Maulana Abdul Majeed Salik

Maulana Abdul Majeed Salik spent a long time in the company of Maulana Zafar Ali Khan. They had a praiseworthy and exemplary friendship. There are certain facts about Maulana’s personal life which can be best known to Maulana Abdul Majeed Salik. The following lines present, some observations about Maulana’s  life described by Maulana Abdul Majeed Salik.

After the death of Maulvi Serajuddin Ahmad, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan discontinued the service from Haider Abad Deccan. He suspended ‘Dakan Review’ and came to Panjab so that he can better serve the people in the vast plains of Panjab.

‘Zameendar’ was representing the agriculturist but Zafar Ali Khan moved up to represent the feelings of the entire nation. Therefore he shifted this ‘weekly paper’ from Karam Abad to Lahore and converted it into a daily newspaper which attracted the lovers of literature and journalism. It was a valuable blessing for the readers of newspapers. Till then they were obliged to depend on the docile, solemn and simple journalism of ‘Paisa Ikhbar’ and ‘Watan’. ‘ Zameendar’ offered them a variety of tasteful writings and the forceful speeches of Maulana popularized the newspaper in days and weeks in the entire country. Consequently, there was a crowd of the admirers and every one payed tribute to ‘Zameendar’ and the expertise of its editor. The wars of Tripoli and Trablus added fuel to the fire, lit in the heart of Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, and he was the first to challenge the British Government as a member of ‘Itehad-e-Islami Movement’ and aroused strong  feelings in the hearts of the Muslims for Islam.

One day Mehar and myself called upon him and he said, “ I have made up a plan, to accumulate a huge fund for Muslims. Eight crore Muslims are living in India, and if everyone contribute just two annas, it will amount to one crore Rupees. Some of this money will be spent on the printing press and some on the office of ‘Zameendar’. Two houses will be constructed in the same enclosure of ‘Zameendar’s office . We will pay one thousand rupees to Iqbal as his salary and send him to China to preach Islam.” 

He kept saying so many things and we silently listened to all that. At last I asked, “to provide One crore Rupees, we have to set up a system comprising of sincere people, and that set up  needs funds. Where would we get that amount from?”

He replied, “ Of course! The problem is that we don’t have money,  —O Yaseen!  bring my Huqqa.”  the huqqa was brought and he puffed out all that plan in the smoke of huqqa.

It was one of the remarkable characteristics of Maulana that he was very punctual in his morning walk and daily exercise. He would get up early in the morning and from his office he would walk up to the canal. It was a walk of at least eight miles daily. He was accompanied by Maulvi Mehboob Alam(Paisa Ikhbar), Maulvi Sayyed Mumtaz Ali, Sir Ganga Ram, Roy BahaderGanj Bhari and some other elderly people.

 One day, very early in the morning, at about 3.30A.M, he came out of his house, bare-headed, in ‘Kurta and Pajama’ and went for his walk. On his way, a Constable saw him from a distance, and alleged that he might be a criminal who has committed a crime and is hurriedly walking towards his home. He followed Maulana.  Maulana got the joke and started running. The constable also increased his pace. After a mile’s run, he caught hold of Maulana. He recognized him, and after salutation, he requested Maulana, “Please sir! Wear your coat and cap before leaving the house and don’t put us in a suspicion”. On his return, Maulana recounted this event and every one was burst to laughter.

To maintain the Posture, was one of the remarkable traits of Maulana and other people of that era. He used to wear Turkish cap, long shirt, Arha pajama and Haiderabadi Shervani when he came from Haiderabad Deccan to Panjab.

    He had a tanned complexion, well trimmed beard and very energetic and agile in his gait, and these features continued till his old age. There was no change even in his idealism and emotionalism.

He had brotherly relations with Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali, Abual-Kalam , Hakeem Ajmal Khan, and Dr. Ansari. Some times there was a difference of opinion with adversary leaders of the parallel standing, but it was always a temporary phase,  because the gush of forceful movements swept off  their internal differences and they joined hands to move in the same unified direction with mutual love and respect for one another.

The strike of the workers               of ‘Zameendar’ and at the commencement of the publication of ‘Inqelab’, some differences occurred among us. Owing to our profound respect and compassionate feelings of Maulana, these differences were harmoniously resolved. Salik and Mehar once again resumed enjoying the exuberant literary gossips of Maulana. When Maulana was imprisoned in Montgomery Jail during “Tehreek-e-Turk-e Mualat”,  and after wards when he was confined in house arrest due to Masjid Shaheed Ganj, it was our routine to visit him every Sunday and used to enjoy a very amusing time in his  company.  On the dinning place in Karam Abad, Maulana would serve the guests with love and affection and would usually remark, “Every thing on ‘Dasterkhan’ is from Karam Abad except sugar and salt, i.e.(meat, vegetables, ghee, coriander, onion, turmeric, garlic, chilies, rice, eggs) every thing was produced in Karam Abad.

God knows, what happened, that Maulana was attacked by a sudden crumble of health. He had spent a very pious life and was very careful about his diet; never had he missed walk and exercise. It was believed that he would remain active, agile and physically fit till the end of his life. It is the will of God that once he fell ill, and got bed-ridden, all activities came to a sudden halt.

Once, when I went to attend the meeting in Karam Abad held to celebrate the 83rd  birthday of Maulana, I was shocked to see him mute and motionless. He could not recognize his old companions. When I went closer and his son asked, “Abba! Did you recognize him?”

In a very low voice he said, “Whom can I identify if I can’t recognize Salik Sahib?”

Tears swelled in my eyes. The Lion whose roar echoed in the whole of India, and whose one step was in Lahore and the next in Rangoon, and the third in Bombay, Today his silence, distress and helplessness was a lesson of-warning but for whom? For the last few years, Maulana used to spend the months of summer in Murree and in winter he would go to Karam Abad. His brother Ghulam Haider Khan was always with him and looked after him during his illness. May God bless Maulana a sound health and long life, because he is a valuable asset for the Muslims of Indo-Pak

During his confinement, he was bitten by a mad dog. With the permission of the government he went to Kasooli for treatment and got a certificate for his conditional release. ‘Zameendar’ had already been closed by that time, but it had a small office in Ramgalli. I still remember that on his return from Shimla, he would stay in the same office for a day or two.

One day, we were sitting on the roof of the office at night and enjoying a literary chat with Maulana along with a few of his other devotees. Dr. Iqbal also came up to meet him. There was an excitement of a competition of verses and pleasantries and Dr. Iqbal recited the following verses from “Israr-e-Khudi”  which he had composed as a tribute to King Aurangzeb Alamgeer.

  Fifty One  years have passed when this great leader parted from us, but his services for “Independence Movement” will always be remembered in golden words.