Khilafat Movement in the North West Frontier Province A Historical Perspective

Abdul Rauf

In November 1914, war broke out between England and Germany. Circumstances led the Turkish government to favour the Germans. The Muslims of India tried to influence Turkey keep away from the war. However, Turkey had its own reasons for going to the war against the Allied powers. The Muslims of India, being the subjects of the British Indian empire, sided with the British on the condition that the latter would restore the Ottoman Caliphate to the Turks at the end of the war. Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, had given assurances of protection of the Holy Places. After the war Britain did not keep up the promise and treated Turkey with disgrace. The resentment among the Muslims was natural. To safeguard the Khilafat, a Khilafat committee was established in Bombay in November 1919 with Muhammad Jan Chotani as its president. After his release from jail in December 1919. Muhammad Ali Jauhar (1878-1931) became the most important leader of the movement. The other leaders included Maulana Abul Kalam Azam (1889-1958). Maulana Shaukat Ali (1873-1938). Maulana Zafar Ali Khan (1873-1956). Dr. Saifuddin Kichlu (1884-1963), Hakim ajmal Khan (1863-1927) and Dr. M.A. Ansari (1888-1934).

When the Khilafat and non-cooperation agitation was initiated in India, the urban and rural areas of the Frontier Province responded zealously No oppressive rules and regulation such as 40 Frontier Crimes Regulations (F.C.R) could prevent the Muslims from attending, what they thought, was the call of their religion. According to some sources, Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar was also a Pakhtun; Every step taken forward by the All India Khilafat Committee was followed by the Muslims of N.W.F.P.

The All India Khilafat Committee decided in November 1919 not to participate in peace celebrations. The Anti-Peace Celebration Committee headed by Dr. M. A. Ansari, appealed to the Muslims not to show any kind of jubilation and enthusiasm on the occasion and observe a strike. The inhabitants of Peshawar boycotted the celebrations for the reason that the fate of the Turks was still undecided and they considered it a time of mourning rather than rejoicing. The students of Islamic High School refused to accept their share in the sweets distributed on the occasion. The same was done by two teachers.

The first representative meeting of the Frontier Muslims was held on March 5, 1920 in the Islamic Club, Peshawar City, It was organized by Sahibzada Abdul Qayum and Arbab Dost Muhammad Khan of Tehkal. Tributes were paid to politicians in England and elsewhere who supported the cause of Turkey. Maulawi Abdul Ghafur was the principal speaker. He argued that the spiritual and temporal head of Muslims should be one and the same person (i.e. the present Sultan of Turkey) who should have control over the Holy Places. A resolution was moved, and two telegrams were dispatched to the Viceroy in Delhi. The first one was from Abdul Qayyum a fourth year student, representing the student community of Islamia College Peshawar after registering the protest against the proposed dismemberment Turkey; he demanded continuation of the Turkish rule over the Muslim Holy places. The second telegram was from Sayyed Maqbul Shah, the president of the meeting. A letter was addressed to the Private Secretary to the Viceroy in the following words:

“If peace terms with His Imperial Majesty the Sultan of Turkey are not in accordance with the dictates of Shariat then commandments of Islam will force, Muhammadans to sever loyal connection with the British throne.

On April 8, 1920, two local leaders, Sayyed Maqbul Shah and Maulawi Abdul Ghafur, called on the Deputy Commissioner of Peshawar. They were told not to hold open meetings in support of the Khilafat which might provoke tribal raids on the city. In response, Maulavi Abdul Ghafur replied that if due rights were given to the tribals they would stop the raids. The Deputy Commissioner told him against not to hold meetings. But Maulawi Abdul Ghafur announced on the spot that the meetings from April 9 to 13 would be held according to schedule.

From April 6 to 13, 1920, a ‘national week’ was observed. According to the programme; meetings were held and funds collected for Jallainwala Bagh memorial and Khilafat. In a meeting, held in Shahi Bagh under the chairmanship of Sayyed Maqbul Shah, eighty rupees were collected on the spot. Maulawi Abdul Ghafur and Amir Chand Bomwal were the main speakers. The last meeting of its kind was held in Shahi Bagh on April 12. Four hundred rupees were collected in response to appeals for funds. Maulawi Abdul Ghafur disclosed that two thousand rupees had already been collected in the previous year. It was decided to send five hundreds rupees to Symrna Fund; five hundred to Jalianwala Fund, and to keep one thousand rupees to meet the local needs. In the following month a Hijrat Movement started in the province which evoked popular support.

Khilafat committees

After the suspension of the Hijrat Movement the Peshawar Hijrat Committee turned to the Peshawar Khilafat Committee with Sayyed Maqbul Shah as its President and Sardar Gurbakhsh Singh as its Secretary. The members of the Khilafat Committee were almost the same as of the Hijrat Committee. In November, the leaders of the Committee were arrested. Dissension arose among the leading members like Sayyed Maqbul Shah and Hajji Jan Muhammad which was later solved in the Khilafat Conference held in Rawalpindi under the All India Khilafat Committee in 1921. They nominated Abdul Ghaffar Khan Qayyum as president; Maulawi Abdul Hakim and Samin Jan, vice presidents; Abdul Qayyum secretary; Agha Mir Yahya assistant secretary; and Hajji Jan Muhammad treasurer in December 1921. The President and Secretary were arrested and the Peshawar Khilafat Committee elected the following new office bearers for the rest of the session: Maulawi Abdul Hakim, president; Seth Umar Bakhsh, vice president: Sayyed Lal Badshah secretary, and Allah Bakhsh Yousafi, as assistant secretary. With the arrest of the leaders from time to time, the officials of the committee also kept on changing. However, Maulana Abdul Hakim remained its president till he breathed his last in 1933. The active members of the Khilafat Movement in Peshawar were Mirza Salim Khan, Ali Gul Kha, Dr. C.C. Ghosh, Hajji Abdur Rahim and Taj Muhammd.

