Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi was born in 29 November 1786 in Rai Bareilley. He moved to Delhi at the age of eighteen and became the follower of Shah Abdul Aziz. He received the necessary education during his stay at Delhi. In 1812 he joined the army of Nawab Ameer Khan Tonak in order to take part in Jihad against the British. In 1821, he went to perform Hajj but stayed there for two years where he met with the great thinkers of Islam and got knowledge about the movements of Islam in the world. He became greatly impressed from this new system of thought for Islam. When he came back on 6 August 1823 to India, he devoted himself for the religious and social reformation of the Muslims and the preparation of Jihad. He received martyrdom in fighting with Sikhs on 6th May 1831.
The Mujahideen Movement
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi started a great movement in the North of India; this movement is known as “The Mujahideen Movement” or “The Movement o Jihad”. This movement arranged a power for the struggle of freedom in Muslims which produced a spirit of survival and they started freedom struggle.
Background of the Mujahideen Movement
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi selected a particular way on the command of his spiritual guide Shah Abdul Aziz and devoted himself in the preparation of the holy war. He started a national movement for this purpose in 1818 and organized this movement after is arrival from Hajj as the Mujahideen Movement in 1831.
Objectives of Mujahideen Movement
He wanted to make the Muslims as the true lover of Islam, for this purpose he started the Mujahideen Movement.
The main objectives of the Mujahideen Movement were following;
- To preach unicity of Almighty Allah.
- To revive the teachings of Islam and prepare the Muslims to pass their lives simply according to the teachings of Islam.
- To protect the Muslims against such acts and ideas which are contrary to Islamic values.
- To protect the Muslims from the worship of other things except Allah.
- To preach Jihad because it was not possible to get freedom from evil force without armed struggle.
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi wanted to eliminate the domination of Sikhs in Punjab and N.W.F.P to revive Islamic values and traditions.
He started Jihad in the Punjab and N.W.F.P. Shah Ismail Shaheed along with six thousand followers also joined Syed Ahmed in his Jihad against evil forces. Syed Ahmed toured different areas around Delhi and Punjab, where number of his followers joined him.
Struggle of Mujahideen Movement
The Mujahideen Movement was started against the Sikhs. He came to Sindh in 1826 and sought to help Syed Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagara. Syed Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagara sent a strong contingent of this staunch followers called “Hurs”. Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi left his family under the protection of Pir Pagara and proceeded towards Jihad without any worry about his family. Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi reached Nowshehra after passing though Afghanistan, the Khyber Pass and Peshawar in December 1826 and made it his headquarter. The first battle against hte Sikhs was fought on December 21, 1826 near Akora. The Sikhs were defeated. The second battle was fought at Hazro. It was also won by the Muslims. These victories inspired a number of Pathan tribes to join Jihad Movement. The number of Mujahideen rose to 80,000. Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi was given the status of “Amir-ul-Momineen”. Islamic laws were enforced in the area which was controlled by Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi.
The movement of the Holy war was initially very successful but soon conspiracies began against Syed Ahmed, Maharaja Ranjid Singh (1780-1839) bribed Sardar yar Mohammad and his brother Sultan Mohammad Khan to plot against the Khilafat of Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi. The disloyalty of the tribal leaders disheartened him. He made Balakot as is new headquarter. He started his struggle from Muzaffarabad. Here a tough fight started between the Mujahideen and the Sikhs. The Muslims fought with heroism but Syed Ahmed and his right hand companions were martyred on 6th May1831. In short, the Mujahideen movement of Syed Ahmed failed in Balakot, but this movement kindled a flame of freedom in sub-continent. The political work of Syed Ahmed Brelvi was carried on later by Willayat Ali of Patna. When the British captured the Punjab then a battle was fought again against the British. Thus the Jihad movement of Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi was ended after several wars like this for independence.