Ghazi Abdul Qayuum

            It was beginning of the year 1933. The province of Sindh was then an administrative subsidiary of Bombay. In those days, Natthu Raam, secretary of “Arya Samaj” Hyderabad, Sindh, published a book named “History of Islam”. In this book, he displayed utmost disrespect to the glory of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam). As expected, the publication of this book sparked a wave of anger and unrest amongst the muslims of united India. Being affected by the reaction, the British Government confiscated the book and a lawsuit was filed against Natthu Raam in the court which imposed a nominal penalty and one year imprisonment. This leniency in justice and punishment encouraged Natthu Raam who registered an appeal in the court of judicial commissioner, V.M. Fairas against the decision of the lower court. The Commissioner’s court approved his appeal for hearing and set him free on bail. The Muslims were shocked and were very much perturbed and agitated. The muslim community started realizing the impact of this court decision  and became thoughtful about how to stop this act of contempt in the grace of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) and obstruct it altogether.
A young man named Abdul Qayuum, resident of district Hazara, who used to drive a Victoria cart in Karachi, listened to the details of the incidence in a mosque of Juna Market. Coming to know that a Hindu has committed disgrace in the honor of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) his grief and anxiety became limitless.
It was September 1934. Hearing of the appeal of the accused Natthu Raam in contempt case of prophet hood was going on in Karachi court. The jury consisted of two British judges. The courtroom was full of advocates and citizens. Ghazi Abdul Qayuum was sitting calm and quite with extreme patience on the chair besides Natthu Raam, behind the row of advocates. During the process of hearing of the case, all of a sudden he charged on Natthu Raam with his sharp knife making two attempts on his neck. Natthu Raam moaned loudly, stumbled, and fell down on the ground. Ghazi Abdul Qayuum stood calmly and was taken in police custody.
The British Judge came down from the dais and asked him, “Why did you kill this man?” Ghazi Abdul Qayuum, pointing towards the portrait of King George V erected in the court room, replied,” this is the portrait of your king. Won’t you kill the person who dares to disgrace your king? This Hindu had dared to disgrace the King of the Kings (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam), which I could not tolerate”.
Ghazi Abdul Qayuum was prosecuted. He confessed. The Judge announced death punishment for him. On hearing the decision Ghazi Abdul Qayuum said, “Mr. Justice! I am thankful to you that you have awarded me death punishment. This single life is not in any count. Had I possessed hundreds of thousands of lives, I would have sacrificed them on the dignity of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) in the same way.”
An appeal was launched in the high court against this decision. A large number of pious Muslims came forward for legal defense of Ghazi Abdul Qayuum. Syed Muhammad Aslam, bar-at-law, had the honor to follow and plead Abdul Qayuum. However, this savior of honor (Abdul Qayuum) made it clear to the legal advisor in the first meeting that he would not spoil his life hereafter by saying anything against his confession statement in the lower court.
Syed Muhammad Aslam kept on pleading the case and requested to summon prominent muslim scholars of the country like Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Maulana Abu-al-Kalam Azad, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan as witnesses so that they may elaborate the Islamic view point but the court turned down this request. ; The whole defense was based on the point that;

“It is the faith and belief of a Muslim that if someone dares to be insolent or attacks the honor of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) he is bound to kill him.”

