Author: Mr. Wasim Ejaz, Karachi
Translation: Mr.Faisal Zaheer, Karachi
The Waliullahi movement played a leading role in the freedom movement of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. It remained at the forefront of every effort even in extremely unfavorable circumstances. An important member of this movement is Maulana Mamlook Ali Nanotvi (RA). He was born in 1788 CE in Nanota, District Saharanpur. After obtaining initial education in his native village, he moved to Delhi and entered the tutelage of Maulana Rasheed ud Din Khan (RA), a student of Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlvi (RA). Later on, Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) started teaching in Delhi.
Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) was appointed lecturer at Delhi College in 1825 CE. He rendered his educational services at the college for approximately 25 years. His students include the following notables along with many other acclaimed scholars who played a leading role for this nation and made innumerable sacrifices for our freedom:
Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi (RA)
Hazrat Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (RA)
Maulana Muhammad Mazhar Nanotvi (RA) (Lecturer at Ajmer College and founder of Madrasa Mazahir ul Uloom Saharanpur)
Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanotvi (RA)
Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Nanotvi (RA) (Lecturer at Banaras and Bareli colleges)
Maulana Zulfiqar Ali Deobandi (RA) (Deputy Inspector for Madaris)
Shams ul Ulama Muhammad Hussain Azad
Molvi Zaka Ullah (The renowned historian)
Being a member of Waliullahi movement, Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) had strong connections with the populace. He was respected and revered by the masses as well as scholars. For his services in the field of education, Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) was awarded with “Khilat Seh Parchah” in 1845 CE.
In the aftermath of the Balakot movement, Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA) relocated the headquarters of Waliullahi movement to Makkah. This was done in order to deal with unfavorable circumstances of the subcontinent and plan for the future. Since domain of Waliullahi movement was Indo-Pak subcontinent, it was imperative that: A system should be put in place to ensure communication with activists in India, and Ideological and educational efforts in India should continue.
Another objective was establishment of a new organizational system through propagation of the objectives of Waliullahi movement. Imam Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA) employed the commendable scheme for attainment of this objective and formed a consultative board of Waliullahi leaders. The president of this board was Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) while other members of this board included Maulana Qutub ud Din (RA) (successor of Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA)), Maulana Muzaffar Hussain Kandehlvi (RA) (student of Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA)) and Maulana Abdul Ghani Mujaddidi Dehlvi (RA).
Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) was an employee of a government madrassa (Delhi College). Under his supervision, the Dehli based independence struggle could continue its course without any suspicion surveillance of British Intelligence. Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) needed assistance from indigenous associates, and these were provided by Imam Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA) by constituting a board where all the matters were resolved in a democratic manner. Throughout the struggle for independence of subcontinent, democratic norms and culture were the hallmark characteristic of Waliullahi movement. Another reason for this arrangement of consultation was the aftermath of the Balakot movement. People who were associated with this movement across India and especially in Delhi were facing numerous hardships inflicted by the British Government. In these circumstances, it was pertinent that a board comprising of capable individuals should work consultatively for solution of problems and for strengthening of communication channels among the trained associates.
It was the efforts of this board, under the leadership of Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA), which made possible the establishment of an educational institution at Deoband on the model of Delhi College. After Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA), Imam Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA) sent Haji Imdad Ullah Muhajir Makki (RA) as his successor to India for furthering the efforts of Waliullahi movement. Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) developed very close friendship with Haji Imdad Ullah Muhajir Makki (RA). It was the efforts for establishment of a team by these revered elders which – after the Balakot movement – trained and nurtured the future leaders who participated wholeheartedly in the War of Independence of 1857 CE. Essentially, the fundamental community had already been established under the leadership of Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA). Later on, under the leadership of Haji Imdad Ullah Muhajir Makki (RA), this community advanced the freedom movement and even risked their lives for liberation of our beloved homeland. This leadership played a prominent role in the Battle of Shamli and became a role model for the future generations.
In addition to playing a leading role in the freedom movement, Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) also authored and translated several books including Jame Tirmizi, Tehreer e Aqlidus (Writings of Euclid), Tareekh e Yamini and Arbi Khat (Arabic Script). In his autobiography “Tazkirah tur Rasheed”, Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (RA) has paid tribute to Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) in the following words: “after arriving at Delhi College in the service of Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA), we were thoroughly satisfied and completed numerous books in a very short period of time. It was as if the teacher had made us fully capable of absorbing all the knowledge. At that time, there were many competent teachers in Delhi, but those who had total command over the meanings of the content and could make the student understand it were our teachers Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) and Mufti Sadaruddin Azurdah (RA).”
Maulana Mamlook Ali’s (RA) services will always be remembered as a significant milestone of the Waliullahi movement. His lead an exemplary life: he was an educator par excellence and was also a leading and prominent member of the freedom movement. He passed away on 7th October, 1851 CE after suffering from jaundice for 11 days. He is buried adjacent to Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Aziz Shakkarbar (RA) in Shah Wali Ullah Dehlvi’s (RA) family graveyard. May Allah grant us the ability to follow in the footsteps of these Waliullahi role models and to struggle for the establishment of a just society. (Amen!)