Haji Sir Abdullah Haroon
Haji Sir abdullah haroon was one of the most important political figures in Sindh and a businessman of extraordinary precise. Haji Sir Abdullah Haroon was born in Karachi in 1872. He was brought up with strained circumstances by his widowed mother as he was an orphan since childhood. He worked as a hawker to support his family. Although he had a very low interest in school and education but he learnt to read and write “Gujrati”. In his early teens, he got a job with prosperous merchants who were his relatives but soon after spending a few time he started his own business for which his mother encouraged him and his business was selling bags of sugar for which he hired a small shop in Jodia Bazar and within no time he business developed into a huge empire, with dealings in the United States, Britain, Java and South Africa. Due to his business, he was awarded a title of “Sugar king”. he was knighted due to his strong advocacy of Sindh’s provincial economy. Afterwards he was nominated as a director of a shipping company “Mughal Lines” and “The Indian Transcontinental Air Ways”.
Due to his involvement in municipal affairs, he was elected to the municipal comity Karachi from 1913 -1917 and 1921-1934.During his tenure, he took interest in educational and health schemes for the urban poor especially in Liari quarters. He was known as a pioneer of Sindhi Muslim woman and founded an education center named as “Hajiani Hanifa Bai School” in 1926.He was among the first Muslim Sindhi leaders who took bold steps of sending his own daughters to english medium schools from whom one became doctor. He developed many educational institutions that include “Jamia Islamia Yatimkhana” to help poor students acquire good education as well as professional training.
Haji Sir Abdullah Haroon played a vital role in political awakening of Muslims of Sindh for which he setup a newspaper “Alwahid” in 1920. He used “Alwahid” to raise voice of Sindhi Muslims.
when caliphate movemet was started in 1917, he become the president of “Sindh Provincial caliphate committee”. he helped and financed the caliphate movement and worked very closely with its founder Moulana Muhammad Ali Johar. He turned his home as a center of caliphate activities and was appointed as a president of caliphate committee in 1927.
in 1926, He was elected as member of Bombay Legeslative Council where he got chance to raise Sindh issues in the council. He was contentiously re-elected as a member of Bombay Legislative Council until his death. It was due to his efforts that Sindh got provincial autonomy under the Government of India act 1935.
He was among the leaders who invited Quid e Azam to Sindh in 1938 where he arranged the historic Muslim League conference in Sindh which was presided by Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinah. In this session, the sub version of Muslim culture by a Hindu dominated majority and the polarization between two nations, Hindu and Muslim, were highlighted in a resolution which demanded that the sub-continent should be divided on religious lines. This became a precursor of the 1940’s Lahore resolution which is known as Qarardad-e-Pakistan.
Haji Sir Abdullah Haroon was the president of Sindh Provicial Muslim League and also the chairman of all India Muslim League foreign sub committee. He organized Muslim League branches in the province at different levels. In 1941 he was appointed member of Muslim League Working Committee. During his travels, he presented the Muslim League ideology in foreign countries and through newspaper in India and abroad. He also addressed a wide range of problems pertaining both Sindh and Muslims in India. He died shortly after presiding over the 1942’s All India Seerat Conference which was held in Allahbad.