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Inyatullah Khan Mashraqi
Early Life and education
Inyatullah Khan Mashraqi is also known as Allama Mashriqi. He was born in a respectable family in Amritsar on August 25, 1888. His forefathers held high positions in the court of Mughals. His father Ata Khan was a talented man who met several Muslim personalities like Jalal ud Din Afghani, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Mirza Ghalib, and Shibli Nomani. Ata Khan served for the awakening of Muslims and discussing their political issues. From his childhood, Allama Mashriqi liked reading and was also interested in mathematics. In school, he always got awards and scholarships and he was very famous among his teachers and friends. He was a handsome person and had a soft heart that was full of love for his countrymen.
After completing his intermediate, he was admitted to renowned Forman Christian Lahore where he got the first position in mathematics at the age of 19 in M.Sc. Then he went to England for higher studies and from there he earned many degrees. From the Christ College of the Cambridge University, he was awarded the title of the wrangler, bachelor scholar, and foundation scholar for passing four subjects in mathematics, natural science, mechanical science, and oriental language within five years.
Being a famous mathematician he became the president of the mathematical society, member of the Delhi University Board. At Cambridge University, his professor James Jeans with whom he shared thought-provoking dialogues. He was also awarded a gold medal by the world society of Islam. When he was in England, he was contracted by the Maharaja of Alver, for state premiership but he refused the offer. He toured several countries for his religious and academic purposes. He was a versatile genius. He was a religious scholar but at the same time, he was also a scientific theorist. He was visionary but on the other, he was also a realist.
After completing his education in England, he traveled to European countries and returned to India in 1912. At the age of 25, he was appointed vice-principal of Islamia College Peshawar by the Chief Commissioner, Sir Goerge Roos Keppel. In 1917, he was promoted principal of the same college. Owing to his great abilities, he was appointed undersecretary in the educational department by the government of India. He was the youngest Indian who hold these important positions, later on, he was offered the ambassadorship of Afghanistan at the age of 32 but he declined the offer.
Nobel Prize Nomination
In 1924, he wrote the book Tazkirah during his government services. Mashriqi wrote Tazkirah a scientific commentary on the holy Quran which was nominated for the noble prize. When the noble prize committee asked him to translate the book into any major European language, he refused to do so because he considered it to be an insult to the millions of people who spoke the Urdu language. He wrote this book at the age of 36.
After serving 17 years in the education sector, he launched a movement known as the Khaksar movement in 1931. Khaksar movement was a volunteer movement and most of its members were from the middle class. He also attracted a large number of youth, highly educated, and other Muslims who liked his strict army who were in Khaki uniform with shovels over their shoulders. The membership was open to everyone with no membership fee irrespective of their creed cast and color. The organization needed dedicated and selfless people because the founder rejected all those who wanted to join the party for selfish motives. The party workers bear their own expense and spare time for the work of social welfare of the community.
Through this movement, Allama Mashriqi wanted to bring revolution to society. The Khaksar mean humble people who had to bear khaki uniform due to its matching with the color of earth. They carried in their hand a shovel which is used for leveling of ground and also was a symbol to level the society for equality and remove discrimination with the rich and the poor. The activity of this movement was for social welfare and it was from Punjab to Sindh, Balochistan, and NWFP. The organization of the movement was such that Allama Mashriqi was Khaksar-i-Azam with an advisory council but Allama could overrule any advice. He had the power to remove any member from the organization while there was no way to remove him.
In February 1940, the Punjab premier sir Sikandar Hayat khan imposed restrictions on the Khaksar movement. On March 19, 1940, the police opened fire on the Khaksar parading in protest. Many of the members of the movement injured and killed during this firing. The main objective of the Khaksar movement was to get independence from British rule and social reforms. The movement also actively participated in politics and its leaders allied with the All India Muslim League (AIML). In 1940, the movement was banned in Punjab, and Mashriqi was put behind bars. In 1941, the ban was imposed on the Khaksar movement the whole of India. The government of India demanded Mashriqi disband his movement or stay in the prison. But Mashriqi refused to disband the movement and preferred to live in jail. It is said that the movement is not his personal property he could disband it.
Therefore, the British imprisoned him for a long period but Mashriqi faced all these problems and difficulties with great courage. After 80 days he was released from jail but his movement was restricted. Mashriqi was warned many times by the British authorities to end the activities of his movement but he remained determined. In 1945, he presented the constitution of free India, he continued his struggle until British rule came to end in India in 1947. After Independence, he was sad by the division of India. To him, partition was not the solution to counties’ problems.
Inyatullah Khan Mashraqi died at Albert victor hospital (Mayo hospital) in Lahore on August 27, 1963.