Seth Haji Abdulla Haroon's Speech


The following is the full text of the address deli­vered by Seth Haji Abdullah Haroon, President of the Khilafat Meeting, held in khalikdina Hall on Friday , the 17th October 1919:-

In the name of GOD the most Merciful and Compassionate,

Praise be to GOD and blessings and peace to the Holy Prophet.

Brethren in Faith and Fellow Countrymen

I feel it my duty to express thanks for your having conferred upon me the distinguished honour of presiding over this assembly. I certainly realize that far abler personages are present in this meeting, who are better entitled to this high position but it is my religious duty also to place my humble services at your call in a matter that has thrown all Muslims in a profound grief and thus work shoulder to shoulder with you.


Muslim Conference at Lucknow


Yon all fully know that having been startled by the intentions which European Powers entertain towards our Grand Khalifat and Turkish Empire and over­whelmed with fears that bythe proposed dismemberment they will inevitably cause disruption in our religious duties, which the Islamic world cannot tolerate and submit to quietly, an all India Muslim. Conference was held at Luck now on 21st September 1919, for the pur­pose of placing our demands before the Government and raising a protest against the proposed partition of Turkey, which the Allied Peace Council was contemplat­ing. In this Conference it was resolved that on a parti­cular day all Indian Muslims should raise their united voice so that it may prove effective and convincing. This is therefore that day on which we are gathered to­gether here for the purpose of giving vent to our wounded feelings and horror, which the events have necessarily created in our minds.

If you expect to hear from me a strong and stirring speech, I would like to be excused for telling you that you will not he fully satisfied, because considering my inability and limited resources it is quite impossible for me to meet with your wishes. But you will surely hear from me all that should emanate from the heart of a true follower of Islam, and feel that a wave of pain is striking at my heart in the same manner as it has touched and broken' yours.


The Question of Khilafat


Among other duties which are enjoined upon Muslims, the one is that they should select a Muslim Sover­eign who should look after the civilization of Islam and spiritual progress of its followers. The Holy Land, the cradle of Islam, known by the name of Jaziratul Arab, corned with such discussions, are also anxious and full of fears on this problem because this is such a precious Islamic Principle that no Mussalman, of any caste or creed, can afford to ignore it. It is therefore that the people of those sects of Islam, which are little interestedin the problem of Khilafat, also have been feeling on this problem.


Holy Places


Keeping in view the orders of our religion, we Mnssalmans firmly believe that the Holy Land, which, in the Laws of islam is called Jaziratul Arab," and the boundaries ofwhich, have been described on several occasions, from the religious point of view, must always remain under the Sovereignty of Mussalman. Therefore the Mussalmans, all over the world, cannot for a moment. See the control of non-Muslims over any part of the Holy Land without feeling that it clearly means an undue interference with our religious responsibilities. During the War, in order comfort their minds, the Mussalmans were given promises in most Clear words to the effect that the war will not affect the position of the Holy Land, that they will have more liberty than before and that they will not affect remain under the control of any non-Muslim Power. But now with great regret are the Mussalmans seeing that those who made these promises, are forgetting their word by means of which it was always sought to keep the Muslims at ease as defined by the Founder of Islam (May the Blessings and Peace be on him), should remain in his possession and control. It also indispensible that he should be so mighty and powerful as to claim the leadership of the large population of Muslims, the right of preserving the purity of the faith and defending the Holy Land. The law of Islam has given the sacred title of “Khalifat-ul-Mussalmin” to such a sovereign. The Muslim, in accordance to the teaching of religion has been recognizing this high ideal and conducting their life in conformity with this distinct commandment.

