Bi Amma


Abadi Bano Begum, popularly known'as 'Bi Aroma', was born circa 1850 in a renowned family of U. P. She came to occupy a remarkable place in the history of Freedom Movement of the Indo-Pakistan sub- continent for being the fust Muslim woman of the modem times to tBke active part in politics.

She was married to Abdul Ali Khan who was a senior official of Rampur State. She had one daughter and five sons including Maulana Shaukat Ali and Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar.

She became a widow at the age of thirty .Although she did not have any fonmal education yet, she was deeply convinced of the advantages of acquiring modem education for the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan sub- continent She educated her sons at Aligarh and Oxford; for that she pawned her jewellery to pay for her sons education.

During the sessions of the All India Muslim League in 1917, she delivered the most touching and forceful speech which left a lasting effect on the Muslim Ummah. While her sons were still in Jail this bold and venerable mother kept alive the fervour for the Khilafat Movement. She toured the country, addressed large gatherings of people, which flocked to hear her and exhorted them to follow the footsteps of her great sons in their struggle for the unity and fraternity of the Muslim Ummah. She replaced her illustrious sons in popularity and leadership I and the famous Urdu couplet

Boli AIrvna Mohalrvnad Ali Ki

 Jaan Baila Khilafal Pay De Do"

became household words and were sung in every nook and comer of the Sub-continent by all sections of people irrespective of caste, creed or sect

After the end of the Khilafat Movement Bi Amma, however, did not survive for long and died on November 13, 1924. Her death was a great loss to the Muslim Nation, but Muslim women who had come out to work with Bi Amma were to become a political force to reckon with and their activities were a necessary prelude to their active participation in the forthcoming hectic political struggle of the Indo-Pakistan sub- continent


Author: Zia-ur-Rahman Zabeeh
Ex. Director General, Pakistan Post, Islamabad
Artist: Professor Saeed Akhter
National College of Arts, Lahore
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