Maulana Shams-ud-din Harifal

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Maulana Shams-ud-din Harifal
Born Shams-ud-din Harifal
Zhob, Balochistan , Pakistan
Died 14 March 1974
Khulgai, Killa Saif ullah, Balochistan Pakistan
Cause of death
Resting place
Residence Zhob
Nationality Pakistani
Ethnicity Pashtun
Citizenship Pakistani
Education Islamic Graduate
Alma mater Madrasa Arabia Makhzan-ul-uloom Rahim yar khan
Occupation Deputy Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly
Years active 1973
Known for Politics
Home town Zhob
Title Maulana
Political party
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam
Religion Islam
Parent(s) Maulana Muhammad Zahid Harifal

Maulana Shams-ud-din Harifal (Urdu: مولانا شمس الدین حریفال) was an Islamic Sunni Hanafi scholar of the Deobandi school of thought and political leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Tehreek-e-Khatme-e-Nubuwwat. According to his biographer, Maulana Shams-ud-din's major contribution was his support of strong anti-Ahmadiyya feelings among Muslims at the risk and sacrifice of his life.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born on 21 Jamadi-awal 1364 Hijri (1944) in Zhob, Balochistan Province of Pakistan, to a family of religious scholars. His father Maulana Muhammad Zahid Harifal was a sufi scholar and a theologian of repute. He was the founder and teacher of the Madrasa Shams-uloom at Fort Sandeman in Zhob.

Maulana Shams-ud-din received his elementary religious education from his father. He continued both his secular schooling and religious education in tandem. The prefix Maulana in his name indicates his scholarship in theology.

He passed his matriculation from a government high school in Zhob in 1960. After he finished school, he opted to further his religious education. He proceeded to Akora Khattak (Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa) and was admitted to the Madrasa Haqqania (religious boarding school). He stayed there for two years and continued his education under the guidance of Maulana Abdul Haq (father of Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, the chief of the JUI). Afterwards, he went to Karachi and enrolled at the Madrasa Arabia New Town Karachi, where he studied under Maulana Muhammad Yousuf Binori for two consecutive years.

In order to acquire higher education in theology, he went to Khanpur Rahim Yar khan and studied at the Madrasa Arabia Makhzan-ul-uloom wa fayuz Eidgah, headed by Pakistani religious scholar Hafidh al-Hadith Maulana Muhammad Abdullah Darkhawasti. Realizing the highest spiritual position of his teacher, he immediately became his spiritual student by taking the Bay'ah (oath of allegiance) of the Naqshbandi order of Sufism.

After two years stay he proceeded to his last institution, the Madrasa Nasratul Uloom Gujranwala, to complete the remaining one year course of Darse Nizami. At that madrasa, Maulana Shams-ud-din studied course of Hadiths (narrations of the words and deeds of Muhammad). He gained knowledge of tafseer, Hadith, spiritualism, mysticism, metaphysics, and logic. Thus completing a traditional Dars-i-Nizam course, he acquired his sanad (degree in Islamic knowledge and sciences of Hadith).

After completing his graduation he returned to his native city of Zhob, where his father advised him to engage in revitalizing his madrasa. He became the patron of Madrasa, Shams-ul-Uloom following his father's wishes.

Ancestral background[edit]

Maulana Shams-ud-din belonged to the Harifal tribe, which was descended from Muhammad's line (Syed) and is respected for sacredness. Maulana Shams-ud-din's forefather had been renowned religious scholars for many generations. His first cousin, Sardar Obaid-ullah Khan Harifal, was the sardar (tribal chieftain) of the Harifal tribe. His grandfather, Haji Maulana Muhammad Rafique, was a renowned saint and had many disciples, as did his father. Another grandfather, Maulana Abdul Haq Harifal, had resisted British occupation, in present-day Shinghar.[2]

Political career[edit]

Maulana Shams-ud-din was a Theo-democrat politician and a third-generation politician. He argued (using mainly verses of the Quran) that political rule is only a means of instituting Islam in people's lives and not the purpose of life itself. All modern political notions that contradict the Quran and Hadith would have to be forsaken, and the "pure" political thought reflected in Quranic sources should guide Muslims in organizing and structuring government.

Maulana Shams-ud-din was a staunch supporter and member of Tehreek-e-Khatme Nabuwwat, a religious movement in Pakistan aiming to protect the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad. He was a central figure in the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Movement of 1973, which demanded the government of Pakistan declare Qadianis as non-Muslims.

During the general election of 1970, Maulana Shams-ud-din participated and contested the election at PB 10, Fort Sandeman (as Zhob was then known), on the platform of his political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.[3] He came in first in the election with 7,578 votes, more than double the total of the second-place finisher, Nawabzada Taimur Shah Jogezai, of the Muslim League (Qayyam), who received 3,726 Votes.

On 2 May 1972, chairman Khan Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai opened the first session of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan, in the town hall, Quetta. During this session, Nawab Muhammad Khan Barozai of the National Awami Party (NAP) was elected as Speaker of Assembly. The very next day, 3 May 1972, Maulana Shams-ud-din was unanimously elected Deputy Speaker.[4] (Sardar Atta ullah Mengal had already been elected on 1 May as chief Minister.)

It was a coalition government of NAP and JUI. Maulan Shams-ud-din was the youngest member of the assembly at age 28. Unfortunately, the assembly only lasted for ten months, before the Federal Government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto dismissed the Provincial Government of Balochistan on February 13, 1973.


