The Hashimites and the Great Arab Revolt: The Promise and Betrayal of Arabia

MAGAZINE: EDITION AUGUST 2020

ISLAMIC HISTORY

The Hashimites and the Great Arab Revolt: The Promise and Betrayal of Arabia

Dr Bilal Ahmed Tahir, Sheffield, UK

Introduction

The Ottoman Empire ruled much of the Arab World for four centuries. This included the region of the Hijaz, the jewel of the empire, which encompasses Islam’s two holiest cities: Makkah and Madinah. The Hijaz was traditionally ruled autonomously, with Ottoman imperial assent, by a succession of Arab Sharifs, members of the Hashimite dynasty who claimed direct descent from the Holy Prophet (sa). Over the centuries, Muslim Arabs and Turks largely collaborated in the Ottoman imperial project due to the resilience of the supranational ideology of Islamism which transcended Arab and Turkish ethnic identities. However, the early twentieth century witnessed a decline in Arab-Turkish relations due to the rising tide of nationalist movements and radical regime change brought about by a revolution in the empire. The Ottoman entry into the First World War on the side of the Central Powers signalled the final turning point in Arab and Turkish relations. In 1916, Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the then-Emir of Makkah, launched an armed rebellion, commonly referred to as the Great Arab Revolt, against the Ottoman Turks in alliance with Great Britain and her allies under false promises of the establishment of an independent and unified Arab kingdom after the war. With the post-war dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, however, many Arabs found themselves divided into new states under British and French domination, laying the foundations of many of today’s crises in the Middle East. Indeed, the sense of betrayal felt by the Arabs has influenced their views of the West ever since.

This month, The Review of Religions is proud to publish, for the first time in the English language, the translation of the second part [1] of a three-part treatise, penned by the late Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), the Second Successor of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), and then-worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, on the 1925 Hajj and Saudi-Hashimite war. In the first part [2], owing to the ongoing conflict in the Hijaz, His Holiness urged Indian and other Muslim pilgrims travelling by sea to defer their plans to perform the Hajj that year. In this treatise, he sheds light on the political circumstances that led to the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, its aftermath and impact on the Hijaz and wider Arab world. Given that around a century has passed since these events, we provide a primer to the historical background necessary to fully understand these tumultuous events.

Arab-Turkish Relations in the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire annexed the lands that compose most of the current member states of the Arab League during the sixteenth century in the reigns of Selim I (1512–20) and Suleyman I (1520–66). Although the empire had already achieved major successes in Christian lands in Anatolia and the Balkans, the conquest of the Muslim Arabian lands marked a watershed in its history; perhaps for the first time since its emergence, the majority of Ottoman subjects were now Muslims. [3] The Ottomans were held in great esteem by the wider Muslim community following their successful conquest of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) in 1453 by Sultan Mehmed II, for they were seen to represent the literal fulfilment of a prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) in which he commended the city’s conqueror and his army:لَتَفْتَحُنَّ الْقُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةَ فَلَنِعْمَ الْأَمِيرُ أَمِيرُهَا وَلَنِعْمَ الْجَيْشُ ذَلِكَ الْجَيْشُ  ‘Verily, you shall conquer Constantinople; great is the commander who will conquer it and great is his army’. [4]

The territorial expansions of the sixteenth century brought the fabled cities of Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo under Ottoman sovereignty. The Sunni Muslim masses accorded Damascus and Baghdad immense prestige for once serving as the capitals of the highly revered Umayyad (661–750) and Abbasid (750–1258) Empires, respectively. Cairo was still the seat of power of the Mamluk Sultanate, which the Ottomans had eventually vanquished in 1517 after a stunning victory at the battle of Marj Dabiq, north of Aleppo, on 24 August 1516. [5,6] Among the new Arab territories was the Hijaz which encompasses Islam’s two holiest cities: Makkah and Madinah. Starting from Selim I, the Ottoman sultans would be conferred the appellation ‘Servant of The Two Holy Cities’. First and foremost, their responsibilities in the Hijaz entailed guarding and maintaining these two Holy Cities and providing safe passage and provisions for the many Muslims from various regions who travelled to Makkah and its environs to perform the Hajj. [7]

The Ottoman annexation of the Arab lands ushered in a new relationship between the Ottoman Turkish sultans and their Arab subjects that would endure for four centuries. This was particularly pertinent for Sunni Arab Muslims as the empire was the last vestige of Sunni Muslim political power in the region, and, thus, secured the legitimacy of the Ottoman dynasty in the Arab lands. Uniquely among the multitude of ethnically diverse peoples of the empire, the Arabs identified with the Ottoman regime as their own. They legitimised the rule of the Ottoman sultans due to their role as the administrators of the Hajj, custodians of the holy cities of Arabia and defenders of orthodox Sunni Islam against regional adversaries such as the Catholic Portuguese, who regularly launched incursions in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, and the Shiite Safavids of Persia to the East, who the Sunnis perceived to be heretics. Indeed, numerous  Sunni Arab Muslim scholars born after the Ottoman conquest of their lands would link the fortunes of the Ottoman dynasty to themselves. [8]

Bibliothèque nationale de France | Public Domain

Initial folio (left) from a manuscript (Arabe 1623) of Al-Minah al-Rahmaniyyah fi l-Dawlah al-ʿUthmaniyyah [The gifts of the Most Merciful in the reign of the Ottoman Empire], a pro-Ottoman history written in Arabic in the seventeenth century by the renowned Ottoman Egyptian Arab chronicler, Shams al-Din Muhammad bin Muhammad Ibn Abi al-Surur (1589–1677). The manuscript is dated 1206 AH/1791–2 CE.


