Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari

Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari[1] (23 September 1892 – 21 August 1961), was a Muslim Hanafi scholar, religious and political leader[2] from the Indian subcontinent. He was one of the Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam's founding members. His biographer, Agha Shorish Kashmiri, states that Bukhari's greatest contribution had been his germination of strong anti-British feelings among the Indian Muslims.[3] He is one of the most notable leader of the Ahrar movement which was associated with opposition to Muhammad Ali Jinnah and establishment of an independent Pakistan (but it is not confirmed)as well as persecution of the Ahmadiyya Movement.[4] He is considered as a legendary rhetoric, which made him famous among the Muslims.[citation needed]

Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari
BornSyed Ata Ullah Shah
Patna, British India
Died21 August 1961(1961-08-21) (aged 68)
Resting placeMultan, British India
Pen nameShah jee
OccupationKhatabat, Orator, Poet, Political Activist, Historian, Islamic Scholar
SubjectSunni Islam
Literary movementKhatme Nabuwwat

Birth and educationEdit

Born in Patna, British India, in 1892, he received his early religious education in Gujrat, Pakistan and learned the Qur'an by heart from his father Hafiz Syed Ziauddin.[5] He migrated to Amritsar in 1914 when he was 22 years old. He completed his early education by subscribing to a purist view of Islam, and remained associated with the Deoband School in Saharanpur district. Bukhari began his career as a religious preacher in a small mosque in Amritsar, and taught the Quran for the next 40 years.[6] He shared friendship with a section of socialists and communists but did not accept their ideology completely.[7] He was ‘imbued with a brilliant exposition of romantic socialism, and led Muslims to a restlessness activism'.[8] He studied the Sahih Bukhari[9] in jail when he was imprisoned for an anti-government religious speech.

Religious and political careerEdit

He started his religious and political career in 1916. His speeches graphically portrayed the sorrows and sufferings of the poor, and would promise his audience that the end of their sufferings would come about with the end of British rule.[10] As the first step of his political career, he began to participate in the movements of the Indian National Congress in 1921 from Kolkata where he delivered a loaded speech and was arrested on 27 March 1921 because of that speech. He became an eyesore to the administration, and an official view about him said: Ata Ullah Shah is a man, who it is better to lock up in jail, away from Congress leaders than to parley with. He has spent a considerable part of his life preaching sedition. He is an amusing speaker, who can influence a crowd.[11] After Nehru report[12] Bukhari created All India Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam[13] with Mazhar Ali Azhar, Chaudhry Afzal Haq, Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, Hissam-ud-Din, Master Taj-uj-Din Ansari and Zafar Ali Khan on 29 December 1929. Later on the prominent Brelvi orater syed faiz ul hasan shah also joined them to. He was also the founding father of Majlis-e-Ahrar, Indian nationalist Muslim political movement in India. He led a movement against Ahmadis and held a Ahrar Tableegh Conference at Qadian in 21–23 October 1934. Bukhari was a central figure in the Khatme Nabuwwat Movement of 1953,[14] which demanded that government of Pakistan declare the Ahmadis as non-Muslims

Oratory and poetryEdit

He became known for his oratory. He was also a poet and most of his poetry was in Persian. His poetic verses was compiled by his eldest son Syed Abuzar Bukhari in 1956 under the name of Sawati-ul-ilham.[15]


Bukhari died on 21 August 1961.[16] He is buried in Multan, Pakistan. on Tareen Road near Gultex Showroom near Children Complex.


  1. ^ Syedah Umm-e-Kafeel, Syedi-wa -abi, (Multan: Maktabah Ahrar, Bukhari academy, 2007) vol.1, P.5
  2. ^ Chaudhry Afzal Haq, Tarikh-e-Ahrar, (Lahore:Maktabah Majlis-e-Ahrar, 1940) P.47
  3. ^ Samina Awan, Political islam in colonial Punjab Majlis-e-Ahrar 1929–1949, P.153, Politics of Islamic symbolism, The MAI: Politics of Personalities, Oxford university Press
  4. ^ Bahadur, Kalim (1998). Democracy in Pakistan: crises and conflicts. Har Anand Publications. p. 176.
  5. ^ Shorish Kashmiri, Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari (Lahore: Maktaba-i-Chattan, 1969), vol. 1, p. 19.
  6. ^ Shorish Kashmiri, Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari (Lahore: Chattan, 1978)
  7. ^ Samina Awan, Political islam in colonial Punjab Majlis-e-Ahrar 1929–1949, P.154, Politics of Islamic symbolism, The MAI: Politics of Personalities, Oxford university Press
  8. ^ Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Modern Islam in India, p. 277.
  9. ^ Janbaz Mirza, hayat-e-ameer-e-shariyat, (Lahore: Maktaba-i-Tabsra, 1968), p. 14.
  10. ^ Abdul Latif Khalid Cheema, Prof. Abbas Najmi, Syed-ul-Ahrar, p.98 (Maktabah Tehreek-e-Talba-e-Islam, Chichawatni, 1977).
  11. ^ See REPORT of THE COURT OF INQUIRY constituted under PUNJAB ACT II OF 1954 to enquire into the PUNJAB DISTURBANCES OF 1953 (Lahore: National archives of Pakistan, 1954).
  12. ^ Janbaz Mirza, Karvan-i-Ahrar (Lahore: Maktaba-i-Tabsra, 1968), vol. 1, p. 80.
  13. ^ "Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari or Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam". Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  14. ^ REPORT of THE COURT OF INQUIRY constituted under PUNJAB ACT II OF 1954 to enquire into the PUNJAB DISTURBANCES OF 1953
  15. ^ Syedah Umm-e-Kafeel, Syedi-wa -abi, (Multan:Maktabah Ahrar, Bukhari academy, 2007), P.156
  16. ^ Janbaz Mirza, last chapter, hayat-e-ameer-e-Shariyat