Titu Mir

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Syed Mir Nisar Ali commonly known as Titu Mir was a great Bengali freedom fighter and a peasant leader who resisted the oppression of the local zamindars and European indigo planters on the peasantry with ultimate object of liberating the country from British domination. He led the Muslim religious reform movement Tariqah-i-Muhammadiya in Bengal.

Titu Mir belonged to a Muslim aristocratic family. His predecessor Syed Shahadat Ali came to Bengal from Arabia to preach Islam. Syed Abdullah, son of Shahadat Ali, was appointed Chief Qazi of Jafarpur by the emperor of Delhi and was invested with the title of Meer Insaaf. Henceforth the descendants of Shahadat Ali used both the hereditary titles ‘Syed’ and ‘Mir’. Titu Mir was well-versed in Islamic education and had memorized the holy Quran at an early age. He acquired his early education from village maktab and then admitted to local madrassah. He had command over three languages – Bangla, Arabic and Persian and developed keen interest in Arabic and Persian literature. He became an expert of Islamic theology, jurisprudence, philosophy, tasawwaf (Islamic mysticism) and mantiq. He was also an expert gymnast and a renowned pahlwan (wrestler) of his madrassah.

In 1822 Titu Mir went on a pilgrimage to Makka where he came in close contact with the great Islamic reformer and revolutionary leader Syed Ahmad of Bareilly who inspired him to free his fellow countrymen from unislamic practices and foreign domination. In 1827 Titu Mir returned to Bengal and preached pure Islam amongst the Muslims and advised them to refrain from practicing shirk and bidaat. He had great influence on weavers and peasants but came in conflict with oppressing zamindars such as Krishnadeva Rai of Purha Kaliprasanna Mukhopadhyay of Gobardanga, Rajnarayan of Taragonia, Gauri Prasad Chowdhury of Nagpur and Devanath Rai of

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