By Maulana Muhammad Aslam Shaikhupuri Sahib

people with insight can derive a wealth of lessons and guidance from the history of nations, groups, and individuals. People who take a lesson from the past, keep a critical eye on the present, and have high hopes of the future, find the doors of progress opening up to them. On the contrary, they cannot be saved from the storms of life who break ties with the past, ignore the achievements of generations gone; fail to be on guard against the doings of their group's rebels, hypocrites, power hungry cowards; who see the present with rose colored glasses, and believe it a fruitless exercise to think of the future.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the sovereignty of the Muslims over the sub-continent, mutual misunderstandings, the slavery of the British, the Freedom Movement, and the founding of Pakistan. The need is to recount the events again and again so that the new generation remains conscious to the causes of successes and failures.

The fall of the Muslim rulers who had ruled Indo-Pak for nearly a thousand years on over 108 million square miles was not due to the strength of the opponents but their own weaknesses that had left them hollow and unsound. They could not bear the winds of opposition and fell to the ground. They had been given a long time to rectify themselves but they did not make use of it. The common man aside, even the elite were devoid of the real meaning of Deen, a few practices were given the name of faith, there remained no relationship between Deen and politics; every distinctive quality of the non-Muslims from prostitution and alcohol to dance and music were rampant in the palaces and privacies of the rulers.

The courts were filled with toadying sycophants running after position and power, designing courtiers, hidden conspiracies and animosities. These were the reasons that had hollowed the foundations of the Mughal emperors.

The East India Trading Company, established in the name of business, closely observed the weaknesses of the rulers and the simplicity and ignorance of the common man and took advantage by developing ties with the nawwabs and rajas and uprising them against the central rulership. The rulership, already afire, burst into flames that soon devoured the thousand-year power, grandeur and magnificence.

Nawwab Siraj ud Dawlah was the first Muslim ruler to realize this stratagem. He warned the British to keep to their trade and close up all armories and forts. The British naval chief, Walton, replied with clenched teeth, "Nawwab Siraj ud Dawlah! I will start the fires of war that will not be quenched even with water." So it was, and although the Nawwab came out with his sword to fight the "Company Bahadur", the conspiracies of hypocrites like Mir Jafar and Uma Chand rusted his blade. It is most probable that without this infidelity the British pride would have been in the dust of Plassey.

The second sultan was Hayder Ali whose eagle eyes saw through the ploys of the British and he made a firm resolve to break the chains of slavery the British were trying to bind them in. but his life was short and he was unable to see his dream come true. His true successor in this outlook was his son, the honorable, courageous, Fatah Ali Khan Tipu Sultan. This name will always be written in golden letters and this name will always light candles of valor and gallantry. His feat of standing up against the enemy was a historical event and his martyrdom was no less a wonder.

Tipu Sultan furthered his movement of freedom with all political insight, military power, and international assistance. He extended ties with the Ottomans, sided with the French against the British, sent his ambassadors to France, Turkey, Iran, and other countries for building smooth relations. He was the first Hindustani Muslim who took stock of the industrial development of the West and turned his own business endeavors that way. Success was at hand but the British using their customary cunning and wiliness were able to bring round the rulers of Southern India and some close associates of the Sultan.

At last this great leader was martyred at the Saranga Patam by the treachery of his own men. General Harris had said by his dead body, "From today, India is ours! General Bard had said, "The last link of India's freedom has broken today. No power on earth can stop us from taking India now."

Their continuous victories and the internal disturbances had boosted the morales of the British and now they were hoping to see India as a Christian state. Mr. Mangles said in the London Parliament that God had shown them this day that India is ruled by Britain so that the flag of Christ would fly from one end of India to the other. So everyone should use all his or her powers for the great mission of turning India to Christianity and no one should be lax in the matter.

These were the turbulent times when the son of Shah Waliullah, Shah Abdul Aziz rahamahullah alaih gave the decree of India being a "Daarul Harab". The decree had far reaching effects on the Muslims and they became active at different fronts against the British.

This verdict played an important role in the uprise of 1857. People used to sit in market places and public gatherings to listen to the ulema talk and then the Muslims took oath by the Quraan and the Hindus by the Ganga Jal that they would not rest until they had kicked the British out of their country. The movement was so strong that in some places the mujahideen were able to back some areas and even cities. From May to September of 1857, every campaign was led by the ulema but among them the campaign of Shamili is specially notable for it saw great leaders like Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi, Maulana Rashid Admad Gangohi, Maulana Muhammad Munir, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir, and Maulana Sheikh Muhammad take full part in the fight.

The War of Independence failed due to a host of reasons. The British then set out for revenge. The Hindustani nation was subjected to inhuman cruelty. The soldiers were given open leave to loot and plunder the city of Delhi for three days. This permission was made use of in the most horrible way. For three whole days people were frenzily murdered, heads fell from bodies, the blood flowed incessantly, bullets were shot at soldier and civilian indiscriminately; then came the hangings. Lynches were set up at all major roads, which became the pleasurable diversions for the British where they used to gather to enjoy the gruesome scenes of murder by rope.

Some of the Muslim neighborhoods were wiped clean of any living being. A Field Marshal wrote to his mother that the most effective way for the life sentence was to explode the criminal with a cannon, which was a most gruesome scene, but at that time they could not take any chances. Their aim was to show those rouge Muslims that the British, with the help of their God, were there to stay.

Apart from the physical killing of the Muslims, tens of steps were taken destroy the Muslims' education and economy. They were sacked from key and important jobs; the official language was changed from Persian to English; they were barred from government jobs; their property was seized which were the source of income for their madrasas and organizations.

Although the freedom fighters lost due to internal weaknesses, infidels, lack of a central and overall authority, but the effects of this fight for freedom reached every corner of India. The intense desire to be rid of the foreigners blossomed in every God fearing heart. In the future this Freedom Movement took the shape of the Indian National Congress, Tehreeke Khilafat, Tarke Mawalaat, Jamiat Ulema Hind, and the Muslim League.

Because the British had used their ace card in developing feelings of hatred between the Muslims and the Hindus, many Muslim leaders began to ask for a separate homeland for the Muslims. The everyday experiences of life, of dreadful incidents in offices and departments, the lack of political insight, and mutual differences fueled the fire and at last in 1947 the land was divided and after crossing a sea of blood and carnage, a country came into being in the name of Islam and freedom.

The dwellers of Pakistan celebrate their day of freedom every year on 14 August but it seems that another movement will have to be started to make them realize the real reasons for the attainment of Pakistan and to free them of British slavery. Let us see who has the honor of heading that movement!!