Khilafat Movement (1919-1924) was a significant Islamic movement in India during the British rule. This was an attempt by the Indian Muslim community to unite together in support of the Turkish Empire ruled by the Khalifa, which was attacked by European powers. The Muslims considered the Khalifa as the custodian of Islam. They simply could not digest his dethronement. Under the leadership of prominent Muslim leaders, notable one being Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
, they launched the Khilafat Movement in most parts of North India.
The Khilafat Movement, aimed against the British government, received the support of Mahatma Gandhi, who related his Non Cooperation Movement with it. The main objective behind this move was to enlist the support of the Muslim community into his movement, which addressed the issue of ‘Swaraj’ (Self-Government). By mid-1920 the Khilafat leaders assured full support to the non-violent methods of Gandhi, which facilitated the establishment of a united front of Hindus and Muslims against the British government. This combined force formed a major threat to the British rule.
The Khilafat Movement however did not last long. Owing to some violent incidents in the country which resulted in the deaths of many Indian and British people, Mahatma Gandhi called off his Non Cooperation Movement. This was a major jolt to the Khilafat Movement. The movement received its final blow in March 1924, when the original Khilafat movement in Turkey was abolished following the Islamic country’s conversion from a Sultanate empire to a Republic.