Hijrat Movement and Khilafat Movement

Exploring the Hijrat Movement: Its Origins During WWI and Impact on Indian Muslims


Hijrtat Movement is the most significant event in the history of subcontinet. This event had emerged in the wake of Khilafat movement.

The Hijrat movement originated as a response to broken promises that had been made following the conclusion of World War I. The holy sites that fall under the Ottoman Empire’s purview are protected by the treaty’s terms, which state that they will not be damaged in any way. Based on the fatwa the Khilafat Central Committee issued, Muslims from the subcontinent have attempted to relocate to Turkey via Afghanistan.
They announced that Hindustan would henceforth be known as the Dar-ul-Harb. They have to go to a more secure location for them to be able to safeguard the sacred sites and the khalifa of Muslims, which is the guardian of Muslims all over the world. Muslims put the recommendations of the Khilafat Committee into action. They were forced to sell their properties and relocate to Afghanistan, where they found out they would not be allowed to enter the country on the orders of the Amir of Afghanistan, Amir Abdul Rahman. They desired to settle in turkey to protect the khilafat institution from potential threats.

Hijrtat Movement and Ottoman Empire

The Hijrat movement was begun as a protest against the authoritarian tactics of the British administration and as a call for the Ottoman Empire to be reinstated. 1914 was the year that saw the beginning of World War 1, which was fought between German and Allied armies. Due to its severe lack of power, the Ottoman Empire formed an alliance with Germany. The Muslims of the Indian subcontinent refused to side with Britain in their battle against the Ottoman Empire because of the spiritual connection they felt they had with the Ottoman Empire.

Treaty of Sevres

The British government pledged that they would fight just against Germany and that the Ottoman Caliphate would not be affected in any way by their actions. The promise was breached when German forces were defeated by Allied forces. The territory of the Ottoman Empire was divided between France and Britain, with a tiny amount going to Turkey, according to the terms of the Treaty of Sevres.

During this time, the Khilafat Movement, which advocated for the restoration of the Ottoman Caliphate, received backing from Congress, and the level of social mobilisation was at its highest. In 1919, the British government passed a law known as the Rowlett Act, which extended some emergency powers for an indeterminate period of time in order to suppress popular unrest and uncover plots.
As a result of the widespread mobilisation, the British authorities adopted a more aggressive stance and detained prominent Muslims, such as the Ali brothers and Azad. There were detentions of close to thirty thousand Muslims. In the meantime, the Jallian Bagh event took place, the objective of which was to call for the release of Muslims who were being held in prison. The behaviour of the British administration was untenable, and this is what sparked the Hijrat movement.

Hijrat Movement is outcome of Khilafat Movement

The Khilafat Movement 1919-1922
The Khilafat Movement 1919-1922

During the height of the Khilafat movement, a voice emanating from Lucknow proclaimed the Indian subcontinent to be Dar-ul-Harb, which is Arabic for “home of war.” This voice pleaded with the Muslims of India’s religious leaders, the Ulama, to leave their homeland because they were unable to compete with the aggressive steps taken by the British. As a result, the Ulama urged the Muslims to relocate to a new location.

After World War I, a group of religious leaders named Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Moulana Abdul Bari Farangi, Moulana Muhammad Ali, and Moulana Abdul Majeed Sindhi issued a fatwa in which they declared it desirable for Muslims in India to move from India, which they called Dar-ul-Harb (meaning “home of war”), to Dar-ul-Aman (meaning “home of peace”).


To encourage Muslim migration, Nazims were appointed in each major city, and a central office known as Khuddam-ul-Muhajireen was formed in Delhi. Both of these offices were located in India. The majority of Muslims, giving weight to the pronouncement made by the Ulema, came to the conclusion that it would be best for them to relocate to Afghanistan, the closest Muslim country, which was deemed to be an appropriate shelter for them.
Under British control, Muslims living on the Indian subcontinent were unable to live their lives in accordance with the teachings of Islam and the traditions of Islamic culture. The Muslims were not even allowed to hear a minor word in opposition of the Hijrat movement, and it became so dominant that even the Non-cooperation Movement paled in comparison to it. The Hijrat movement was considered to be such an important virtue that the Muslims were not even made to hear a minor word in opposition of the movement.