The All India Khilafat Committee set up its sub-committee on provincial levels. On account of the feasibility giving rapid instructions, the N.W.F.P Committee was placed under the Punjab Khilafat Committee. As for the election of the members of Central Khilafat Committee, the former had the same status as that of the other provincial committee. For example ten members had to be elected from the N.W.F.P. for Central Khilafat Committee.

The Peshawar Khilafat Committee, played a leading role in the entire province. Its leaders toured the interior of the Province and established contacts with other Khilafat Committees in the Province. Each district was placed under a District Khilafat Committee while committees were formed in the villages and town. The Peshawar Khilafat Committee had its sub-committees in Charssadda. Mardan, Swabi and Nowshera. Among these the Swabi Khilafat Committee had its own name as Afghania Majlis-i-Khilafat, Yousafzai Afghan Khilafat Committee, Yousafzai).

In Bannu District, Barrister Muhammad Jan, Hakim Abdur Rahim, Hajji Abdur Rahman, Sheikh Ghulam Sarwar and Amir Mukhtar took the initiative and asked Mazullah Khan, an ex-police inspector, to lead the Bannu Khilafat Committee. During the Hijrat Movement Mazullah Khan migrated of Afghanistan and was replaced by Mir Mukhtar, Sub-Committee were formed in Maniskila, Shakrullah, Khajuri, Mamash Khel, Daud Shah Bada Khel Haibak, Sukari and Amandi.

In Hazara, Khilafatists were led by Maulana Muhammad Ishaq as president and Maulana Muhammad Irfan as secretary of the district committee. After their arrest and expulsion from the district, their place was taken by Qazi Muhammad Azam and Ali Gauhar Khan respectively. The local committees included abbotabad. Haripur, Sarai Saleh, Sufada, Kaghan and Dhodial.

In Kohat District, following were elected as office bearers of the Kohat Khilafat Committee on June 30, 1921; Pir Shah Zaman Gul, president; Pir Ashiq Shah, vice president; Sayyed Pir Kamal, secretary, Maulawi Ahmad Gul, assistant secretary; Abdul Aziz, treasurer, Mian Rahmatullah, assistant ttreasurer, Mian Inayatullah, finance secretary and Juma Khan, captain of volunteers.

When Pir Kamal and Ahmad Gul were arrested on account of the Khilafat agitation; Pir Usman Shah and Ghulam Rasul were appointed as secretary and assistant secretary. After the death of Pir Zaman Shah. Pir Hussain Gul became the president of the committee. The local committees were as follows: Naryab, Sarazai, Doaba, Tara Banda, Sarokhela, Shinwari Darband, Torki, Mauzam Sher Killa, Gharibo Killa, Warasta, Lowara. Amerchina, Bagato Charbald, Banda Misthti Bajato and Teri

In Dera Ismail Khan district the Khilafat Committee comprised the following: Sardar Muhammad Gul, president, Muhammad Sadiq Khan Kutikhel, secretary; Seth Muhammad Hussain, treasurer; Maulawi Matiullah, account advisor and twenty seven other members.

Non-Cooperation Movement

All Aindia Khilafat committee adopted a non-cooperation programme in order to press their demands on the Brisith. The Khilafatist in N.W.F.P. welcomed the programme. In every meeting leaders of the movement appealed to the people not to cooperate with the British. The Mullas openly condemned those did not act on the porogramme and warned them against their weak Imam (faith) and Akhirat (life after death).

In the N.W.F.P Mian Hamid Gul Kaka Khel renounced his title of Khan Sahib and the Qaisar-i-Hind medal. He resigned from the post of superintendent in the Survery Department. When he was asked by the government to soften the words of the resignation, he was told to mention some medical reason which would ensure the restoration of his pension. But Mian Sahib refused and continued his struggle until his death in 1930. He was given the title of Fakhar-i-Qaum (Pride of the Nation) by the people. According to Dr. Lal Baha, there were 60 resignations in the Police Department, 31 in the Mohmand Militia, 71 among other employees, 88 patwaris in the Charsadda tahsil and alsomany in Peshawar Tahsil.

In Hazara, the call for non-cooperation was made in a forceful way, Qazi Muhammad Azam of Abbottabad resigned from the post of sub-divisional officer. He joined the Khilafat movement and became one its leaders in district Hazara. In those days, a local union of lambardar. And about 15 patwaris tendered their resignations.

In the Bannu district, Barrister Muhammad Jan gave up his lucrative practice in the government courts. He resigned from the membership of the Municipal Committee and the District Board. Malik Khuda Bakhsh, another lawyer of Bannu, resigned for the same reason, Mazullah Khan and Malik Zardard Khan tendered their resignations as honorary magistrate and assessor respectively. Gul Ayyub Khan Saifi stated that almost all Maliks of the Bannu district resigned which led to attack of the British Army on Daud Shah, Amandi, Kamesh Khel and Mando Khel.

