Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari (Urdu سید عطاء اللہ شاہ بخاری)(23 September 1892 – 21 August 1961), was a MuslimHanafi scholar, religious and political leader 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.

He led a movement against Ahmadis and held a Ahrar Tableegh Conference at Qadian in 21–23 October 1934 (see the details in the below).

In 1949 he founded Aalmi Majlis Tahaffuz Khatm-e-Nubuwwat and served as first Emir. Bukhari was a central figure in the Khatme Nabuwwat Movement of 1953, which demanded that government of Pakistan declare the Ahmadis as non-Muslims. He was given the death penalty (1952)(which was later redacted), for his breach of peace vs. Ahmadi’s. You can listen to a rare speech of his herein.


The Majlis Ahrar, which was a political movement, they had lots of beef with Ahmadis in this same era and had resolved to conduct a conference in Qadian during the winter of 1934. Governor Emerson approved of the Ahrar conference in the vicinity of Qadian in 1934 and stunned the Ahmadi Khalifa. The governor assured the Ahmadi Khalifa that he would take care of the security of Qadian, however, the Ahmadi Khalifa still sent out letters to the various branches of Ahmadiyya in British India and asked for young men to be sent to Qadian to patrol the streets, since there was no police department. This seems to have angered the governor. He ordered that all visitors of Qadian (see the 6th paragraph from the bottom) be recorded and that every Friday Khutbah of the Khalifa to be recorded and sent to him for review (see page 270). This is a very strange reaction by the Governor of the Punjab, his motives are unknown. However, the Ahrar conference took place and Ataullah Shah Bukhari delivered its keynote speech. Ataullah Shah Bukhari was then promptly arrested for anti-government speech. It should be noted that Muhammad Zafrullah Khan was a close friend of Governor Emerson and even had taken his mother to meet with Governor Emerson’s wife in an attempt to secure support for the Ahmadiyya movement. Bukhari was sentenced to 6 months. He did fight his case on appeal, wherein Justice Khosla reviewed the judgement of the high court and commented as such:

“In order to enforce their argument and further their cause they called into play weapons weapons which would ordinarily be termed highly undesirable.  They not only intimidated the person who refused to come with their fold with boycott and ex-communication and occasionally threats of something worse, but they frequently fortified the process of proselytizing by actually carrying out these threats.  A volunteer corps was established at Qadian with the object, probably of giving sanction to these decrees”

“To propagate their ideas and to expand the number of their community, those people (the Mureeds of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad) started using such weapons and methods which are generally considered objectionable.  So that those persons who refused to tow their line, were subjected to (social and economic) boycott and expulsion (from the town or community), and at times, they were threatened by dire and ghastly consequences.”  (see PDF 593/623).



Under this head we shall deal with a number of files which were postponed for a discussion with the Chief Minister and in respect of which a decision was ultimately taken on the 24th December.

Rawalpindi speeches: 15-11-52.(A) Convention at Rawalpindi on 15th and 16th November 1952—The  following extracts from speeches deserves notice :—

(1) Master Taj-ud-Din : Zafrullah will have to face a trial after his removal for anti-State and anti-Islam activities.

(2) Qazi Ehsan Ahmad : The struggle is between ghaddar and wafadar or between Violence is lawful.truth and falsehood.           *            *          *          In these days the terms interest and profit, bribe and fee, spy and prophet are synonymous. Violence is permissible for the protection of Islam, though  not for its propagation. The Mirzais want to rejoin India.

Muhammad Miskin : Don’t let Mirzais be buried in your graveyards.

Abdullah Shah : Mirzais were caught smuggling arms. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a Dajjal, a false nabi.

Master Taj-ud-Din (second day) ‘Cease fire’ had been manoeuvred by Mirzais. Not even during British regime was section 144 applied to mosques. If Government feel reluctant to declare the Ahmadis a minority, boycott them socially and economically. Ammunition weighing one maund, ten seers and four chataks had been imported into Rabwah. (How precise is the information !)

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed : In Gujranwala, shops were keeping separate utensils for Mirzais. (Which means, you also should do the same thing.)

