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Khawaja Abdus Samad Kakroo
By Nasir Husain Peerzadah, Srinagar

Khawaja Abdus Samad Kakroo (d. 29 November 1919) hailed from Baramulla, Kashmir. He was a great visionary and a social activist. He strived hard for the social and educational upliftment of the Muslims of the Subcontinent. He was a true missionary and a philanthropist.

Not much has been written on his life and activities except one or two small pamphlets. Kaakroo had close ties with his contemporaries like Allama Iqbal, Shibli Nomani, Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri and others.

I tried to gather information about this great personality. The result is not enough to do justice to this legendary pesonality. Justice Nazir Ahmad Kawoosa of Nagin, Srinagar, a grandson of the Khawaja, provided bits of information about his grandfather. These are reproduced below.

Judge Sahib, could you briefly tell us about the life of this great personality?
Not much has been written on the life of Khawaja Samad Kakroo. Even his date of birth in not known properly. He lived for some eighty years. His ancestors hailed from Ghakhad, Punjabm which is now part of Pakistan. He was a great visionary and a social reformer. He had sacrificed his life for missionary works. He helped quite a good number of social and educational projects. He was very keen for the upliftment of Muslim masses.

He was a founder-member of many prestigious organizations like All-India Muslim Educational Conference, All-India Muslim League. He had participated in the annual meeting of the Muslim League in 1906 at Dhaka. In this meeting Khawaja had voiced strongly against the British atrocities.

Khawaja was a pivotal force in the formation of Anjuman Nusrat Islam in Kashmir. He helped Maulwi Ghulam Rasool Shah, the founder of the Anjuman. It was to the credit of Anjumin that it cared and patronised the needy, the poor and the destitute to pursue education. In those days it was almost impracticable to persuade Muslims to take to education since Muslims were under deep slumber of ignorance and slavery. Khawaja also created some scholarships for students to go for higher education in Aligarh.

Khawaja used to participate in the meetings of Anjumin Himayatul Islam, Lahore, where Allama Iqbal often used to recite his poems. He was also a founder-member of this Anjumin.

It is narrated that in those days any dignitary visiting Kashmir tried to meet Khawaja Samad. Khawaja had good contacts with Allama Iqbal, Shibli, Anwar Shah Kashmiri and others.

What was the nature of Khwajas relations with Allama Muhammad Iqbal?
Khawaja liked scholars and scholarly work. As such he had been much influenced by the poetic genius of Allama Iqbal. In those days, Allama used to read his poems in the annual gatherings of Anjumin Himayatul Islam, Lahore. In the year 1903, Allama read a poem Faryad-e Ummat in the annual gathering of this Anjumin. Having been moved and influenced by the poetic genius and high calibre of the verses of the poem, Khawaja presented the Allama with a splendid golden medal he had brought from Kashmir especially for the Allama. Not only this, Khawaja had many a times presented valuable and noble gifts to Allaama. One of the sons of Khawaja, Khawaja Ghulam Hassan, used to reside with Allama in Lahore. The boy was quite efficient and capable and passed his Matric exams with good marks. On this occasion, Allama sent a telegram to Khawaja congratulating him for his sons splendid success. The telegram was received by the Khawaja while he was returning after burying the son, Khawaja Ghulam Hassan. When Allama heard of this episode he wrote a moving elegy (see box). 

Khawaja had also good relations with Allama Anwar Shah (Shaikhul Hadith) of Kashmir. Allama also had good contacts with Khawaja Abdus Samad. In fact, it was at the behest of Khawaja Samad that Allama established a Darul Uloom, Madrasa Faiz-e Aam at Baramulla where Allama Anwar Shah used to deliver lectures.

Besides, the educational tour / Hajj pilgrimage made by Anwar Sahib were wholly financed by Khawaja Samad.

Any writings of the Khawaja?
Khawaja was a poetic genius. Muqbil was his poetic name. H composed a good collection of nat, praising Prophet Muhammad (pubh). He also wrote poems in both Persian and Urdu. Khawaja maintained good relations with important personalities of his times.

Close associates of the Khawaja included Sir Syed Khan, Allama Shibli Nomani, Dr. Ansari, Maulana Hali, Hakim Muhammad Ajmal Khan, Nawab Salimullah of Dhaka, Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Maulana Jafar Ali, Nawab Muhsinul Mulk, Nawab Waqarul Mulk, Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Maulwi Syed Mir Hassan Shah Sialkoti and Allama Iqbal etc.

A book, Islam and Anjuman Himayatul Islam, by Muhammad Hanif Shahid has a chapter Iqbal ke ham-asr (contemporaries of Iqbal) where Khawaja Samad stands at No. 39 preceding the names of Sir Syed, Shibli, Hali, Maulana Azad, Syed Iftekhar and other. Such was the nature of his relationship with Dr. Iqbal. 

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