Maulana Zafar Ali Khan and British
rule over Muslims of India
Maulana Zafar Ali Khan was a most famous Urdu journalist in pre-partition
India, being editor of the newspaper Zamindar, and a campaigner
for Muslim political causes.
He is listed on the Hall
of Fame webpage of the website muslimindia.com.
It has been said of him:
he was the father of Urdu journalism,
Zamindar newspaper, when Zafar Ali Khan was the proprietor and
editor, was the Urdu paper for the Muslims.
this webpage. This is the opinion of Syed Amjad Ali, who held
high state posts in Pakistan during 19471967, and was involved
in pre-partition Muslim politics in the Punjab.)
Maulana Zafar Ali Khans birth anniversary is commemorated
in Pakistan. For this years commemoration see
the news report in Dawn, dated 25 January 2003.
Before 1920 Maulana Zafar Ali Khan had co-operated with Khwaja
Kamal-ud-Din in some of the work of the Woking Muslim Mission in
England. However, during the 1930s he turned against the Ahmadiyya
Movement and waged a virulent campaign against it in his newspaper.
(For two examples of his anti-Ahmadiyya writings,
see The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, chapter
11 and chapter 12).
There is an article by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan in the very first
issue of The Islamic Review dated February 1913, the monthly
magazine started by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din from Woking, England. The
article is addressed to the British public and is on the topic of
the sympathies of the Muslims of British India for the problems
of their fellow Muslims in Islamic countries. The image of the first
page of this article is displayed below.
(The image is provided courtesy of www.aaiil.org)
Note that Maulana Zafar Ali Khan opens his statement above by describing
a British Indian Muslim who has the proud privilege
of looking upon the Empire
as a political structure in
whose stability Musalmans [Muslims] are as much interested as
In the second paragraph he begins by saying that Indian Muslims
look upon the British Government as:
a divine dispensation,
in other words, sent and established by God!
He then goes on to add that Indian Muslims regard the British Government
a tolerably fair substitute for a Muslim Government.