Qazi Zafar Hussain

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Khan Sahib, Qazi Zafar Hussain came from a qadi's family which had, since the 16th century, been prominent among the landed aristocracy of the Soon Valley. He belonged to Awans[1] tribe of ancient repute. He was awarded the title of Khan Sahib by the British Crown. This was a formal title, a compound of khan (leader) and sahib (Lord), which was conferred in Mughal Empire and British India. Although his father, Qazi Mian Muhammad Amjad forbade his descendants to establish Dargah, he was considered Sajjada Nashin by the people of his area. "Sajjada nashins" David Gilmartin asserts, "claimed to be the descendants of the Sufi,[2] ‘saints’, intermediaries between the Faithful and their God, and this cut against the grain of Islamic orthodoxy ... in kind, of their special religious status, these sajjada nashins had become men of local standing in their own right."[3] However he never claimed to be a Sajjada Nashin. 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.[4] The British could not administer the area without their help and no political party could win the election without their help.

In the early days of Pakistan movement he supported the Unionist Muslim League, Malik Umar Hayat Khan and Sir Sikander Hayat Khan, 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.

Early life and career[edit]

He was born of famous qadi's family of Naushera, Soon Valley. He was the youngest son of Qazi Mian Muhammad Amjad, and youngest brother of 'Raees-Azam Naushera' Qazi Mazhar Qayyum. He was a descendant of Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph of Islam from Al-Abbas ibn Ali. He was great great grandson of Qazi Kalim Ullah, the famous Muslim qadi and jurist of Naushera in the time of Mughal Emperors.

He was the first child in the family who got western education along with the religious education. He got matriculation certificate from Government High School Naushera, and then went to Lahore to get further education and got the degree of veterinary Doctor. He started his career as veterinary Inspector in the Remount Department of British Army in India. He also served in the World War I.

He was a keen collector of horses. He established a stud farm at Hazel Pur, Renala Khurd, where In 1913, Renala Khurd Stud State Farm leased out 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land to the Punjab government to cater to the needs of the army for horses, fodder and dairy products, and the tenancy agreements continued. Renala Khurd is famous for its horses, and horses from Renala Khurd Stud State Farm have won international derby races many times. After his death, this stud farm was look after by his son Lieutenant Colonel Qazi Altaf Hussain


Title of Khan Sahib[edit]

In 1945, he was awarded by the title of Khan Sahib by the British Crown in recognition of his services. This was a formal title, a compound of khan (leader) and sahib (Lord), which was conferred in Mughal Empire and British India. It was a title of honour, one degree higher than Khan, conferred on Muslims of British India, and awarded with a decoration during British rule in India.

Aligarh Movement[edit]

Like his father, Qazi Mian Muhammad Amjad, he was an admirer of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan educational policies. Although he himself could not go to Aligarh, he sent his two elders sons, Qazi Altaf Hussain and Qazi Fiaz Hussain, to Aligarh Muslim University, and preferred Aligarh Muslim University to Government College Lahore, for his sons. His second son Qazi Fiaz Hussain, however left his studies incomplete at Aligarh University, and went to Sial Sharif and became a Sufi.

Unionist Muslim League[edit]

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, for the interest of his tribe and the people of his area. 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 dependant on the irrigation system for its agricultural land.

Sufi Sarwar in his book The Soon Valley criticized Qazi Zafar Hussain 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.[7] 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."[8]

Muslim League[edit]

A certificate issued by Deputy Commissioner C.H. Atkins of District Shahpur to Zafar Hussain

When, in May 1936, Sir Muhammad Iqbal appealed[9] 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.[10][1]

In 1943, when Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah came to Lyallpur and addressed a gathering of over 2 million in the Dhobi Ghat Ground,[11] he arranged a cavalry for the political rally and provided horses for the cavalry of Muslim students, led by his elder son Qazi Altaf Hussain. His second son Qazi Fiaz Hussain sat next to Quaid-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

He was one of those Muslim rural elites who 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".[12]

He supported Khwaja Qamar ul Din Sialvi,[13] 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[14] 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."[15]

He died in 1968 at Hazel Pur, Renala Khurd, and was buried in Naushera, Soon Valley.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SIR LEPEL H. GRIFFIN writes in his book The Panjab Chiefs (1865 edition) p.570-571., that "All branches of the tribe (Awans) are unanimous in stating that they originally came from neighourhood of ghazni to India, and all trace their genealogy to Hasrat Ali the son-in-law of the Prophet. Kutab Shah, who came from Ghazni with Sultan Mahmud, was the common ancestor of the Awans. ... It was only in the Rawalpindi, Jhelam and Shahpur districts that they became of any political importance. ... In Shahpur District the Awans held the hilly country to the north west, Jalar, Naoshera and Sukesar, where the head of the tribe still resides."
    H.A. Rose writes, "But in the best available account of the tribe, the Awans are indeed said to be of Arabian origin and descendants of Qutb Shah" 'A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province'A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West ..., Volume 1 by H.A. Rose
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ David Gilmartin, Religious leadership and the Pakistan movement in the Punjab, Modern Asian studies 13, 3(1979).
  4. ^ SUFI SAINTS AND STATE POWER, by SARAH F. D. ANSARI, Cambridge University Press
  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 Sarwar Awan, published by Al- Faisal Nashran, Lahore A joint venture of Lok Virsa, Islamabad and AL-Faisal Nashran, Lahore, copyright Lok Virsa, Islamabad 2002.
  7. ^ Iqbal and Provincial Politics of Punjab, (1926-1938), by Khurram Mahmood. http://eprints.hec.gov.pk/2449/1/2315.htm
  8. ^ Communal Politics in Punjab (1925-1947) p.117, by Samina Yasmeen. http://prr.hec.gov.pk/chapters/2453-0.pdf
  9. ^ Zinda Rud, by Javed Iqbal
  10. ^ Relations between the Muslim League and the Panjab national unionist party 1935-47
  11. ^ ::Welcome to Sitara Mall::
  12. ^ Punjab and Raj, 1849-1947, by Ian Talbot, Riverdale MD: The Riverdale Company, 1988
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ "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
    It was stated in Khizr Tiwana, the Punjab Unionist Party and the partition of India, that,

    Groups of sepoys mutinied in their Punjabi cantonments of Ferozepore, Jullunder, Ambala and Jhelum. When a body of sepoys massed for an attack on the British district headquarters at Shahpur, Malik Sahib Khan rode over from Mitha Tiwana to parley with the anxious British Deputy Commissioner. Their meeting entered the Raj's folklore.

    Malik Sahib stood before Mr. Ousley, salaamed and offered him the handle of his sword with the point directed to his own body and said "I have fifty horsemen and I can raise three hundred. I can clothe them and feed them, and if no questions are asked, I can find them arms too. They and my life are yours."

    Malik Sahib Khan's dramatic gesture was the first offer of assistance to the beleaguered authorities in the West Punjab. Moreover, it was proffered at a time when the triumph of British arms was uncertain. The deputy commissioner was well aware that he could have mounted only token resistance, if the Tiwana chief had jointed the 'rebels'. The British thereafter remembered that the Tiwanas` loyalty had stood firm when it had been put to the test." Khizr Tiwana, the Punjab Unionist Party and the partition of India, by Ian Talbot.

  15. ^ Khizr Tiwana, the Punjab Unionist Party and the partition of India, by Ian Talbot