Since this world-wide and terrible conflict has ended, the Muslim world does not find that pleasure which would be natural in demand of every person in view of righteous principles formulated at its culmination. Quite contrary to our expectation we find from that day, deep sensation of pain and injury because our Khilafat and the Ottoman Empire which was one of the opponents of the Allies, is not being treated in the manner we were assured of and which justice and righteousness demands. It is not necessary to say that all followers of Islam, young and old alike are over shadowed with gloom. All shades of opinions among Muslims have always and in all possible forms been representing their views and necessities. The Muslim League, The London Central Islamic Society and other Muslim bodies by means of memorials, petitions etc. have thrown sufficient light on their afflictions.


The Allied aims of War and Pledges of Statesmen


0n the declaration of war, Mr. Asquith, the then Prime Minister, declared "We are fighting to vindicate the principle, in these days when material force some­times seems to be the dominant influence and factor in the development of the mankind, that small nationalities are not to be crushed, in defiance of international good faith, by the arbitrary will of a strong and overwhelming power."

The Rt. Hon'ble Mr. Lloyd George, the present Prime Minister of Great Britain in the memorable speech delivered on 5th January 1918, while explaining the war aims said "Nor are we fighting to deprive Turkey of its Capital, or of the rich and renowned lands of Asia Minor and Thrace, winch are predominantly Turkish in race." And in another speech, which was principally addressed to His Majesty's Muslim subjects, he pronounced thus we do not challenge the maintenance of the Turkish Empire in the Homelands of the Turkish race with its Capital at Constantinople."

President Wilson in the 12th of his Fourteen Points, advanced as the basis for the conclusion of the war, spoke of the ''assured Sovereignty" of Turkey being safeguar­ded. And in his speech at the tomb of Washington on 4th July 1 918, lie insisted on "the settlement of every question, whether of territory or Sovereignty, of economic arrangement or of Political relationship, upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the People immediately concerned and not upon the basisof the material interest or advantage of any other Nation or people which way desire a different settlement for the sake of its own exterior influence or mastery."


The Allied Peace Council


In face of these clear and unequivocal pledges given by responsible statesmen, His Majesty 's. Muslim subjects were naturally led to be at rest as regards the integrity of their religious supremacy, because. With Muslims all other Asiatic people believe in the sanctity of the pledges given by responsible ministers. It is an irony, of fate that we see the reply given by the Allied peace Council to the Turkish Delegates diametrically opposed to the lofty principles, quite unjust, and tending to create alarm and indignation. The apprehension has been confirmed that some fanatical and selfish powers are designing to occupy and control the territories of the 'Khalifatul Mussalmin in the ill—used name, of justice and equity and for this they persuade the world to believe' that the Turks are devoid of the capacity to rule. This must be reme­mbered that the neighboring hostile and greedy Christian Powers never allowed the, Turks a moment of respite to put their house in order and by, their intrigues involved them into perpetual wars and the internal risings, the events which persons well versed in History are well aware of. Any other Nation would have succumbed long ago to these dire onslaughts. The Turks alone had the courage to face their numerous enemies and to put down their rebellious Christian subjects for centuries together.Now the Muslims have quite realised that this is the first step to violate theirprinciples of religion. Considering all the present and past events the Muslims are perfectly justified to think that they are being driven into such a catastrophe as appears,to be a fatal blow totheir religious aims and ideals. This feeling becomes still more aggravated when they perceive that the charming pledges and the lofty principles of equality of nations and self-determination declared at the conclusion ofthewar were only advanced to be applied to those enemies of the Allies, who in comparison to the Islamic Power, Turkey, are decidedly more dangerous to the peace of the world in general and the Allied supremacy in particular.But the same in connection with ourK1iiIaftt are thrown overboard. Now we are confronted with the result of those efforts, by which after all the Khi1afat, cherished by the forty crore followers of Islam, is to be annihilated, thus causing an intense injury to the civilization ofIslam and our spiritual duties and progress.