In the late Ottoman Empire, Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s reign (1876–1909) particularly stands out for attaching greater importance to his Arab subjects. It has been estimated that, during his rule, the Arabs constituted around 30 percent of the total population, and the Turks 35 percent. [9,10] As such, it was only natural that Abdul Hamid II would pay due attention to enlisting their loyalty. He did this by strengthening the Islamic foundation of the empire as the common bond between Arabs and Turks, thus generating a viable basis of Muslim support which was essential for the survival and integrity of the empire. [11]

Moreover, he took a keen interest in Arab provinces; he ensured that their governors and other senior officials were paid higher salaries and were more experienced and better qualified than most of their colleagues serving elsewhere. [12] He placed profound importance on the provinces of the Hijaz and Syria. [13] 47.3 percent of the empire’s railroads built during his reign, spanning 2,350 kilometres, were in the Hijaz and Syria. [14] Likewise, he appointed Arabs or individuals well-informed in Arab affairs to be some of his most influential advisors. [15]

The Promised Messiah (as), who happened to be his contemporary, praised him and noted that he was markedly different from other Muslim monarchs of the time:

‘By mentioning the Muslim monarchs here, I do not mean to say that all of them are unjust or corrupt. On the contrary, some of them are righteous and do not oppress people but act mercifully as is the case with the [present] Ottoman Sultan [i.e. Abdul Hamid II]. I commend him for some of his well-known qualities.’  [16]

He also acknowledged his popularity among the Arabs:

‘Undoubtedly, the reports of his benevolence are well known among the Arabs and his praise circulates on their tongues. Thus, I pray for him and think well of him… I see that numerous good deeds are occurring through his hands. He is the Servant of the Two Holy Cities. God enlightened his eyes by the blessings of these two cities.’ [17]

As such, while real political power lay in the capital of Constantinople, the relationship between Ottoman Sultans and their Sunni Arab subjects, at least up to the early twentieth century, was one of close collaboration. Sunni Arabs recognised that ‘they had a stake in the continuation of the empire and prayed for its success’. [18] In his magisterial study of four centuries of Ottoman rule over the Arabs, history professor Bruce Masters concludes that the Arabs were not merely ‘subject people of the empire’, controlled by the sultan through force, but, instead, were ‘collaborators in the imperial project’. [19]

The Young Turk Revolution and the Rise of Arab Nationalism

The nineteenth century witnessed the rise of nationalist movements in Europe at a time when significant Christian minorities in the Balkans were still under Ottoman rule. Influenced by the Western notion of nationalism, these minorities began to revolt against the empire commencing with the Serbs (1804–1817) and Greeks (1821–1832) in the pursuit of higher levels of autonomy and independence. [20] These events ushered in the Tanzimat era (1839-1876) in which the Ottoman regime enacted a series of European-inspired social and institutional reforms to modernise the state and regain its waning control over all its subjects. Dissatisfied by the impact of these reforms, members of the Young Ottomans, a secret society established in 1865 by a group of Ottoman intellectuals, pushed for more radical reforms. [21] The reforms included adopting a European model of constitutional government. [22] The Young Ottomans’ vision finally came to fruition on 23 December 1876 with the First Constitutional Era (1876–8) when Sultan Abdulaziz was dethroned. [23] However, the constitution was short-lived, with Sultan Abdul Hamid II ultimately dissolving it and suspending parliament on 13 February 1878 in favour of a return to absolute monarchy. [24]

Notwithstanding, the Young Ottomans continued to operate underground and inspired another group of reform-minded Ottomans composed of liberal intellectuals and revolutionaries, who would be referred to as the Young Turks. The Young Turks were united in their opposition to the absolutist regime of Abdul Hamid II and their desire to reinstate the constitution. They eventually succeeded in repeating the Young Ottomans’ efforts, culminating in the Young Turk Revolution in 1908 which led to Abdul Hamid capitulating and announcing the Second Constitutional Era (1908–18). In a bid to return to autocracy, a countercoup to dismantle the nascent Second Constitutional Era was attempted in 1909; [25] however, the coup was quelled, and Abdul Hamid II was consequently deposed and replaced by his younger brother, Mehmed V. [26] The Young Turks, under the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), had now gained direct control of the Ottoman Empire with the sultan playing a merely titular role.

Contrary to other ethnicities in the empire, Arab nationalism as a political movement did not emerge until after the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, and the vast majority of Ottoman Arab subjects did not question the legitimacy of the Ottoman Sultan’s rule over their lands, considering him to be the caliph of the Muslim ummah or community; as such, religious identity was more important to them than national identity. [27] In the nineteenth century, expressions of Arab secession from Ottoman rule were confined almost exclusively to certain Christian Arabs, who had a stronger sense of ‘ethnic separateness’ from the Turks than Muslim Arabs, [28] and had negligible wider support.

The Ottoman Arabs’ close connection to Sultan Abdul Hamid II stood in sharp contrast to the ambivalence they felt for the CUP; the CUP were firmly committed to pursuing a policy of centralisation, which entailed enforcing the use of Ottoman Turkish throughout the empire in post-elementary education and state institutions. Feeling a growing sense of marginalisation and resentment, political articulations of an Arab identity began to emerge. In 1913, the First Arab Congress was held in Paris to discuss the rights of Ottoman Arab subjects. The Congress demanded greater autonomy, the right of the empire’s Arab soldiers to perform their peacetime military service locally, and that Arabic become the official language of the Arab provinces. [29]

