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Allama Mashriqi (Punjabi, ), also known as Inayatullah Khan ( ) (born in Amritsarmarker, 25 August, 1888; died in Lahoremarker, 27 August, 1963) was an Islamic scholar and founder of the Khaksar movement.

Mashriqi was a noted intellectual who became a college Principal at the age of 25, and then became an Under Secretary, at the age of 29, in the Education Department of the Government of India. He wrote an exegesis of the Qur'an which was nominated for the 1925 Nobel Prize. He was offered an Ambassadorship to Afghanistanmarker at age 32 and Knighthood at the age of 33 years, but he declined all honours.

He subsequently resigned government service and in 1930 founded the Khaksar Movement, aiming to advance the condition of the masses irrespective of any faith, sect, or religion. As its leader, he was imprisoned several times. Through his philosophical writings, he asserted that the Science of Religions was essentially the science of collective evolution of mankind.

Family background

Mashriqi was born into an eminent Muslim Rajput family in Amritsarmarker on 25 August, 1888. His father, Khan Ata Mohammad Khan, had inherited a large property from his father. His ancestors had held prominent positions during the Mughal Empire. Khan Ata was also well-connected with the Muslim luminaries of the time such as Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Jamal Ud Din Afgahani, Shibli Nomani, and Mirza Ghalib.

Khan Ata owned a bi-weekly publication, Vakil ("Lawyer"), published from Amritsar. Vakil discussed political issues with a Muslim focus. Shibli Nomani requested that Khan Ata let Abul Kalam Azad work at Vakil. Azad went on to work as an editor of Vakil. Mashriqi was thus raised in an intellectual Muslim environment. Khan Ata Mohammad Khan noticed the genius in his son and he guided him accordingly.


Mashriqi had a passion for mathematics from his childhood. He completed his Master's degree in Mathematics from the University of the Punjab at the age of 19 and broke all previous records. In October 1907 he went to Britainmarker and matriculated at Christ's College, Cambridgemarker, to read for the mathematics tripos. He was awarded a college foundation scholarship in May 1908. In June 1909 he was awarded first class honours in Mathematics Part I, being placed joint 27th out of 31 on the list of wranglers. For the next two years, he read for the oriental languages tripos in parallel to the natural sciences tripos, gaining first class honours in the former and third class in the latter.

After three years' residence at Cambridgemarker he had qualified for his Bachelor of Arts degree, which he took in 1910. In 1912 he completed a fourth tripos in mechanical sciences, and was placed in the second class. He left Cambridge and returned to India in December 1912.. During his stay in Cambridge his religious and scientific conviction was inspired by the works and concepts of the professor Sir James Jeans.


On his return to India, Mashriqi was offered the premiership of Alwarmarker, a princely state, by the Raja. He declined owing to his interest in education. At the age of 25 he was appointed Vice Principal of Islamia Collegemarker, Peshawarmarker, by Chief Commissioner Sir George Roos-Keppel. He was made Principal of the same college in 1917. In Oct 1917 he was appointed Under Secretary to the Government of India in the Education Department in succession to Sir George Anderson (1876-1943). He became headmaster of the High School, Peshawar on 21 October 1919.

Aged 32, he was offered an ambassadorship to Afghanistanmarker, which he declined. The following year, he was offered a British knighthood, which he also turned down. Mashriqi was among the youngest Indians to have been offered such positions.

In 1930 he was passed over for a promotion in the government service, following which he went on medical leave. In 1932 he resigned, taking his pension, and settled down in Ichhra, Lahoremarker.

Nobel nomination

In 1924, at the age of 36, Mashriqi completed the first volume of his book, Tazkirah. It is a commentary on the Qur'an in the light of science. It was nominated by the Nobel Prize Committee in 1925, subject to the condition it was translated into one of the European languages. Mashriqi, however, declined the suggestion of translation.


Mashriqi's fellowships included::

Mashriqi's philosophy

Mashriqi was interested in the conflict within various religions. Instead of getting disgusted with the conflict and discarding Religion, he tried to fathom the fallacy. To him, messengers from the same Creator could not have brought different and conflicting messages to the same creation. He could not conceive of a contradictory and conflicting state of affairs in the Universe, nor could he accept the conflict within various religions as real. Either Religion was a fraud and the prophets were impostors who misguided and disrupted mankind, or they were misprojected by their followers and misunderstood by the mankind.

He delved into the religious scriptures and arrived at the conclusion that all the prophets had brought the same message to man. He analysed the fundamentals of the Message and established that the teachings of all the prophets were closely linked with evolution of mankind as a single and united species in contrast to other ignorant and stagnant species of animals.

