During first half of May 1928, Lord Headley visited Kashmir. This visit was significant for diverse reasons. But before proceeding further it may be of interest to know who Headley was. In the Peerage of Ireland, a title, Baron Headley was created in 1797 and continued till 1994. The title remained in the Baronetage of Great Britain. The title carried on through generations.
Fourth Baron was an Irish Representative Peer from 1883 to 1913. His cousin, Rowland Allanson- Winn (5th Baron Headley) was a prominent convert to Islam. He assumed Islamic name as Alhajj Farooq Headley.
On 11 May 1928 Lord Headley alias Alhajj Farooq offered payers at Khanqahi Mouala, Srinagar. He was accompanied by a few local prominent persons such as Kamal-u-din and Dr Abdul Wahid (a prominent name on the political landscape of formative years of freedom struggle.He treated scores of people who got injured on 13 July 1931 and was practicing in Zainakadal area). Kashmiris in large numbers had assembled at Khanqahi Moulana, Srinagar. He delivered a written speech. The gist of the speech was that he is a Hanfi Muslim and does not believe in communalism or groupism. Christains in Englistan are getting divided into various groups and sects and the Britishers are tired of Christianity. He talked about unity and appealed people to strengthen Islam.
During two-week stay in Kashmir he made a couple of public appearances. On 14 May he delivered a speech in Hazuribagh, Srinagar where gathering was 5 to 6 thousand. Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christains were in the gathering. Surprizingly Mirza Mustafa, otherwise active on social and governmental network and both Mirwaiz were conspicuously absent. As expected the speech was focused on unity, piety and strengthening the faith of Islam. Alhajj Farooq Headley offered Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid, Srinagar on 18 May, 1928. People who participated in the congregation showed keen interest in getting closer and greet him at the time of dispersal. After two weeks stay in Kashmir Farooq Headley left the valley.
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