On June 5, Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF) announced that the mosque-hospital project in Ayodhya would be named after the noted freedom fighter and revolutionary Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah Faizabadi. He was martyred on June 5, 164 years ago. IICF has decided to dedicate the entire project that comprises a mosque, a 200-bed hospital, a museum, a community kitchen and a research centre after Faizabadi, who was also known as the “lighthouse of Independence”. Notably, he kept Awadh free from British dominance for over two years after the 1957 revolt. The trust had decided not to name the mosque after Mughal emperor Babur nine months ago when it was constituted by Sunni Waqf Board.
Athar Hussain, secretary, IICF, told Times of India, “On his martyrdom day, we have decided to name the entire project after his name. In January, we dedicated the research centre to Maulvi Faizabadi, who was the icon of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood. Even 160 years after the first war of independence, Ahmadullah Shah Faizabadi is yet to get his due in the annals of Indian history. Masjid Sarai, Faizabad, which was Maulvi’s headquarters during the 1857 mutiny, is the lone surviving building that preserves his name.” Hussain further added that Faizabadi was killed and decapitated by a British agent. His body and head were buried in two different places to prevent people from raising a mausoleum on his grave.
Captain Afzaal Ahmad Khan, a war veteran and trustee at IICF, said, “The British feared Maulvi was as dangerous in death as he was during his lifetime. It’s unfortunate that even though British officers like George Bruce Malleson and Thomas Seaton have mentioned his courage, valour and organisational capabilities in the History of Indian Mutiny, Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah is blanked out in our school and college textbooks.”
With this announcement, the speculations over the naming of the mosque come to an end. After the UP govt had granted the plot to the Muslim parties on the order of the Supreme Court order, there was speculation whether the new mosque will also be named Babri masjid. It was suggested that the name should be retained to keep the memory of the demolished mosque alive. The mosque built at the Ram Mandir site was named after Mughal emperor Babur, as the mosque was built on his orders.
In 2019, the Supreme Court of India gave the verdict of the land dispute of Ayodhya in favour of Ram Lalla Virajman. A 5-acre alternate land was allotted to the defeated side by the apex court to build a mosque. The foundation of Bhavya Ram Mandir was laid down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5, 2020. The temple construction is expected to be completed in 2022. A trust was formed for the construction of the Ram Mandir at the beginning of 2020. The project was allotted to Larsen & Toubro, and experts from CBRI, National Geophysical Research Institute, and IITs are assisting in the construction.