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SYED MAHMUD, Ph. D (Munster),





tsi Editcok 2,C«00. (4ZZ ny^* reserved.)

"The most astonishing characteristic of the rule of the
Turks has been its vitality. Again and again its doom
has been pronounced by wise prophets and still it
survives, '

Description of the Photo.

The Abbaside Khalif bestowingr the Kbilafat
nnd its relics upon the Turkish Sultan.

[From the mannscript No. 424, Khnda
Bux Library, Bankipore. T)ie
book was completed in the reign
of Mohemed III.]


To the Turkish Nationalists.

"My friends and myself are going
to stand up for the cause of old
Islam to the last drop of blood.'*


Eveniijg News : {London)^

Afiril 29 tk, 1910.

( n )




1 . "The Mussalmans of India should rest assured
that nothing will he done by us or our Allies in this
war which is likely to injure their religious feelings
and sentiments. The holy places of Islam shall
remain immune from molestation and every care will
be taken to respect them. No operations will ba
conducted ajjainst the sacred seat of the Muslim
Khilafat. We are only fighting the Turkish Minis-
ters who are acting under the influence of Germany
and not the KhaUfa of Islam. The British Govern-
ment not only on their behalf but also on behalf of
their Allies take the responsibility of all these
riedges." {This is the snhstance of the official dec-
laration published by the. Government of India in
November 1914 with ike. declaration of war and wan
officially circulated in every town and village in
India. )

2. Lord Harding in the Imperial Legislative
Council, 12th January 1915. "The Allies have made
a declaration of the immunity of the holy places of
Arabia and Mesopotamia from attack, while the
British Government have even declared that they
are prepared, if any need should arise, to defend
them against all fureitju invaders and to maintain

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them invoil:xte...bufc however the tide of events mny
shape its course, there can be no doubt tliat holy
places will remain invoilate, and that Islam will
still become of the great world forces."

3. Lord Crom€7\ in the House of Lords on April
20th, 1915. "I need hardly say how entirely I agree
with the noble Marquis (Marquis of Crewe) that
the Muslim should decide this question (Khilafat)
for themselves ; but I think we might go so far as
to give them some sort of assurance that we recog-
nize that the Caliph should be not only a Muslim,
hut a Muslim of such position as to he independent
of any European pressure of any kind or sort."

4. Mr. Lloyd George, 5th January 1918. "Nor
are we fighting to deprive Turkey of its capital or
of the rich and renowned lands of Asia minor and
Thrace which are predominently Turkish in race."

( 13 )


In April 1915 we wrote an article in the
*'East and West" on the historical aspect of the
Khilafat. The world lias ^reatly changed sirice then.
The Khilafat Question has assumed such a vast magni-
tude that it is causing anxiety in the Chancellories
of Europe. It is the burning topic of the day.
In the present book we have approached the
subject by a path which might, we suppose, be called
acadenjic. We have tried to deal with it imparti-
ally and accurately.

It now remains for us to thank our friend Mr.
K. P. Jayswal, B. A. (Oxon), who so kindly read the
proof and made certain corrections. Our thanks is
also due to our dear friend Mr. A. M. Khwaja for
certain valuable suggestions.

Palna, Author.

( 15 )




In introducing this valuable little work of Dr.
Syed Mahmud to the public, I would particularly
commend it to the notice of the English in India ; be-
cause I am convinced that when the Enorlish here ia
India know the truth about the Turkish Question,
they will share the Indian feeling — in regard to it, and
when they share the Indian feeling upon that point
they will quickly co/ne to share it upon others also.
It is, indeed, the most important point of all in my
opinion, typifying the whole present antagonism bet-
ween East and West, which is due almost entirely to
Western arrogance, and the refusal to regard the
Eastern point of view as worth considering.

Islam is not a mere eclectic cult such as Christi-
anity has now become among the ''civilized" peoples
of the west, a cult reserved for one day in the week,
if that, ami having little or no influence upon the
conduct of men's daily life. It is a complete rule of
life conducing to a complete system ot civilization,
which has never yet attained its full devtlopement,
although in Al-Medinah, Baghdad and Cordova it did
of old surpass all other civilizations which the world
had known, not in wealth and luxury, or even learn-
ing, but in that most "modern" of all desiderata,
"the greatest happiness of the greatest number."
The divine laws governig mankind collectively, the
laws which oaust be obeyed if there is ever to be any