The Proposed Dismemberment of Turkey


The schemes, which the Council of the Peace Conference proposes, to enforce, show that practically whole territory of the Khalifat-u1-Mithslmin is to be detachedfrom his sovereignty, including those portions of his dominions inwhich the Turkish nation is predominant. The British Government wants to have a Mandate for Mesopotamia, and France is to have all rights of a Mandate over Syria, and in Palestine is being created a Jewish State. The Islamic World has invariablyprotest against thesedesigns and the BritishMinisters have been reminded of their pledges and also of the hitter and grave consequences which the breach on their part is fraught with. It was made clear to them that many of the provinces, which were thus unjustly to be snatched from Turkey, besides being include in the Holy Land (Jaziratul Arab), were So connected with the past brilliant history of Islam that foreign domination there was a cruel test of their peaceful and solemn fee­lings. The principles of justice and equity (if they have the same meaning in the dictionary of Europe, as is understood by the simple, but sincere Asiatic) would demand, that these provinces be granted the right of: Self determination and allowed to remain under the suzerainty of the Klialifatul-Mussalmin, so that the spiritual relations between the different factors of Muslins be not' rent asunder.

Turkey and Bulgaria were equally responsible for declaring waron the Allies but it is so painful, for the Muslims to see the Islamic Territory being broken into pieces by time advocates of righteousness, while the Bul­garian' aspirations which she could not attain before the war, are being supported, and she is being given the chance of extending her territory to the sea. Our grief becomes still more unbearable when we see that for theimaginary persecutions of the Christians, which were circulated by the Government of the Czar, millions of avenginghands are raised in Europe against time Mus­lim.On time other hand, is this not barbarity and violation of all human instincts that when poor Muslims are plunged into the welterof tyranny and persecutions. By the Christians, as by the Greeks recently in Smyrna these Champions of righteousness deafen their ears, which were so alert to hear the slanderous voice against the Muslims. No sympathetic expression has yet been heard from any quarter of Europe on the cries of brutal murders and acts of violation committed by the Greeks.

The Turkey Government is thus blamed for atroci­ties on subject races, especially Armenian massacres. The spokesman of the Allied Peace Council described this as the serious crime of the Turks. Is it not, a well- known fact that Christian subjects and particularly Armenians have been notorious for their risings against the lawful authority? In the present war, the Arme­nians, at the instigation of Russia took arms to stab the Turks at time back when they were busy in their opera­tions against Russia in the Caucasus. What forms of treatment the followers of Christian morality approve of in such a case? We see that most civilized Governments, even in time of peace, do not hesitate to crush the unarmed opposition without discrimination.Why then should time poor Turk, pay the penalty of being strangled, if they dealt with the rebels, as they deserved to be dealt with


The disappointment of the Mussalmans is still more increased when they find that the responsible Ministers of our British Government, which always proudly claims to be a "Great Islamic Power," are plunged deep in the same bigotry. When the same Mr. Lloyd George, whose clear promises have been narrated above, remembers the war in Palestine as a"Crusade", we cannot help doubting his intentions and purposes.


Obligation of the British Government towards Mussalmans

We have no reason to find fault with other European powers, if they do not pay heed to our cries and lamen­tations. But our own Government which always proudly reiterates to be patron of the great Islamic population, and justly so, cannot set itself free of concomitant obligations. Our restlessness is aggravated when we find the Ministers of the Crown actively forward in the scheme of the dismemberment and partition of Turkey and solicitous of secret treaties, ignoring their solemn pledges.

Musalmans did not shed their blood and pour out money like water, to see their aspirations dishonored in the Peace Council and the Victory, in which they took prominent Part to be designated as the Victory of the “war of the Crusade." Now when we realize the situation, our hearts become greatly lacerated.

The Existence of Turkey is essential and Useful for Great Britain


It will he idle to repeat how the interests of Great Britain are c1oely bound up with the stability and continuance of the Ottoman Caliphate because so far asI the Indian political complications are concerned, those noble Englishman who remember the services rendered by the Ottoman Caliphate during the War with Tippoo Sultan and again on the occasion of the great Indian Munity of 1857, do not lose sight of their importance.

