Majlis-e Ahrar-e Islam

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مجلسِ احرارِ اسلام
PresidentSyed Muhammad Kafeel Bukhari[1]
Secretary-GeneralAbdul Latif Khalid Cheema[2]
Vice PresidentSyed Ataullah Shah Salis Bukhari[1]
Historical leadersSyed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari
Mazhar Ali Azhar
Chaudhry Afzal Haq
Agha Shorish Kashmiri
Sheikh Hissam-ud-Din
Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari
Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan
Central & Senior Vice-PresidentProfessor Khalid Shabbir Ahmad
Malik Muhammad Yousuf
Central preacherMaulana Muhammad Mugheera
Central Information SecretaryDr. Umar Farooq Ahrar
Senior leadersMian Muhammad Awais
Maulana Tanveer ul Hassan
Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahrar
Mufti Ata-ur-Rehman Qureshi
Maulana Zia Ullah Hashmi
Dr. Muhammad Asif
FounderSyed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari
Founded29 December 1929 (93 years ago) (1929-12-29)
HeadquartersAhrar Central Secretariat. 69-C, New Muslim Town, Wahdat Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Student wingTehreek-e Talaba-e-Islam, Ahrar Students Federation (ASF)
IdeologyFinality of Prophethood
Hukumat-e Ilahiyya
Pakistani nationalism
SloganIslam, Khatm-e-Nubuwwat
Party flag
Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam Flag.svg

Majlis-e Ahrar-e Islam (Urdu: مجلس احرارلأسلام), also known in short as Ahrar, is a religious Muslim political party in the Indian subcontinent that was formed during the British Raj (prior to the Partition of India) on 29 December 1929 at Lahore.[3]

The group became composed of Indian Muslims inspired by and supporting the Khilafat Movement, which cleaved closer to the Congress Party.[4] The party was based in Punjab and gathered support from the urban lower-middle class. Chaudhry Afzal Haq, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, and Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari were the leaders of the party.[5]

Religious leaders from all sects Sunni Barelvi, Deobandi, Ahle Hadith, Shia Progressive and politically Communists were the members of Majlis-e-Ahrar. Chaudhry Afzal Haq, Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, Mazhar Ali Azhar, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan and Dawood Ghaznavi were the founders of the party.[5] The Ahrar was composed of Indian Muslims disillusioned by the Khilafat Movement, which cleaved closer to the Congress Party.[4]

The party, being a member of the All India Azad Muslim Conference, is associated with opposition to Muhammad Ali Jinnah and establishment of an independent Pakistan.[6][7] Syed Faiz-ul Hassan Shah was the only ahrari leader who actively participated in the Pakistan independence movement.[citation needed]

After 1947, it separated into the Majlis-E-Ahrar Islam Hind (مجلس احرارلأسلام ہند), based in Ludhiana and was led by descendants of Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, as well as the Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam (مجلس احرارلأسلام اسلام), based in Lahore and was led by descendants of Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari.[citation needed]

History and activities[edit]

Ideology and philosophy[edit]

Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam or simply called 'Ahrars' had an anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and Indian nationalist ideology. It worked to free India from the British rule. This party, before fading away, was highly active in Punjab Province (British India) and left an impact on major cities of Punjab like Amritsar, Lahore, Sialkot, Multan, Ludhiana and Gurdaspur.[3]

The Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam,[8] was originally part of the failed Khilafat movement and emerged as a religio-political party after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919 and the disintegration of the Khilafat movement in 1922.[3]

Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari presided over the meeting and Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar delivered the manifesto of an All India Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam. It became first line offending party against Ahmadi Muslims by declaring that their objectives were to guide the Muslims of India on matters of nationalism as well as religion. Ahrar spearheaded the movement to have Ahmadi Muslims officially declared as non-Muslims.[9]

By the early 1930s, the Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam (hereafter called Ahrars) had become an important political party of Muslims in the Punjab. The activists' agitation centered on the princely states, and was predicated on mobilisation around socio-religious issues. Besides these campaigns, the Ahrar also participated in the mainstream political developments of British India between 1931 and 1947. Its political career can be divided into two parts; the AHRAR's response to political and constitutional issues, and its performance in electoral politics.[10]

The Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam stood strongly against the partition of India, with its leader Afzal Haq stating that the "Partition of India is, in fact, the cry of upper classes …. It is not a communal demand as some people think but a stunt in order that the poor classes may not concentrate their thought and energies on all important questions of social and economic justice."[6] It was a member of the All India Azad Muslim Conference, which gathered to show support for a united India.[7]

Activism in Pakistan[edit]

In November 2012, the Government of Pakistan banned Abdul Latif Khalid Cheema, leader of Tehreek-e-Khatme Nabuwwat and Secretary General of Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam, from delivering a speech in the Chichawatni and district Sahiwal area due to the security situation in Muharram. The president of Majlis-e-Ahrar Syed Ata-ul-Muhaimin Bukhari was also banned from delivering any speeches for three months in Multan.[citation needed]

In Pakistan, the party opposed the Ahmadiyya Movement.[11][12] This culminated in the 1953 Lahore riots; in 1954 Majlis-e-Ahrar was banned. The associated Islamist religious movement Tehreek-e-Khatme Nabuwwat remains.[citation needed]

List of party leaders[edit]

Notable members and leaders[edit]


Secretary Generals[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "سید محمد کفیل بخاری مجلس احرار اسلام کے قائم مقام مرکزی امیر منتخب" (in Urdu). Daily Jasarat (newspaper). 26 February 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Ministry lauded for summary on proposed minorities' commission". The News International (newspaper). 3 May 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Ahrar: a chapter in Indian Muslim history". The Milli Gazette. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b Christophe Jaffrelot. A history of Pakistan and its origins. Anthem Press, 2004. ISBN 1-84331-149-6, ISBN 978-1-84331-149-2
  5. ^ a b Ahmad, Syed N. Origins of Muslim consciousness in India: a world-system perspective. New York u.a: Greenwood Press, 1991. p. 175
  6. ^ a b Ali, Afsar (17 July 2017). "Partition of India and Patriotism of Indian Muslims". The Milli Gazette.
  7. ^ a b Qasmi, Ali Usman; Robb, Megan Eaton (2017). Muslims against the Muslim League: Critiques of the Idea of Pakistan. Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 9781108621236.
  8. ^ Samina Awan, Political islam in colonial Punjab Majlis-e-Ahrar 1929–1949, P.153, Politics of Islamic symbolism, The MAI: Politics of Personalities, Oxford University Press
  9. ^ Samina Awan, Political Islam in colonial Punjab Majlis-e-Ahrar 1929–1949, P.27, Politics of Islamic symbolism, The MAI: Politics of Personalities, Oxford University Press
  10. ^ Samina Awan, Political Islam in colonial Punjab Majlis-e-Ahrar 1929–1949, P.67, Politics of Islamic symbolism, The MAI: Politics of Personalities, Oxford University Press
  11. ^ Bahadur, Kalim (1998). Democracy in Pakistan: crises and conflicts. Har Anand Publications. p. 176.
  12. ^ The early champions of anti-Ahmadi cause Herald (Dawn Group of Newspapers), Published 3 November 2018, Retrieved 19 December 2018
  13. ^ a b c d Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam, History, Introduction, Achievements, published from Multan edited by Syed Kafeel Bukhari editor of Naqeeb-e-Khatme Nabuwwat
  14. ^ a b Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath: Religious parties flay govt for challenging verdict The News International (newspaper), Published 14 July 2018, Retrieved 19 December 2018

Further reading[edit]