( 16 )

moral progress of humanity as a whole are no where
codified and clearly stated except in Al-Corau-esh
Sharif ; therefore Islam has a definite and most impor-
tant contribution to make to the world. But that
contribution cannot he made without the means to
emphasise it by example, and Muslims cannot give
an example of Islamic procjress except in independ-
ence. The Islamic Civilisation is a theocracy, and
the Khlifat is its earthly head, whether he bean
Arab or a Non-Arab, whether his seat of power is at
Medinah, Baghdad or Constantinople, and the centre
of Islamic culture and Islamic hope of human pro-
gress has always shifted with the seat ot the Khila-
fat. All European students will admit that Medinah
and Baghdad, when the seat of the Khilafat, were a
li'dit to ttie world, but many will deny that Stamboui
has been such. I think it has. At any rate it was
an asylum for the victims of religious persecution in
days when Europe burnt alive and tortured ''infidels"
and "heretics." Its art and literature have been
o-rossly underestimated, its comparative enlightenment
unrecognised save by a few deep-thinking Orientalists,
However that may be, it is quite oercain that it had
not consciously attempted to present a great example
of Islamic progress to the world at large, being kept
incessantly at war by the attacks of Christendom,
until some fourteen years ago, when tiiere took plac«
a great awakening oi the Osrnanli Muslims. They
sudilenly beheld their own shortcomings from the
Muslim standpoint, they saw that Europe had son>0
reason for denouncing them; and, holding out their
liands to Europe, they asked for peace and leisure to
reform their country and improve their lives,
resolved with Allah's help to give the world ft

( n )

great example of Islamic progress upon modern
lines which Europe could appreciate. That was
the signal for tiieir destruction. Every one has wit-
nessed the suffdringa of Turkey since the lievolutiou
of 1908, when ihe Turks declared their wish for pro
gress with the help of Europe. Every Muslim now can
see that while the Muslim Empire was reictioTiary it
was tolerated, even bolstered up, by Christian Govern-
ments ; but the moment it became progressive, ener-
getic, and inspired with true Islamic fervour, it was
furiously attacked and torn to pieces. That means
that Christians, jealous of their boasted modern civili-
sation, would not allow Muslims even the chance of
showing what Islam would make of it, for fear that
it might make of it a thing ao clearly better, that
the world would turn to it.

I have dwelt upon this aspect of the question,
because it is one which I have noticed personally, and
is not mentioned by the learned author of this book,
though he implies it often. The purely religious Mus-
lim aspect of the question can hardly be expected to
apeal to people who, unlike Muslims, hold religion as
ft thing apart from life, and therefore have no notion
of theocracy. But I think its human aspect should
appeal to everybody who retains a sense of honour
and of decency.

Qffice \
1921. J

"Chronicle" Office

Bombay : J (Sd.) Marmadukk PicKTHALL


( 19 )




CHKisriANiiY desfcroyei the harvest, we might
bave reaped from the culture of antiquity, later
it also destroyed our harvest of the culture of
Islam. The wonderful Moorish woild of Spanish
culture... was trampled to death ( — I do not
say by what kind of feet), why ? — because it
owed itg origin to noble, to manly instincts,
because it said yea to life, even that life so
full of the rare and refined luxurie.s of the Moor !
Nietssche in the Anti-Christ,

Later on the Crusaders waged war upon
something before wliicli it would have been more
seemly in them to grovel in the dust, — a culture,
beside which even our Nineteenth Century
would .seem very poor and very "senile."— Of
course they wanted booty : the Orient was rich

Fof goodness' sake let us forget our pre-

judice.s ! Crnsacies — superior piracy, that is all.


It is said that history repeats itself or to express
the same idea a little difFereatiy, we may say, that
there are traits in human psychology which persist
in appearing and re-appearing even after long periods
of dormancy. Ideas often appear in different forms and
under diflferent names, but essentially they are iden-
tical although man has often been interested in deny-
ing this identity. The will to power is a universal
trait which at times donduates all our ethical and
moral sentiments such as those of honesty, justice and

