Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Haji Shariatullah

Date of Birth: 1780 and Date of Death: 1839
            Haji Shariatullah, who militantly led Farazi Movement that stood as a source of inspiration for several revolutionaries in the Indian Freedom Struggle, was born in 1780 in Bahadur/Banderlakola village, Faridpur district in Bengal.  His father Abdul Zaalib was a weaver.  When Haji Shariatullah was 18 years old, he went on pilgrimage to Mecca, where he studied spiritual scripts extensively and became a scholar.  In Macca Haji Shariatullah met Syed Ahmed Barelwi, the founder of the Wahabi movement and the warrior Syed Mir Nisar Ali (Titu Mir) who added militancy to the Wahabi movement in India.  The trio decided their path of movement before leaving for India.  As a result of their discussions, Haji Shariatullah reached Faridpur in 1802.  After returning to the motherland, he settled in Nawabdari Village near Dhaka (presently the capital of Bangladesh).  While imparting spiritual knowledge, he used to encourage the people towards the movement to emancipate the country from the yoke of British Raj.  His movement was known as the ‘Farazi Movement’ and his followers were known as ‘Farazis’ in the history.  When he travelled extensively in Bengal be saw the woes of peasants and artisans who were being exploited by the officials of the East India Company, Zamindars ad the Mahajans.  Haji Shariatullah decided to liberate the people from these problems and took to the path of revolution.  He garnered the support from the farmers, artisans and different classes of people.  Haji Shariatullah won several fights against the English rulers, Zamindars and English plantation owners on behalf of the people.  As Shariatullah was legally very cautious, the Courts and the laws could not reach him and cause trouble.  Haji Shariatullah’s preaching’s and Farazi movement helped the people in not only fighting against the anarchy, but also provoked the desire for freedom among them.  Farazi movement was active about half a century and later it continued to influence the freedom movement for another half-a-century.  Haji Shariatullah, the guiding light of the Farazi movement passed away in 1839.

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