Maulvi Muhammad All Jullundri : Mirzais were zindeeq and punishable with death. Every Muslim should add the word kazzab (liar) to the name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Whoever kills a pretender gets the reward of a hundred martyrs.

Hakim Fazal Karim : Mirza was not a sharif insan (a gentleman).

Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari : Mirza Sahib said he was impregnated by God. His God was guilty of an offence under section 376 P.P.C.

On 21st November, S. P. (B), reported that it was time Maulvi Muhammad Ali Action against Jullundri recommended.Jullundri was prosecuted or detained. This was an honour for Jullundri, because the speeches were unexceptionally good and it was difficult to make a choice. But the choice apparently was on the “order” side, and the “law” side was ignored. However, the D. I. G. wrote on the 25th November 1952 that the Chief Minister had directed that on return from Karachi he would hold a discussion and decide how to deal with militant and sectarian speeches.

(B) The Lyallpur Convention 26th and 27th September. Samundri,  28th September Lyallpur speeches : 26-9-52.— Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hasan : Mirza Sahib was a man of low morals and worthy of prosecution under the Goondas Act as he had outraged the modesty of the Prophet’s daughter, He and Zafrullah were goondas.

Sheikh Husam-ud-Din : Zafrullah is khabees, (This word means foul, abominable, wicked, filthy or impure.). He should be prosecuted.

Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari related his favourite story about Queen Victoria. He added that Mirzais were responsible for the air crashes of Jangshahi and Kahuta.

On these speeches the D.I.G. suggested on 28th October 1952, that some kind of ban on Sayyed Ataullah Shah Ban on Ataullah Shah Bukhari recommended.Bukhari was necessary. He might be restricted to one district. The speeches were corrupting the nation. The Home Secretary said the time had come when Government should review the whole position. The tone and tenor of the speeches was highly mischievous. A meeting was suggested for discussion.

(C) Speeches made at Gullu shah fair (Sialkot) on 3rd October 1952 — Maulvi Bashir Ahmad and Qazi Manzur Ahmad said Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a liar and Dajjal and urged the boycott of Ahmadis. The latter added that if Mr. Daultana came to Mirza Sahib’s help, he would be confronted with shoes. “If Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had said that he had placed his head on the knee of Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din’s daughter, you would see what happens.” (The reference is to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s vision that he had seen his head in the lap of the Prophet’s daughter, but it was implied that he spoke as one speaks of his mother.)

Speeches on the 7th October : Maulvi Bashir Ahmad related a story of 1936 when one Dr. Ehsan Ali had raped a sister-in-law of Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, who had him punished with ten shoe-strokes given by herself. The shoe-strokes of the beloved fall gently like flowers. Islam prescribes stoning to death for adultery. If rape is committed with a woman of ——— ‘s family *    *          *.”

Maulvi Karamat Ali thus spoke : “Mirza Ghulam Ahmad says : ‘Arise, ye swine, and recite your prayers’. These are his manners. If Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din is a Sunni, then he also is the progeny of prostitutes and his womenfolk are bitches, says Mirza Ghulam Ahmad .”

One of the resolutions passed at this meeting was to the following effect : Renegades are put to death.This meeting demands of Government the declaration of Ahmadis as a minority community because they are renegades, and a renegade according to Islam is punishable with death. To put them to death is no offence in Islam and it is not the duty of Muslims to protect their lives and property. A renegade’s life has no value, but this is so when there is an Islamic State.

On the 18th November 1952, the District Magistrate of Sialkot, at the instance of the Superintendent of District Magistrate recommends prosecution.Police, asked Government, in obedience to the policy letter of 5th July 1952, for permission to prosecute the aforesaid three speakers. S. P. (B) (Mr. Nazir Ahmad) noted that Manzur Ahmad was a staunch worker against Ahmadis while Bashir Ahmad was a bigoted Ahrari, Khateeb of Jamia Mosque at Pasrur and President of the local Majlis-i-Ahrar. Three days later, on 21-11-52, Mr. Nazir Ahmad noted that the prosecution of these persons will create a “fuss” in Sialkot, but Mr. Anwar Ali said: “We should lose no opportunity of prosecuting disruptionists who try to undermine the stability of the State at this juncture”.

