Indian Muslims’ contribution in support of the Ottoman caliphate

By Hasanul Banna 

GOMBAK, 28 October 2018: The Indian Muslims extended financial, medical and diplomatic support to a distraught and devastated Ottoman Caliphate to uphold the honour and prestige of the Muslim ummah.

In his presentation last Friday (26 October), Noor Mohammed Khalid, a post graduate student, highlighted various contributions made by Muslims of undivided India to the Ottoman Caliphate and the Turkish nation during their most difficult period from 1874 to 1924.

“Indian Muslims knew all too well that the Ottomans were the sole independent Muslim nation on the face of the earth, and they alone had within themselves the potential to defend the Holy lands as well the prestige of Islam,” Noor Mohammed Khalid from Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed knowledge and Human Sciences (IRKHS) said.

The speaker quoted a Turkish historian who admitted that the contributions made by the Indians in this regard were unsurpassed by any other Muslim community. Khalid said the historian had noted that the Indian Muslims offered their money and their mite despite themselves being a subject race.

Khalid put forth clinching evidences from various sources to show the huge outpouring of support for the Ottomans in the length and breadth of the country. He also spoke in detail about the effort exerted by Muslim leaders and the public to ensure Turkey was not subjected to humiliating terms of the Sevres Treaty.

There was also a reference made to the Khilafat delegation to the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe which tried its best to win over leaders of the victorious allied forces, to ensure Turkey was not humiliated or dismembered.

Khalid furnished substantial evidence to prove that the Lausanne treaty, which granted honourable terms to the Turkish republic, despite the Turks having been the vanquished party, was greatly influenced by the pressure built on the British and other allied powers by the Indians.

Khalid went on to list periodicals published across India by Muslims to raise awareness about the miseries suffered by the Turkish republic and to galvanise public opinion in their support. These newspapers were instrumental in raising funds as well as created awareness for the Turkish cause.


The role of Indian Muslim merchants in financially aiding the movements to support the Ottoman Caliphate was also raised by the speaker.

Special mention was made of the sacrifices by leaders like Imam Nanawtawi, Allama Shibli, Maulana Azad, Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar, Allama Iqbal, etc.

The presenter mentioned the sterling role played even by the communities in the southern part of India, highlighting the sacrifices made by the Moplas of Malbar in this regard

During the Question and Answer session, one member of the audiences pointed out that the name of another great supporter of the Caliphate, Ahmed Raza Khan, was conspicuous by its absence.

Meanwhile, Prof. Dr. Elmira of IIUM’s Department of History, pointed out that even after the abolishment of the Caliphate, it is not appropriate to call the state that succeeded the Caliphate as ‘Turkey’, since, in the opinion of the professor, a large number of nationalities were fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with the Ottoman Turks.

A unique feature of the meeting was the number of nationalities that were represented in the talk: Chinese, Turks, Arabs, Africans, Russians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and, of course, Indians.

The meeting room was jam-packed despite the talk being Khalid’s maiden presentation in IIUM.

The presentation was held at the Al Shafiie Meeting Room, IRK building, and organised by co-ordinator of  Post Graduate Students, IRKHS.  ***



Najmi Mamat

Najmi Mamat, or Najmi Syahiran Mamat is a Journalism student, who is working as Senior Journalist at IIUMToday (university news portal) and currently being in the position of Managing Editor. Besides having a position as a news anchor at its bulletin production, he is actively participating in theater performances and in love with photography as well as travelling and vlogging. He works as a part-timer of event emcee too. Travel. Student. Notebook.

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