A Peshawari of great stature

Osama Siddiqui

Whenever the marvelous struggle of the Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek for the freedom of the Subcontinent from British imperialism will be written, the Bacha Khan and Jawaharlal Nehru’s top comrade Hakeem Abdul Jalil’s name will also be mentioned in golden words due to his marked services for the cause of independence from the British rule.

Hakeem Abdul Jalil was born in a Hindko speaking family of the historic city of Peshawar. He started his primary education at a local school and at the age of 12 he went to Madrasa Nomania, Lahore. Later, he was sent to Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, India, where after 5 years, he got admission in Takmeel-ut-Tib College, Lucknow and completed his degree course in Unani medicine and became the first qualified hakeem of Peshawar.

If we try to know about his political career, it was actually started in 1919. After sometime he became a prominent public leader and joined the Indian National Congress and Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek. Then he was also promoted to the post of president of the Congress for the NWFP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and the Congress Committee in Peshawar.

Hakeem Sahib had great respect for Bacha Khan as well as the other leaders and fellows of the Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek, including Jarnail Ghulam Haider Khan. He was also a devoted and resilient political worker that’s why he had always been tasked by the Congress to represent the NWFP in the central meetings of the party which he did very well.

When the Qissa Khwani massacre took place, he was playing a major role in leading the protestors at that time and as a result he faced too much harsh reaction from the British government. The story does not end here as during his struggle for independence, once the government was annoyed with him and decided to jail him in Burma (Myanmar). Thereafter, he was also imprisoned in a jail known as Kala Pani which was used by the government for exiling political prisoners.

Here, there is an incident of a political confrontation which occurred between Hakeem Sahib and the Congress senior leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel during the last meeting of the Congress at Patna. However, Maulana Azad intervened in the matter on the directions of the high command of the party to reconcile between them and after that Sardar Patel apologized to Hakeem Sahib which he accepted. This story shows that he was a very kind and soft-hearted person who strongly believed in team work and respect for his seniors and fellows.

Ashar Jawad – the great grandson of Hakeem Abdul Jalil, who is very active on social media was once interviewed by me to ask him that how his family still remembers the struggle of freedom fighters for the independence of the Subcontinent, he said, “We are very proud of our great grandfather’s struggle for such a noble cause and I urge the youngsters to study the life stories of such amazing personalities to get inspired and motivated for fighting against injustice and discrimination in society.”

It is worth to mention that Hakeem Sahib’s struggle for freedom has been hailed by the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa few years ago and in response to this, the university college for boys of the University of Peshawar as well as the herbal medicine research institute of the Khyber Medical University (KMU) Peshawar have been named after him.

Concluding the discussion, the today’s youth should learn about the great Hakeem Abdul Jalil to realize the fact that independence from British imperialism was not attained so easily, while those who belong to Peshawar must be proud that Hakeem Sahib belonged to their historical city and shared his political journey with the world’s great leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Bacha Khan.

The writer has done MSc Business and Management from the Cardiff University, United Kingdom and BBA from the Institute of Management Sciences (IMSciences), Peshawar. He has keen interest in cricket, films and the history of South Asia, particularly the Subcontinent. He may be reached at: osamasiddiqui21@yahoo.com.

Related Posts


There are 0 comments for this article

Leave a Reply