Sharif Hussein and the Great Arab Revolt

Given its religious importance for Muslims, the Hijaz province was uniquely significant for the legitimacy of the Ottoman sultans. [30] As late as the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the province was regarded as ‘the jewel in the crown of the exalted Caliphate’. [31] As such, it was conferred a special autonomous status. Regional administration of the province was left in the hands of the Arab Sharifs, the stewards of Makkah from the Hashimite dynasty who were believed to be direct descendants of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa). They had held this position since the tenth century. The Sharifs maintained a level of local autonomy under the rule of the sultan. [32] The inhabitants of the Hijaz enjoyed special privileges such as nominal taxation [33] as the finances of the province were subsidised by the central Ottoman government, [34] various waqf properties across the rest of the empire [35], and substantial donations from Egypt, Indian Muslim principalities and private citizens. [36]

In 1908, Sultan Abdul Hamid II appointed Sharif Hussein bin Ali, a member of the Dhawu ‘Awn clan of the Hashimite family, as Emir of Makkah. Following the sultan’s deposition, Sharif Hussein’s relationship with the CUP began to decline. The CUP had attempted to enforce an increasingly centralising policy on the Hijaz, encroaching upon the province’s special status and privileges and undermining the Sharif’s authority. The rupture in relations, however, came when the CUP propelled the Ottoman Empire to enter World War I on the side of the Central Powers against the Allies. Despite Ottoman desires, the inhabitants of the Hijaz were not keen to engage in hostilities against the Allies, particularly the British, since it would threaten their security and economic position. [37] Moreover, the significant reduction in the wartime number of pilgrims coming from Allied colonies such as British India and French North Africa had curtailed the main source of income for the local population of the region, causing them to ‘curse the war and those who caused it’. [38,39] The Allies also imposed a naval blockade of the Red Sea coast, which effectively terminated contact with Egypt which the Hijaz was reliant on for subsidy and grain. [40] Moreover, Sharif Hussein had also discovered a CUP plot to replace him with a member of the rival Dhawu-Zeid clan of the Hashimites. [41] Against this backdrop, Sharif Hussein launched his rebellion in the Hijaz against the Ottoman Turks on 2 June 1916 with the aim of securing independent statehood for the newly imagined Arab nation. [42]

Library of Congress

Facsimile of the proclamation of Arab independence by Sharif Hussein, 27 June 1916. Using religious, rather than nationalistic, rhetoric, Hussein rejects Ottoman rule and asserts his own sovereignty over the Hijaz.


Wikimedia Commons

Hashimite Kingdom of the Hijaz (green), 1916–1923. The border of the current Hijaz region (red) in its successor state, Saudi Arabia, is superimposed.


The Promised Messiah (as) Prophesied the Arab Revolt

It is truly remarkable that as early as 1892 when no signs of a wider Arab nationalist movement were present, the Promised Messiah (as) deduced from certain statements of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) that the Arabs would break away from the Turks:

‘The ahadith also bear out the fact that, at the time of the Promised Messiah, the Turkish empire will grow weak and people in some parts of Arabia will contrive to establish a new state and will be ready to break away from the Turkish empire. So these are the signs of the coming of the Promised Messiah and the Mahdi. Let him who will, reflect upon this.’ [43]

Moreover, the Promised Messiah (sa) subsequently received specific revelation relating to the plight of the Arabs on 7 September 1905:

آتش فشاں – مَصَالِحُ الْعَرَبِ مَسِيرُ الْعَرَبِ

‘A volcano. Setting right the affairs of the Arabs. Arabs set out from their home.’ [44]

Commenting on the significance of the first part of the revelation, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) writes:

The revelations speak of a volcano, the eruption of which will entail advantages for the Arab peoples, who will also venture out of their homes. The description cannot apply to an ordinary earthquake. A volcano can only mean the violent expression of political discontent which may be precipitated by some passing event. Some such event was to stimulate the Arabs into some large action by which they were to turn events in their favour.’ [45]

On the second part, he writes:

A sign of the war was the advantages which it was to bring to the Arab nations and the way Arabs were to exploit the opportunities it offered. For a long time, Arabs had entertained the idea of Arab independence. When they heard that the Turks had entered the war, they thought the time for their freedom had come. They at once declared themselves against Turkey and entered the war against them. Arabs achieved the goal of their freedom. [46]

Indeed, these prophecies were to be met with awe-inspiring fulfilment.

Wikimedia Commons

Soldiers of the Sharifian Army during the Great Arab Revolt of 1916–1918 carrying the flag of the revolt. They are pictured in northern Yanbu, Hijaz (present-day Saudi Arabia).


Sharif Hussein and British Double-Dealing

Sharif Hussein justified his rebellion in religious, rather than nationalistic, terms. [47] In the al-Qibla newspaper, the official mouthpiece of the Hashimite-led Arab Revolt, Hussein accused the CUP of betraying the Islamic basis of the Ottoman state and contravening the preservation of the historical rights of the two holy cities. [48] Historian Joshua Teitelbaum notes that rather than a secular Arab nation-state, Sharif Hussein was more interested in creating an Islamic polity based on the orthodox Sunni model of a caliphate, which incorporates both temporal and religious authority, to replace the Ottoman caliphate. [49] Hussein also believed he was most worthy of assuming this caliphate due to being a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (sa). [50]

The British initially supported this policy. In October 1914, after the Ottomans had joined the Central Powers, Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, British Secretary of State for War, appealed to Emir Abdullah, one of Sharif Hussein’s sons, for assistance in the Allied war effort, enticing him with the prospect of an Arab caliphate:

‘If the Arab nation assists England in this war that has been forced upon us by Turkey, England will guarantee that no internal intervention takes place in Arabia and will give the Arabs every assistance against external foreign aggression. It may be that an Arab of the true race will assume the Caliphate at Mecca or Medina and so good may come by the help of God out of all evil which is now occurring.’ [51]

Wikimedia Commons

The McMahon–Hussein letter of 30 August 1915. In this letter, Sir Henry McMahon, then the British High Commissioner in Egypt, promises Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Emir of Makkah, that the British government will recognise an Arab caliphate led by an ‘Arab of true race’.


