The post explains “Hijrat Movement (1920) – causes and failure. Causes of Hijrat Movement. Hijrat movement and Khilafat movement. Hijrat Movement failure. Who issued the Fatwa of Darul Harb?”
Hijrat Movement (1920)
The British Government of India had fallen into chaos after the end of World War I. Muslims of India had launched Khilafat Movement for the restoration of Ottoman Caliphate while Hindus had assembled themselves under the leadership of Gandhi who had launched Noncooperation Movement to get Sawaraj, self-rule. In order to combat with the situation the British Government passed Rowlatt Act in 1919. Among many strict provisions of the Rowlatt Act, one was the detention of people without any warrant. Around thirty thousand Muslims including Khilafat Movement leaders were arrested and put in jail. In the meanwhile Jallianowala Bagh incident took place which further infuriated the situation. This chaotic situation disappointed some prominent Muslims leaders who called upon Muslims to migrate from British ruled India to somewhere safe. Upon this call nearly eighteen thousand Muslims left their homes and migrated to Afghanistan.
Causes of Hijrat Movement
Since the fall of Mughals rule in India, Muslims were on target of the British Raj in India. They were under the Argus Eyes of the government and facing many challenges and restrictions. Since the establishment of British rule in India, they had hardly found peace in their lives. All these years they had bearded all the atrocities of the government silently but now they were no more ready.
In 1919, the British Government of India had adopted Rowlatt Act which contained very strict measures to crush all the political conspiracies against the government. The Muslims of India who were already at the target of government’s all atrocities came under fire of the new strict measures. This made their lives unbearable and they had no other choice but to migrate.
In order to compensate its war expenses the British Raj of India levied high taxes on the people of Subcontinent. The Muslims of India who were already living downtrodden lives were not able to pay these taxes anymore.
To extend their rule the British Government had adopted divide and rule policy. Many times the planned riots were erupted between Muslims and Hindu and both the communities knew this. Muslims under such circumstances had no choice but to leave the country.
After the end of World War I, the social, political and economic system of Subcontinent was chaotic. In such circumstances the life property and honor of Muslims was not safe.
Maulana Abu al Kalam and Maulana Abdul Bari, the two prominent leaders of Khilafat Movement issued Fatwa that India was Dar ul Harb (Home of war), where the religion of the Muslims, Islam was not safe. They urged Muslims to migrate to a place where their image and religion was safe.
Objectives of Hijrat Movement
With mass mobilization through Hijrat Movement the Khilafat Movement leaders wanted to pressurize the government and brought it to their terms. Their first and foremost demand was to avert their decision of the dissolution of Ottoman Empire.
Another very basic purpose of the Hijrat Movement was to sought out peace and protection. In Subcontinent Muslims were living meager lives. They were hopeful of new prosperous life after Hijrat.
In Subcontinent the social structure was not favorable for Muslims to openly and regularly practice their religion. Due to this reason the prominent Muslims scholars of that time issued the Fatwa of Dar ul Harb and asked Muslims to migrate to somewhere safe.
Hijrat Movement Failure
One of the major reasons of the failure of Hijrat Movement was the closure of Afghan border for emigrants. The Afghan government welcomed the migrants in the beginning but refused to accept as the influx of the refugees increased beyond the control.
Hijrat Movement was the byproduct of Khilafat Movement. So when the Khilafat Movement ended, Hijrat Movement lost its cause and enthusiasm and ultimately came to an end.
Though the prominent Muslim leaders and scholars support the migration under Hijrat Movement but none of them migrated themselves. This left the Muslims leaderless during their journey and Muslims lost their cause.
Consequences of Hijrat Movement
Hijrat Movement had many devastating results for the Muslims of Subcontinent. Some of these impacts are given below.
Muslims had to travel thousand miles through rocky mountains mostly by foot. The journey was tough and majority of the Muslims lack resources. Due to this reason during the migration many important lives perished.
On return majority of the Muslims found themselves homeless with no or little resources to restart their lives in India.
Some Muslims in sheer protest against the British policies had quit their jobs. Others have shut down their business to migrate to Afghanistan. On their return they were jobless and had no business to run.
In short the Hijrat Movement proved a total disaster for the Muslims of India. They lost their lives, properties, jobs and cause. This created great disappointment among the Muslims.
Hijrat Movement and Khilafat Movement
Muslims in 1919 launched Khilafat Movement to pressurize the government to withdraw the decision of the dissolution of Ottoman Empire taken by the World War I victorious Allied Forces in leadership of the Great Britain. In the meantime government also adopted Rowlatt Act and levied heavy taxes on the people of India.
The Muslims of India who were already living a downtrodden life, pushed further down with the new harsh policies of the government. Seeing this, the prominent Muslim scholars of India issued the Fatwa of migration. Their objective was not only to force the government to come to their terms but also let Muslims find new opportunities of peace and prosperity in the new land.