( i^O )

fair play. Sometimes it appears in the form of religious
intolerance, at others it assumes the form of racial
superiority. Conquests, annexations, protectorates,
and mandates are all different forms and names under
which the will to power asserts itself. In the
middle ages it took the form of religious Intolerance
which entailed the destruction of Islamic culture
about which Nietzsche speaks in such eloquent and
burning words of indignation. In the twentieth
century it assumciJ the form of racial superiority and
white-race domination and again destrojes the rem-
nants of Islamic Culture, It thinks not of the priva-
tions, sufferings, miseries, it inflicts upon a portion of
humanity, in its mad career of destruction. In the
middle ages thej" coveted gold and silver, now they
covet oil and coal, commodities which can be con-
verted into gold and silver. This is not a superior
piracy, but a very inferior piracy. Man has allow-
ed this will to be developed without check or hinder-
ence so much so that there have been great men
who have persuaded themselves into the belief that
this will is innate in human nature and cannot be
eradicated in spite of human efforts to the cont-
rary. And this belief will hold good as long as human
actions are guided and determined by purely materi-
alistic considerations. But a time must come when
for sheer self-preservation the world will have to take
a longer view, revise its judgments and will be
converted to the opinion that the will to power
is an evil thing, and must be eradicated. This
must be done sooner or later. There is no third
alternative. At present the world of humanity is
rapidly speeding on its downward course and if nob
stopped it must be destroyed.

( 21 )

The last European war is an illustration in point',
England was compelled to join tWia world-wide
coiiflngration in the first pLice hy the instinct of
self-preservation. In a world-wide war it was
not possible for a world-wide power to remain
neutral. England's possesions were scattered all
over the world and th>s had to be guarded and
protected. The most vital consideration was the safe-
ty of India, if India was lost then the English Em-
pire came to an inglorious end. The trade jealousy
of the Teuton's and the rise of Germany to the new
position of a gr«at naval power which challenged the
supremacy of England over the seas, were other de-
ciding factors. Ostensibly England proclaimed to the
world that she had entered the list of the combatants
out of purely philanthro[)ic motives, to champion
the cause of righteousness and justice to vindicate
the rights of smaller nationalities and to preserve mo-
dern civiliziition which was threatened by the iniliiri-
sm of the Central powers of Europe. No ulterior
motive, no idea of territorial gain or of commercial
advantage ever crossed her mind. When once her
entry into the war was an accomplished fact she act-
ed in accordance with the English adage that every
thing is fair in love and war. She was out to win
the war by all available means and she must win it
come what may. Her vast resources of men in her
subject populations, her fabulous wealth, her clever
diplomacy and her over generous promises and pled-
ges were brought upon the one object of winning the
war. There were three enemies and all of them must
be humbled to dust. Germany was the arch-offender
but even in defeat she is much too powerful and will
not allow herself to be crushed. All attempts to ruin

( ^^ )

her economically by mulctini; her in huge nmounts of
rea'^y and hard cash has failed. She is still defirtnt
and breathes fire and sword. The weaker Austria has
beon. thoroughly dismembered with no possibility of
raising her head again. There remained Turkey poor
old decrepit Turkey, tlie sick man and the eye sore
of Europe — she must be wiped out. Her offence was
unforgiveable ; she is Muslim by religion and Tartar
b}' race and cannot be tolerated in Christian Europe.
In Asia she is the greatest danger to the possessions of
England as she lay right athwart her route to India.
Again as the spiritual head of Islam, she is an ever
present danger to England's domination over the
Muslim peoples. No stone was left unturned to bring
the entire weight of the Allied powers to bring upon
the destruction of Turkej\ Her subjects were bribed
with gold and incited to rebel, her Grovernors were
enticed away from their allegiance by the mythical
promises of mythical independence and the Mussal-
tnans of other countries were iiK^ueed to fight their
coreligionists by a declaration that the war was not a
religious war, that the holy places of Islam would be
protected and that no injury to their sacred institu-
tions was contemplated. Of course it was not possible
to keep these promises while the war was in progress.
But things were done so recklessly that Nemes is has
soon over-taken the evil doers and the promise-break-
ers. During the war a strict censorship kept the fol-
lowers of Islam in the dark, as to the happenings in
their holy lands. After the war news have been
filtering in, which have set the whole Islamic world
on fire.

Four hundred million of the followers of Islam ara
simply infuriated to desperation, Had it not> been for the