Subsequently, from July 1915 to March 1916, Sharif Hussein, in the guise of the leadership of the wider Arab national movement, and the newly appointed British High Commissioner in Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon (1862–1949), exchanged a series of ten letters, notoriously referred to as the McMahon–Hussein correspondence to negotiate the future status of the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire. [52] In exchange for an Arab alliance against the Turks, who had openly called Muslims worldwide, including those under British and French colonial rule, to partake in a holy war against the Allies, the correspondence concluded a recognition of an independent Arab kingdom, whose borders would extend beyond the Hijaz into the Arabic-speaking lands of the Levant and Iraq, with minor exclusions in present-day Lebanon, which was desired by the French. [53] Moreover, McMahon also affirmed British support for an Arab caliphate, stating, ‘His Majesty’s Government would welcome the re-establishment of the Caliphate by “an Arab of true race”’. [54] The British believed that the Sharif’s standing and noble lineage would enable him to claim the loyalty of the worldwide Muslim community and offset the impact of the Ottoman call to holy war. [55]

Wikimedia Commons

The McMahon–Hussein letter of 24 October 1915. In this letter, Sir Henry McMahon, then the British High Commissioner in Egypt, promises Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Emir of Makkah, to ‘recognise and support the independence of the Arabs within the territories proposed by him.’ The ‘purely Arab’ promised territories included the Arabian Peninsula, most of the Levant (including present-day Syria, Palestine, and Jordan), and Iraq. The only territories excluded were the west of a line from Damascus north to Aleppo (approximately the region encompassed by present-day Lebanon). As such, regions to the south, such as Palestine, by implication, were included. This letter has been deemed to be the most significant in the whole McMahon–Hussein correspondence.


The negotiations were undertaken at a critical point in the war when the British had suffered a series of setbacks in their war effort against the Ottomans; British and Commonwealth forces were facing heavy casualties from Ottoman and German forces in Gallipoli, a campaign they were humiliatingly forced to abandon, and by December 1915, the British Indian forces in Iraq were besieged by Ottoman forces in Kut al-‘Amara. Accordingly, although the British would subsequently backtrack on their assurances of an Arab caliphate, they were keen to ensure the Sharif’s support for the revolt. [56]

McMahon deliberately cloaked his promises with a high degree of ambiguity, particularly in relation to the territorial limits of the independent and unified Arabia. Sharif Hussein did not dwell on this obfuscation and proceeded with the alliance due to immediate economic gains. Little did the Sharif know, however, that the British were concurrently engaging in secret negotiations with the French, beginning in November 1915, to discuss the post-war fate of Ottoman territories. The final agreement, concluded in May 1916, would infamously come to be known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement, named after the chief negotiators from Britain and France, Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot, respectively. Under the terms of the agreement, the Ottoman territories that encompassed present-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq were to be divided into various French- and British-administered areas with Palestine acknowledged as an international zone (it would later come under British administration). [57] With the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the Soviets immediately withdrew from the war as a member of the Allies and leaked the agreement to the Russian press in November 1917. [58] Several days later, the full text was published in the Manchester Guardian. [59] Jamal Pasha, the wartime Ottoman Governor of Syria, exposed the agreement in a public speech in Beirut in December, declaring Hussein to be a traitor to Islam. [60]

Wikimedia Commons

Facsimile of the original Sykes-Picot Agreement Map signed by Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot on behalf of the British and French governments, respectively, 8 May 1916. The goal of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, formally known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was to divide the Ottoman Empire’s Arab provinces (excluding the Arabian Peninsula) between British and French colonial spheres of influence. The line drawn cuts directly and artificially across the region. Area ‘A’ was designated to be under French control, while ‘B’ was designated to be under British control. Although the agreement proposed an ‘international administration’ for Palestine, it was subsequently transferred to British control as ‘Mandatory Palestine’. UK National Archives MPK1/426, FO 371/2777, folio 398.


Wikimedia Commons

The full text of the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement to carve up the Middle East between Britain and France, first exposed to the English-speaking world by the Manchester Guardian, 26 November 1917. The revelation was deeply embarrassing to the British as it revealed their double-dealing. The British had already enticed Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Ottoman Emir of Makkah, to launch an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire, under the pretence of British support for the establishment of a unified and independent Arab kingdom stretching from the Arabian Peninsula to Syria. At this point, the publication of the infamous 1917 Balfour declaration of British support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine had already undermined the credibility of British promises to the Arabs.


Arab trust was also tested following the publication of the November 1917 Balfour Declaration, a document written by British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, to Lord Walter Baron Rothschild, a wealthy and prominent British Zionist, promising ‘the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people’, a region that Hussein believed was promised to be part of his post-war Arab kingdom [61] It has been argued that the British had supported Zionism, a Jewish nationalist movement that espouses the re-establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, in a bid to win over influential Jews in Russia and the United States to garner wider support for the Allied war effort; Russia’s commitment to the war had been wavering since the February Revolution which culminated in the dethronement of Tsar Nicholas II, while the United States traditionally pursued a policy of isolationism and hesitatingly entered the war. The British believed that certain Jews wielded enormous influence over both the Russian and American governments and would ensure that they were actively engaged in the war. [62] Others have suggested that Christian Zionism, an eschatological doctrine held by some devout Christians, particularly Protestant evangelical denominations, that the return of World Jewry to Palestine would herald the Second Coming of Jesus himself, was the prime cause. [63]

Wikimedia Commons

Facsimile of original Balfour declaration. The declaration was a letter penned on 2 November 1917 by Arthur James Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, the then-honorary president of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. Balfour urged Rothschild to convey to the British Zionist Federation that the British government ‘views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and would use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.’