It was on this basis that he declared that the Science of Religions was essentially the science of collective evolution of mankind; all prophets came to unite mankind, not to disrupt it; the basic law of all faiths is the law of unification and consolidation of the entire humanity. According to Markus Daeschel, the philosophical ruminations of Mashriqi offer an opportunity to re-evaluate the meaning of colonial modernity and notion of post-colonial nation-building in modern times.

Political life

Mashriqi is often portrayed as a controversial figure, a religious activist, a revolutionary, and an anarchist; while at the same time he is described as a visionary, a reformer, a leader, and a scientist-philosopher who was born ahead of his time.

Mashriqi and the Freedom of British India

After Mashriqi resigned from government service, he laid the foundation of the Khaksar Tehreek (also known as Khaksar Movement) in 1930. He played a role in directing the Muslims towards the independence of British India. Mashriqi was repeatedly imprisoned, along with his family, and a large number of Khaksars. Mashriqi was opposed to the division of South Asia which he believed played into the hands of the British.

Imprisonments and allegations

Mashriqi was first imprisoned in 1939, by the Congress Government of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh (now Uttar Pradeshmarker) during his efforts in resolving the sectarian conflicts between Sunnis and Shias. In 1940, he was arrested during a clash between the police and the Khaksars. The newspapers reported it as the "battle of spades and guns". He was only freed from solitary confinement in 1942 after he fasted for 80 days.

On 20 July, 1943, an assassination attempt was made on Muhammad Ali Jinnah by Rafiq Sabir who was assumed to be a Khaksar worker. The attack was deplored by Mashriqi, who denied any involvement. Later, Justice Blagden of Bombay High Court, in his ruling on 4 November 1943 dismissed any association of Khaksars.

In Pakistanmarker, Mashriqi was imprisoned at least five times: in 1950 prior to election; in 1958 for alleged complicity in the murder of republican leader Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan; and, in 1962 for suspicion on attempt to overthrow President Ayub's government. However, none of the charges were proved, and he was acquitted in each case.

In 1957 Mashriqi allegedly led 300,000 of his followers to the borders of Kashmirmarker, intending, it is said, to launch a fight for its liberation. However, the Pakistan government persuaded the group to withdraw and the organisation was later disbanded.


Mashriqi became ill with Cancer and died on August 27, 1963 in Lahoremarker (Pakistanmarker). Well over 100,000 people attended his funeral. Condolences were received from, among others, Ayub Khan and Khwaja Nazimuddin. Ayub Khan wrote that Mashriqi was “a great scholar and organiser who had given up a brilliant academic future to serve the people, as he thought right.”

Nazimuddin wrote that Mashriqi had been “a very interesting figure who took prominent part in the politics of the South Asia”.

Mashriqi's works

Mashriqi's prominent works include:

  • Armughan-i-Hakeem, a poetical work
  • Dahulbab, a poetical work
  • Isha’arat, the "Bible" of the Khaksar movement
  • Khitab-e-Misr (The Egypt Address), based on his 1925 speech in Cairomarker as a delegate to the Motmar-e-Khilafat
  • Maulvi Ka Ghalat Mazhab
  • Tazkirah Volume I, 1924, discussions on conflicts between religions, between religion and science, and the need to resolve these conflicts
  • Tazkirah Volume II. Posthumously published in 1964
  • Tazkirah Volume III.

Edited works

  • God, man, and universe: as conceived by a mathematician (works of Inayatullah Khan el-Mashriqi), Akhuwat Publications, Rawalpindi, 1980 (edited by Syed Shabbir Hussain).

The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C.

In 1945, Allama Inayatullah Khan Al-Mashriqi, founder of the Khaksar Tehreek, published "The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C." Also known as the Mashriqi Constitution or Khaksar Constitution, the document was created in order to prevent the partition of British India.
  • "The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C"


  • "Allama Mashriqi the Great - A Hero of All Times"

  • "Allama Mashriqi Maliciously Implicated in Murder Case"

  • "The Historic Lahore Murder - March 19, 1940"

  • "Man At War With His Own Species"

  • "Behind the 1940-41 Ban on the Khaksar Tehrik"

  • Paper at New York Conference on Asian Studies (October 26-27, 2007)"Freedom of British India through the Lens of the Khaskar Movement"

  • "Allama Mashraqi and the Unity of Mankind"

  • "The Khaksar Martyrs of March 19, 1940"


  • Sana Ullah Akhtar, Khaksar Tehreek ki Inqilabi Jiddo Juhad
  • Muhammad Azmatullah Bhatti, Al-Mashraqi
  • Muhammad Ali Faraq, Angrez Sir Sikandar aur Khaksar Tehreek
  • Syed Shabbir Hussain, Al-Mashriqi: The Disowned Genius, Lahore, Jang Publishers, 1991
  • Muhammed Aslam Malik (2000), Allama Inayatuyllah Mashraqi, A Political Biography, OUP Karachi, --ISBN 0-19-579158-4
  • Shan Muhammed (1973), Khaksar Movement in India, Pub. Meenakshi Prakashan, Meerut,
  • Rasheed Nisar, Al-Mashriqi
  • Khaksar Sher Zaman, Khaksar Tehrik Ki Jiddo Juhad Vols 1-3