The case was kept pending until the meeting of the 24th December 1952, between the Chief Minister and his officers, when it was decided that “where a speech offends against ordinary law, legal action should be taken”. But recommendation is not accepted because they are “petty people”.On 3rd January 1953. Mr. Nazir Ahmad, while communicating this decision to the Superintendent of Police at Sialkot, added, entirely on his own responsibility, that he understood the three Maulvis in question to be “petty people”, and that it would not serve any useful purpose if they were prosecuted. We think this conduct is unprecedented and very objectionable. Possibly the C.I.D. officer also felt that where his Government had extended divine tolerance to so many other offenders against law, he would not be far wrong in extending it to another few.

(D) The Sialkot Convention on 9th and 10th November 1952—Maulana Abul Hasanat Sayyad Muhammad Ahmad Qadri : Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din was “Allah Lok”—eating was a different matter. Some pahlwans were intended merely for eating. It made no difference whether he consumed one, two or twenty chickens.

Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hasan : I would call Mirza Sahib a Dajjal and Kazzab. He had called those persons a breed of swine who did not believe in him. Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din and Mr. Daultana fall in that category.

Maulana Daud Ghaznavi: Qadian and Nankana were about to be declared open cities; the one delivered to Ahmadis, the other to Sikhs, through Chaudhri Muhammad Zafrullah Khan’s effort, and it only remained for our foolish ministers to sign.

Master Taj-ud-Din : This 6 ft. 2 inches of a renegade, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. Mandal and Zafrullah were both non-Muslims. Both were selected by the Qaid-i-Azam. Mandal had run away and it is not known when Zafrullah will do so. Zafrullah had himself declared that if he resigned, he would leave Pakistan. He should not be allowed to leave, but prosecuted.

Sheikh Husam-ud-Din : The British got the Mirzais established in order to ban Jihad. They were spies of the British. Two Ahmadi officers, a Major and a Lt. Colonel, were caught smuggling arms near Attock. And yet Gurmani and Daultana did not believe Maulana Abul Hasanat Sayyed Muhammad Ahmad when he told them that Mirzais were carrying arms to Rabwah.

(E) Conference at Shujabad on 19th and 20th November 1952 — Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus of Hazara : Mirza Ghulam Ahmad got his legs and thighs kneaded by women and Bhano was one of them. He used to see naked women and his son admitted that lie used liquor. (Why does he worry particularly about Bhano?)

Maulvi Muhammad Ali Jullundri : Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was his mother’s darling but an owl’s progeny nevertheless. The country was unfortunate in having Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din as Prime Minister, but his mother was fortunate to have a son who became Prime Minister.

Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari : Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s father died in a latrine and mine in his house. When he died in the latrine, he vomited from the other side. Queen Victoria  * *   (the same old story). Mirza Sahib said he was made to feel like a female and Allah had intercourse with him. He remained pregnant for ten months, then there was pain. He caught hold of a tree and he was born. * * He urinated frequently during the day.

The D. I. G. said on the 8th of December 1952, on a report about these speeches, that the proper D. I. G. advises against unilateral action in law and order sphere.course would be to prosecute both these bodies (the Ahmadis also ?) but as the Central Government declines to define its attitude towards the Ahrar and Punjab Government cannot act unilaterally, he suggested merely a warning.

Really we were surprised. How can there be bilateral action in the matter of law and order?

In addition to the cases mentioned in (A), (B), (C), (D) and (E), the following files also were put up in the meeting of 24th December.

1. File relating to the speech of Maulvi Abdul Khanan of Campbellpur, Ahmadis fit to be murdered.that Mirzais were fit to be murdered and Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din was a Kafir, a murtadd, a fool and an ignorant person.

2. File relating to a poster “ذرا سوچيں تو ختم نبوت کا منکر کون ھے” issued by the Ahmadis early in October 1952. In effect, it said: “How can you believe in Khatm-i-Nubuwwat if you believe that Jesus is to appear one day?” The District Magistrate of Montgomery recommended prosecution but S. P. (B.) and D. I. G. did not agree. The Inspector-General, taking the same view added that the Ahmadis should be told for their own sake not to controversy.