Unsurprisingly, the revelations infuriated the Arabs, who had been led on to believe that they would be rewarded with independence. Sharif Hussein wrote to the British, demanding an explanation. In response, Commander David Hogarth, head of the Arab Bureau in Cairo, was dispatched to Jeddah in January 1918 to deliver a letter written by Sir Mark Sykes on behalf of the British government to explain the Balfour Declaration. The so-called Hogarth Message assured Hussein that ‘the Arab race shall be given full opportunity of once again forming a nation in the world’ and emphasised that a return of the Jews to Palestine would only happen ‘in so far as is compatible with the freedom of the existing population both economic and political …” [64] Several weeks later, Lieutenant Colonel J. R. Bassett, Acting British Agent at Jeddah, delivered the so-called Bassett Letter, issued by the Foreign Office and dated 8 February 1918. The letter dismissed the publication of the Sykes-Picot Agreement as an attempt by the Turks to foment doubts and mistrust between the Arabs and Allies and re-affirmed their former pledge in regard to the liberation of the Arab peoples. [65] Sharif Hussein took the bait and persisted with the rebellion in the hope that the British would fulfil their promise and grant him the Arab kingdom he so coveted. [66]

The Post-War Settlements and the Making of the Modern Middle East

On 30 October 1918, the Ottomans formally ceded defeat and concluded the Armistice of Mudros with the British. [67] The armistice granted the Allies extensive powers, such as the right to occupy any strategic point of their choosing and the surrender of all garrisons, including those in the Arabian peninsula, Levant and Iraq. [68,69] The question of the fate of the former territories of the vanquished empire sparked controversy. To the victors such as Great Britain and France, the former colonies of the Ottoman Empire were perceived as the spoils of war to be shared among them; they had already agreed separately on their allocation with the clear aim of annexation to enlarge their respective territories. [70] Five major League of Nations mandates were established: the British Mandates of Iraq, Transjordan and Palestine, and the French Mandates of Lebanon and Syria. Three other fully independent Arab states also emerged: the Hashimite Kingdom of the Hijaz, the Yemen and Ibn Saud’s Sultanate of Najd and its dependencies in Central Arabia.

Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) believed that the terms of peace offered to the Ottomans contravened the fundamental principles of justice. [74] Commenting specifically on the League of Nations mandates, he writes:

‘The people of Iraq have been accorded no say in choosing a government for them as certain parts of the German Empire have. Nor have they been consulted over the administration or system of government they would prefer to live under. The Syrians also, despite making it clear they wish to exist as an autonomous state, have been placed under the mandate of the French. Palestine, where Muslims comprise two-thirds of the population, has effectively been declared a new Jewish territory, even though the Jews constitute only one-fourth of its population. This too has only come to fruition since 1878 and according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica is ‘consisting principally of refugees from countries where anti-Semitism is an important element in politics’ (such as Russia). To separate such territories from the Ottoman Empire which have majority Muslim populations and give over their control to the Jews so they can find sanctuary there, is perhaps a fitting form of retribution for when the Turks gave shelter to the Jews as they were forcibly turned out of their homes by various Christian stares in Europe. Lebanon has met with similar fate. There is no valid reason for it to be placed under a French mandate.’ [75]

The Hashimites in the Aftermath of the Great Arab Revolt

Sharif Hussein believed that the Arab Revolt would end foreign rule and establish an independent Arabia with him as its king. Yet, in many of the former Arab territories of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish rule would be replaced by Western colonialism. Britain reneged on the promise of the form of Arab independence that Hussein had understood was rightfully due from the McMahon-Hussein correspondence. McMahon had tactfully used the ambiguous wording in his letters to Britain’s advantage, claiming that the proposed lands to be taken in by the new Arab Kingdom were not ‘purely Arab’. [76] Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) was highly critical of McMahon’s deliberate act of inducing ambiguity into the text, knowing full well what Hussein had understood from the text, and deemed it to be morally reprehensible. [77] Instead, during the post-war peace conference and subsequent deliberations, Britain and France carved out the Arab lands according to their wartime commitments.

Bitterly disappointed by the post-war machinations of Britain and France, Hussein was compelled to temper his ambitions and be content with an independent kingdom confined to his native Hijaz. However, Hussein would finally claim the caliphate for himself on 5 March 1924 after the Turkish Grand National Assembly, led by Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, abolished the so-called Ottoman caliphate and exiled all remaining members of the Ottoman dynasty from Turkey. [78] Sultanate of Najd, a rival chieftaincy in the neighbouring region of the Najd, would launch an invasion of the Hijaz and wrested Ta’if from Hussein in 1924. [79] The British elected to withdraw their support for their Hashimite wartime ally after he repeatedly refused to ratify the post-war treatises which imposed mandatory regimes on Syria, Palestine, and Iraq. [80] Hussein subsequently abdicated in favour of his son, Ali, and went into exile. Ali’s rule was short-lived, and the Saudis eventually defeated him in December 1925, forever ending Hashimite rule in the Hijaz. [81]

Hussein’s other son, Faisal, was proclaimed King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria on 8 March 1920 by the Syrian National Congress. However, soon after, the San Remo conference in April 1920 gave France the mandate for Syria, which led to the Franco-Syrian War. The French were victorious and expelled Faisal from Syria. [82] Nonetheless, all hope was not lost for Faisal as the British Government subsequently installed him as King of Iraq. [83] His progeny would continue to rule Iraq until his grandson, Faisal II, was deposed and executed along with most members of his family in 1958 during the 14 July revolution. [84] The only branch of the Hashimite dynasty to stand the test of time was that of Hussein’s son, Abdullah, who was made King of British-mandated Transjordan (later Jordan). His descendants still rule today. Hussein spent most of his remaining time in exile, ironically in Cyprus, a non-Arab colony of his wartime ally and betrayer, the British. [85] He died in Amman in 1931.