Nasim Yousaf, has written and self-published several books on Mashriqi and his political struggle:

  • Nasim Yousaf (2003), Allama Mashriqi & Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan: Two Legends of Pakistan, Xlibris Corporation (October 2003) --ISBN 1-4010-9097-4
  • Nasim Yousaf (2004), Pakistan's Freedom and Allama Mashriqi: Statements, Letters, Chronology of Khaksar Tehrik (Movement), Period: Mashriqi's Birth to 1947, AMZ Publications, (April 2004) --ISBN 0-9760333-0-5
  • Nasim Yousaf (2005), Pakistan's Birth & Allama Mashraqi: Chronology & Statements, Period: 1947-1963, AMZ Publications, (August 2005) --ISBN 0-9760333-4-8
  • Nasim Yousaf (2007), Hidden Facts Behind British India’s Freedom: A Scholarly Look into Allama Mashraqi and Quaid-e-Azam’s Political Conflict. ISBN 978-0-9760333-8-7:


  1. S. Shabbir Hussain, Al-Mashriqi: The Disowned Genius, Lahore, Jang Publishers, 1991
  2. Nasim Yousaf, Pakistan's Birth & Allama Mashraqi: Chronology & Statements, Period 1947-1963 --ISBN 0-9760333-4-8
  3. Al-Mashriqi Author Rasheed Nisar
  4. The Times, 23 June 1908, page 12.
  5. The Times, 16 June 1909, page 9.
  6. The Times,17 June 1911, page 6.
  7. M. Aslam Malik,Allama Inayatullah Mashraqi, page 3.
  8. The Times, 13 June 1912, page 7
  9. M. Aslam Malik,Allama Inayatullah Mashraqi, page 4.
  10. S. Shabbir Hussain (ed.), God, Man, and Universe, Akhuwat Publications, Rawalpindi, 1980
  11. Nasim Yousaf.Pakistan's Freedom and Allama Mashriqi: Statements, Letters, Chronology of Khaksar Tehrik (Movement), Period: Mashriqi's Birth to 1947 ISBN 0-9760333-4-8 (2004), p. 47
  12. Hira Lal Seth, The Khaksar Movement Under Search Light And the Life Story of Its Leader Allama Mashriqi (Hero Publications, 1946), p 16
  13. Nasim Yousaf.Pakistan's Freedom and Allama Mashriqi: Statements, Letters, Chronology of Khaksar Tehrik (Movement), Period: Mashriqi's Birth to 1947 ISBN 0-9760333-4-8 (2004), pp.48
  14. Shan Muhammed, Khaksar Movement in India, Pub. Meenakshi Prakashan, Meerut, 1973
  15. M.Aslam Malik,Allama Inayatullah Mashraqi
  16. Allama Mashriqi - a great genius, Pak Tribune, 11 July 2006. (accessed on 30 November 2006)
  17. S. Shabbir Hussain (ed.), God, Man, and Universe, Akhuwat Publications, Rawalpindi, 1980
  18. S. Shabbir Hussain (ed.), God, Man, and Universe, Akhuwat Publications, Rawalpindi, 1980
  19. Markus Daeschel, Scientism and its discontents: The Indo-Muslim "Fascism" of Inayatullah Khan Al-Mashriqi, Modern Intellectual History, 3: pp. 443-472, Cambridge University Press. 2006
  20. Khaksar Tehrik Ki Jiddo Juhad Volume 1. Author Khaksar Sher Zaman
  21. Angrez Sir Sikandar aur Khaksar Tehreek (in Urdu): Author Muhammad Ali Faraq
  22. Hidden Facts Behind British India's Freedom: A Scholarly Look into Allama Mashraqi and Quaid-e-Azam's Political Conflict.
  23. Jinnah of Pakistan, Calendar of events, 1943. Accessed on 2 March, 2007
  24. Akbar A. Peerbhoy, Jinnah Faces An Assassin, Bombay: Thacker & Co., 1943
  25. S. Shabbir Hussain (ed.), God, Man, and Universe, Akhuwat Publications, Rawalpindi, 1980
  26. Obituary, The Times, 29 August 1963
  27. The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore Pakistan, 10 August 1963
  28. Al-Mashraqi, Author: Dr. Muhammad Azmatullah Bhatti
  29. Pakistan Times, 29 August 1963.
  30. A full list of titles is available at [1]
  31. Allama Mashraqi
  32. Allama Mashraqi
  33. Nasim Yousaf's books

See also

External links

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