Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah Faizabadi, who created panic among the British camps, was born in 1787 in Chennai of the present Tamil Nadu State. His father was Maulvi Mohammad Ali Khan. Maulvi’s original name was Syed Ahmed Ali Khan. Due to his spiritual knowledge, he acquired the title Maulvi.
He was regarded and respected as Moulvi by the people. He received training in Martial arts along with other academic studies. Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah went on a tour to England, Iraq, Iran and Mecca and Madina on the invitation of the Nizam, Nawab of Hyderabad.
After returning to India, Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah Faizabadi got attracted towards the Sufi ideology and became the disciple of Syed Furkhan Ali Shah, who belonged to the ‘Quadri’ silsila. Ahmadullah Shah was sent to Gwalior by his Pir to propagate the Sufi ideology among the people. While preaching Sufi philosophy to people, he was also inspiring them to revolt against the exploitative foreign rule.
This angered the British officials, who imprisoned him on charges of treason. Meanwhile, the First War of Indian Independence of 1857 broke out. Moulvi Ahmadullah plunged into it and fought against the forces of the East India Company. And he registered several victories over them.
Maulvi Ahmadullah had personally participated in several battles in the first War of independence, which were fought by Sardar Hikmatullah (formally Deputy Collector in East India Company), Begum Hazrat Mahal, (Queen of Awadh), Khan Bahadur Khan (ruler of Rohilkhand), also Firoz Shah (Moghal Prince). The East India Company announced a reward of Rs. 50,000, to catch Moulvi Ahmadullah alive or dead.
The greedy brother of Jagannath Sinha, the king of Powen, shot the Maulvi dead when he went to Powen to invite Sinha into the First War of Independence. Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah Faizabadi was beside the Sinha at Powen when he was shot dead. Later, Sinha’s brother beheaded Maulvi Ahmadullah and took his head covered with a cloth to the nearest British police station at Shahjahanpur.
Thus, Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah Faizabadi attained martyrdom on 5 June 1858. ‘The beast of Powen’, who committed the worst treason, got a reward of Rs.50,000-00 from the British. The British generals were overjoyed with the news of the death of Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah Faizabadi. They felt that they were able to eliminate a ‘very powerful enemy of East India Company in North India’