Islamia College Peshawar

In protest against the British, the students of M.A.O. College Aligarh left the college and joined the then university called Jamia Millia Islamia (National Muslim University) at Aligarh which was established under the supervision of Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar in 1920. This protest stirred the students of Islamia College Peshawar, who now demanded a similar indepenedent Muslim institution in the N.W.F.P. The students of Islamia College were eld by a fourth years student Abdul Qayum Khan, a senior monitor and secretary of the debating society. He had earlier taken an active part in the first meeting on the Khilafat issue and sent a telegram to the Secretary of State for India on behalf of the college students. Non-cooperation was started by holding meeting on the night of September 29, 1920 in the Butler Hostel, in which the following resolutions were adopted;

  1. Expression of sympathy with Maulana Zafar Ali Khan.
  2. Approval of non-cooperation in the college, disaffiliation of the college and non-acceptance of the government aid.
  3. Adoption of Swadeshi.

September 30 was observed as a mourning day. The student movement got a momentum after the arrival of Colonel Wedgewood, a Labour Party member of the British Parliament, on November 14, 1920, The Islamia College students called on Mr. Wedgewood who told them, “If I was in your place I would leave and join the National College at Aligarh. The following morning, one of the senior students and captain of the footfall team, left by train for Aligarh. A large number of students accompanied him to the college railway station. They held a meeting at the railway station which was presided over by Abdul Qayum Khan. Speeches were made on the problems of the college, and in support of non-cooperation movement. On that day, a complete strike was observed in the college. As soon as the news of arrest of the leaders of the local Khilafat Committee reached the college, about 100 students came out in Peshawar city to protest against the arrest. Among these students, twenty-four left the college for Jamia Millia Aligarh.

Hazara Uprising

Situation in Hazara was to some extent different from the rest of the province. Its distinctive feature was the imposition of martial law and the use of air force to suppress the people who had demanded the preservation of Khilafat in Turkey.

Prior to the launching of the Khilafat Movement and during the Reshmi Rumal Tehrik, Hazara was suggested as one of the places from where the people would help the proposed attack the revolutionaries under the leadership of Turkish Officers on Attack on Hasan Abdal. Maulana Muhammad Ishaq was appointed as the head and Oghi as the centre of activities. People were prepared by these revolutionaries for jihad against the infields. The other factor which contributed to this sprit of defiance among the people was Hazara’s proximity to the tribal territories which were free British control. From these areas the mujahidin (the followers of Sayyed Ahmad Shahid) had launched armed struggle against the British which continued until he latter half of the last and the beginning of the present century, as the Reshmi Rumal Tahrik had leaked out and its leaders had been arrested.

When the Khilafat movement was started in Hazara, the leading Khilafatists such as Maulana Muhammad Ishaq, Maulana ghulam Rabbani and Maulana Muhammad Irfan visited different villages of the district. During these tours the explained to the people the hostile attitude of the British towards the institution of Khilafat, the hardships and sufferings of Turks, the need of providing help to Turkish brothers and for putting pressure on the British government to change its policy. They urged to continue to non-cooperation programme. A number of people resigned from their governments jobs to strengthen the movement. The Khilafat meetings swelled day by day. On every Friday a protest meeting was held in the mosque of Mansehra (the centre of the Movement) and in other part of the district. The situations was so alarming for the government that the people of Tehsil Mansehra had practically defied the existence of the British government. Sir John Maffey, Chief Commissioner of the province reported to the Foreign Secretary to the Government of India about the situation as:

“By the middle of August the people of Mansehra and the Agror Valley had proclaimed Maulawi Muhammad Ishaq as their Khilafa and had set up appointing executive and administrative officers from among local Maliks and Zamindars.

In the entire Khilafat Movement, there was only on such occasion on which people proclaimed the establishment of Khilafat and declared Ali Mussaliar as Khilafa: It was the Mappillas of Malabar in southern Indian.

How long could the government tolerate these insubordinations by its Indian subject? The government, therefore, decided to suppress it by all possible means. Army contingents were sent to Mansehra and the town was besieged. On August 28, 1920, Maulana Muhammad Ishaq and Maulana Irfan both were arrested along with sixty workers of the Khilafat movement. On hearing about the arrest of their leaders, the people became agitated, but they were cooled down by other Khilafat leaders, such as Qazi Muhammad Azam, who advised them the shun violence. However, these leaders were also arrested on the following day. Martial law was imposed in Tehsil Mansehra. People, except government officials, were warned not to come out from their houses. This city was handed over to the army and entry to the city was banned. Gathering of more than ten persons was disallowed and carrying of weapon was prohibited.

On August 30, 1920, a general hartal was observed throughout the district, Shops were closed and protest meeting were held condemning the arrest of the leaders. About ten thousand people gathered around the prison in Abbottabad, but Maulana Muhammad Ishaq Strictly forbade them to resort to any sort of violence and declared that anyone who died while seeking his release would die a haram (unlawful) death. The people followed his advice and went back to their homes peacefully.

