Ubaidullah Sindhi

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Ubaidullah Sindhi
Personal Details
Born (1872-03-10)10 March 1872
Died 22 August 1944(1944-08-22) (aged 72)
Era British Raj
Occupation Islamic philosopher/scholar
Religion Islam
Main interest(s) Philosophy of Shah Waliullah Dehlvi

Ubaidullah Sindhi (Sindhi: عبیداللہ سنڌي‎,in Punjabi مولانا عبداللہ ਮੌਲਾਨਾ ਉਬੈਦੁਲਾ Urdu: مولانا عبیداللہ سندھی‎), (10 March 1872 – 22 August 1944) was a political activist of the Indian independence movement and one of its leaders.

Born in a Uppal Khatri family of Sialkot, Ubaidullah converted to Islam early in his life and later enrolled in the Darul Uloom Deoband, where he was at various times associated with other noted Islamic scholars of the time, including Maulana Rasheed Gangohi and Mahmud al Hasan. Maulana Sindhi returned to the Darul-Uloom Deoband in 1909, and gradually involved himself in the Pan-Islamic movement. During World War I, he was amongst the leaders of the Deoband School, who, led by Maulana Mahmud al Hasan, left India to seek support of the Central Powers for a Pan-Islamic revolution in India in what came to be known as the Silk Letter Conspiracy.

Ubaidullah reached Kabul during the war to rally the Afghan Amir Habibullah Khan, and after brief period, he offered his support to Raja Mahendra Pratap's plans for revolution in India with German support. He joined the Provisional Government of India formed in Kabul in December 1915, and remained in Afghanistan until the end of the war, and left for Russia. He subsequently spent two years in Turkey and, passing through many countries, eventually reached Hijaz (Saudi Arabia) where he spent about 14 years learning and pondering over the philosophy of Islam especially in the light of Shah Waliullah's works. In his early career he was a Pan-Islamic thinker. However, after his studies of Shah Waliullah's works, Ubaidullah Sindhi emerged as non-Pan-Islamic scholar. He was one of the most active and prominent members of the faction of Indian Freedom Movement led by Muslim clergy chiefly from the Islamic School of Deoband. Ubaidullah Sindhi died on 22 August 1944.

Early life[edit]

Ubaidullah was born on 17 March 1872 (12 Muharram 1289 AH) to a family at Chilanwali, in the district of Sialkot (now in Pakistan). His father was a male whom died four months before Ubaidullah was born, and the child was raised for the first years of his life under the care of his grandfather. Following the latter's death when Ubaidullah was two years of age, he was taken by his mother to the care of her father, at his maternal grandfather's house. Ubaidullah was subsequently entrusted to the care of his uncle at Jampur when his maternal grandfather died.


When he was at school, a Hindu friend gave him the book Tufatul Hind to read. It was written by a converted scholar Maulan Ubaidullah of Malerkotla. After reading the book and others like Taqwiyatul Eeman and Ahwaal ul Aakhira, Ubaidullah's interest in Islam grew, leading eventually to his conversion to Islam. In 1887, the year of his conversion, he left for Sindh (ڀرچونڊي) where he was taken as a student by Hafiz Muhammad Siddque of Chawinda [Bharchundi. He subsequently studied at Deen Pur under Maulana Ghulam Muhammad where he delved deeper into Islamic education and training in mystical order. In 1888, Ubaidullah was admitted to Darul Uloom Deoband, where he studied various Islamic disciplines in depth under the tutelage of noted Islamic scholars of the time, including: Maulana Abu Siraj, Maulana Rasheed Gangohi and Maulana Mahmud al Hasan. He took lessons in Bukhari and Tirmidhi from Maulana Nazeer Husain Dehlvi and read logic and philosophy with Maulana Ahmad Hasan Cawnpuri.

In 1891, Ubaidullah graduated from the Deoband school. He left for Sukkur, and started teaching in Amrote Shareef under, or with, Maulana Taj Mahmood Amroti, who became his mentor after the death of Maulana Muhammad Siddique of Bharchundi. He married the daughter of Maulana Azeemullah Khan, a teacher at Islamiyah High School, at this time. In 1901, Ubaidullah established the Darul Irshaad in Goth Peer Jhanda in Sindh. He worked on propagating his school for nearly seven years. In 1909, at the request of Mahmud Al Hasan, he returned to Deoband. Here, he accomplished much for the student body, Jamiatul Ansaar. Ubaidullah was now very active in covert anti-British propaganda activities, which led to him alienating a large part of the Deoband leaders. Subsequently, Ubaidullah moved his work to Delhi at Hasan's request. At Delhi, he worked with Hakeem Ajmal Khan and Dr. Ansari. In 1912, he established a madrassah, Nazzaaratul Ma'arif, which was successful in propagating Islam.


