Qazi Mazhar Qayyum

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Qazi Mazhar Qayyum 'Raees-Azam Naushera', came from a qadi's family which, since the 16th century, had been prominent among the landed aristocracy of the Soon Valley.

A rural Muslim elite during the 1946 Punjab Provincial Assembly Election supported Punjab Muslim League, and without its victory in Punjab in that election", in the words of Ian Talbot, "the Muslim League would not have gotten Pakistan".[1] Being as a son of a famous academic Sufi, he was considered Sajjada Nashin by the people of his area. In the Punjab, the Sajjada Nashin or Pir families were not so rich in terms of land as the great land lords of Punjab but these Sajjada Nashin or Pir families exerted great political and religious influence over the people.[2] The British could not administer the area without their help and no political party could win the election without their help. "Sajjada nashins", David Gilmartin asserts, "claimed to be the descendants of the Sufi,[3] ‘saints’, intermediaries between the Faithful and their God, and this cut against the grain of Islamic kind, of their special religious status, these Sajjada Nashins had become men of local standing in their own right."[4] However he never claimed to be a Sajjada Nashin or Pir. As his father, Qazi Mian Muhammad Amjad forbade his descendants to establish Dargah, and made a will to bury him in the ordinary grave, he made every effort to stop the people from making Dargah of the grave of his father. Instead, much to the horror of his tribe, he considered this as superstition.

Unionist Muslim League[edit]

He supported the Unionist Muslim League, for the political interest of his tribe, and used his political and social influence to help the people of his area. After 1937, he began to support[5] Punjab Muslim League in the greater interest of Muslims of his area. He used his family and political influence to help the people of his area. After 1923, when Unionist party was formed by Sir Fazl-e-Hussain, he supported the Unionist Muslim League,[6] Malik Umar Hayat Khan, Sir Sikander Hayat Khan. He believed, like other leaders of the party, that economic liberation should precede political liberation or else it would fail. The party won all the elections between 1923 and 1937. During this time, when the Unionist Party formed governments in the Punjab Province, lot of constructive work was done towards debt relief and irrigation system, and a province like Punjab was much dependent on this irrigation system for its agricultural land.

Sufi Sarwar, though a great admirer of his father, in his book The Soon Valley[7] criticized him and his brother for supporting the Unionist party, but we must not forget that during that period (1923–1937) the Muslim League was not active in the Punjab. Sir Muhammad Iqbal himself was also a supporter of Unionist Party at that time.[8] According to Ian Talbot, Iqbal and other urbanite Muslim members of PLC (1927–30) shared Fazl-i-Hussain views that Muslim interests could be better served through the Unionist Party, than by adopting a purely Muslim political platform. Samina Yasmeen writes in Communal Politics in Punjab (1925-1947) that "the birth of Unionist Party though was a tool to implement British policy, yet it would be not fair to ignore the contribution of those people who had joined the party with the belief that it will stand for the development of rural masses and would play its role for equitable distribution of monetary resources. They were also optimistic that not only the party would deal with the debt problem but would also take steps to achieve rightful share in services and educational institutions for rural youth. It was propagation of these issues that enabled Unionist rural elites to win over the support of common peasantry who joined the party with the hope that their problems would be resolved."[9]

Muslim League[edit]

When, in May 1936, Sir Muhammad Iqbal appealed[10] to the Muslims of Punjab to support Muslim League, he started thinking about the support of Muslim League, and when in 1937 Sikander-Jinnah pact was signed he started supporting Muslim League.[11][1]

He supported Sajjada Nashin Khwaja Qamar ul Din Sialvi,[12] who was president of District Shahpur Muslim League. He was also very influential in his region. They appealed to their people to vote against Tiwanas[13] who were trying to defeat the Punjab Muslim League candidates in their constituencies. It was their efforts that Muslim League candidates won 100% seats in the constituencies of their area. Ian Talbot, writes "Another leading Chisti, Sajjada Nashin, Pir Qamaruddin of Sial Sharif held a meeting on the outskirts of the Kalra estate in which he publicly challenged Khizr and Allah Baksh to come to terms with the Muslim League. ‘I have never begged for anything in my life before’, he declared, ‘but today I have come out of my home to beg for votes, believing God is present here (the meeting was being held in a mosque) it is Islamic to ask for vote and "religious" to give them. The Muslim League is purely a religious movement in which all the rich, poor, Sufis and scholars are participating. Not as a Pir but even as a Muslim, I have repeatedly advised Nawab Allah Baksh who is my Murid not to desert the Muslims at this critical time."[14]

