|Biographical detail : ||Politician and journalist.
The founded Jamia Millia Islamia, “a flowering institution with its own individuality and usefulness.” He launched The Comrade, a weekly in English, from Calcutta, and outlined in the opening number of January 14, 1911 “the frank recognition of yawning differences that divide” Hindus and Muslims. Written and edited by one man and produced on expensive paper, The Comrade quickly gained circulation and influence. After twenty months the paper moved to Delhi, the Raj’s new capital. It acquired a sister, an Urdu-language daily Hamdard, in 1913. He played very important role during non co-operation and Khilafat movement. He was chosen President of Indian National Congress (1923 – 24). Speaking increasingly of Muslim fears and Muslim rights, Muhammad Ali felt that Hindu communalism was gaining ground in Congress. He, therefore, shared the dominant Muslim feeling that Swaraj (independence) would be a Hindu prize and Muslims would need to battle for their rightful share of the spoils of self-government.
He declared at the first Round Table Conference in London (1930), that he would not return to India alive unless the country was set free. “I would prefer to die in a foreign country so long as it is a free country,” he addressed to the British, and went on, “and if you do not give us freedom in India you will have to give me a grave here.” He further went on. “The Hindu-Muslim problem is your creation. But not altogether. It is the old maxim of ‘divide and rule’. But there is a division of labour. We divide and you rule.” His words in London about the position of an Indian Muslim have gone into history.
“I belong to two circles of equal size, but which are not concentric. One is India, and the other is the Muslim world…We as Indian Muslims belong to these two circles, each of more than 300 millions, and we can leave neither.”
Muhammad Ali a great orator and a poet, Jauhar was his poetical name, died of a stroke in London and the grave in which he rests is neither in Britain nor in India. Muhammad Ali was buried, by the choice of his relatives, friends and admirers in Jerusalem, the place from where the Prophet (PBU) ascended to heaven. The inscription written on his grave near the Dome of the Rock says: “Here lies al-Sayyid Muhammad Ali al-Hindi.”
His brilliant, stormy and sad life commenced in the principality of Rampur, where he was born, which lay 150 miles to the east of Delhi.
The writer HG Wells described him as a man who possessed 'the heart of Napoleon, the pen of Macaulay and the tongue of Burke'.