Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad
|Raja Sahib Mahmudabad راجا صاحب محمود آباد|
Amir Ahmed Khan امیر احمد خان|
November 5, 1914
Uttar Pradesh, British India
October 14, 1973 58) (aged|
|Resting place||Near Tomb of Imam Raza Mashhad, Iran|
|Citizenship||British India, Pakistan, United Kingdom|
|Alma mater||La Martiniere Lucknow|
|Spouse(s)||Rani Kaniz Abid|
Mohammad Amir Ahmed Khan راجا صاحب محمود آباد, Raja of Mahmudabad (5 November 1914 – 14 October 1973) popularly known as Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad was a prominent politician and leader of the All India Muslim League, during the Pakistan Movement.
Titles and honours
- Khan Bahadur Khan
- Amirul Omara
- Saeedul Mulk Muzzafar Jung Ghanzanfaru-daula
Literary and cultural aspects
He carried on the family tradition and was an accomplished poet in Urdu language and Farsi. He composed a number of ruba'iyat, salaams, and marsiya as well as some ghazals and nazms under the takhalus (nom de plume) of 'Bahr' and 'Mahbub'. One of his previously unpublished marsiya, entitled Jawn Martyr of Karbala Lamented, has been recently published in London.
Inheritance and legacy
He inherited the Estate of Mahamudabad in 1931 upon death of his father Maharaja Sir Mohammad Ali Mohammad Khan. After his demise, his Estate was taken over by the Government of India under 'Enemy Properties Act'. His wife Rani Kaniz Abid and his only son and heir Raja Mohammad Amir Mohammad Khan remained an Indian citizen and fought a case for recovery of their ancestral Estate for reclaiming their heritage worth millions of rupees and the case is, at present, in high profile legal dispute in India. He won the case after 37 herculean years winning through district court, High Court of Bombay, and the Supreme Court of India which gave a landmark judgement in 2005 ordering "vacant possession" to his properties. Yet to date, the order is far from implementation as the Indian Government continues to bring emergency ordinances in order to block the Supreme Court order; so the case is back in the courts.
He was one of the youngest members of Working Committee of All India Muslim League in 1937. In the same year 1937, he founded All India Muslim Students Federation, which later mobilized into a strong vocal support for Pakistan Movement. However, he was against the independence of Pakistan in 1947. When the Muslim League passed the resolution at Lahore in 1940 for a separate Pakistan, he stood against it and formed All-India Jamhur Muslim League in 1940 to counter the move. The first session of this party was held at Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Raja Saheb was elected its President and Dr. Maghfoor Ahmad Ajazi as General Secretary.
Later on, he changed his mind under the influence of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was a long time family friend and eventually supported the idea of a separate Muslim state. Maharaja Mohammad Ali Mohammad Khan had created a trust with Motilal Nehru, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Deputy Habibullah and Chaudhary Bam Bahadur Shah amongst others to administer the estate as his son was still a minor. Motilal Nehru died before the Maharaja and after the latter's death in 1931, Mohammad Ali Jinnah became the dominant personality on the board. He said that "...the idea of a separate Muslim state in India stirred the imagination of the Muslims as nothing else had done before."
Life in London
He was the first Director of the Islamic Cultural Centre in London, and devoted rest of his life in supervising the building of the Regent Park Mosque. He was the moving force behind the World of Islam Festival held in 1976 in the United Kingdom. Ali Allawi reminisces about the events of 1976.
He died in London on 14 October 1973 but was buried in Mashhad in Iran. He was succeeded by his son Raja Mohammad Amir Mohammad Khan who has been a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh.
The Mehmoodabad area of Karachi is named after him. Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad used to practice strict self-denial and self-discipline for religious reasons in his personal life. That is why his house in Karbala, Iraq and all his wealth was gifted to the Government of Pakistan.
In 1990, Pakistan Postal Services issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in its 'Pioneers of Freedom' series.
- Syed Ishtiaq Husain. Glimpses of Freedom Movement: The Life and the Times of Raja Saheb of Mahmudabad. Mehboob Academy, Karachi (1990)
- Khwaja Razi Haider. Raja Sahib Mahmoodabad: Hayat-o-Khidmaat. Quaid-i-Azam Academy, Karachi
- "Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad". Pioneers of Freedom website. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
- Kothi, Qila Mahmudabad on World Monuments Watch website Retrieved 6 May 2018
- "Enemy Property Bill: A Raja's Lost Legacy". NDTV. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
- Profile and commemorative postage stamp info of Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad on findpk.com website Retrieved 6 May 2018
- South Asian History And Culture,Routledge,London,ISSN.1947-2498.Vol.2.Taylor and Francis Group.pp16-36
- Pandey, Gyanendra (2001). "Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism, and History in India". Questia, Your Online Research Library. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
- The Riyasat of Raja of Mehmoodabad by Farzana Behram Contractor. Retrieved 6 May 2018
- Ali Allawi, former Iraqi Minister, fondly remembers the instrumental role of Raja of Mahmudabad in the organisation of the Festival in The Crisis of Islamic Civilization Retrieved 6 May 2018