As far as the rural and tribal population was concerned they knew only one method, that is, fight for the right’. Tribesmen attacked the Oghi army camp on the night between august 30 and 31, and the British could defend themselves with great difficulty. On the following night, the tribesmen struck again and killed five soliders. Air Force was used to disperse the tribal lashkar. The military camp in Oghi was creating difficulties for the common man where articles of daily use were either bought from the people at a very low price or were taken by force. Aerial operations were carried out for the second time on November 12 and 15, 1920. The leading men, close to the government, from Peshawar, were asked to use their influence to settle the problem. The leaders of the Movement, Maulana Muhammad Ishaq and Maulana Muhammad Irfan , were then expelled from Hazara. Maulana Muhammad Ishaq settled in Rawalpindi where he took part in the Khilafat Movement with the same vigour. Maulana Muhammad Irfan later became the secretary of the Khilafat Committee of India in 1928. It was in December 1920 that a final settlement was reached with the tribesmen.

Azad Madrasahs

From the very outset, the Muslims of the N.W.F.P. had been worried about the activities of the Christian missionaries in the educational and medical fields, which the perceived as a constant threat to their faith. Realizing the gravity of the situation Hajji Sahib of Turangzai, the great Pakhtun freedom fighter, took the initiative by establishing independent schools, which aimed at imparting religious as well as modern education to Pakhtun children. These schools were also to inculcate  a sprit of Jihad among the youth for the liberation of their homeland from the British. He established many schools most of which were located in Mardan, Charsada, Peshawar, Swabi and Nowshera. When Hajji Sahib was engaged in an assault on the British in 1915 in Buner the British closed all his schools.

Tehsil Charsadda

The first school of its kind was started in Utmanzai in April 1921 through the efforts of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Abdul Akbar Khan, Muhammad Abbas Khan, Mian Ahmad Shah, Mian Abdullah Shah and Maulawi Muhammad Israil. On May 19, 1921, the school had 45 pupils with four honorary teachers who had received their education at M.A.O. College Aligarh. The number of student increased to 350 by September 1925. Along with the establishment of Azad School the leaders and sympathisers laid the foundation of Anjuman-i-Islah-i-Afghanan ( Society for the reformation of the Afghans). The aim of the society was the propagate the cause of Islam and to impart both national and religious education in Pushto language. The society was to discourage these customs which were against the laws of the Shariat which had impoverished the Pakhtuns. Other institutions of a similar kind established in the village of Tehsil Charshadda were at Zarinabad: Shah Dund: Katuzai, Turangzai; Kharki; Ghunda Kar Kana, Ahmadin Kali, Khadi Kali and Turnab.

Mardan and Swabi

The founder of Azad schools in the Yousafzai were was a young man Sayyed Nasraullah Jan. He made several tours in the area urging the illiterate people the need to study. He succeeded in receiving cooperation from the local people and established fourteen schools in Mardan and Swabi.

A report about the Azad Schools of Mardan and Swabi appeared in the daily Zamindar from Lahore. It mentioned about one thousand and two hundred students studying in them. Besides these primary schools, one middle school who usually conducted quarterly inspections. Every School had also been established on the pattern of Azad High School at Utmanzai and Jamia Millia, Delhi. The local committee had appointed one inspector and one assistant inspector of schools had its own board, called, called Islamia Board, responsible for its overall managements. Teachers were committed and hard working. Students’s moral upbringing was given special emphasis, and the latter took part in preaching in villages to reform the common people. These tours had considerable effect on the un-Islamic practices at the time of marriages and deaths.

Tehsil Nawshehra

Maulana Sultan Muhammad formed the Anjuman-i-Taleem-ul-Quran in Nowshehra. This Anjuman later started a school in Nowsheera on 30 January, 1921, on the call of Khilafat Movement. The students were given free food, clothes and books. For the collection of money, charity vessels were placed in every house of Nowshera where people would deposit a handful of flour at each meal. It was regularly collected by the students. The number of students in this school was 150.  Two more schools were established under the supervision of the Anjuman, one in Rashakai by Kala Mullah and the other in Asota by the efforts of Sahibzada Midrar Ullah. Another important school was established in Ziarat Kaka Sahib run by a local organisarion Anjuman-i-Ansar-ul-Islam. The head of this institution was Maulana Abdur Rab, a great religious scholar of the area.

In Peshawar city, two schools were reported to have been founded. One was Azad Muslim High School in Mufti Ibrahim’s house, and the other was Madrasa-i-Rafi-ul-Islam. The latter was founded in about 1923 under the supervision of Sahibzada Fazl Samadani and Fazl Khaliq of Bhana Manri. The student enrollment was 140, which included 15 orphans. In Hazrat Maulana Ghulam Rabbani had established a national school at mansehra having 30 students.

In Kohat district, an Azad Islamia School was opened by Anjuman-i-Khilafat Talimat-i-Islam in August 1923. The number of students was about 80 and of the teachers only three. The school inspection was conducted usually once a year by some local dignitary and prizes were distributed among the talented pupils.

All Azad Schools were run by the people independent of any government authority. The management and teaching staff usually consisted of local Mulls and educated youth and the alumni of Aligarh College or Islamia College Peshawar, who responded to the call of the non-cooperation movement.

The curricula of these schools included on the one hand theology (Quran Hadith and Arabic languages) and on the other arithmetic, geography, history, Urdu and English. Some schools made provisions for technical subjects, e.g. the Utmanzai School. The art of preparing Kulahs, spinning and tailoring was taught to those who were interested.