We do not know how these cases were approached. We have no doubt that in a conference presided over Decision of 24th December 1952 :by the Minister in charge of law and order and including the most responsible officers of Government the question that the Ahrar had not honoured their “assurance” must have been the very first matter for discussion. We have no doubt that they were all convinced, as we are, that each of the speeches we have quoted offends the ordinary law, in which we include also section 23 of the Public Safety Act because it involves a trial according to ordinary procedure. What was it then that required particular discussion if the decision was to be only this,  that where a speech offended against the There need have been no decision about ordinary law.ordinary law, the speaker should be prosecuted, but that no further action was necessary? Does it not mean that even the ordinary law was not functioning until the 24th December 1952? It means either this or it means that, in actual fact, no decision was taken.

But even after this date the ordinary law remained suspended. We have seen how Mr. Nazir Ahmad, Ordinary law remained suspended even afterwards.S. P. (B) suspended it on his own motion in the Gullu Shah case. He started with the plea that prosecution will lead to unnecessary fuss. He ended with saying that the speakers were too “petty” for prosecution. In all cases, one of these two positions must arise. The offender will be either an important person whose prosecution might rouse further agitation, or a petty person who is beneath contempt, and Mr. Nazir Ahmad covered both cases. He had noticed that the Gujranwala prosecutions had been withdrawn in July because people had become agitated; but that the Ragra of Bhera’s “Mast Qalandar”—“an abusive and insulting criticism of the founder of the Ahmadism”—was ignored because the writer might gain notoriety if prosecuted.

The Government obtained an assurance from the Ahrar to safeguard the life, property and honour of No regard for religious and personal honourthe Ahmadis. The Government themselves paid no regard to the religious honour of the Ahmadis as a body and to the personal honour of some important members of their community. They paid no regard even to the official dignity of the Prime Minister.

We said that even after the 24th December 1952, the ordinary law The “Azad”, 12-11-52.remained suspended. Take, for instance, the “Azad” of 12th November 1952 (a daily organ of the Ahrar, edited by Master Taj-ud-Din), which made the following contribution to decency in its “editorial” :

“How long will the names of ‘prophet’, ‘promised Messiah’, A very nasty editorial.‘Ahmad’ and ‘Muhammad’ be dinned into our ears in this country in respect of an adulterer, drunkard, goonda, badmash, forger, liar and Dajjal, and how long will the pure and chaste mothers of the Ummat be allowed to turn in their graves, restless with shame, for a woman who is the disgrace of humanity ?” (The reference is apparently to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his wife).

On a resolution of protest by the Ahmadis of Montgomery, the Government Protest by Ahmadis to Central Governmentof Pakistan made a reference to the Punjab Government on 21st November 1952. The passage in question was examined by the Prosecuting Inspector, who reported that it was actionable under sections 153-A and 295-A of the Penal Code and section 21 of the Public Safety Act. S. P. (B) reported on 22nd December that it was the daily routine of the editor of the “Azad” to write defamatory articles against the Ahmadis. On the 26th December, two days after the decision of 24th December, the D. I. G. made a note that the article was clearly punishable under section 153-A and section 21 but that “the Central Government have given no guidance and this is exactly what we have been deploring so far”, and that in view of the Centre’s “apathy”, the Provincial Government D.I.G. recommends no action because of Centre’s “apathy”should not initiate any proceeding. Having recommended no action, he expressed disgust over the vehement abuse and insult so repeatedly piled on the founder and members of the Ahmadiyya community. “The article is of a piece with what is being done daily by Ahrar leaders and mullas. I will talk to Master Tajud Din”.

Home Secretary and Chief Minister do not disagree.The Home Secretary agreed on the 29th December and the Chief Minister initialled the note on the 5th January 1953.

All sense of decency revolts at this decision. We had read this passage in Bad taste in the mouth.the ‘Azad’ earlier, but the D. I. G.’s note was read out to us while Mr. Daultana was being examined as a witness. When we read this note, we had a feeling which had better be left unexpressed. We could not believe our eyes and ears. What happened in the space of two days to alter the decision that at least ordinary legal remedies should be applied to these nasty situations? Had the Central Government become apathetic between the 24th and the 26th of December? If Master Taj-ud-Din was a particularly decent fellow, and some reason had to be found for condoning his fault, it was unbecoming to look for that reason in the apathy of the Centre. The irony of the situation lies in the fact that it was the Centre itself which brought this articles to the notice of the province.