Besides, the Islamic World views the existence and ascendency of Turkey as vital to their religious needs. In this svur1d-vde.conflagration it has been proved beyond doubt and acknowledges that the British cannot doaway with the sympathy of the vast population of the Mussalmans for the strength and economical advan­tages of their great Empire. Again, if a generous hand is extended to a people, (whose life and conduct is entirely religious,) in a matter of high importance touching their beliefs and affections they will appreciateit passionately and that policy will be a great asset to secure their permanent loyalty, gratitude and devotion which are their national virtues.

On this occasion it is advisable that I should repro- d reproduce for you a portion of the speech of that just and true Englishman, Mr. Marmaduke Pickthall, who, in the true sense of the world, deserves to be called a friend and well-wisher of the British Government. He says

What fools we are deliberately to go and anger Asia in order to please Powers of Europe, which we have to bribe. Europe is commercial. The European nations sell their faith. Asia is, no doubt, ulterior to Europe in this respect and others as is self-evident. But if you want undying faith and loyalty, a passionate devotion which never fail you at a pinch, a pure enthusiasm for, ideals not commercial nor political, but righteous, just and human, then go to Asia and seek by all means in your power to win the heart of Asia,“If I had the ear of the British Government at this Juncture, I would say: ‘Step forth and with a generous gesture saves Turkey now; and if any Poweropposes you, I promise you an army of 10,000,000 of Muhamma­dans who will fight for you against that Power with wild delight. Save the Muslim Empire now, and you save England from dishonour. Destroy it and you Wreck the British Empire.

I beg to be pardoned if i[ frankly warn Ministers Of the Crown against the blunder they are committing by utter disregard of the Muslim feeling, taking them to be the feelings of a dormant and dying nation. They forget the Law of God. Thai Virile Nations Die Notand they lose sight of the struggle of Nations, once fallen for their rise. They must remember that their haughtinessand breach of faith isacting as a lash for the sleeping Muslim Nations. The time has come when tire Muslims are face to face with novel political situation and with it the deplorable attitude of the Ministers of.the Crown entails serious issues.

The Duty of the British Government

Brethren, from: what has been narrated above, it is quite clear what we Mussalmans demand. It is the moralduty of the Government to honour imperish­able feelings, based on the rights we claim as seven crore subjects of the Crown. The formal excuse that Great Britain has no control over the decisions of the Allied Peace Council cannot be entertained as valid. The events have confirmed the conviction that if the British


Government were to use prestige and weight with a sincere desire and induce the Entente Powers; it will be impossible for them to turn, away from the British and particularly when our demands are within the limits of time principles formed as the basis of peace.

Suppose that the Entente Powers, in their thirst for territory disregard the brilliant and valuable part played by England, by which they have attained now the position of settling the politics of the world, then for the British it will be the real test of their sincerity amid good intentions by vlii1i they have always soothed the Muslim mind and in that case they should not give the support to the Peace Treaty out of deference to the conviction of the seven crore Muslim subjects of time Crown. If the British Ministers cannot prevail upon time Peace Conference, and the treaty is passed in such. terms as are opposed to the demand of the' Islamic world, and contrary to the pledges of President Wilson and Mr. Lloyd George and it should be the duty of the British Nation to reject it when the same is finally placed before the Parliament for ratification.


The Duty of the Mussalmans

As to what should be the duty of the Musalman in this connection, I would convey to you message of time venerable member of our community Hon’ble K.B. Ibrahim Haroon Jaffur, given by him in conclusion of his address delivered on.21st September 1919 President of the All— India Muslim Conference Lucknow. That is:-

After this, the question rises, what should be the attitude of the Muslims if the fate of. Turkey is not decided agreeably. There is only one answer to this, and that is that we shall never recognise that decision of the Peace Conference, which insults forty crores Mus­lims of the world and destroys their hopes. Such a treaty can, in no circumstances, be binding on us, as was conveyed to the Prime Minister in a resolution of the All India Muslim League Council, passed on 27th August 1919, to the effect that



Good Wishes