The annual gathering of these schools provided an opportunity to the people to come together and discuss matters of common interest. On these occasions, the people of different areas of the province could meet each other. They trained the youth and imparted to them instruction in the religion of Islam, awareness of the changing situation in the country, the lesson of freedom, self-reliance and confidence. These students later became the torch bearers of the freedom movement.

As for the British, the suspected these developments and considered these schools as centres of undesirable activates. It was suggested that the loyalist Khans would be asked to give scholarships for religious education in government schools and these Khans should refuse to assist dangerous institutions which would thus perish due to lack of funds.

Shariat Courts

There is a great appeal in the word Shariat for the Pakhtuns. They seek guidance along with their local traditions from Shariat in resolving disputes among the people. When the British occupied the N.W.F.P., THEY gradually banished the Shariat laws and replaced these with British laws. This was done against the wishes of the people.

One of the objectives of the non-cooperation movement was to boycott the British courts by lawyers and establish independent courts. The Khilafatists tried their best to replace the British courts and to create private independent courts. The Khilafatists tried their best to replace the British courts by Independent Shariat Courts in the             N.W.F.P. Bannu district played a leading role in the campaign to boycott the British courts and establish independent Shariat tribunals during the Khilafat Movement. According to Gul Ayyub Khan Saifi, “the number of court cases decreased during the years 1919 to 1922. The British Courts wore a deserted look. During the Khalifat Movement. Shariat tribunals were set up in the villages and tappas (areas) of the entire district. It is obvious from the C.I.D. reports that these tribunals were organised at different level. There were kaliwal (on the basis of village) Shariat tribunals and above these were tappa Shariat Tribunals comprising a specific area. At the district level was established a Shariat appellate tribunal. Fifteen mullas were selected as members of the tribunal, to which appeals could be lodged against the decisions of the local tribunals. The tribunal generally consisted of three mullas, two being selected by the parties of the appeal and the third by the central tribunal. So far as the people’s participation was concerned, the government agency itself conceded that the villagers gradually started taking interest in them.

People were provided easy and instant justice. Old cases were decided in a very short time. People voluntary brought their cases to the tribunals and accepted their verdicts. For example, one case of heritage of Dr. Mehrab Khan involving ninety thousand rupees besides a vast tract of land, was decided in such a good way that none of the heirs were displeased. The efficiency of these courts can be measured from the fact that one tribunal of Shamshi Khel headed by Maulawi Sher Jan had decided 1500 civil and criminal cases in only one year.

In Kohat district, the Shariat tribunals were established on the same pattern as in Bannu. These tribunals published their own stationary such as summons forms. In 1921, the local Shariat tribunal of Tall disposed off six cases according Sharia. It was reported that those who did not offer their prayers were rounded up in the town with their faces smeared with tar to induce them to offer prayers regularly. People, old and young, had given up gambling, which was rampart here. Dancing and theatrical shows were stopped altogether. Any one guilt of engaging a dancing girl or a theatrical show was liable to be fined rupees sixty. This was reported by the Superintendent of Police of Kohat in a letter to the Assistant inspector General of Police, criminal investigation department, N.W.F.P.

The response of Peshawar district to the establishment of Shariat courts was poor, especially in the urban areas. However, in some of the areas of Yousufzai, independent tribunals were established, such as Ismila, Fatma, Sawaldere, Bakhshali, Shewa, Kotar pan, Rustam, Sorkh Deri, Gari Daulat Zai, Mansabdar and Swabi. These tribunals were also entrusted with the task of reforming the wrong doers.

In Hazara district, parallel to the establishment of independent Shariat tribunals, the people, set up in many places their own administration substituting the British administration by revolutionary officials.

Prince of Wales in N.W.F.P.

The visit of the Prince of Wales to India was to commence in 1992. The Central Khilafat Committee announced that it would boycott all the reception programmes in honour of the Prince of and appealed to the people to observe a strike on the day of the visit of the prince Wales to Peshawar. On May 6, 1922. The Khilafat Committee of Peshawar also decided to boycott all the official arrangements and to observe a strike on that day.

The loyalist faction of the people showed great excitement. They tried to persuade the Khilafat Committee no to be observe the strike, as they were expecting reforms in the province. However, the Khalifatists confirmed the programme of the Central Khilafat Committee, which had decided to boycott the visit of the Prince. They loyalists, however, assured the authorities a grand reception for the Prince, even if a “handful” of Khalifatists were opposed. They made magnificent arrangements in Chowk Yadgar, the heart of the city, where formal welcome address was to be presented by the vice-president of the municipality.

The Khilafatists started a campaign to denounce the visit and to turn it into a failure by all means. They decided to publish posters, and handbills urging the people not to participate in the gathering and to organise protest meetings.

In Peshawar, it was difficult to publish anti-government literature. The Khilafatists tried their best, but no publisher agreed to print the posters. They sent known worker to Lahore to print their posters but in vain. Howevr, he succeeded to have 2000 copies printed on the cyclostyle machine in the office of the Provincial Khilafat Committee in Lahore, under the title, Maan Na Maan Main Tera Mehman (accept it or not I’m your guest). About 1500 more handbills Chhay Mai Yad Rakkhiay (remember May 6) were written by some children in Peshawar. All these notices and handbills were distributed in Peshawar. Another method of propaganda was adopted by the Khilafatist. They used miswaks (toot-brushes) of the mosques for chalking on the walls stating chhay Main yad rakhiay (remember May 6).