            Hearing of the appeal took place in front of Justice Dadibametha and nine members of Jury. The jury consisted of six British, two Parsi and one Gawani Christian members. A large gathering of about 25000 Muslims was present outside the court to hear the court decision. After the reasoning of advocate general, the pleader of Ghazi Abdul Qayuum, Syed Muhammad Aslam elaborated the defense viewpoint. He discussed the basic points of the case and the reasons that irritated the defender to commit the murder supported by arguments for three hours. Some points of his arguments (speech) were so important that they are being written in golden words in the history of law and justice. While elaborating the legal meanings of provocation he raised the point, “the question is not that Abdul Qayuum’s step is against the law of the country. Rather we have to consider that Abdul Qayuum has performed this attempt in a state of severe provocation. Then why should he not be awarded minimum punishment for which section 302 has made provision under the law. When the existing law provides for remission to a murderer caused by provocation in case of small piece of land or in matter of a women, then why the same provision of law for leniency is not accepted in case of Abdul Qayuum, when there can be no provocation of more adverse a nature than attack on the prestige and honor of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) for a Muslim.”
During the speech of the defense lawyer a judge intervened saying, “Will your elaboration of the point further deepen the communal tension?” Syed Muhammad Aslam, at this moment, replied, “Worthy Judge! Muslims have become tired of advising the government and the Hindu majority about the status and position, feeling of love and affection a muslim has for the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) and the emotional state attached to his name. However, both have paid no heed to it. Now, in this court, I have the opportunity to elaborate that till the time a single Muslim is alive, he will definitely do the same and crush the voice and power raised against the honor and respect of the Prophet’s mission and the prophet hood (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam). In this regard a Muslim does not care for penal code and the gallows board.”
Had the legal point, raised by Syed Muhammad Aslam in elaboration of the meanings of provocation in relation to murder attempt, been accepted, the contemptible instigation of attacking or being insolent to the honor and grace of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) would have been finished for ever and no one would have even thought of Allah intrepidity for ever, but the court turned down this appeal and death punishment to Ghazi Abdul Qayuum was maintained. This was a time of test for passionate and perturbed Muslims. At last in 1936, Muslims of Karachi decided to send a delegation to Allama Iqbal — the philosopher of Ummah, in Lahore.
The delegation comprising of Molvi Sanaullah, Abdul Khaliq and Hajji Abdul Aziz reached Lahore. They met Allama Iqbal at his residence on McLeod road and proclaimed the complete details of the case. At the end, they requested him to meet the Viceroy and convince him to change the death sentence of Ghazi Abdul Qayuum into life imprisonment, utilizing his influence. The delegation insisted him, if he paid attention and tried, it hoped that Indian government would approve the petition of mercy for Ghazi Abdul Qayuum.
After listening to the conversation of the delegation, Allama Iqbal kept quiet for about 10 minutes. He drowned in deep thinking. The delegation was waiting anxiously, hopeful for a positive answer as the case of one lover of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) was with the other lover of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam). At last  Allama Iqbal spoke out. He asked the delegation, “Has Abdul Qayuum become infirm and frail?” The members of the delegation replied, “No, he has confessed his attempt in every court. Neither he has changed his statement nor he displayed any treachery or deceitfulness. He openly says, “I have bought martyrdom (Shahadat). Do not try to save me from the gallows board. On hearing this conversation from the delegation, Allama’s face sparkled. He said in a displeased tone, “When he is saying he has bought Shahadat (martyr) then how can I come in the way of his reward. Do you want me to flatter the viceroy for a Muslim who if remains alive is a Ghazi (conqueror), and if dies, is a Shaheed (martyr)?”
Allama’s tone was so sharp and firm that the members of the delegation could not dare to say anything more. The delegation returned to Karachi. The day Ghazi Abdul Qayuum was hanged, it was a memorial worth mentioning in the history of Karachi. The passions and anxiety of the Muslims of Karachi was such that every one had the desire of having being martyred.
The incidents of Ghazi Illm Din Shaheed in Lahore and Ghazi Abdul Qayuum in Karachi had a great impact on Allama Iqbal. He has narrated his cordial feelings in the following verses. Although they have been published in “Zarb-e-Kaleem” under the heading “Lahore and Karachi” but the meaning is elaborated in the background of the request for mercy petition for Ghazi Abdul Qayuum.

A courageous Muslim always looks towards Allah

What is death? Simply a journey to invisible spiritual world

Do not beg for blood reward of these martyrs from (people of Church)

Their blood is more precious than Haram (sacred Ka’bah)

Ah! O’ brave Muslim dont you remember!

The words “do not call with Allah any one as god”.