It is widely known among the masses of Kashmir particularly Kashmiri Historians that Sheikh Abdullah was a show character with a multi-dimensional personality. During his initial days into Kashmiri Politics, Shiekh maintained close contacts with many organizations from mainland India like Jamaat-e-Ahrar, Indian National Congress, the Indian branch of Pro Soviet Communists, etc. Amongst these, Shiekh Abdullah had a very close relationship with Ahmedia sect leadership based in Qadiyan Punjab. Ahmedia Khalifa, Mirza Bashir Mahmood was a close friend of Sheikh Abdullah during his stay in Punjab.
When Sheikh Abdullah was pursuing BSC, he lived in Rivaz hostel Lahore. All of his expenses were paid by Anjuman e Ahmadiya Lahore. Initially, it was not clear to the masses why Sheikh was funded by Qadiyani’s particularly his close association with Khalifa of Mirzai sect, Mirza Bashir. Later Sheikh Abdulla’s elder brother Sheikh Mohammad Maqbool openly came out as Qadiyani. Mirza Ghulam Qadiyani’s close confidante in Kashmir Khanday Khan became Sheikh’s best friend. Khanday who was also a relative of Sheikh Abdullah had embraced the Ahmadiya religion around 1890. Khanday was an engineer in then Srinagar Municipal Committee. It was Khanday who supervised the construction of Mujahid Manzil (NC Head Office).
The real character which is credited with the Propagating Ahmedia sect in Kashmir is Molvi Abdullah Vakeel.
Although Vakeel’s name isn’t mentioned in the list of famous 313 Ahmadi’s published in 1896, yet he was a top figure of the Ahmedi sect in Kashmir and Chenab. He was a Teacher at the famous Taleem ul Islam High school at Qadiyan Punjab and he even taught Mirza Ghulam Qadiyani’s Sons. Born to Mohammad Sideeq Lone of Gatipora Shopain, Molvi Abdullah Vakeel was the source of communication between Sheikh Abdullah and Qadiyani Leadership in Punjab. The uprising of 1931 caught the attention of the people of mainland India towards Kashmir. Amongst these, Ahmedi’s took the front seat in influencing the Political course of Kashmir.
On June 25, 1931, a meeting was held at Khanqa-e-Moula Srinagar which was attended by both Sheikh Abdullah and Molvi Yousuf Shah. Two members from Jamiat-e-Ahmadiya Hind, Syed Waliullah Shah, and Chaudhry Bashir Ahmed participated in the meeting to advise Sheikh Abdullah on Political matters. From the day onwards, other leaders in Kashmir saw the growing influence of Mirzai’s on the Politics of Kashmir and Sheikh Abdullah. Mirwaiz Yousuf Shah also felt the same due to the Sheikh’s ignorance towards concerns of Muslim leadership in the Muslim Conference. During a sermon at Gadayar Masjid, Mirwaiz Yousuf Shah accused some Clean Shaved leaders of being Agents of Mirzai’s. Sheikh Abdullah felt this statement was aimed at him. After that day, Sheikh started growing a beard.
Zahid Bhat is a Political Science student based in Indian-Administered-Kashmir.