Friday, December 22, 2017

Agha Sultan Mohammad Shah

Date of Birth: 2nd November, 1877 and Date of Death: 11th July, 1957
            Agha Sultan Mohammad Shah, who was dare enough to entertain an opinion that there was nothing wrong if Muslims gave up the customs like eating beef for the sake of strengthening friendly relations with Hindus, was born on 2nd November, 1877 at Karachi of Pakistan, in an aristocratic and religious minded family.  Along with spiritual education, he had his formal education under the supervision of his mother and learned several languages.  He was famous as Agha Khan-III.  After the demise of his father, he took up the hereditary responsibilities as ‘Imam’ for Ismail Khojas.  As an Imam, he visited several countries on the invitation from several quarters of the world.  His family showed a special affection towards the British Government.  He became a member in the Imperial Legislative Council in 1902.  He worked for the welfare and integrity of the Muslim population all over the world.  He identified that lack of education was the reason for their backwardness.  Thus, he conducted All India Education Conference in 1903 and contributed to Mohammadan Anglo Oriental College, founded in Alighar by Sir Syed Ahmed, as an institution on par with Oxford University.  To achieve this, he travelled all over the country along with Moulana Mohammad Ali and collected donations for it.  He led the delegation comprising of 35 Muslim leaders, which met Lord Minto on 1st October, 1906 for the protection of the interests and political rights of minorities.  He was appointed as the permanent president of the All India Muslim League.  He continued in that post from 1906 to 1913.  To avoid conflicts in the society, he organised the Unity Conference at Allahabad in 1911 aiming for harmony between the Hindus and Muslims.  He participated in the Round Table Conference in 1931-32, where he made several suggestions for the protection of the interests of the minorities including Muslims.  Agha Sultan Mohammad Shah was appointed as the president of the team of Indian representatives, which participated in the meetings of League of Nations in 1932.  He held several positions and took part in the disarmament conference in 1934.  He was renowned for his charity.  As a philanthropist, he not only established several educational, cultural and sports institutions, but also financially helped several institutions and organisations worldwide.  He was with the All India Muslim League candidates during the elections held in 1945.  He supported the formation of Pakistan.  Agha Mohammad Shah died on 11th July, 1957 in Geneva.

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