Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi Services
When British control over India posed great threat to Muslims existence and their identity in the Subcontinent, Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi came forward with a vigorous strategy to rekindled the spirit of Jihad in Muslims and reunite them against their new shrewd enemy, the Britain’s.
Who Was Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi?
Syed Ahmed Shaheed was an Indian Muslim revivalist and revolutionist born on November 29, 1786 in a respectable family of Raebareli, India. He was greatly impressed by the teachings and doctrines of Shah Waliullah and remained disciple of one of Shah Waliullah’s son, Shah Abdul Azeez for some time. Hafeez Malik in his book “Muslim Nationalism in India and Pakistan” has called him “the inheritor of the mantle of Shah Abdul Aziz” which shows the importance of Syed Ahmed Barelvi for his mentor Shah Abdul Aziz.
Early Life Of Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi
From the beginning Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi ahd an inclination of becoming a soldier rather than endeavoring to become a renowned scholar or mystic as did his predecessors. He began his career as Sawar in the service of Nawab Amir Khan, the ruler of Tonk. During his service Syed Ahmed learnt military disciplines and strategy which made him a great military commander in the years to come.
After Tonk fell into the hands of Britishers Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi went Delhi and became the disciple of Shah Abdul Aziz.
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Book
During his stay with Shah Abdul Aziz, Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi wrote his famous book “Sirat-i-Mustaqim” in 1818. Syed Ahmed Barelvi two distinguished disciples, Shah Ismail Shaheed and Maulana Abdul Haye helped him in this project.
Services Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi Render For The Cause Of Islam
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi rendered some valuable services for the cause of Islam during his lifetime. He adopted a vigorous two pronged strategy aimed at the purification of Muslims society and the destruction of British power in India. Some valuable services that Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi rendered for the cause of Islam are given below.
Jihad Movement By Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi Against Sikhs And British
In nineteenth century Punjab and some other parts of Subcontinent were under the control of Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh who had turned Muslims holy places such as mosques and shrines into temples and stables. In short Muslims were living a meager life under Sikhs rule. These conditions of Muslims infuriated Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi who decided to launch Jihad movement against Sikhs and Britishers to returned glory back to Muslims of the Subcontinent.
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi Declared War On Sikh Regime
To liberate Muslims of Subcontinent from Sikhs domination, Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi adopted a strategy of taking control of Punjab and KPK (then NWFP). He started his jihad movement against Sikh domination from NWFP.
Battle Of Akora
After mustering fighters Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi established his headquarter at Nowshehra in December 1826. From there he finally launched his jihad movement against Sikhs and British. To fight Mujahedeens under the command of Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi, Sikh rulers sent a strong army under the command of General Budh Singh who camped at Akora. Muslims Mujahedens, about 900 in total, on Syed Ahmed order attacked on Sikh forces at night and successfully defeated them. This was the first battle between Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi Mujaheedens and Sikh forces. Second battle occurred at Hazro which too was a great success.
Popularity Of Jihad Movement
Mujahideens astonishing success in two encounters gave Jihad movement very much popularity and people began joining it in large number. Many Paktoon leaders and chieftains such Yar Muhammad Khan and Pir Hakman Khan too joined the Jihad Movement. Soon the number of Muslim fighters reached to 80,000.
Conspiracies Against Jihad Movement
Sikh forces being helpless to defeat Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi force began conspiracies against the movement. They pressurized Yar Muhammad Khan who first tried to poison Syed Ahmed but failed and then got killed in an encounter with Mujahideens.
March Towards Kashmir And Peshawar
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Baarelvi in 1829 marched towards Peshawar and Kashmir. Sikh forces under the command of French General Ventura saved Peshawar. Another assault was made at Hazara Hills but it too failed.
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi in 1830 attacked on Peshawar for second time and this time he succeeded.
Enforcement Of Sharia By Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi enforced Sharia in occupied regions of Peshawar. By this time a large of Sardars and Khans took oath of allegiance at the hand of Syed Ahmed Shaheed Baarelvi. Syed Ahmed was declared as Caliph who order was binding on all subjects.
The Battle Of Balakot
In 1831, nearly after two months of the conquest of Peshawar, Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi moved towards Balakot and began his movement from Rajauri. Sikhs army under the command of General Sher Singh attacked Mujahideens, who fought valiantly till their last breath. In the battle Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi along with Shah Ismail Shaheed and hundreds of other Mujhaideens laid their lives for sacred cause on 6th May 1831.
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi Mazar
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi and Shah Ismail Shaheed along with other Mujahideens were buried at Balakot.
Why Was Syed Ahmed Barelvi A Very Suitable Person To Lead Opposition To The British?
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi was the most suitable person to lead opposition to the British and Sikhs. He had an excellent knowledge of leading forces and designing strategies. Similarly the leadership skills of Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi also helped him a lot in reuniting Muslims under one flag and leadership. The noble cause for which Syed Ahmed Shaheed was struggling was another main reason that not only made him and his movement popular but gained a lot of support from Muslims in different forms.