[Affan Nomani is a young research scholar at JNUTA. He has also been publishing in many leading newspapers such as The Deccan Herald for last few years. His beauty is he thinks beyond his age and writes with rare maturity. He lives in Hyderabad, a bastion of Majlis-i-Ittehadul Muslimeen, and writes against Owaisi brothers. We always believe that there is no need to be defensive in front of communal forces. Rather we should loudly claim our legacy of the freedom struggle and expose the collaborators of the British empire. In this article, Nomani does the same...]
The patriotism of Indian Muslims is being questioned today. Those who question Muslim's love for this country, they don't know the Indian history and the role of Indian Muslim freedom fighters.
I studied the book Hardly peter 1971 , Partners in Freedom and True Muslims: Thought of some Muslim scholars in British India , 1912-47 and Composite Nationalism and Islam which was written by Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madni in 1938. These two books beautifully described over the role of Muslim scholars in the battle of freedom. But it is unfortunate that patriotic Islamic scholars have been ignored. Sultan Tipu Shaheed ( 1750-1799), Shah Waliullah Mohaddish Dehlvi (1703-1760) Sirazul Hind Abdul Aziz (1746 - 1760), Shah Ismail Shaheed (1779-1831), Bahadur Shah Zafer (1775 - 1862), Moulana Qasim Nanatvi (1832-1880), Shaikhul Hind Moulana Mahmood Hasan Deobandi (1851-1920), Moulana Ali Zohar (1878-1931), Moulana Shaukhat Ali (1873-1933), Moulana Barkatullah Bhopali (1862-1927), Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (1864-1943) , Moulana Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958), Shaikh-ul-Islam Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madni (1879-1957) and others.
These all are freedom fighter who played important role to fight against British for the freedom of the country. The Islamic scholars of Darul Uloom Deoband, one of the most influential Islamic seminaries in South Asia, founded in 1867, not only opposed the two nation theory, but also supported efforts of Indian National Congress to thwart the Muslim League's Plan. One of the Prominent leaders of the Jamiat Ulema Hind ( a forum founded in 1919 to speak for Muslims and support the movement for Independence ), Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madni, was at the forefront of this movement. Moulana Madni opposed the divisive policy of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and forcefully argued that all Communities living in India constitute one nation.
When the new association of Indian Ulema Jamiat Ulema Hind bravely embraced Mahatma Gandhi's first non-cooperation movement in 1921, Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madni, Moulana Mahmood Hasan Deobandi and several others of the leadership faced two years of imprisonment for conspiracy. As Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madni described life on Malta from 1916 to 1920 in his prisoner of Malta (Asir-i-Malta, 1923), Moulana Madni and Moulana Deobandi and several others were arrested and interned in Malta for almost four years. Moulana Madni ever more clearly formulated his arguments for Muslims and non-Muslims politicians to work together under the aegis of the Indian National Congress. Moulana Madni was absolutely clear that his vision of a religiously plural society not only strategically best served Muslim interests, but that it also had clear Qur'anic sanctions.
In December 1937, at a political meeting in Delhi, Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madni made a straightforward statement: "In the current age, nations (qaumeen) are based on homelands (watan), not religion (mazhab) and the persons like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Parsi-- all are the Hindustani." Between 1803 and 1947 , the Ulemas waged many battles for freedom of the country and many Ulemas were arrested by the British because Darul Uloom Deoband had delivered fatwa against of British.
The Jamiat Ulema Hind shoulder to shoulder with Indian National Congress, spent its force in awakening the country politically and socially. Hence, the fact is that the history of the independence movement of India is so mixed up with the history of the Ulema and religious personalities.
(courtesy The Hans India)