Syed Ata-ullah Shah Bukhari


Syed Ata-ullah Shah Bukhari was born in Patna (India) on September 23, 1892. He got his early religious education in Gujrat and learnt the Holy Qur’an by heart under tutelage of his fathe Hafiz Syed Ziauddin at the age of ten. He entered into practical life in a very early age and informally acquired rest of the education. In 1916 he became a political activist against the British who was titled as ‘rail or jail’.

He was a great critic of Qadiyani prophethood, and made his singular contribution for the cause of Khatam-e-Naboowat. He was totally against the British raj and several times was sent to jail. It was due to his services in this regard that he was titled as `Ameer-e-Shari’at in 1930 by Islamic religious groups. He was also the founding father of Majlis e-Ah’rar-e-Islam. This party was against Quaid-I-Azam and also Pakistan. It is said that Syed Ataullah Shah Bukhari of Ahrarul Islam used to complain about the people who enthusiastically listened to him night-long but in the morning would go and vote for Jinnah. All the followers of Jamiat-e-Ulmai Hind including Ataullah Shah Bukhari used to bitterly denounce the Quaid and the Muslim League. Ataullah Shah Bukhari went to the extent of saying that “No mother has yet given birth to a baby who could write the ‘pay’ (the Urdu equivalent of English letter ‘P’) of Pakistan.”

He was a poet as well as a great orator with his unique style. Most of his published poetry is in Persian. He was the disciple of Peer Syed Mehr Ali Shah Golari, and after him gave his hand in the hands of Hazrat Raipuri. Possibly taking a hint from Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, he raised the demand of an Islamic State based on making Quran and Sunnah as the defining principle of statehood probably in 1948. That had a lasting resonance, though no political authority or government ever could accept or reject it ever since.

He died on August 21, 1961.

This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 01, 2007