Enlarged and updated
Amar Sheed Zenab Ashfaq Ullah Khan
(on his 118 th birthday falling on 22nd October 2017)
Khamoosh Hazrat Khamoosh Hasmat (pen name of A-U Khan)
Agar Hai Jajba Wattan Ka Dil Main ,
Saza Ko Pohnchain Ge Apni Beshak
Zo aaj Hamko Mitta Rhe Hain,
Bujdiloon Hi Ko Sada Moyt Se Darte Dekha
Goo Ke Soo Bar Unhain Roz Hi Marte Dekha,
Wattan Hamara Rahe Saj Kam Aur Azad
Hamara Kaya Hai Agar Hum Rahe Na Rahe Na Rahe ,
Kass Lee Hai Kamar Ab To Kush Kar Ke Dekhain Ge
Azad Hee Hoo Leinge Ya Sar hee Kata Deinge.
This is the Urdu poem composed by Ashfaq Ullal Khan, who earned the supreme distinction of being the first Muslim youth to be hanged for the cause of the freedom of Mother India. Ashfaq Ullal Khan imbibed the spirit of Patriotism, Unity, Communal Harmony & supreme sacrifice for the country. He falls in the of great revolutionaries & martyrs like Amar Sheed Bhagat singh, sukhdev,Rajguru , Jatinder Nath Dass, Veerangini Jalkari Bhai, Virsa Munda,Mangle Panday,Dulia Dhobi,Mangal Mochi, Kammon kesri Khushi Ram ,Jatra Bhagat , Udham singh , Abdul Gafar Khan, Guru Ram Singh Kuka, Begum Hazrat Mahal,Arun Asaf AlimChander Sekhar Azad ,Neta ji subash chander bose, Veeragini Mahaveeri Devi& lakhs other unknown heroes of Indian Independence Movement.
A very handsome revolutionary son of Mother India, Ashfaq Ulla Khan, was born on October 22nd , 1900 at Shahjahanpur (U.P) in a respectable & well known Muslim family. He was son of revered zenab Shafiq Ullah Khan and Begam Mazhoor-Un-Nisa.His father was teacher by profession . Ashfaq Ulla Khan was the youngest of his six children of his father. His elder brother‘s was Zenab Riyasat Ullah Khan who was advocate by profession. His birth was celebrated with a great pump & show. He was a student of the Mission High school at Shahjahanpur, one class junior to another great revolutionary Pandit Ram Parshad Bismil., a staunch Arya Samaji Hindu. From his childhood Ashfaq Ullal Khan started taking interest in the Freedom Movement & the activities of the freedom fighters moved his tender mind. Both he and Ram Prasad Bismil made unparallel sacrifices for the Indian Freedom Movement from the British yoke.
Ashfaq Ulla Khan left school during Khilafat Movement in 1920 to devote himself fully to educate his countrymen for the Freedom Movement. Many of his near friends advised him not to jump into freedom movement, which was full of difficulties & sufferings including jailed life & even death sentence. But Ashfaq Ullal Khan was made of different stuff, who had decided to sacrifice for the freedom of his Motherland.
To raise money for purchasing weapons for the revolutionaries it was decided (although Ashfaq Ullal Khan differed initially, but agreed with the majority decision) to loot a train carrying Govt. Treasury The train was successfully looted on August 8, 1925 between Alamnagar & Kakoi stations. Among the train robbers were Sachinder Nath Bakshi; Rajinder Nath Lahiri; Pandit Ram Parshad Bismil & Ashfaq ullah Khan. The train robbery sent shock waves to the British administration & praises for the revolutionaries. Two close confidents of Pt. RPBismil leaked the information & got arrested some revolutionaries, but Ashfaq ullah Khan escaped to Daltonganj in Bihar, where he succeeded in getting employment in a school posing as a Hindu of Mathura. Now he wanted to go abroad to study engineering which would further help him in the freedom struggle. He went to Delhi for this purpose.. But alas again a close confident Pathan friend of Ashfaq ullah Khan betrayed & got Ashfaq ullah Khan arrested. Ashfaq ullah Khan was brought to Lahore, tried along with Sachinder Nath Bakshi in Kakori railway station case & sentenced to death. His advocate brother Zenab Riyasat Ullah Khan was his defense councilor.
In an Urdu poem written from his prison cell by Ashfaq ullah Khan with Ram Prasad Bismil on the night of 18 December, 1928 (They were executed on 19th December 1927), he expressed his wish that despite the fact as a Muslim he did not believed in rebirth after death, but if he meets “Khudda” ( God Almighty) after death, he shall make an express request to Him to grant him another births in lieu of “Jannat” so that he could come again and again to liberate his mother land. In this hand written Urdu poem opening lines he said he will go empty hands with the pains that he did not know when his country shall be liberated. A day before his death he told, to his friends who came to see him in the cell, jokily that he was getting married next day.
Ashfaq ullah Khan’s love for his motherland and his commitment for its freedom from the foreign yoke can be made out from the letter written by him from his Jail cell to his nephews.
Translation of the Urdu letter written by Asfaq Ullah Khan to his nephews from the Jail.
“I have been accused of loving my country and for that crime ,I have been given the death sentence. The only wish I have from you both is that after my death you must read the proceedings of my case, then you will come to know to what extent I loved my motherland as a true Muslim”.
On Monday the19th December, 1927, the day of his execution Ashfaq ullah Khan got up early in the morning, took bath offered Namaz & read verses from the Holy Quran. At 6 in the morning he was taken to the altar platform for execution. He was walking carrying a Quran in a bag hanging from his shoulder & was reciting its verses. After kissing the noose he put it around his neck as if it was a garland of flowers. He said “I have never stained my hands with the blood of any man. I will get justice before God. All the charges leveled against me are wrong.” After kissing the noose he put it around his neck as if it was a garland of flowers and was hanged Faizabad Jail British India. His body was taken by his relatives to Shahjahanpur to perform his last rights
Amar Shaheed Ashfaq ullah Khan was a true freedom fighter & a great secular. He saved an Arya Samaji temple from being burnt by rioters. He said “All places of worship, irrespective of the religion, they belong to, are dear to life more than his life.” In his last prayer he prayed to God to bless Hindus & Muslims with better sense so that they don’t fight among themselves and work untidily for the Freedom Movement of the country . Er HEM RAJ PHONSA.
Dated 17-10-2017 Ex Executive Engineer Jammu(J&K,India )
Referance; - Ashfaq ullah Khan, A Great Revolutionary & Freedom Fighter, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting GOI.
ii) Maps of India.com