Featured, Foreign Policy, The Khilafah

Two Centuries of Resistance by the Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent to the British Occupation 1757-1947

Nubuwwa, Jihad, Khilafah and Nussrah

The British kuffar who occupied the Indian Subcontinent for almost two centuries targeted three main concepts in the Muslims to subdue them. One was source of their spiritual strength, Nubuwwa; the other was the physical strength, Jihad, and the other political strength or unity which made them invincible, Khilafah. There is a fourth concept that the Muslims must engrave in their hearts to practically realize change today, which is Nussrah (Material Support).


Allah (swt) said, وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلاَّ كَافَّةً لِلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ “And We have not sent you except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, and most of men know not” (34:28). And Allah (swt) said, وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلاَّ رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ “Allah did not send you (Muhammad ) except as a mercy to all peoples” (21:107)

We thank Allah (swt) that we are of the Ummah of the last Messenger and Prophet ﷺ, the Seal of the Prophets ﷺ. The noble one ﷺ who was ordered that this Deen should prevail over all others, even though the mushrikeen may detest it. The favored one ﷺ who was commanded to establish Islamic rule and ordered to expand it through Jihad, the victorious one ﷺ commanded the Muslims that there must be a Khilafah after him ﷺ to rule by Islam and the one ﷺ who gave glad tidings of this Khilafah’s return after the biting monarchy and oppressive rule, a Khilafah like the first of it, a Khilafah on the Methodology of the Prophethood.

Throughout this Ummah and through its ages, the concepts of Nubuwwa, Jihad and Khilafah remained carved in the hearts and minds of the Muslims, given to them in the laps of the believing mothers. The Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent are no exception, throughout the times they faced the British occupation which ended the Muslim rule, the division of the Muslim Lands into Pakistan and the Hindu State and what they face now of America’s attempts to gain a strong foothold in the region.


The first challenge to hundreds of years of Muslim dominance of the Indian Subcontinent began with the Battle of Plassey in 23 June 1757 by the forces of the British East India Company, conspiring with the traitor Mir Jafar. This Company was a British imperial project for the occupation of the Indian Subcontinent, established in 1600. It took nearly 150 years to build up its capability to challenging the Muslim rulers. It used styles similar to the colonialist America of today. As early as 1693, the annual expenditure in political “gifts” to men in power reached nearly 90,000 pounds, just as today the Americans buy the loyalty of the traitors within the military and civilian leadership of Pakistan, by allowing them to take from the so-called aid and military contracts. Imperial Britain established its foothold and strengthened it, arguing the need for increasing troops to secure its interests, just as the Americans today have established a network of military and intelligence throughout Pakistan.

Muslims continued their resistance and amongst the most prominent was the Muslim ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan. Tipu struck fear in the hearts of the enemy through his Taqwa and ingenuity, including the use of missiles with blades that sliced through the enemy ranks. He first engaged the enemy in 1767 at the age of sixteen, then 1775-79, 1779-1784, 1789-92, 1798-99 in which he embraced martyrdom. Even after his death, his bravery inspired Muslims, including his sons, who instigated the Vellore Mutiny in 1806, which was brutally suppressed with the leaders of the mutiny being tied to the front of cannons and blown apart.

Britain could neither settle its occupation nor expand it into the highly strategic lands of Afghanistan. Between, 1839-42 its army experienced one of the most severe, if not the most severe defeats, at the hands of the defiant Pushtoon Muslims and led to the British withdrawal from Afghanistan. This victory further eroded the image of British power and strength, when despite superior weaponry, they were unable to overwhelm the greatest weapon of the Muslims, the desire for martyrdom.

The Muslims were encouraged and then word spread that the Company’s rule would end after a hundred years in 1857. The Muslim masses began to mobilize. As a symbol of resistance, Chapaties (unleavened flat bread) and Lotus Flowers began to circulate around large parts of the Indian Subcontinent, quoting the famous line “Sub lal hogea hai.” (Everything has become Red.) In this charged atmosphere, the rebellion was sparked by an incident in which Muslim soldiers in the occupying British army rebelled over the use of pork fat in rifle cartridges which they were required to initially bite but then only handle. The Mughal Muslim ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was then met by these soldiers on 11 May 1857 and was told, “We have joined hands to protect our Deen and our Iman.” The soldiers later stood in Chandni Chowk, the main square, and asked the people gathered there, “Brothers, are you with those of the faith?” The Muslims called for a Jihad against the Kafir and Christians. This Jihad was centered in the regions now known as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, northern Madhya Pradesh, and the Delhi region, the regions from which many Muslims migrated to Pakistan, after the division of the Indian Subcontinent in 1947. Even though the rebellion was contained by 20 June 1858, it led to the dissolution of the East India Company in 1858 and the Subcontinent was thereafter directly governed by the Crown in what was known as the new British Raj.


The British then tried other means to settle their occupation. The Jihad of 1857 forced the British to reorganize the administration, financial system and the army, disbanding Muslim soldiers. They became more aggressive and devious in their means.

Just as the Americans sabotage the education curricula in the Muslim Lands today, the British then began their battle for the hearts and minds by trying to negate the concepts of Nubuwwa, Jihad and Khilafah, through the manufacture of a false religion of Qadianis. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (the curse of Allah be upon him) founded this movement on 23 March 1889. He denied the Finality of Nubuwwa by claiming to be a Prophet, denied Jihad by insisting that there is no Qital and replaced loyalty to the Khilafah with loyalty to the British occupiers. The British arranged that this movement was encouraged within the regions from which they faced greatest resistance in 1857.

