The book Rangila Rasul was dedicated to Lekh Ram, who was murdered by Ahmadi’s in 1897, he died in front of an Ahmadi doctor (Dr. Mirza Yacub Baig). Rangila Rasul was written by the Arya Samaj, of which Lekh Ram was a great leader. Thus, Ahmadi’s caused communal strife, just like how Bob Van Der Linden (See “Moral Languages from Colonial Punjab”, page 183) explained in his book. Maulvi Sanaullah responded to this book herein. This also wrapped up in the Ahmadiyya support of blasphemy laws, see herein. In 1927, the primary organized opposition to the judgement was driven by the Khilafatists and the Ahmadis. Ahmadis printed posters in several cities urging a total economic boycott of Hindus in response to the perceived insult to their prophet. The then spiritual head of the Ahmadiya community, Mirza Bashir ud-din Ahmad, wrote to the British viceroy in support of an anti-blasphemy law where insult to the “prophet” should be clearly mentioned and made illegal.
In a cruel twist of karma, this is the same law that is used today in Pakistan to persecute the Ahmadiya community. The British introduced 295A, criminalizing future speech deemed insulting to religious groups, passed easily in parliament with widespread support. Lala Lajpat Rai, Hindu Mahasabha leader, called the legislation a “temporary measure” necessary to “satisfy some hyper sensitive folk”.
What is Rangila Rasul?
Rangila Rasul (meaning Colorful Prophet) was a book published during a period of confrontation between Arya Samaj and Muslims in Punjab during the 1920s. The controversial book concerned the marriages and sexual life of Islamic prophet Muhammad.
It was written by an Arya Samaji named Pandit M. A. Chamupati or Krishan Prashaad Prataab in 1927, whose name however was never revealed by the publisher, Mahashe Rajpal of Lahore. It was a retaliatory action from the Hindu community against a pamphlet published by a Muslim denigrating the Hindu goddess Sita. On the basis of Muslim complaints, Rajpal was arrested but acquitted in April 1929 after a five-year trial because there was no law against insult to religion.
Some Muslim fanatics, however, continued to try to take his life. After several unsuccessful assassination attempts on him, he was stabbed to death by a young carpenter, Ilm-ud-din, on 6 April 1929. Ilm-ud-din was sentenced to death and the sentence was carried out on 31 October 1929. Ilm-ud-din was represented by Muhammad Ali Jinnah as a defense lawyer. Muhammad Iqbal spoke at the funeral of the assassin.
Rangila Rasul had a surface appearance of a lyrical and laudatory work on Muhammad and his teachings; for example it began with a poem which went “The bird serves the flowers in the garden; I’ll serve my Rangila Rasul”, and called Muhammad “a widely experienced” person who was best symbolized by his many wives, in contrast with the lifelong celibacy of Hindu saints.
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