kashmir Committee that in future president of Kashmir Committee should be a non-Qadiani. On this Mirza Bahir-ud-din Mehmood resigned in the meeting held on 17th May,1933 in Sisal Hotel, Lahore and Iqbal was elected its president. But sensing that the mirzais have established a network because of which the Kashmir Committee has lost its utility, Allama Iqbal resigned from the presidentship on 20th June,1933 and released the following statement to the press,“ Unfortunately the committee has some such persons who consider it a sin to follow any person other than the Amir of their own religion(Qadiyaniyat). I have sympathy with a person who requires custody of some grave or becomes follower of some so called living ‘Pir’ for his spiritual support.”
Another statement by Allama Iqbal was published on 2nd Oct, 1933 bringing out the preposterous designs of Qadianis in the guise of Kashmir movement. Later Iqbal delved into a deep study of Qadiyaniyat and sought some explanations from Syed Sulaiman Nadwi(RA), Allama Anwar Shah (RA) and Syedna Mehr Ali Shah (RA). Regarding the Qadiyaniyat, the first statement was circulated on 3rd May, 1935 which caused tremors in the Qadiani fort and their sponsors, the English. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru wrote three articles in “ Modern Review, Calcutta” in defence of mirzai community. In reply to these Allama Iqbal wrote a wonderful article titled “Islam and Ahmadiyat” which completely eroded the credibility of the religious beliefs as propounded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. In a private letter written by Allama Iqbal to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 21st June, 1936 which is included in the book “A bunch of letters” compiled by Nehru himself, Iqbal has stated “I firmly believe that Ahmadis are traitors of both Islam and Hindustan”
Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in “Aatish-i-Chinar” has mentioned as a cause for the separation of the Ahmadis from the movement revealed to him at Qadian where he was a guest of Zainul Abiddin Waliullah, brother in law of Mirza Mehmood at a function; that Ahmadis don’t consider non-ahmadis to be muslims as muslims don’t believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (Aatish-i-Chinar, edition 2nd page 106).
Everyone has a right to his own opinion, but degrading the personalities of great name can't be accepted in the name of freedom of expression.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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