Inayatullah Khan Mashriqi

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Inayatullah Khan Mashriqi
Born 25 August 1888
Amritsar, Punjab, British India
Died 27 August 1963 (aged 75)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Other names Allama Mashriqi
Alma mater University of the Punjab
Christ’s College, Cambridge
Organization Khaksar movement
Movement Indian independence movement
Pakistan Movement
Religion Islam

Inayatullah Khan Mashriqi, also known as Allama Mashriqi, (25 August 1888 – 27 August 1963) was a Pakistani mathematician, logician, political theorist, Islamic scholar and the founder of the Khaksar movement.

In 1930 founded the Khaksar Movement, aiming to advance the condition of the masses irrespective of any faith, sect, or religion.[1]


Mashriqi had a passion for mathematics from his childhood.[1] He completed his master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of the Punjab at the age of 19 and broke all previous records. In October 1907 he matriculated at Christ’s College, Cambridge, England, to read for the mathematics tripos. He was awarded a college foundation scholarship in May 1908.[2] In June 1909 he was awarded first class honours in Mathematics Part I, being placed joint 27th out of 31 on the list of wranglers.[3] For the next two years, he read for the oriental languages tripos in parallel to the natural sciences tripos, gaining first class honours in the former and third class in the latter.[4][5]

After three years’ residence at Cambridge he had qualified for his Bachelor of Arts degree, which he took in 1910. In 1912 he completed a fourth tripos in mechanical sciences, and was placed in the second class. Following the year, Mashriqi was conferred with DPhil in mathematics receiving a gold medal in his doctoral graduation ceremony.[6] He left Cambridge and returned to India in December 1912.[7] During his stay in Cambridge his religious and scientific conviction was inspired by the works and concepts of the professor Sir James Jeans.[8][page needed]


On his return to India, Mashriqi was offered the premiership of Alwar, a princely state, by the Raja. He declined owing to his interest in education. At the age of 25 he was appointed Vice Principal of Islamia College, Peshawar, by Chief Commissioner Sir George Roos-Keppel. He was made Principal of the same college in 1917. In Oct 1917 he was appointed Under Secretary to the Government of India in the Education Department in succession to Sir George Anderson (1876–1943).[9] He became headmaster of the High School, Peshawar on 21 October 1919.

In 1930 he was passed over for a promotion in the government service, following which he went on medical leave. In 1932 he resigned, taking his pension, and settled down in Ichhra, Lahore.[10][page needed]

Nobel nomination[edit]

In 1924, at the age of 36, Mashriqi completed the first volume of his book, Tazkirah. It is a commentary on the Qur’an in the light of science. It was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1925,[11][full citation needed] subject to the condition it was translated into one of theEuropean languages. Mashriqi, however, declined the suggestion of translation.[12]


Mashriqi’s fellowships included:[8][page needed]

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, 1923
  • Fellow of the Geographical Society (F.G.S), Paris
  • Fellow of Society of Arts (F.S.A), Paris
  • Member of the Board at Delhi University
  • President of the Mathematical Society, Islamia College, Peshawar
  • Member of the International Congress of Orientalists (Leiden), 1930
  • President of the All World’s Faiths Conference, 1937

Mashriqi’s philosophy[edit]

He declared that the science of religions was essentially the science of collective evolution of mankind; all prophets came to unite mankind, not to disrupt it; the basic law of all faiths is the law of unification and consolidation of the entire humanity.[8][page needed] According to Markus Daeschel, the philosophical ruminations of Mashriqi offer an opportunity to re-evaluate the meaning of colonial modernity and notion of post-colonial nation-building in modern times.[13]

Political life[edit]

Mashriqi is often portrayed as a controversial figure, a religious activist, a revolutionary, and an anarchist; while at the same time he is described as a visionary, a reformer, a leader, and a scientist-philosopher who was born ahead of his time.[1]

After Mashriqi resigned from government service, he laid the foundation of the Khaksar Tehrik (also known as Khaksar Movement) in 1930.[14][full citation needed]

Al-Islah (Khaksar Tehrik weekly)

Imprisonments and allegations[edit]

On 20 July 1943, an assassination attempt was made on Muhammad Ali Jinnah by Rafiq Sabir who was assumed to be a Khaksar worker.[15] The attack was deplored by Mashriqi, who denied any involvement. Later, Justice Blagden of Bombay High Court, in his ruling on 4 November 1943 dismissed any association of Khaksars.[16]

In Pakistan, Mashriqi was imprisoned at least five times: in 1950 prior to election; in 1958 for alleged complicity in the murder of republican leader Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan; and, in 1962 for suspicion on attempt to overthrowPresident Ayub’s government. However, none of the charges were proved, and he was acquitted in each case.[8][page needed]

In 1957 Mashriqi allegedly led 300,000 of his followers to the borders of Kashmir, intending, it is said, to launch a fight for its liberation. However, the Pakistan government persuaded the group to withdraw and the organisation was later disbanded.[17]


Mashriqi died on 27 August 1963.

Mashriqi’s works[edit]

Mashriqi’s prominent works include:

  • Armughan-i-Hakeem, a poetical work
  • Dahulbab, a poetical work
  • Isha’arat, the “Bible” of the Khaksar movement
  • Khitab-e-Misr (The Egypt Address), based on his 1925 speech in Cairo as a delegate to the Motmar-e-Khilafat
  • Maulvi Ka Ghalat Mazhab
  • Tazkirah Volume I, 1924, discussions on conflicts between religions, between religion and science, and the need to resolve these conflicts
  • Tazkirah Volume II. Posthumously published in 1964
  • Tazkirah Volume III.

Edited works[edit]

  • God, man, and universe: as conceived by a mathematician (works of Inayatullah Khan el-Mashriqi), Akhuwat Publications, Rawalpindi, 1980 (edited by Syed Shabbir Hussain).

See also[edit]

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