The mosque in Ayodhya district which will be built on the land in lieu of Babri Masjid as mandated by the Supreme Court could be dedicated to Ahmadullah Shah, who had earned the epithet of ‘Awadh’s Lighthouse of Rebellion’ during the first war of independence against the British in 1857.
This was confirmed by Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation, the trust constituted by UP Sunni Waqf Board to build the mosque. “The trust is seriously contemplating on the proposal to dedicate the Ayodhya mosque project to the great freedom fighter Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah. We have received suggestions from different platforms and will officially make an announcement soon after deliberation,” Athar Hussain, secretary of IICF said.
Earlier, the trust had taken an in principle decision not to attach the name of any Mughal emperor with the mosque. IICF, which is entrusted with the task of building the mosque on five acres of land at Dhannipur village in the district, had reiterated at the launch of the mosque blueprint in December last year that the project will imbibe modernity, break away from the past and mirror the future in true spirit of Islam.
“While we have been deliberating on the name of the mosque for several months, the trust finally zeroed in on the name of Ahmadullah Shah, who was fondly called Moulvi Faizabadi,” said a source.
Ahmadullah Shah, believed to be born in 1787, was killed on June 5, 1858, after spearheading an armed rebellion against the English army. British officer George Bruce Malleson has particularly mentioned Shah’s valour and organisational capabilities in ‘History of Indian Mutiny’, a book written in six volumes on the 1857 revolt.
Shah had turned Ayodhya into a crucible of armed resistance against the British and triggered mutinies across the Awadh region. He turned Masjid Sarai in Faizabad’s Chowk area into his headquarters and held meetings with freedom fighters. He had liberated Faizabad and large parts of Awadh region.
Noted researcher and historian of Awadh, Ram Shankar Tripathi, said, “While being a practising Muslim, he was also the epitome of religious unity and Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb of Ayodhya. During the 1857 revolt, royals like Nana Sahib of Kanpur and Kunwar Singh of Arrah fought alongside Ahmadullah Shah. His 22nd Infantry Regiment was commanded by Subedar Ghamandi Singh and Subedar Umrao Singh in the famous Battle of Chinhat.”