An official British government Report on the Census of India, 1901, page 373 states: “It is also interesting to notice that there is at the present time in Northern India a religious teacher of the name of Ghulam Ahmed … he repudiates the doctrine of Jihad with the sword, and regards as absolutely unlawful wars undertaken for the propagation of religion.” Though some Muslims became apostate, this movement never took hold in this Ummah as the Kuffar intended.

The Muslims then planned Jihad against the British Raj in a movement in the second decade of the 20th century. It necessitated contact with the Khilafah, because even though it faced assaults from the British and French, it was the centre of strength for Muslims. The preparations were led by the Ulema- Maulana Mehmood ul Hasan and included Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni, Maulana Shah Raheem Raipuri, Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, Maulana Muhammad Sadik from Khadda and Maulana Muhammad Mian Mansoor Ansari. This movement is known as Tehreek-e Reshmi Rumal (Silken Handkerchief movement) because the letters exchanged between Shaikhul Hind and his colleagues containing the outlines of the plan to recruit the volunteers for the army were written on a silk piece of cloth. To organize a military force, Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi was sent to Afghanistan, Maulana Ansari to the tribes of the Frontier area and Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni set off to Hijaz in 1915 for support from the Uthmani Khilafah, but the plan was exposed and the leaders were detained in Malta.

The Muslims still looked to the Khilafah and were angered by the threat of its abolition after the First World War. The Muslims led by Maulana Shaukat Ali Jauhur and his brother Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar established a Tehreek-e-Khilafah based in Lucknow, in modern day Utter Pradesh, to protect the caliphate. The Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent sent financial aid to save the Khilafah so much so that a bank was founded just for these funds.  After the abolition of the Khilafah in 1924, the Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent were dismayed. The sincere poet and thinker, Allama Mohammad Iqbal, in his writings reprimanded Mustafa Kamal for the abolition of the Khilafah and urged the importance of Muslim unity.

It was this desire for Muslim unity that led Muslims to desire another central authority for the Muslims and led to the movement for Pakistan. In this movement, millions of Muslims were displaced and hundreds of thousands were martyred as they migrated in the hope of living under Islamic rule in Pakistan, after the partition of the Indian Subcontinent in 1947. Indeed, until this day in Karachi, there is a Khilafat Chowk, named by those who migrated expecting to find Islamic rule there.

Even though the Muslims achieved liberation from the kuffar in 1947, the ruling by kufr remained. It is this kufr rule that is the cause of successive traitor rulers. This means that the struggle of the Muslims is still not over. Today only the Khilafah can provide peace and security not just in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kashmir, but the whole of the Indian Subcontinent. From the time of Muhammad bin Qassim raheemullah and for a thousand years afterwards, Islamic rule brought peace and prosperity to the Indian Subcontinent. It was Islam that raised the Indian Subcontinent as the economic envy of the world, compelling the British Empire to strengthen its economically failing dominion by invading the region and claiming India as a Jewel in its fading and tarnished Crown. It was Islam that established unparalleled harmony and citizenship between the many and varied people of this region for centuries. The fact that Hindus remain as a majority after a thousand years of Islam in the Indian Subcontinent shows that Islamic rule was a stark contrast to its kufr contemporary rule, such as the barbaric Christian rule in Spain or the tyrannical Halakus of Asia which viscously slaughtered those who held other religious beliefs.

Nussrah and the Khilafah

Muslims are the rightful rulers of the entire Indian Subcontinent and are fully capable of initiating this much needed change in the troubled, volatile and pitiful regional situation. Today the Muslims do not face a British army but are in the fortunate situation that their brothers, sons, father and uncles are in the largest Muslim army in the world, even larger than that of American army and certainly more fearless, fearing none but Allah (swt) in His Path. Moreover, Pakistan has been blessed with huge resources, agricultural land, rivers, energy and minerals, which exceeds that of many of the world’s major powers. And Pakistan has a lively and energetic people, who turn in every hardship and challenge to their Lord (swt) for strength and success.

It is upon the sincere officers of the Pakistan armed forces to uproot the traitors amongst the military and civilian leadership, grant the Nusrrah to Hizb ut Tahrir to establish the Khilafah, which will gather together the resources of this Ummah and bring the entire Indian Subcontinent under the shade and justice of Islam. RasulAllah ﷺ said, «عِصَابَتَانِ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَحْرَزَهُمَا اللَّهُ مِنْ النَّارِ عِصَابَةٌ تَغْزُو الْهِنْدَ وَعِصَابَةٌ تَكُونُ مَعَ عِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلَام» “Two groups of my ummah Allah has protected from the Hellfire: a group that will conquer India and a group that will be with ‘Isa ibnu Maryam.” [Ahmad, An-Nisa’i]. Abu Hurayra (ra) narrated, «وَعَدَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ غَزْوَةَ الْهِنْدِ فَإِنْ أَدْرَكْتُهَا أُنْفِقْ فِيهَا نَفْسِي وَمَالِي فَإِنْ أُقْتَلْ كُنْتُ مِنْ أَفْضَلِ الشُّهَدَاءِ وَإِنْ أَرْجِعْ فَأَنَا أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ الْمُحَرَّرُ» “The Messenger promised us the conquest of India. If I was to come across that I will spend my soul and my wealth. If I am killed then I am among the best of martyrs, and if I return then I am Abu Hurayra the freed (from sin)” [Ahmad, An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim]


Musab Umair – Pakistan