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activities of that great son of India, Mahatma Gandhi
who foreseeing the danger ahead directed the ener-
gies of the people into the channel of Non-yiolent-
NoQ-co-operation the fary of Indian Muslims would
have taken a most undesirable and deplorable turn.
The Afghans, the Egyptians, the Turks, the Arabs are
all against England, because they consider her to be
the destroyer of their religion. Turkey has ceased
to be a political entity and thereby the institution of
Khitafat has become a mockery. The Khalif of Mus-
lim is an impotent prisoner in the hands of England.
According to the latest report he cannot even concen-
trate his troops in his own capital to repel the inva-
sion of his enemies. While F'rance and Italy have
shown their willingness to revise the treaty of Severe,
England alone has stood in the way. And why ? Be-
cause England has swallowed the richest morsel out
(.f the loot in this war and is unwilling to disgorge
it. Frantic attempts are being made in all directions
with the object of digesting this loot. Just as during
the war promises and pledges were plentiful, so after
the war the denials and disclaimers are numerous. Out-
rages on the holy places of Islam are denied, promi-
ses to the Arabs are denied, the very plain words of
Mr. Lloyd George are denied. Even the sacred in-
stitution of Khilafat is being denied and the world is
told that it is of recent growth and an invention of
Pan- Islamists and the late Sultan Abdul Ha mid. A
band of msn have arisen who are trying to re-write
the history of Islam by distorting facts and trying to
fit them into their prepossessions and predilictions. No
one can deny to these men the meed of patriotism
but no body can take their presentation. of facta as true.
In the eternal crusade against Islam this is the new

( '^^ )

phase and a verj^ dangerous pliase indeed. Govern-
ment officers have been appointed in India to preach
this Gospel and some politicians in England have join-
ed them, but historical truths cannot be killed bj pro-
paganda work.

My friend Dr. Syed Mahmud has exposed the
hollowness of this pro[)aganda in the present
illuminating book. He has strengthened the position
that he takes up by reference to a mass of state docu-
ments and unimpeaclmble Englisli authorities which
cannot be resisted. The readers will find in thia
work the historical position of the relation of Islam
and England cleared up very accurately and lucidly.
The acquaintance of the author with the original
Islamic authorities and bis vest historical erudition
has given him an undoubted advantage over the new
historians. The Khilafat question has been dealt in
such a masterly and convincing manner that no
impartial man caU' help agreeing with him. Perhaps
some people will consider it as too historical, perhaps
some will say that he has not dealt with the outrages
on the holy places of Islam. But these are matters
of temperaments. There can be no two opinions
as to the accuracy and usefulness of this book and
there is no doubt that the public at large will read
it with pleasure and profit.

A^shram" *)
Qa, {

21. ;

'Sedaqat Ashram"

Patna, }• (Sd.) Mazharul Haque.





Historical aspect.

A growing sense of duty as a Muslim in face of
the recent tragedy tliat is being enacted in the
world nn'i a hope, perhtips, illusory, that we may
contribute to remove certain misunder-standings
regarding the question of the Khilafat impel us
to write these lines.

The Khilafat question is full of interest : it has
been the subject of much controversy. Its analysis
is one of the difficult task awaiting the future his-
torians of Islam. Tlie subject, unfortunately, has
suffered in the hands of political wriiers, intiaenced
as they must be with preconceptions of the parti-
cular cults and dogmas of their particular {Schools,
This has caused a lamentable lapse in historical
accuracy and the issue has been obscured. The i.ssue
i)aving as it does an iinportant bearing on India's
Muslim population in their relations with their
Sovereign should be clearly and impartially ap[)re-

The Publicity Bureau of the Indian Government
has recently issued a pamphlet, "A straight talk on
the Khilafat Questioii," iu which a student of
history is amazed to find the following statement.
*'It umst be remembered," says the writer, "that the
recognition by the Indian Mobammadons of the Sultan
of Turkey as their Khalif is a new thing, a creation

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of the iast fiTty years, the result of the growth of a
political Pan-Islamic movement and there is no his-
torical basis for the claim that the Khilafat implies
any temporal allegiance on the part of the Indian
Muslim to the Sultan of Turkey." And this 1?=, if my
iarormation is correct, written by a well-known pro-
fessor ot History ot Mohamedan India. In his zeal
to serve his country the learned professor has evid-
ently forgotten the facts of History.

The official declaration of war with Turkey placed
the Mussalmans of India in an indescribably difBcult
position. The event brought into prominence at
once the fundamental question of Indian Muslim
loyalty to the King-Emperor and their attitude to-
wards the Head of Islamic faith. There is no denying
the fact that the Mussalmans of India, no less than
the Muslims of the other parts of the world, feel
themi^elves strongly attached by a religious, tradi-
tional and sentimental tie to his Suitanic Majesty
the Khalif of Islam. To an European this tie which
binds a person in the Gangetic valley to an individual
on the Bisphorous — persons wlio have never seen nor
are ever likely to see each other — may seem incom-
prehensible or even absurd. Yet such is the fact and

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Online LibrarySyed MahmudThe Khilafat and England → online text (page 1 of 6)