• Washington DC
Follow Us:

Uyghur Figures – Muhammed Amin Islami

Uyghur Figures – 09

Muhammed Amin Islami bin Islam Bay was born in 1912 in the Yarkand district of Kashgar, in a prosperous and affluent family. After completing his primary education in his hometown, he traveled to Kashgar to study at Khanlig School. Upon graduation, he returned home and began teaching at the Mahmudiyah School. In 1932, he took on the role of director at the “Irfan” School, founded by Khoja Muhammed Abdullah Khan. By 1936, he headed the Bureau of Education.

He participated in the 1937 revolution and became an advisor to Abduniyaz Kamal. When the uprising failed, he fled alongside fellow freedom fighters to India. Upon arrival, he joined the Mazar School of Sciences in Saharanpur, where he studied Islam and the Arabic language. In 1939, alongside General Mahmoud Muhity, he journeyed to Japan, where they founded the “Association for the Liberation of East Turkistan” in Tokyo on December 5, 1939. He became the Secretary-General of this association and additionally took on the role of Imam at the Grand Tokyo Mosque.

In 1950, Muhammed Amin Islami traveled to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. He then participated in the Organization of Islamic Conference held in Karachi, Pakistan in 1951, presenting a detailed account of the conditions and oppression faced by the people of East Turkistan under Chinese rule. Subsequently, he traveled to Egypt, meeting Muhammed Amin Bughra and Isa Yusuf Alptekin, who tasked him with promoting the East Turkistan cause in the Arab world.

Muhammed Amin Islami showed immense dedication to the education of Turkistani children living abroad, fervently believing in the importance of preserving their linguistic and cultural heritage. He championed the establishment of educational institutions that imparted teachings in the Uyghur language and Turkistani culture, along with programs fostering a strong sense of identity. He played a pivotal role in safeguarding the intellectual heritage of East Turkistan’s Muslim scholars, disseminating works of luminaries like Mahmoud Tarazi, Abdulqadir Damolla, and Thabit Damoll too Muslims globally.

His endeavors continued well into the 1980s. In 1982, he joined the Turkistan department at the Saudi Arabian Broadcasting Service. As the head of the Turkistan section, he elucidated the Quran in the Turkistani language over the radio waves. Unfortunately, before he could complete his mission, Muhammed Amin Islami passed away on the morning of Thursday, August 21, 1988. He was buried at the “Jannah Al-Ma’ala” cemetery in Mecca.

Source: Memoirs of Rahmatullah Efendi Turkistani

Translated from Arabic to English by Dareen Khaled

Post navigation

Copyright Center for Uyghur Studies - All Rights Reserved