Hashimite family tree diagram showing Sharif Hussein bin Ali and the notable male members of his progeny. The only branch to endure was that of Hussein’s son, Abdullah, who continue to rule Jordan. (All images from Wikimedia Commons) 


Conclusion

The First World War was the most transformative event in the history of the modern Middle East and forever changed the political landscape of the region. It sparked the Great Arab Revolt, the first organised movement of Arab nationalism, which irrevocably severed four centuries of shared history between the ethnically Turkish leadership of the Ottoman Empire and their Arab subjects. By enticing Sharif Hussein to launch the revolt, the British hoped that an Arab Muslim dignitary of noble descent from Makkah, the axis of the Islamic world, would counterbalance their Turkish foes’ call for all Muslims worldwide, including those under British colonial rule, to engage in a holy war against the Allies. [86] Despite their best efforts, the plan backfired almost immediately. Outside of Arabia, the Arab Revolt was mostly viewed with aversion and hostility. In India, news of the revolt was announced by the government on 23 June 1916, less than three weeks after it began in the Hijaz. [87] Much to the dismay of the British Raj, most Indian Muslims widely condemned Sharif Hussein and the rebels. [88] For example, Abdul Bari, the President of the Indian pan-Islamist Organisation ‘Anjuman-e-Khuddam-i-kaaba’, and once personal confidant of the Sharif, turned his back on his former friend, and dispatched a stern telegram to the Viceroy of British India, stating that the Sharif and his sympathisers will ‘stand forever condemned in the eyes of the Muslim world as enemies of Islam’. [89] The British authorities were deeply concerned at the resentment stoked by the Arab Revolt in India. [90]

Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad (ra) was more nuanced in his position. He was unwavering in his repudiation of the Arab revolt against the Ottomans and had upheld the view that rebelling against one’s sovereign categorically contravenes the dictates of Islam. [91] However, he opined that, in the divine scheme of things, the Allied-backed revolt in the Hijaz, however unpalatable, may have resulted in the safeguarding of the Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah from Allied incursions; this was particularly applicable to the Italians whose navy base was stationed in the nearby Red Sea port of Massawa, Eritrea. They had a track record in committing serious human rights violations, such as the 1911 Tripoli massacre of several thousand Libyan civilians, including women and children, in the Mechiya oasis, Libya, during the Italo-Ottoman War. [92]

The Arab Revolt promised to unite the Arabs under an independent polity. However, the modern state system that followed the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire was shaped more by imperial ambitions and wartime political machinations than justice and self-determination. Before the war had even concluded, the great powers, Britain and France, were already dividing up Arab territories on arbitrary lines with no regard for the aspirations of the local populations. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) remarked that the allies had ‘reneged on their promises’ to the Arabs. [93] When Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), who played a central role in facilitating the revolt and would personally partake in guerrilla warfare against the Ottomans, came to know of the colossal scale of deception, he felt ‘continually and bitterly ashamed’. [94] In June 1917, when he received news of Britain ceding post-war control of Syria to France, he would write to his superior in Egypt expressing his suicidal thoughts:

‘I’ve decided to go off alone to Damascus, hoping to get killed on the way. For all sakes, try and clear this show up before it goes further. We are calling them to fight for us on a lie, and I can’t stand it.’ [95]

Wikimedia Commons

Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, a British archaeologist, army-officer, diplomat, and writer, who became renowned for his role in the Great Arab Revolt, earning him the title ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’


Indeed, the emergence of the modern Middle East and many of its conflicts, most notably the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, are a direct consequence of the decisions taken by the great powers during and in the immediate of aftermath of the First World War. When the post-war settlement on the fate of Ottoman territories had been revealed and the scale of betrayal became evident, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) wrote:

‘Undoubtedly, those same people who are happy with this decision, or their future generations, will look back on this treaty and lower their heads in shame. Just as future generations tend to look back at historical events and the decisions taken by their forefathers with bitterness and indignation, so too will the future generations of the Allies look back at the present decision with shock and remorse.’ [96]


About the Author: Dr Bilal Ahmed Tahir is currently an Assistant Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, specialising in the field of medical physics. He serves as the Head of the Arabic Desk for the Northern UK regions and is a member of the International Arabic Desk of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He has translated and reviewed several publications both from and into the Arabic language. He also serves as the International Head of the newly formed The Review of Religions Research Desk.


Endnotes

[1] The Review of Religions, August 2020.

[2] The Review of Religions, July 2020.

[3] Bruce Masters, The Arabs of the Ottoman Empire, 1516–1918: A Social and Cultural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 20.

[4] Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, iv, 335.

[5] Sir William Muir, The Mameluke or Slave dynasty of Egypt: 1260-1517 A. D. (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1896), 199.

[6] W. H. Salmon, An Account of the Ottoman Conquest of Egypt in the Year A. H. 922 (A. D. 1516) (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1921).

[7] Suraiya Faroqhi, Pilgrims and Sultans: The Hajj under the Ottomans, 1517-1683 (London: I.B. Tauris, 1994), 7.

[8] Michael Winter, “Attitudes towards the Ottomans in Egyptian Historiography during Ottoman Rule,” in Hugh Kennedy, ed., The Historiography of Islamic Egypt (c. 950-1800) (Leiden: Brill, 2001), 195-210.

