The roots of Indian Muslims


The history of Indian Muslims started from the conquest of Makran in 680 AD in Baluchistan present day in Pakistan. In 870 AD Afghan’s Kabul Shahi came under Saffarid Dynasty (a Muslim Persianate dynasty from Sistan) under the leadership of Yaqub ebn Leys as-Saffar ("the coppersmith"). Then it was revigorated through the further conquest of Sind in 1203 by Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji.

In the second Battle of Tarain in 1202 AD Muhammad Ghori of Ghorid Dynasty of Afghanistan defeated Prithviraj Chauhan conquered Delhi. Muhammad Ghori kept Qutb-ud-din Aibak as his representative and returned to Ghazni. Muhammad Ghori died there in 1206 AD. After the death of his master in 1206 AD Qutb-ud-din Aibak declared independence and founded the Mamluk Dynasty which was the first among five famous Delhi Sultanates. Actual Muslim ruling in India started since then.

After Mamluk Dynasty, there came Khilji Dynasty, Tughlaq Dynasty, Syyid Dynasty and Lodi Dynasty. Delhi Sultanates ended when Babur, the first of the great Mughals, defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the first battle of Panipat in 1526 AD. The Mughal Empire ended virtually in 1707 AD when its last great Emperor Aurangzeb died. The history of India had got its real turn on 21 February 1703 when Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi was born in Delhi. Both he and his son Al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlvi (born in 1745 and died in 1823) were two famous social reformers and Islamic scholars of India.

Though do not consider as a true student of his son, Sayyid Ahmad of Balakot or Syed Ahmad Shaheed or Syed Ahmad Barelvi (of Rai Bareilly) (b.1786 d.1831), was the most famous among his students. He deviated himself from the education of both the father and the son and followed the doctrine of Tawhid like the Wahhabis and his followers were recognized as Ahl-e-Hadith. They rejected bid'ah (innovation) but unlike Saudi Wahhabis accepted Sufism and features of mystical Islam such as the belief in the intercession of the spirits of dead saints for help and the use of amulets. He is thought by some to have anticipated modern Islamists in his waging of jihad and attempt to create an Islamic state with strict enforcement of Islamic law.

The most notable of Syed Ahmad Shaheed’s disciples was Syed Mir Nisar Ali alias Titumir (b. 27 January 1782 d.19 November 1831). He was born in the village of Chandpur of district North 24 parganas of West Bengal. His father was Syed Mir Hassan Ali and his mother’s name was Abida Ruqayya Khatun. Titumir, was a rebel against the zamindars and British colonial system in 19th century Bengal, part of British India. He rebelled against the rich landlords and colonial British rulers and put up an impressive armed resistance. The followers of Titumir,' believed to have grown to 15,000 by that time, readied themselves for prolonged armed conflict, and they built a fort of bamboo at Narikelbaria, near the town of Barasat. This was surrounded by a high double curtain wall of bamboo stakes filled in with mud cladding and sun-baked. After the storming of the fort by British soldiers, Titumir died of his wounds on November 19,1831.

Haji Shariat Ullah (b. 1781 AD d. 1840 AD) started Faraizi movement in Faridpur district in 1830 AD. After his death in 1840 his capable son Dudu Mian took the control of this movement and he made it more militant in nature. He gave a special height to the movement and the movement spread all over the Bengal. He had the dream of establishing a state within state which remained unfulfilled. He died in 1860 AD.

The Fakir-Sannyasis revolt spanned over last three decades of the 18th century. There are a lot of debates whether this rebellion had any impact on Indian independence or not. But it was apparently true that it put some sign in the minds of those further people who fought for the freedom.

Sir Sayyid Ahmad (October 17, 1817-March 27, 1898) and his Aligarh movement was the most crucial event in the history of Indian movement. Actually he was the first person who realized that the Muslims will be in need of a different state. The theme of Pakistan truly lied there. After Sir Sayyid the most renowned think tank was Sir Muhammad Iqbal (November 9, 1877- April 21, 1938). He firmly expressed the concept of a different state for Muslims in his various speeches and activities.

The writer of "The spirit of Islam" and "A Brief history of the Saracens", Sir Syeed Ameer Ali, was one of the greatest spokesperson of the interest of the Muslims in India. Before sidelined by the political turmoil of 1920’s he was always active in his activities. The Lahore Resolution was the historic event where the states for Muslims was declared openly by Sher-e-Bengal A. K. M. Fazlul Huq, the then Premier of Bengal. From that the path of Muslims of sub-continent divided forever.


Omar Khaled Rumi is a poet and  litterateur