At last, the day arrived. The villagers assembled on both sides of the road from the Government House to Chowk Yadgar. These poor villagers, mostly peasants were brought by their landlords for the reception of the Prince. Some students of Islamia High School, who were the supporters of the Khilafat Movement, told the villagers, that when the honourable Prince would arrive, they should shout “shame, shame” to mark their “welcome” for the Prince Interestingly, the Prince was welcomed with the shouting of “shame, Shame”. In Chowk Yadgar, after an introduction, Lala Karam Chand, the Vice-President of the Peshawar Municipal Committee, stood up to read out the address of welcome. Suddenly, a cry of Allah-o-Akbar, broke the silence, followed by other anti-British slogans. The Prince was extremely annoyed and he stepped down and rushed to the Government House. The programme was distributed by the Khilafatists. In the pandemonium some agitate young men smeared their blackened hands on the faces of the loyalists. Thus the Peshawar Khalifat Committee succeeded in disrupting the official reception ceremonies for the Prince. The success of hartal in Peshawar at the time of the visit of the Prince was an unprecedented event in British India. Consequently, it resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of leading Khilafatists in Peshawar. It was reported that about 26 persons were arrested or sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.

Khot Tragedy

In November, 1924 an incident occurred in Kohat which had a far reaching impact of the Hindu-Muslim relations all over the subcontinent. In the years 1923 and 1924, Shudhi and Sangatan movements were started in India to convert the Indian Muslims to Hinduism and to reinvigorate Hindu nationhood. The Arya Samaj, hedadd by Lal Lajpat Rai, sought to reorganise Hindu society on Vedic lines so as to convert it into a “dynamic force”. Their activities caused several Hindu-Muslim riots in India the communal riots in Kohat on September 9 and 10, aggravated the tension between Hindus and Muslims. Unlike other parts of India, where the identification of provocateurs was difficult, in Kohat every Hindu Zealot was an agent-provocateurs. The immediate cause of the trouble was the publication of a pamphlet by Jivan Das. Secretary of the local branch of the Sangatan Dharma Sabha. The pamphlet threatened to “build a temple of Vishnu in the Ka’ba and to decimate the prayers sayers. To diffuse the situation, a deputation of the Peshawar Khilafat Committee rushed to Kohat and return successfully. Jivan Das was arrested, the pamphlet was burnt and peace was restored.

The Hindus staged a protest against the burning of the picture of Krishna on the cover of the pamphlet. Following this, Jivan Das was released on bail. His release provoked the Muslims who went to the police station. The dispersed peacefully when they were told that prosecution had not been dropped. Some Muslims children ran through the streets shouting that the Muslims had won the case. The Hindus opened fire, from roof tops killing one and injured four Muslim boys. A riot broke out. Fighting continued for two days. The Hindus who were in a minority an suffered more. The total number of dead was 31.20 Hindus and 11 Muslims were injured.

During the riots, the Khilafat Committee attempted to protect the lives of Hindus, Peshawar Khilafat Committee sought government permission to send a medical mission to the affected areas. But the permission was refused. When the news of the Kohat incident spread, Mr. Gandhi stared a 21-day fast on September 18, 1924. At the residence of Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar. This step was not welcomed by the Muslims, who thought Gandhi’s fast would portray Muslims as aggressors, as the riot had taken place in a Muslim majority town.

A few days later, an inquiry committee was appointed by the Congress consisting of Mr. Gandhi and Maulana Shaukat Ali to inquire into the incident. They wanted to proceed to Kohat to hold meetings with the people of Kohat, but were refused entry into the province by the government. Thus, they had to conduct an inquire at Rawalpindi.

The Hindus of Kohat, who fled to Rawalpindi during disturbances, took the opportunity to convey their grievances while only few Muslims of Kohat could appear before the committee due to official hurdles. Maulana Shaukat Ali told Mr. Gandhi that unless the Muslims were also heart in detail no report or statement should be made by the committee. However, Gandhi declared his one-sided statement on the incident which annoyed Shaukat Ali. From here, started the differences between the two leaders, who parted their ways in subsequent days in the freedom movement of India In the words of Gail Manault. “It was the Kohat riot which more than anything else divided to Ali brothers from the Mahatma.

Abolition of Khilafat

The World War I ended with the defeat the Turkey, Istanbul was occupied by the Allied Powers and the Khalifa became their puppet. Although the Turkish empire disintegrated, yet the Turks continued their struggle succeeded in selecting Angora as centre of their activities where they established a government. They recaptured Istambul in 1922. Mustafa Kamal disposed Sultan Wahid-ud-Din Muhammad VI on November 1, 1922 and declared Abdul Majid Effendi as his successor.

The Frontier Muslims received the news of the victory with greatly joy and happiness. They held several meetings, took out various processions and offered special prayers for the success of Turkey. People welcomed in Nawan Kali the appointment of a new Khalifa, His name was mentioned in the Friday prayers, and additional prayers were offered bare-headed seeking Allah’s blessings for the success of the Turks. They hoped that soon Turkey would be restored to its previous glory under the leadership of Mustafa Kamal. These hopes, however, died down when Mustafa Kamal abolished Khilafat and expelled of Khilafa from Turkey on March 3, 1924.

Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar Commented on these developments by suggesting that the expulsion of the Khalifa was the price that the Angora National Assembly had to pay the British, and he expected that the Mosal question would be decide in favour of Angora as a reward for the betrayal of Islam.

To assuage the Muslim feelings, the Khilafat Committee and leading ulama issued a joint statement urging the Muslims to continue working for Islamic solidarity. They could promote a congress of representatives from all Muslim countries to elect a new Khalifa.

Subsequent efforts of the Khilafat Committee and leading ulama issued to restore the Khilafat bore no furit. Thus:

“An Institution hallowed with traditions of thirteen centuries, an embodiment of might and shield of defence for Islam during the last four hundred years passed away as if in the twinking of an eye.”


  1. For example, Maulana Muhammad Ali and Dr. M. A. Ansari cabled to Talat Pasha urging the Turks to think a thousand times before participating in the war. Cf. Afzal Iqbal. Writings and Speeches of Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, Lahore 1987 p. 384.
  2. Lloyd George had told the Khilafat delegation to Europe that “all vanished powers, Muslim or Christian, would be treated exactly alike. No exception could be made in favour of Turkey. The Turks had fought against Britain and had been defeated.” Jamil-ud-Din Ahmad, Middle Phase of the Muslim Political Movement, Lahore 1969, p. 22.
  3. Allah Bakhsh Yousuf, Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, Karachi, p. 470; Shafi Sabir, Tarikh-i-Suba-i-Sarhad, Peshawar, p. 32.
  4. Lal Baha, “Khilafat Movement and North West Frontier Province: Journal of Research Society of Pakistan, University of Punjab, vol. xvi no. 3, 1979, p.5
  5. Confidential Diary no. 11 for the week 27.12.1919. . F. No. 12/6/4 vol. 1, 29, special Branch (hereafter S.B.), Directorate of Archives N.W.F.P. (hereafter D.O.A.), Peshawar.
  6. Lal Baha, ,op. cit., p. 5
  7. Ibid., p. 6
  8. Ibid.
  9. Zamindar, Lahore, May 9 1920.
  10. Farigh Bukhari, Bacha Khan, Lahore. 1967, pp. 57-58.
  11. Khilafat Agitation in Peshawar District, 12/6/2 (ii) vol. 1, 30, S.B., D.O.A. Peshawar.
  12. Zamindar, Lahore, January 13, 1922.
  13. K.K. Aziz, The Indian Khilafat Movement 1915-1935 A Documentary Record. Karachi, 1972, p. 339.
  14. Zamindar Lahore, December 30, 1922.
  15. Gul Ayyub Saifi, Bannu aw da Waziristan Tarikh, Bannu n.d. p. 225.
  16. Confidential Diary no. 11 for the week ending February 5, 1921. 447, S.B. D.O.A., Peshawar.
  17. Paisa Akhbar, Lahore, September 1 and 10, 1920.
  18. Letters by Sayyed Ismail Ghaznavi to Maulana Shaukat Ali, dated 12 and 14 Muharram-Ul-Haram 1339 A.H. 433, S.B. D.O.A., Peshawar; Paisa Akhbar, Lahore, September 1 and 10, 1920.
  19. Khilafat Agitation, in kohat. 443, S.B., D.O.A., Peshawar.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Khilafat Agitation, 444, S.B., D.O.A., Peshawar.
  22. Extract N.W.F.P 14, and 20 for the dates 2.4.21. .5.5.21 and 4.5.21 respectively 12/6/22 ii, vol. 1, S.B., D.O.A., Peshawar.
  23. List of the Khilafat Members of D.I.Khan, 449, 29, S.B.,  D.O.A., Peshawar.
  24. Abdul Khaliq Khaleeq, Da Azadi Jang, Peshawar, 1972. P. 26.
  25. Op.cit. p. 11.
  26. Zamindar, Lahore, August 7, 1920.
  27. Daud Kausar, Mujahidin-i-Hazara, Abbottabad, 1980. Pp. 76-77.
  28. Zamindar, Lahore. August 7, 1923.
  29. Extract N.W.F.P., of 29.1.21,, 29, S.B., D.O.A., Peshawar.
  30. Saifi, op.cit. p. 232.
  31. Abdul Akbar Akbar, Da Rusi Turkistan aw Afghanistan Safar, n.d.p. 29; Khilafat Agitation; Col. Wedgewood’s visit to Peshawar and Islamia College; Situation 15/6 (a) Pol. Tribal Affairs Research Cell (hereafter T.A.R.C.), Peshawar.
  32. Deputy Commissioner, Peshawar to chief Commissioner, November 24, 1926, f. no. 52/6 (2) Pol. T.A.R.C., Peshawar.
  33. Paisa Akhbar, Lahore. Nov. 21, 1920.
  34. Aziz Javid, Hajji Sahib Turangzai, Peshawar, 1982, p. 106,
  35. Ibit. p. 108.