[9] Engin D. Akarlı, “Abdülhamid II’s Islamic Policy in the Arab Provinces,” in Proceedings of Conference on Arab-Turkish Relations (Ankara: Hacettepe Üniversitesi, 1979), 59.

[10] Vedat Eldem, Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nun İktisadi Şartları Hakkında Bir Tetkik (Ankara: Türkiye Is Bankasi Kültür Yayınları, 1970), 156-161.

[11] Engin D. Akarlı, “Abdülhamid II’s Attempt to Integrate Arabs into the Ottoman Empire,” in D. Kushner, ed., Palestine in the Late Ottoman Times, Political, Social, and Economic Transformation (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, 1986), 74-89.

[12] Abdul Latif Tibawi, A Modern History of Syria: Including Lebanon and Palestine (London: Macmillan, 1969), 179.

[13] Başbakanlık Arşivi Yildiz Esas Evrakt (YEE): 9/2006/72 (c. April 1894); YEE: 18/417/3/40 (December 1880).

[14] Charles Issawi, ed., The Economic History of the Middle East (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966), 91-3.

[15] Engin D. Akarlı, “Abdülhamid II’s Attempt to Integrate Arabs into the Ottoman Empire,” in D. Kushner, ed., Palestine in the Late Ottoman Times, Political, Social, and Economic Transformation (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, 1986), 74-89.

[16] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), “al-Huda,” in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Ruhani khaza’in (Tilford: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2009), Vol. 18, 313.

[17] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), “Lujjat-ul-Nur,” in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Ruhani khaza’in (Tilford: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2009), Vol. 16, 435-6.

[18] Bruce Masters, The Arabs of the Ottoman Empire, 1516–1918: A Social and Cultural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 21.

[19] Ibid, 7.

[20] M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), 51.

[21] William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East (Oxford: Routledge, 2016), 78.

[22] Ira M Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 496.

[23] M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), 117.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Muammer Kaylan, The Kemalists: Islamic Revival and the Fate of Secular Turkey (New York: Prometheus Books, 2005), 74.

[26] Hasan Kayali, Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1918 (California: University of California Press, 1997), 74.

[27] Efraim Karsh, Islamic Imperialism: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 229.

[28] Adeed Dawisha, Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to Despair (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2003), 18.

[29] Zeine N. Zeine, The Emergence of Arab Nationalism (New York: Caravan Books, 1973), 60-1, 83-92.

[30] Ş. Tufan Buzpınar, “The Hijaz, Abdulhamid II and Amir Hussein’s Secret Dealings with the British, 1877–80,” Middle Eastern Studies 33 (1955): 99-123.

[31] Selim Deringil, The Well-Protected Domains: Ideology and the Legitimation of Power in the Ottoman Empire 1876–1909 (London: I. B. Tauris, 2004), 54.

[32] Suraiya Faroqhi, Pilgrims and Sultans: The Hajj under the Ottomans, 1517-1683 (London: I.B. Tauris, 1994), 147.

[33] Ibid, 126.

[34] Ş. Tufan Buzpınar, “The Hijaz, Abdulhamid II and Amir Hussein’s Secret Dealings with the British, 1877–80,” Middle Eastern Studies 33 (1955): 99-123.

[35] Wilhelm Heffening, “Wakf,” in M. Th. Houtsma, et al., eds., Encyclopedia of Islam, (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1934), Vol. 4, 1096-103.

[36] William Ochsenwald, “Ottoman Subsidies to The Hijaz,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 6, no. 3 (1975): 301.

[37] Nuri Yesilyurt, “Turning Point of Turkish-Arab Relations: A Case Study on the Hijaz Revolt,” in The Turkish Yearbook of International Relations, 37 (2006): 97-121.

[38] PRO, FO 141/460-8, Letter from Sharif Husayn to Ronald Storrs via messenger Mohammed Ibn Arif Ibn Oreifan in Alexandria, (18 August 1915).

[39] Thomas E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph (London: Jonathan Cape, 1990), 25.

[40] Tariq Tell, “Husayn ibn Ali, King of Hejaz,” in ed. Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, Bill Nasson, 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 27 February 2017).

[41] Ibid.

[42] Malik Dahlan, The Hijaz: The First Islamic State (London: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd, 2018), 76.

[43] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), “Nishan-i asmani,” in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Ruhani khaza’in (Tilford: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2009), Vol. 4, 384.

[44] Al-Hakam, Volume 9, Number 32, 10 September 1905, 43.

[45] Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), Invitation to Ahmadiyyat (Farnham: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2019), 374.

[46] Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), Invitation to Ahmadiyyat (Farnham: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2019), 381-82.

[47] Malik Dahlan, The Hijaz: The First Islamic State. (London: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd, 2018), 75.

[48] Al-Qibla, no. 11, 21 Dhul-Qa‘dah 1334 [20 September 1916].

[49] Joshua Teitelbaum, ‘“Taking Back” the Caliphate: Sharif Husayn Ibn ‘Ali, Mustafa Kemal and the Ottoman Caliphate,’ Die Welt des Islams 40, no. 3 (2000): 412–24.

[50] Joshua Teitelbaum, “Sharif Husayn ibn Ali and the Hashemite vision of the post‐Ottoman order: from chieftaincy to suzerainty,” Middle Eastern Studies 34 (1998): 103-122.

[51] FO 371/2139/83620 (1914) ‘Turkey (War)’.

[52] Tariq Tell, “Husayn-McMahon Correspondence,” in ed. Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, Bill Nasson, 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 27 February 2017).

[53] Aouni Bey Abdul Hadi, ‘The Balfour Declaration’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 164 (1932): 12–21.

[54] McMahon to Hussein, 30 August 1915, available at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/hussmac1.html, last accessed 10 July 2020.

