Sartor Faqir

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The Sartor Faqir (also known as "Mullah Mastan or Mullah Mastana"[1][2] Lewanai Faqir or Saidullah in Pashto[3] and by the British as "The Great Fakir" or "Mad Faqir",[4] "Mad Faqir of Swat"[5] or the "Mad Mullah"[6]) was a Pashtun fakir and religious mendicant whose Pashto name translated to "God-intoxicated" as a reference to his religious convictions and his belief that he was capable of miraculous powers.[3]

The Sartor Faqir was born as Saidullah Khan in the village of Rega Buner in the Buner Valley and was a member of a branch of the Yousafzai tribe. In order to further his religious education, he lived and travelled throughout India and Central Asia, before setting in Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan for a period of ten years. In 1895, he returned to Buner.[7]

In response to the British occupation of the North West Frontier Province of modern-day Pakistan, and the division of Pashtun lands by the Durand Line,[8] the Faqir declared a jihad against the occupying British Empire, unsuccessfully in 1895,[9] then successfully in 1897. In late July, he led from 10,000 to 100,000[2][10][11] Pashtun tribesmen in an uprising that culminated in the siege of Malakand, which ended with the British being relieved on August 2.

Although the Faqir continued to lead further attacks against the British, the siege of Malakand marked the height of his power and influence, which declined as the British made agreements with other local tribes and rulers to counter him.[12] The Faqir eventually made his own agreements with the British, with the revelation of an exchange of presents and correspeondence with the British political officer of Malakand leading to accusations of the Faqir being in the pay of the British. This and the Faqir's advancing years led to a further decline of his movement, which broke up upon his death in 1917.[13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Spain p. 177
  2. ^ a b Eknath Easwaran (1999), Nonviolent Soldier of Islam (see article), p. 49
  3. ^ a b Beattie p. 171
  4. ^ Hobday p. 13
  5. ^ Edwards p. 177
  6. ^ Elliott-Lockhart p. 28
  7. ^ Sultan-I-Rome p. 2
  8. ^ Lamb p. 93
  9. ^ Sultan-I-Rome p. 2
  10. ^ Wilkinson-Latham p. 20
  11. ^ Gore p. 405
  12. ^ Sultan-I-Rome p. 5
  13. ^ Sultan-I-Rome, pp. 6-7

References[edit]