Note Fazle Haq Khayrabadi: An Extraordinary Personality


  • Syed Munir Wasti


This is an account of the life and works of Fazle Haq Khayrabadi, a great but forgotten Indian Muslim religious scholar and thinker of the 19th century is presented. Coming from a family of great distinction, Fazle Haq Khayrabadi was an author, poet and philosopher who expressed himself in Arabic, Persian and Urdu. Especially relevant is the dedication and fervor with which Khayrabadi participated in all stages of the First Indian War of Independence of 1857 [also termed the Great Mutiny], for which he was exiled to the Andaman Islands by the British rulers of India, where he died in 1862. The remarkable personality of Fazle Haq Khayrabadi [17871862] has been forgotten by an ungrateful nation that does not honour its heroes but instead buries them under the debris of history. A great scholar, familiar with the diverse disciplines in the Islamic sciences, and the Imam of the Khayrabadi school of logic and philosophy, he, also a son the great Fazle Imam Khayrabadi, distinguished himself early for his intellectual prowess and strength of genius. Amazingly, such a scholar, devoted to academics, was also a fighter and participant in the War of Independence of 1857, and a member of the revolutionary council that directed its strategy. For this, he suffered imprisonment at the hands of the vengeful British, who sentenced him to hard labour in the distant Andaman Islands – where he died ‘across the black water’.