Letter from Sir Frederic Aarthur Hirtzel, India Office, to the Under Secretary of State, Foreign Office, dated 13 Sep 1922 [5v] (10/10)
The record is made up of 1 file (5 folios). It was created in Sep 1922. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.
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ENCLOSURE Xo. 13 Telegram from Viceroy to Secretary of State, 23rd August 1922..
1060. Your telegram of the 13th August last, 3125. We recognise the difficulty
of finding suitable Arabic equivalent for " spiritual authority, and theiefoie leveit
to our alternative suggestion of '"spiritual rights and privileges, of vdiich
substantives already occur in the treaty (Article 121). For this we suggest in Arabic
"al-huquqwal imtiyazat al diniyah." The Urdu equivalent would be " huquq wa
imtivazat ruhani." .
We understand that these do not imply Islamic State mechanism.
Definition of (Jaliph's rights and authority is a mattei foi Aloslems alone to
determine, according to the usage and tenets of Islam. It would be most dangerous
to attempt to" interfere in such a matter. All that isj incumbent on us is to ensuie that
treaty is so worded as to make it clear that whicfe (sic ? it) extinguish©* bultan s
territorial sovereignty in liberated territories, the Allies in no way aiiogating to
themselves power to extinguish Caliph's spiritual rights and authority, which Islam
alone can grant and take away. We have endeavoured to describe these latter m
general terms in previous telegrams. Restoration of ceremonials is, perhaps, the
most important factor in Muslim eyes. Appointment of Qazis does not ordinarily
lie within Caliph's authority, but is a matter for the actual temporal rulers.
ENCLOSURE No. 1-1 -.—Telegram from Secretary of State to Viceroy, 1st September
3404. Your telegram of 23rd August, 1000. I am most anxious to meet the views
of the Indian Moslems, but we must be very careful in using terms which have different
connotations in East and West. I am advised that Arabic expression u al-huquq,"
&c., must to a Moslem connote all those well-recognised forms of authority which are
assigned to the Caliph by Moslem law. It is true that many of these have lapsed in
India and are not familiar to the majority of Indian Moslems, but this is not so
elsewhere, e.g., right of Sheikh-ul-ltlmat to appoint Kazis is recognised by treaty of
Lausanne, which you wish to restore. But point is, that authority exercised by
Caliph as head of Moslem community cannot be differentiated into political and spiritual
as those terms are understood in the West, but if the spiritual is admitted it necessarily
carries with it in Moslem eyes the political as well, and your formula, instead of
extinguishing the Sultan's territorial sovereignty in liberated territories, actually has
the effect of re-affirming it.
This being so, we must avoid use of language which may give rise on the one
hand to new political claims and on the other to charge of breach of faith. For this
reason I feel that expression "spiritual privileges," suggested in my telegram of
11th July, is only safe one, as leaving it to Moslems themselves to settle in the light of
existing conditions in independent Arab States exactly what are privileges which
Caliph should enjoy. I am accordingly addressing the Foreign Office in this sense.
About this item
This secret printed memorandum is a copy of a letter from Sir Frederic Arthur Hirtzel, India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. , to the Under Secretary of State, Foreign Office, dated 13 Sep 1922, concerning the proposed amendment of the articles of the Treaty of Sévres which have been represented as interfering with the 'spiritual power' of the Caliph. The letter is accompanied by a section of enclosures (folios 2-5) which includes fourteen enclosures consisting of various telegrams between the Secretary of State and the Viceroy of India, the Foreign Secretary of the Government of India and the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. dated between 21 March 1922 and 1 September 1922. Enclosure No 7 includes an annex which is a minute entitled 'The Caliph's Religious Position' by Sir Muhammad Shafi.
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Foliation: The foliation sequence commences at the front cover, and terminates at the inside back cover; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.
Pagination: The volume also contains an original printed pagination sequence.
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