[55] Joshua Teitelbaum, “Sharif Husayn ibn Ali and the Hashemite vision of the post‐Ottoman order: from chieftaincy to suzerainty,” Middle Eastern Studies 34 (1998): 103-22.

[56] Eugene Rogan, “The First World War and its Legacy in the Middle East,” in ed. Amal Ghazal, Jens Hanssen, The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Middle-Eastern and North African History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).

[57] Tariq Tell, “Sykes-Picot Agreement,” in ed. Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, Bill Nasson, eds., 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 27 February 2017).

[58] Isaiah Friedman, Palestine: A Twice Promised Land? The British, the Arabs and Zionism 1915–1920 (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2000), 195.

[59] Manchester Guardian, 26 November 1917.

[60] Jeffery Rudd, “Abdullah bin al-Husayn: The Making of an Arab Political Leader,” (unpublished PhD dissertation, School of Oriental and African Studies,1993), 146.

[61] Maryanne A. Rhett, “Balfour Declaration,” in ed. Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, Bill Nasson, 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 27 February 2017).

[62] Eugene Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, 1914-1920 (London: Penguin, 2016), 349.

[63] Maryanne A. Rhett, “Balfour Declaration,” in ed. Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, Bill Nasson, 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 27 February 2017).

[64] “The Hogarth Message” of January 1918, reproduced in  The Middle East and North Africa in World Politics, ed. J. C. Hurewitz (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979), Vol. 2, 110–11.

[65] George Antonius. The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1945), Appendix C.

[66] Joshua Teitelbaum, The Rise and Fall of the Hashimite Kingdom of Arabia (London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2001), 243.

[67] Efraim Karsh, Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2001), 327.

[68] Gwynne Dyer, “The Turkish Armistice of 1918: I-The Turkish Decision for a Separate Peace, Autumn 1918,” Middle Eastern Studies 8 (1972): 143-78.

[69] Gwynne Dyer, “The Turkish Armistice of 1918: II-A Lost Opportunity: The Armistice Negotiations of Mudros,” Middle Eastern Studies 8 (1972): 313-48.

[70] Leonard V. Smith, “Post-war Treaties (Ottoman Empire/ Middle East),” in ed. Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, Bill Nasson, 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 27 February 2017).

[71] Irwin Unger, These United States: The Questions of our Past (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2007), 561.

[72] Leonard V. Smith, “Post-war Treaties (Ottoman Empire/ Middle East),” in ed. Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, Bill Nasson, 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 27 February 2017).

[73] United States, “Treaty of Peace with Germany (Treaty of Versailles, 1919),” in Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949, vol. 2, ed. Charles Bevans (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of State, 1969), Vol. 2, 55-6.

[74] Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), “Mu’ahadah-i Turkiyyah aur Musalmanon ka a’indah rawayyah,” in Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), Anwar al-‘ulum, vol. 5 (Islamabad, Tilford: Islam International Publications, 2002-2014), 177.

[75] Ibid.

[76] Eugene Rogan, “The First World War and its Legacy in the Middle East,” The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Middle-Eastern and North African History, ed. Amal Ghazal, Jens Hanssen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).

[77] Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), “Tark-i mawalat aur ahkam-i Islam,” in Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), Anwar al-‘ulum, vol. 5 (Islamabad, Tilford: Islam International Publications, 2002-2014), 205.

[78] Joshua Teitelbaum, The Rise and Fall of the Hashimite Kingdom of Arabia (London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2001), 243.

[79] Saud al-Sarhan, “The Saudis as managers of the Hajj” in The Hajj: Pilgrimage in Islam, ed. Eric Tagliacozzo, Shawkat M. Toorawa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 196-212.

[80] Suleiman Mousa, “A Matter of Principle: King Hussein of the Hijaz and the Arabs of Palestine,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 9, no. 2 (1978): 183-94.

[81] Joshua Teitelbaum, The Rise and Fall of the Hashimite Kingdom of Arabia (London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2001), 282.

[82] Ali A. Allawi, Faisal I of Iraq (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2014), 258-94.

[83] Ibid, 361-81.

[84] Charles Tipp, A History of Iraq (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 142.

[85] M. Strohmeier, “The exile of Husayn b. Ali, ex-sharif of Mecca and ex-king of the Hijaz, in Cyprus (1925–1930),” Middle Eastern Studies 55 (2019): 733-55.

[86] Tilman Lüdke, “Jihad, Holy War (Ottoman Empire),” in ed. Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, Bill Nasson, . 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 27 February 2017).

[87] The Statesman, 2 July 1916.

[88] Yuvraj Deva Prasad, “Indian Muslims and the Arab Revolt,” Proceedings of the Indian History Congress 34, (1973): 32-7.

[89] H. D., Poll. B., July 1916, no. 442 (Weekly Report of the Director, Criminal Intelligence, 8 July 1916).

[90] Arabian Report, New Series, No. VI, 23 August, 28, India Office Library (London), Political Department, Political and Secret Vol. 10/586 (in accordance with the India Office System L/P&S/10/586), 11.

[91] Al-Fazl, 9 June 1925.

[92] Andrea Ungari. The Libyan War 1911-1912 (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2014). 138.

[93] Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), “Tark-i mawalat aur ahkam-i Islam,” in Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), Anwar al-‘ulum, vol. 5 (Islamabad, Tilford: Islam International Publications, 2002-2014), 205.

[94] Thomas E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1935), 276.

[95] Thomas E. Lawrence, War Notebook jottings (British Library, 1917), MS 45615, folio 55v.

[96] Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), “Mu’ahadah-i Turkiyyah aur Musalmanon ka a’indah rawayyah,” in Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), Anwar al-‘ulum, vol. 5 (Islamabad, Tilford: Islam International Publications, 2002-2014), 177.

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