On 15 July 1973, Maulan Shams-ud-din held a mammoth rally in Zarif Sheed Park, Zhob. He delivered a stirring speech against the dissemination of tampered Qurans and literature in his native city, allegedly by Qadianis. Tampering news inflamed the emotions of the people, which lead to riots and lynchings.

Between 17 and 18 July 1973, Maulan Shams-ud-din's Zhob residence was cordoned off by a heavy contingent of Frontier Corps, who arrested him. The next morning, news of his arrest spread through the city, and tribesmen from all around blocked the outgoing roads to prevent him from being taken away. As the public protest grew out of control, authorities took him away by helicopter. This only further inflamed unrest all over the country.[5]

Several days after Maulan Shams-ud-din's disappearance, Maulana Mufti Mehmood demanded on the floor of the National Assembly that his whereabouts be revealed, even if he were dead. On that demand the Interior Minister Abdul Qayyum Khan confessed that Maulana Shams-ud-din was alive and in custody at Ma-wand (Kohlu) District, Balochistan. His arrest caused political uproar and turmoil throughout the province.

During his detention period, his father Maulana Muhammad Zahid Harifal received a message from then Governor Nawab Akbar Bugti, through his special emissary Molvi Saleh Muhammad, seeking a meeting at Quetta, so that the release of Maulana Shams-ud-din could be worked out. Maulana Muhammad Zahid declined to accede to this proposal.

A writ petition of habeas corpus was filed in Sindh-Balochistan High Court, Karachi, challenging his illegal confinement and petitioning for his release, on the premise that the prisoner had been detained incommunicado. Maulan Shams-ud-din was released on 18 August 1973. He received a grand reception when he returned to Zhob.

A couple of days after his release, he held a huge rally in Central Jama Mosque, Zhob, and expressed his firm determination to go ahead with his mission.

Meanwhile his two Maulana colleagues, Maulana Saleh Muhammad Mardanzai of Muslim Bagh and Maulana Hassan Shah, who were elected on the JUI ticket, switched over to the ruling Pakistan People's party. Their actions conjured up illusions of victory in the minds of many hawkish politicians, who believed that Maulana Shams-ud-din would also switch parties. He was even offered the position of provincial Chief Minister as a reward, but refused.


In the first week of March 1974, Maulan Shams-ud-din left Zhob for Quetta, and along with Muhammad Zaman Khan Achakzai (Provincial General Secretary of the JUI) called on the governor of Balochistan, Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmed Yar Khan, and conveyed him the message of Maulan Darkhawasti, and reminded him his commitment for implementing Islamic laws. The governor replied positively, stating, "we seek your cooperation".

After his meeting with the governor, Maulan Shams-ud-din left Quetta for Khanpur, where he met with his mentor Maulan Darkhawasti. It was here when Darkhawsati made prediction to Maulan Shams-ud-din, "it could be our last meeting". A few days prior, an attempt had been made on Darkhawasti's life at his official residence in Quetta and Darkhawasti was concerned.

On Sunday 10 March 1974, Maulan Shams-ud-din addressed his last gathering near the vegetable market in Rahimyarkhan, Punjab Pakistan. Later that same day he left for Sibi and stayed overnight.

On 13 March 1974, Maulan Shams-ud-din was driving home to Zhob along with one of his friends. On the way to Zhob, Maulan Shams-ud-din stopped in Akhterzai for his dhuhr prayers (Arabic: صلاة الظهر). After prayers were over, Maulan Shams-ud-din resumed the drive. Thirty-five kilometers from Akhterzai, near a village called "Khulgai" (Killa Saifullah District), where his friend shot him thrice in the head from behind the driver's seat.[6]

Later that same day, Haji Malik Gul Hassan, who also happened to be on way to Zhob, saw an abandoned car on the side of the road and went to investigate. He found the body of Maulana Shams-ud-din, and the whole interior of car stained with blood. He turned back to Killa Saifullah]] and informed police and district authorities. It was learnt later that Maulana Shams-ud-din's friend had visited him at Quetta and stayed with him for three days before insisting on accompanying him to Zhob.


The next day, people took to the streets in Quetta, chanting slogans against his assassination. At Bacha Khan chowk, police clashed with demonstrators, opening fire on the crowd, killing six and injuring more than one hundred people; however,the unrest didn't subside. His funeral prayer became a massive demonstration of popular acclaim.

The next day 14, March, 1974, he was laid to rest at Zhob graveyard. At 29 years old, Maulana Shams-ud-din was survived by his widow and a daughter, his parents, and his brothers.


Maulana Shams-ud-din's death created such a wave of sympathy that it left political repercussions in the province. North Balochistan is the current political heartland of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, who control not only large numbers of radical Madrassas, but a majority of the legislative seats at both the national and provincial level.

A busy, main chowk of Zhob was renamed "Maulana Shams-ud-din Shaheed Chowk" in 2012 by the people of Zhob.

Numerous legends and popular songs have grown around his personality. People still believe that on his burial there was a shower of petals, and his blood continued to ooze from his body 24 hours after his body, with a fragrant smell.


  1. ^ Rujl-u-Rashid by Mauluana Zahid Al-Rashidi
  2. ^ Syed Shams-ud-din by Ashfaque Hashmi p 58
  3. ^ Election Commission of Pakistan
  4. ^
  5. ^ Tarjaman-e-Islam 31 August 1973
  6. ^ Jang Quetta,14,March 1974