He died on 26 October 1953. He was buried in Naushera, Soon Valley

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Punjab and Raj,1849-1947, by Ian Talbot, Riverdale MD: The Riverdale Company, 1988
  2. ^ SUFI SAINTS AND STATE POWER, by SARAH F. D. ANSARI, Cambridge University Press
  3. ^ Rural Punjab had been converted to Islam by the proselytizing activities of Sufis, and these Sufi ‘saints’ were the focus of Punjab's Local and fragmented structure of devotional activities.
  4. ^ David Gilmartin, Religious leadership and the Pakistan movement in the Punjab, Modern Asian studies 13, 3(1979).
  5. ^ The Imperialist and Cambridge historians, Marxist and Nationalist historians of India and even the nationalist historians of Pakistan are of the opinion that Jinnah and Punjab Muslim League at first mobilized the strong support of the urban elite, rural landed aristocracy, Pirs and Sajjada-Nashins who subsequently won over the Muslims of Punjab for the cause of the Muslim League and Pakistan. David Gilmartin, Empire and Islam: Punjab and the Making of Pakistan, Berkeley, 1988, pp. 221-222. quoted in Jinnah and Punjab: A study of the Shamsul Hasan Collection Amarjit Singh
  6. ^ Wadi Soon Sakesar, The Soon Valley, by Sufi Sarwar Awan, published by Al- Faisal Nashran, Lahore A joint venture of Lok Virsa, Islamabad and AL-Faisal Nashran, Lahore, copy right Lok Virsa, Islamabad 2002.
  7. ^ Wady Soon Sakesar, (The Soon Valley), by Sufi Sarwar published by Al- Faisal Nashran, Lahore A joint venture of Lok Virsa, Islamabad and AL-Faisal Nashran, Lahore, copy right Lok Virsa, Islamabad 2002.
  8. ^ Iqbal and Provincial Politics of Punjab,(1926-1938), by Khurram Mahmood.
  9. ^ Communal Politics in Punjab (1925-1947) p.117, by Samina Yasmeen.
  10. ^ Zinda Rud, by Javed Iqbal
  11. ^ Relations between the Muslim league and the Panjab national unionist party 1935-47
  12. ^ Khwaja Qamar ul Din Sialvi, was a great admirer of his father Qazi Mian Muhammad Amjad, a disciple of Khwaja Qamar's great grandfather and founder of Sial Sharif, Hazrat Khwaja Shams-ud-din Sialvi
  13. ^ "The Tiwanas...had a history of devoted and loyal service to the British. The most famous of the Tiwanas was Khizr Hayat who became Premier after Sikander in 1942. But his grandfather Malik Sahib Khan had also played an important role in suppressing the 1857 Revolt in Jhelum under the command of Col. Cooper. He later accompanied General Napier in the Central India campaigns to suppress the Revolt. His son Umar Hayat Khan Tiwana (Khizar's father) followed in his father's footsteps of unquestioned loyalty to the Government. He was among the six Muslims to represent his community at Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. He held various important positions in the army, being the first Indian to be chosen as a Herald for King George's Coronation Durbar. He was made a major-general and appointed aide-de-camp to King George. Khizr Hayat Khan graduated from Aitchinson College and served in the army for some time. He first joined Sikander's ministry in 1937 as minister for Public Works. Many of Khizr's cousins were provincial darbaries, zaildars, jagirdars, etc." Raghuvendra Tanwar, Politics of Sharing Power: The Punjab Unionist Party 1923-1947, New Delhi 1999. p. 133
  14. ^ ,Khizr Tiwana, the Punjab Unionist Party and the partition of India, by Ian Talbot