With the onset of World War I, efforts were made by the Darul Uloom Deoband to forward the cause of Pan-Islam in India with the help of the Central Powers. Led by Mahmud al Hasan, plans were sketched out for an insurrection beginning in the tribal belt of North-west India.[1][2] Mahmud al Hasan, left India to seek the help of Galib Pasha, the Turkish governor of Hijaz, while at Hasan's directions Ubaidullah proceeded to Kabul to seek the Emir Habibullah's support. Initial plans were to raise an Islamic army (Hizb Allah) headquartered at Medina, with an Indian contingent at Kabul. Maulana Hasan was to be the General-in-chief of this army.[2] Ubaidullah himself was preceded to Kabul by some of his students. While at Kabul, Ubaid Ullah came to the conclusion that focusing on the Indian Freedom Movement would best serve the pan-Islamic cause.[3] Ubaidullah's proposed to the Afghan Emir that he declare war against Britain.[4][5] Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is known to have been involved in the movement prior to his arrest in 1916.[1]

Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi and Mahmud al Hasan (principal of the Darul Uloom Deoband) had proceeded to Kabul in October 1915 with plans to initiate a Muslim insurrection in the tribal belt of India. For this purpose, Ubaid Allah was to propose that the Amir of Afghanistan declares war against Britain while Mahmud al Hasan sought German and Turkish help. Hasan proceeded to Hijaz. Ubaid Allah, in the meantime, was able to establish friendly relations with Amir. At Kabul, Ubaid Allah, along with some students who had preceded him to make their way to Turkey to join the Caliph's "Jihad" against Britain, decided that the pan-Islamic cause was to be best served by focusing on the Indian Freedom Movement.[3]

In late 1915, Sindhi was met in Kabul by the Niedermayer-Hentig Expedition sent by the Indian Independence Committee in Berlin and the German war ministry. Nominally led by the exiled Indian prince Raja Mahendra Pratap, it had among its members the Islamic scholar Abdul Hafiz Mohamed Barakatullah, and the German officers Werner Otto von Hentig and Oskar Niedermayer, as well as a number of other notable individuals. The expedition tried to rally Emir Habibullah to the Central powers and through him begin a campaign into India, which it was hoped would initiate a rebellion in there. On 1 December 1915, the Provisional Government of India was founded at Habibullah's Bagh-e-Babur palace in the presence of the Indian, German, and Turkish members of the expedition and friends. It was declared a revolutionary government-in-exile which was to take charge of independent India when British authority had been overthrown.[6] Ahendra Pratap was proclaimed President, Barkatullah the Prime minister, Ubaidullah Sindhi the Minister for India, another Deobandi leader Moulavi Bashir its war Minister, and Champakaran Pillai the Foreign Minister.[7] It obtained support from Galib Pasha and proclaimed Jihad against Britain. Recognition was sought from Tsarist Russia, Republican China and Japan.[8] The Government would later attempt to obtain support from Soviet leadership. After the February Revolution in Russia in 1917, Pratap's government corresponded with the nascent Soviet government. In 1918, Mahendra Pratap met Trotsky in Petrograd before meeting the Kaiser in Berlin, urging both to mobilise against British India.[9][10]

However, these plans faltered, Habibullah remained steadfastly neutral while he awaited a concrete indication where the war was headed, even as his advisory council and family members indicated their support against Britain. The Germans withdrew in 1917, but the Indian government stayed behind at Kabul. In 1919, the government was ultimately dissolved under British diplomatic pressure on Afghanistan. Ubaidullah stayed in Kabul for nearly seven years. He encouraged young King Amanullah Khan, who took power after Habibullah's assassination, in the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The conclusion of the war, ultimately, forced him to leave as Amanullah came under pressure from Britain.

Later works[edit]

Ubaidullah proceeded to Russia, where he spent seven months at the invitation of the Soviet leadership, and was afforded official treatment as a guest of the state. During this period, he studied the ideology of socialism. He was, however, unable to meet Lenin who was severely ill at the time. It is thought[by whom?] that Sindhi was impressed by Communist ideals during his stay in Russia, however that is not true at all.[11] In 1923, Ubaidullah left Russia for Turkey where he initiated the third phase of the Waliullah Movement in 1924. He issued the Charter for the Independence of India from Istanbul. Ubaidullah left for Mecca in 1927 and remained there until 1929. During this period, he brought the message of the rights of Muslims and other important Deeni issues to the masses. During his stay in Russia he was not impressed by the Communist ideas but rather, after the Soviet revolution, he presented his belief to the Soviet government that: "Communism is not a natural law system but rather is a reaction to oppression, the natural law is offered by Islam".[this quote needs a citation] He convinced them with facts in very systematic and logical manner, but he was left unanswered when he was asked to provide an example of a state which was being run according to the laws of Islam.