Mr. Daultana says in court: “The Home Secretary agreed and so did I. Had any further action been Mr. Daultana’s explanation.considered advisable by the officers, I would undoubtedly have agreed to it. The notes were based on the Pakistan Government letter which referred to the article in question for disposal. I have no recollection of having read the article or the note. My attention was directed to the fact that the D. I. G. wanted to take some action after meeting Master Taj-ud-Din and I was not required to give any particular decision. The question of Policy was quite clear, and officers could have acted.taking action against objectionable writings and speeches had been previously decided upon and the policy was quite clear. No reference was made to me to clarify any ambiguity in the order or to take specific instructions about a particular case”.

But he added on a question by us that “if a glaring case of inaction by the D. I. G. or the But if it is a glaring case of inaction—Home Secretary came to me in the form of a note which was merely for information, it would be right for me to take action.” Not only right, it should be his duty to act. For in such a case, the policy laid down by him will not have been pursued. The policy was to take action under ordinary law, and the D. I. G. refuses to take action, merely to spite the Central Government.

Further, we do not think the position which Mr. Daultana takes is correct as Mr. Daultana’s stand is not correct.regards the files which were put up to him for information. They were not put up to him out of respect for being the Minister in charge. They were put up that he might be kept abreast of the situation and of the action which was being taken so that if he regards the action to be inadequate or excessive, he might amend or cancel it.

Similar inaction is noticeable in respect of speeches made on the 26th December 1952 Other cases of inaction.and the two following days at a Khatm-i-Nubuwwat Conference at Chiniot. The following extracts may be profitably reproduced:—

Master Taj-ud-Din—Zafrullah was not loyal to Pakistan but to his Khalifa. Watch his activities and sack him. Because the Ulama had demanded release of Ahrar leaders, religious discussion had been banned in Government offices.

M. Muhammad Ali Jullundri — An Ahmadi officer had sent a truck load of ammunition from the Ordnance Factory at Attock to Rabwah. Zafrullah had agreed to the retention of Indian officers in Kashmir. He was a traitor. He got Gurdaspur annexed to India. Both the Mirzais and Ahrar were opposed to the creation of Pakistan, but for different reasons—the former for political reasons, the letter on the basis of Mirza Ghulam, Ahmad’s ilhams.

S. Muzaffar Ali Shamsi—Mirza, Ghulam Ahmad was a fasiq and fajir. Ghaffar Khan has been imprisoned because he is a traitor to Pakistan, but Zafrullah who is a traitor to the Prophet is Foreign Minister.

S. Ata Ullah Bukhari—The Muslims can unseat the Central Government as they did the Khizr Ministry, if they do not remove Zafrullah Khan. If people and the Government did not take effective steps, the British will set up a Mirzai Government at Rabwah.

The speeches were reported to the Chief Minister, who saw the report on 7th January in the new year. But no remarks were made and no action was suggested.

More about the Majlie-e-Ahrar

The group became composed of Indian Muslims inspired by and supporting the Khilafat Movement, which cleaved closer to the Congress Party. The party is based in Punjab and gathered support from the urban lower-middle class. Chaudhry Afzal HaqMaulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi and Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari were the leaders of the party. 

Religious leaders from all sects Sunni BarelviDeobandiAhle HadithShia Progressive and politically Communists were the members of Majlis-e-Ahrar. Chaudhry Afzal HaqSyed Ata Ullah Shah BukhariHabib-ur-Rehman LudhianviMazhar Ali Azhar, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan and Dawood Ghaznavi were the founders of the party. The Ahrar was composed of Indian Muslims disillusioned by the Khilafat Movement, which cleaved closer to the Congress Party.
Links and Related Essay’s

The Majlis-e-Ahrar in Ahmadiyya history

Ahmadiyya and its violent past, the early 1930’s


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