The Punjab, which during period of Ghaznavi was known for its educational institutions, became extremely backward by the end of nineteenth century educationally. This was because in 1849, the English brought to an end the Sikh rule over the Punjab, annexed it and brought western educational system and established number of schools, colleges in Lahore. Due to the certain valid reasons the Muslim did not benefit from these institutions and went on to decline educationally.
In 1883, a Sayyed lady along with her three children converted to Christianity. This accident was a serious challenge to Muslims. But although she re-embarrassed Islam later, yet the whole incident was shocking enough to open the eyes of Muslims of the Punjab.
In order to face these kinds of situations, Maulana Qazi Hamid-ud-Din invited a number of public-spirited persons to a small gathering and set up the Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam in September 1884. In the beginning of new Anjuman arrange the group of religious orators those who to was villages of the Punjab in prepared the poisonous propaganda of the Christian missionaries. Some of these committed and preachers were, Molvi Sayyed Ahmed Ali, Munshi Shams-ud-din, Molana Abdul Majid Dehlvi, Muhammad Mubarak. They were spread throughout the province and rendered valuable service and influence of Christian missionaries and to preach and propagate Islamic teaching.
The Anjuman was set up to achieve the following aims and objectives:
1. Providing for the religious and general education for male and female for Muslims students.
2. Protection and propagation of Islamic values against the Christian missionaries and Hindu revivalists.
3. To counteract the propaganda against Islam through speeches and publications.
Qazi Hameed ud din was elected the first president of Anjuman’s and Ghulam Ullah Qasuri as the first secretary. For the fulfillment of its objectives, the Anjuman started its operations from a scratch. Its workers would take utensils to the houses in which the women would put a hand full of flour daily. In the first year, the Anjuman’s income was Rs.754 and the expenditures were Rs.344. Due to the efforts of the workers, people began participating in the objectives of the Anjuman eagerly heartedly. In the year 1885, the number of Anjuman’s members increased from 200 to 600. Another sources of income for the Anjuman was the money from sales of the books. Molvi Dastgeen wrote a pamphlet in defence of the Holy Quran and donated it to the Anjuman, similarly Sayyed Muhammad Hussain donated 300 books, which were sold for Rs.975. The rulers of different states also made genius contributions.
The Anjuman started educational activities with primary school in a house with a rent Rs.2.5 monthly. It gave importance for the establishment of the female’s schools and opened a few in the first two years. In 1886, a boy’s boarding school with accommodation for the students was established. The school was shifted to the large Havili of Sikander Khan. Gradually and slowly in 1887, it was upgraded to the middle school.
Taking full advantage of the weakness of the Muslims, Muslims children were converted to Christianity by Christian missionaries. The Anjuman tried its best to awaken the Muslim community. The Anjuman also established Dar ul Aman and Dar ul Shafyat, for the helpless Muslims children and needy widows.
The Anjuman render laudable services, its monthly journal Himayat-i-Islam was started in 1885, it became a weekly in 1926. On the other hand the large number of books on History, Civilization, Culture and biography on life of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) were published by the Anjuman.
Concluding, we can say Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam was really a great institution; its motive was to save Islam for Muslims community. It tried to provide education for the Muslims of the sub-continent. This institution had a great impact on the Muslim community. The Anjuman had its own press and published on religious and literary topics. One important task was producing a correct text of the Holy Quran.