Translation of his work[edit]

Pakistani columnist Farman Nawaz [12] translated his Urdu articles (Islam teaches lesson of harmony to human beings, The Basic Moral standards of Humanity, Theory of civilization, Survival of the fittest and Islam) to English.[13][14]


He was of the view that in the Quran the outfits of the thinking are Arabic words and attention is paid to the necessaries of surroundings to make clear explanation of the right and wrong. But humanitarian person identify what is whispered in this manuscript and what is ahead of the border line of terminologies? The Bible, the Githa and the Torah are also interpreters of human conscious.But their erroneous connotation can be atheism. The individual, who inaccurately interpreted the Bible and the Torah, were declared nonbeliever by Islam. In the same way the person who incorrectly explains the Quran, can be declared Atheist. Islam did not move toward to bulldoze other religions. It accepts as true the basic veracity of all religions and believes in the entity of all nations. When we study the past than we observe that one nation accepts any religion but with the passage of time it modifies the fundamental principles of the religion and lastly the religion of humanity is nationalized. And this nation insists that their religion is for the entire human race, they are the selected few to represent humanity and all other people are infidel and benighted. And at last time draw closer that the religion which comes as the symbol of unity for humanity, turn into the cause of severe diffusion and controversy for human beings. The Holy Quran declares this situation as atheism. The Holy Quran outcaste all those religions which break up the humanity into pieces.[14][15]


In 1936, the Indian National Congress requested his return to India and the British Raj subsequently gave its permission and he landed at the port of Karachi from Saudi Arabia in 1938. He remained at Delhi, where he began a programme teaching Shah Waliullah’s Hujjatullahil Baalighah to Akbarabadi, who would then write an exegesis in his own words. Ubaidullah left for Rahim Yar khan to visit his daughter in 1944. At Deen Pur (Khanpur), he was taken seriously ill and died on 22 August 1944 at Deen Pur. (Deen pur is one KM before the Khanpur and almost 8 km from Lal Pir by pass, Near Rahim Yar Khan District, Punjab, Pakistan.) He was buried in the graveyard adjacent to the grave of his Mentors.He Was Very great man.He passed his last days in basti Deen Pur Sharif.


Ubaidullah Sindhi Books

He has written various books. Shaoor-o-Agahi, Qurani Shaoor-e-Inqalab, and Khutbat-o-Makalat are his famous books.

Postage Stamp of Ubaidullah Sindhi[edit]

Ubaidullah Sindhi Stamp
Ubaidullah Sindhi Stamp

Government of Pakistan has issued a postage stamp of Ubaidullah Sindhi.


  1. ^ a b Jalal 2007, p. 105
  2. ^ a b Reetz 2007, p. 142
  3. ^ a b Ansari 1986, p. 515
  4. ^ Qureshi 1999, p. 78
  5. ^ Qureshi 1999, pp. 77–82
  6. ^ Hughes 2002, p. 469
  7. ^ Ansari 1986, p. 516
  8. ^ Andreyev 2003, p. 95
  9. ^ Hughes 2002, p. 474
  10. ^ Hughes 2002, p. 470
  11. ^ Sindhi, Ubaidullah. Shaoor o Aghai. 
  12. ^ farmannawaz.wordpress.com
  13. ^ http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/2009440
  14. ^ a b https://farmannawaz.wordpress.com/2004/02/01/english-translation-of-maulana-ubaidullah-sindhi-articles/
  15. ^ "Ubaidullah Sindhi". Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. 


  • Ansari, K.H. (1986), Pan-Islam and the Making of the Early Indian Muslim Socialist. Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 20, No. 3. (1986), pp. 509-537, Cambridge University Press .
  • Seidt, Hans-Ulrich (2001), From Palestine to the Caucasus-Oskar Niedermayer and Germany's Middle Eastern Strategy in 1918. German Studies Review, Vol. 24, No. 1. (Feb., 2001), pp. 1-18, German Studies Association, ISSN 0149-7952 .
  • Sims-Williams, Ursula (1980), The Afghan Newspaper Siraj al-Akhbar. Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies), Vol. 7, No. 2. (1980), pp. 118-122, London, Taylor & Francis Ltd, ISSN 0305-6139 .
  • Engineer, Ashgar A (2005), They too fought for India's freedom: The Role of Minorities., Hope India Publications., ISBN 81-7871-091-9 .
  • Sarwar, Muḥammad (1976), Mawlānā ʻUbayd Allāh Sindhī : ʻālāt-i zandagī, taʻlīmāt awr siyāsī afkār, Lahore 
  • Sindhī, ʻUbaidullāh; Sarwar, Muḥammad (1970), Khutbāt o maqālāt-i Maulānā ʻUbaidullāh Sindhī. murattib Muḥammad Sarvar, Lāhaur, Sindh Sāgar Ikādamī