Mahmud Hasan Deobandi
(1851 – 1920) – (Uttar Pradesh)
Mahmud Hasan Deobandi (Aged 69) also known as Shaykh al-Hind, was born in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1851. He was an Indian Muslim scholar and an activist of the independence movement, who co-founded the Jamia Millia Islamia and launched the Silk Letter Movement for the freedom of India. Hasan was the first student to study at the Darul Uloom Deoband, where he was taught by Muhammad Qasim Nanautawi and Mahmud Deobandi, and authorized in Sufism by Imdadullah Muhajir Makki and Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. He served as the principal of the Darul Uloom Deoband and founded organizations such as the Jamiatul Ansar and the Nizaratul Maarif.
Hasan wrote a translation of the Quran in Urdu and authored books such as Adilla-eKāmilah, Īzah al-adillah, Ahsan al-Qirā, and Jahd alMuqil. He taught hadith at the Darul Uloom Deoband and copyedited the Sunan Abu Dawud. Among his major students were Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Hussain Ahmad Madani, Kifayatullah Dehlawi, Sanaullah Amritsari, and Ubaidullah Sindhi.
As a staunch opponent of the British Raj, Hasan launched movements to overthrow their power in India but was arrested in 1916 and imprisoned in Malta. He was released in 1920 and honored with the title of “Shaykh al-Hind” (The Leader of India) by the Khilafat committee. He wrote religious edicts in support of the Non-cooperation movement and traveled to various parts of India to enroll Muslims in the freedom movement. He presided over the second general meeting of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind in November 1920 and was appointed its president.
The Shaikh-Ul-Hind Maulana Mahmood Hasan Medical College is named in his memory. In 2013, the Government of India released a commemorative postal stamp on his Silk Letter Movement.
Hasan inspired the scholars of the Deoband seminary to join the Khilafat movement. He issued a religious edict on the boycott of British goods, which was sought by the students of the then Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College. In this edict, he advised the students to avoid supporting the government in any manner, to boycott government-funded schools and colleges, and to avoid government jobs. Following this edict, a majority of students left the college. This edict supported the Non-cooperation movement. Hasan then traveled to Allahabad, Fatehpur, Ghazipur, Faizabad, Lucknow, and Moradabad to guide Muslims in support of the movements. He passed away on 30 November 1920 in New Delhi, India.