  36. The Border Administration Report of the North-West Frontier Province 1920-21. p.3.
  37. Paisa Akhbar, Lahore, September 3, 1920.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Ibid, Sep. 1, 1920.
  40. Ibid. September 3, 1920.
  41. Ibid. September 9, 1920.
  42. Zamindar, Lahore October 19, 1920.
  43. Paisa Akhbar, Lahore, September 11, 1920.
  44. Baha. p. 8.
  45. Aziz Javid, p. 70.
  46. According to Aziz Javid the number of these schools was 34, Ibid. p. 50.
  47. Copy of the Internal Section Diary no. 71 dated 29.10.25. The Azad School Utmanzai, 1565., S.B., D.O.A., Peshawar.
  48. Azad School Uthmanzai, 1565., D.O.A. Peshawar.
  49. He belonged to Ismila, a village Swabi. He left Aligarh University for the cause of Khilafat and came back to Frontier and took a leading part in a Swabi area. He was Secretary, Yousufzai Khilafat Committee. He also took part in the formation of Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Suba-i-Sarhad.
  50. These were in the following areas, Ismaila, Turlandi, Garyala, Khadi Kali, Shabaz Gari, Sawaldere, Katlang, Mandah, Nawan Kali, Baja and Bamkhel, Khunda, Yar Hussain and Dagi. ( 1564, b. no. 85, S.B., D.O.A., Peshawar).
  51. The inspector was Sayyed Khurshid Ahmad of Adina (Swabi). He did his graduation in America. Back in his country he started serving in the Khilafat Movement.
  52. Zamindar, Lahore October 6, 1924.
  53. Draft for the non-cooperation Bulletin C.I.D., N.W.F.P. dated 30.1.1921, S. no. 1563, 85, S.B., D.O.A. Peshawar.
  54. Muhammad Amir Shah Qadir Gilani, Tazkirah-i-Ulama was Mashaikh-i-Sarhad, v.ii, Peshawar, 1972, p. 150.
  55. Internal Section Diary, 18.3.1925.
  56. Confidential Diary no. 11 dated September 17, 1921, 15/6/15, vol. i. b. no. 85, S.B., D.O.A., Peshawar.
  57. Zamindar, Lahore, April 8, 1925.
  58. Concluded from files s.nos. 1563, 1564, S.B., D.O.A, Peshawar.
  59. Copy of the Internal Section Diary no. 71, dated 29.10.1925., S.B., D.O.A. Peshawar.
  60. Draft of the non-cooperation Bulletin. Dated 30.04.1921.
  61. Ibid.
  62. Op. cit., p. 226.
  63. These were located in the following areas; Mamesh Khel Daud Shah Bada Khel, Haibak Khel, Khiat Toppa, Police Station Sadr, Ismail Khel Mirza Khel, Sukri, Amandi Shdgi Michan and Shamshi Khel ( 447., S.B., D.O.A., Peshawar).
  64. Ibid, Extract N.W.F.P., S.A. for 1921.
  65. Ibid. dated 19.1.1921.
  66. Saifi, op. cit., 226-227.
  67. Translation of an extract from the daily Siasat, Lahore, dated January 17, 1921, 443, S.B., D.O.A., Peshawar.
  68. Ibid.
  69. Zamindar, Lahore, April 11, 1923.
  70. Baha. op. cit., p. 7.
  71. Yusufi, Sarhad aur Jidojuhd. P. 273.
  72. Shandana Bangash, Mian Jafar Shah, M.A. Thesis, University of Peshawar, n.d. p.31.
  73. Yousufi, op. cit., pp. 274-275.
  74. Ibid. p. 277.
  75. Ibid. p. 294.
  76. Censored letter of Sayyed Qasim Assistant Secretary Khilafat Committee, Bombay, dated 19.8.1922., 436. 29, S.B., D.O.A., Peshawar.
  77. Ibid. Allah Bakhsh Yousufi mentioned the following 20 names, Sayyed Lal Badshah, Seth Umar Bakhsh, Allah Bakhsh Yousufi, Taj Muhammad Usman, Hajji Karam Ilahi, and Ghulam Rabbani Sethi. Agha Sayyed Muhammad Shah, Mian Muhammad Jan. Agha Buzurg Shah, Abdul Karim Afridi, Mir Rahman Khan Afridi, Muhammad Ibrahim, Abdul Rehman, Ghulam Ghaus, Abdul Aziz, Hafiz Ullah Khan, Ghulam Mustafa, Bashir Ahmad Siddiqi and Ghulam Hussain, op. cit., p. 302.
  78. Gail Manault, Khilafat Movement, New York, 1982, p. 196.
  79. Zamindar, Lahore, September 19, 1924.
  80. Manault, op. cit., p.196.
  81. Zamindar, Lahore, September 19, 1924.
  82. Manault, op.cit. p. 197.
  83. Zamindar, Lahore, September 18, 1924.
  84. Ibid. September 19, 1924.
  85. Yousafi, op. cit., p. 374.
  86. Manault, op. cit., p 374.
  87. Manault, op. cit., p. 200.
  88. Qazi Muhammad Adil Abbassi, Tahrik-i-Khilafat, Lahore, 1986. p. 254.
  89. Zamindar, Lahore, January 7, 1923.
  90. Abbasi, op. cit., p. 254.
  91. Zamindar, Lahore, January 7, 1923.
  92. Manault, op. cit., p. 204.
  93. Muhammad Barkatullah Maulavi, the Khilafat, Lahore, n.d., p. 1.