بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
ولا حول ولا قوة الا بالله العلي العظيم
The Deobandis and others accuse certain Muslim individuals and groups of having betrayed Islam and the Muslims by siding with the British during the ‘Sepoy Mutiny’ of 1857, which they regard as India’s first war of independence and even a Jihad in the path of Allah!
The truth is, however, that the rebellion of 1857 was a false endeavor that had no justification in Islam or in our Shari’a. In reality, this was a rebellion in which the vast majority of the rebels were Hindus! According to what logic can a rebellion in which majority of the rebels are Hindu idol worshipers be considered a Jihad in the path of Allah?!
This rebellion brought about great harm and destruction for the Muslims of India, officially ending the rule of the last Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar. The British crushed the rebellion and carried out retributions against the Muslim Ulama suspected of having taken part in the mutiny. For this reason, more responsible Ulama such as Nadhir Hussain of Delhi, his student Muhammad Hussain of Batala and others condemned the mutiny and declared it forbidden to raise arms against British rule.
As for the Deobandis, one of their venerated elders, Fadl ur-Rahman Ganj Muradabadi apparently abandoned the the battle in 1857, fleeing in retreat:
اچانک ایک دن مولانا کو دیکھا گیا کہ خود بھاگے جارے ہیں اور کسی چودھری کا نام لے کر جو باغیوں کی فوج کی افسری کر رہے تھے کہتے جاتے تھے کہ لڑنے کا کیا فائدہ خضر کو تو میں انگریزوں کی صف میں پارہا ہوں۔
“Suddenly, one day Maulana (Fadl ur-Rahman Ganj Muradabadi) was seen fleeing and calling out to some Chaudhry who was an officer in the army of the mutineers, saying, ‘What’s the use of fighting? I see Khidr in the ranks of the English!’” (Sawaneh Qasimi v.2 p.103):