Life and times of Syed Ahmad Shaheed

Book: Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed -- Life, Mission and Contributions
Author: Shah Ebadur Rahman
Publisher: Academy of Islamic Research and Publication, Lucknow
Year: not mentioned
Pages: 258

Muhammad Alamullah

Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed (1786-1831) was a prominent Indian Muslim personality of the the nineteenth century who contributed a lot for the development of India and Indian Muslims. A man of action, Sayyid Ahmad also acted as a leader to wage Jihad against the British colonial rule and tried to free the country so that India was ruled by Indians. Alongwith his followers he migrated to the border tribal areas with a determination to wage a war against the colonial rulers from there.

This book written by Dr Shah Ebadur Rahman, former professor of English Ummul Qura University at Makkah, highlights the different aspects of his personality and struggle. Many books have been written on Sayyid Ahmad, but this book is different in many ways. It sheds light on many aspects of Sayyid Ahmad’s life which are not commonly known. 

The first chapter of the book sheds light on his personality so that the reader may appreciate the subsequent stages in his life. The second chapter illustrates his academic authority and thorough knowledge of Islam. The third and fourth chapters describe the sacrifices and social services rendered to society. In the fifth and sixth chapters, the author throws light on Sayyid Ahmad’s practical approach towards the problems of the country and society.

. The sixth and seventh chapters discuss later parts of his life and movement.

The writer has tried to understand Sayyid Ahmad’s contributions and his movement which continued after him. Though many writers have described Sayyid Ahmad’s life and struggle in various ways, the present author has also tried to explain the reason of Sayyid Ahmad’s failure but has failed to clearly explain the reason behind the failure of his efforts. We still need a study showing the reasons behind the failure of Sayyid Ahmad’s mission which faded away after his martyrdom in Balakot in 1830.

This book is an attempt to project Sayyid Ahmad’s movement aimed at calling upon Muslims to return to the pure and authentic teachings of Islam and to liberate the country from the clutches of foreign invaders.

The movement of Sayyid Ahmad was basically against the British colonial power. This book is an important new addition to the books on Sayyid Ahmad and his movement.

The Urdu version of this book (Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed - shaksiyat, tahreek aur asaraat, Rae Bareli, 2015, 255 pages) has been published by Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed Academy.     

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2015 on page no. 21

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