Muslims and Hijrat movemen

Muslims quickly liquidated their assets and made their way to Kabul. Under the direction of Barrister Jan Muhammad Junejo, a band of approximately seven hundred and fifty Muslim Muhajireen from Sindh set out towards Kabul. This group of Muslims was met with an ecstatic reception at every train station it passed; as a result, the zeal with which the Muslims of Punjab were willing to migrate was increased.
The fact that more than thirty thousand Muslims had already travelled to Kabul by the middle of the second week in August 1920 is illustrative of how widespread the movement was at the time. The movement eventually reached the Frontier province, where residents became increasingly engaged in an effort to achieve greater success than others in this holy cause. The movement was started because of its relevance in religious affairs.

Muslims from NWFP

Rural parts of the NWFP province, such as Peshawar and Mardan, were the places that were hit the most by the earthquake. Hindus from the area encouraged Muslims to leave their homeland and began offering to buy their land and cattle at an extremely low price.
A piece of land with an estimated value of ten thousand rupees was purchased for one hundred, while a bull with an estimated value of two hundred was bought for only forty rupees. The locals provided sustenance and care for the migrant caravans that were travelling to Afghanistan via Peshawar and the Khyber Pass. These migrants were headed in that direction.
They provided a good setup for their hospitality, solicited contributions from the community, and dedicated their time and energy to assisting refugees. In order to accommodate the immigrants throughout their time in Peshawar, a Sarai was set aside in the Namak Mandi neighbourhood. The vast majority of Muslim leaders from the NWFP, including Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Abbas Khan, Muhammad Akbar Khan, and Ali Gul Khan, supported the Hijrat movement, and all of these individuals eventually moved to Afghanistan alongside other Muslims seeking shelter there.

The migration took occurred on a massive scale, and a very significant number of individuals, the vast majority of whom were members of lower social classes, the common people, and the destitute people, fled India for Afghanistan. The emigrants made their way across the country on foot and with carts because the means of transportation available to them at the time were not nearly as developed as they are today. At first, the government of Afghanistan extended a warm welcome to Indian Muslims, and King Amanullah, the ruler of Afghanistan at the time, named Muhammad Iqbal Shedai to the position of minister for refuges

Responce of Afghan Government to Hijrat Movement

Later on, the government of Afghanistan shut down their borders when they realised it would be impossible for them to manage the influx of refugees who were heading their way. Even people who were able to enter the nation without incident were living unhappy lives and were disgusted by the fact that Afghanistan was such a poor country and had so many internal issues. The refugees experienced a great deal of suffering, and before long they were forced to continue their trek back to their homes. A number of the migrants ultimately made their way to the Soviet Union and Europe.

Responce of progressive muslims againts Hijrat Movement

The Hijrat movement was driven by strong feelings and poor judgement, and it had no chance of producing anything positive as a result. It was disapproved of by the vast majority of ulema and prominent figures in Islamic public opinion, including Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Habib-ur-Rehman, Hakeem Ajmal Khan, Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan, and Alama Inayatullah Khan. The Hijrat movement resulted in suffering for Muslims since it was unplanned and was centred on emotions rather than taking into account the realities of Afghanistan. This caused the movement to fail miserably.


The Muslims of the Subcontinent made a foolish decision, and as a result, they lost their lives along with their homes, harvests, and cattle. It was an act of grave error on the part of Muslims, who did not look into the repercussions, and it caused them to become even impoverished. The Muslims were on the verge of a catastrophe and were up against hostility from the Hindus since they had nothing left in India after selling everything they owned. Muslims who were sincere and zealous endured tremendous sufferings; yet, the Hijrat movement reaffirmed Muslims’ absolute commitment to sacrificing for the ideology, principles, and teachings of Islam.

This article is written by Shahid Hussain Soomro

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