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Hakim Ajmal khan was born in Delhi on 12th Feb 1863. He belonged to a family of well-known and respected physicians, who were the decedents of the Babur Army. Hakim Ajmal Khan was taught to read Holy Quran and other traditional books. After that he studied medicine at home under the guidance of his family members. He then became as the main physician to the Nawab of Rampur from 1892 till 1902. Hakim Ajmal khan became interested in politics while he writing for the Urdu weekly ‘Akmal-ul-Akhbar’ which was launched by his family in 1865 till 1870.
While Hakim Ajmal Khan was the main physician to the Nawab of Rampur there he was introduced to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who chose him as a trustee of the Ali Garh College. From that time he became more active in politics. He headed the Simla Deputation in 1906, to meet Viceroy at that time of India. Where they put their demands in front of Viceroy for the safeguard of the Muslims’ interests. The Viceroy reassured them that their political rights and interests as a community would be safeguarded by any administrative organization under him. At the same year in Dec he was also present there when All India Muslim League was formulated at Dhaka. Which in no time became the biggest platform for the Muslim politics.
Hakim Ajmal Khan supported the British in World War I. But situation changed when the British won the War and wanted to abolish the Institution of Khilafat. Hakim Ajmal Khan joined with other Muslim leaders such as Muhammad Ali, Moulana Shaukat Ali, Hasrat Mohani, Syed Ataullah Shah Bukhari and Moulana Abul Kalam Azad to form the All India Khilafat Committee. The Organization was based in Lucknow. Their aim was to build political unity amongst Muslims and use their influence to protect the Caliphate.
In 1901, in the Khilafat Manifesto, they called upon the British to protect the Caliphate and the Indian Muslims to unite and hold the British accountable for the purpose. Many Muslim Leaders were arrested in the movement and Hakim Ajmal Khan went to get help from Gandhi, where an alliance was made between Khilafat Leaders and the Indian National Congress, the largest political party in India. Gandhi and the Khilafat Leaders promised to work and fight together for the causes of Khilafat and Swaraj. To bring the British in more pressure the Khilafatists became a major part of the Non-Cooperation Movement. This support brought Hindu-Muslim unity in the first phase of the struggle and the Khilafat Leaders such as Hakim Ajmal khan and Abul Kalam Azad became personally close to Gandhi.
Hakim Ajmal khan quit Ali Garh College because they refused to join Non-Cooperation Movement. He was selected as the president of Indian National Congress in 1922. He had twin posts at one time, the president of Indian National Congress and the Chairman of Non-Cooperation Movement after the arrest of Gandhi in 1922.
He laid the foundation of Jamia Milia Islamia University, along with many Muslim Nationalists in Ali Garh In 1920, to boycott the Government Institutions in Non-Cooperation Movement which was launched on the call of Gandhi. On 22 Nov 1920, Hakim Ajmal Khan was selected as the first chancellor of the University. It was a prestigious University. It sent volunteers to motivate people to fight for the freedom of the country. Several students and the teachers were imprisoned by the British government in the Non-Cooperation Movement. In 1922, Gandhi called off Non-Cooperation Movement after which these teachers and students were released.
When Kamal Atta Turk demolished the Institution of Khilafat, this University faced crisis and it brought total collapse to this University. In 1925, during its crisis Hakim Ajmal Khan, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari and Abdul Majeed Khawaja on the decision of Gandhi shifted this University from Ali Garh to Karol Bagh, in New Delhi. Gandhi had several contacts in Delhi who aided in securing financial assistance for the University while most of its expenses were given by Hakim Ajmal Khan from his own pocket.
Hakim Ajmal Khan remained the chancellor of Jamia milia Islamia University till he died due to heart problem on 29th Dec 1927. He renounced all his titles which were given by the government. All his Indian followers gave him the title of Masih-ul-Mulk (Healer of the state). While he was succeeded in the position jamia Milia Islamia chancellor by Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari.
Hakim Ajmal Khan was one of the most prominent Nationalist leaders of Indian Freedom Struggle. He gave his whole life in betterment of the Indians. The Prestigious Jamia Milia Islamia University was one of his and his colleagues’ biggest achievements. He was a sole person who has had the honour to be elected the president of the Indian National Congress, the Muslim League and the all India Khilafat committee. He was a social reformer, he tried his best in educating the women of India. He worked whole heatedly for the Hindu-Muslim unity all the time. He was a Prestigious Physician, a visionary politician, a freedom fighter, a social reformer and academician of India. He worked for the well-being of Muslims as well as of Hindus. He played a great role in the history of India and in freedom movement.