A note from Mr. Iftikar Ahmad Khan Adani about Mustafa Castle, dated 15th August, 2002

Dear Reader,
I did not have the gumption to omit a single word from this grand person's narrative. He is around 80 so do appreciate the details which he can remember.

Dear ……
I am extremely sorry for replying to your e-mail after this inordinate delay. It was due to various mishaps.

In the first instance I lost the printout of your e-mail which I wanted to attend to a couple of days later. Unfortunately, I cannot operate a computer .So I could not read your message. My computer assistant had proceeded on leave. When he returned he found that the computer was out of order. It was only yesterday that I got copies of your two e-mails.

I am highly appreciative of your interest in Mustafa Castle, our family treasure. This building was completed in 1900 by my grand father Nawab Ishaq Khan.

Now a word about Mustafa Khan Shaifta after whom the building was named. He was one of the most distinguished notables of the time of the last Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar. Apart from being a big landlord he was a great poet and critic. He had the distinction of being a very close friend, admirer and, in times of need, a patron of Ghalib, the greatest Urdu and Persian poet of the Sub-continent. Although he was a man of letters he got into serious trouble after the British succeeded in regaining control of Delhi in 1857. Mustafa Khan's mother was the daughter of the Commander in Chief of the Mughal army, Ismail Baig Hamadani. Even after the surrender of the Mughal army he continued his fight against the British and finally retreated to Nepal. Nawab Mustafa Khan was tried for supposedly supporting the uprising which had emanated from Meerut. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. He was confined in a cell of the military jail of Meerut cantonment which had been improvised for the convicts of the 1857 uprising and was later abandoned. This small jail happened to be right in the centre of the area which comprises Mustafa Castle. It was purchased by Nawab Ishaq Khan along with the adjoining area comprising nearly 30 acres of land. He then built Mustafa Castle as his homage to the memory and honor of his father Mustafa Khan. The cell in which he was imprisoned was retained in its original shape in the building he constructed.

Due to the efforts of Ghalib and Nawab Siddique Hasan Khan, the husband of Begum of Bhopal, who had good relations with the British, it was realised that Mustafa Khan Shaifta had no involvement with the forces that had driven the British out of Delhi. He was released from jail after a period of seven months.

Here are my answers to your queries.

  1. Mustafa Castle was completed in the year 1900
  2. My grand father Nawab Ishaq Khan himself designed the building with the help of some assistants who had experience of building barracks for the British army. He amalgamated many styles of architecture in building Mustafa Castle. It has all the facilities which British bungalows provide. It has prominent features of the buildings of Rajasthan and oudh area, mainly Lucknow. But as result of this amalgam the facade of Mustafa Castle is absolutely unique. I have not seen such a building in the cities of Delhi, Hyderabad and Lahore.

    The following outstanding persons have visited and stayed in Mustafa Castle.

  3. Mahatma Gandhi. Three days during the Khilafat Movement
  4. Jawaher Lal Nehru. Three days during the Khilafat Movement
  5. Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Twice during the Pakistan Movement
  6. Mrs. Naidu. Many times over a period of 30 years
  7. Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad. Two or three times
  8. Maulana Mohammad Ali. Many times
  9. Maulana Hasrat Mohani. Many times
  10. Bahadur Yar Jang of Hyderabad. Once
  11. Mrs. Vijay Lakshmi Pundit, Many Times
  12. Vitthal Bhai Patel. Elder brother of Vallabh Bhai Patel. Twice
  13. Bhula Bhai Desai. Twice.
  14. Govind Vallabh Pant. Twice
  15. Liaquat Ali Khan. Many, many times
  16. This has been answered in my above note on Nawab Mustafa Khan
  17. The signatory to the Indian constitution was my father Nawab Mohammad Ismail Khan.
  18. It was during his career in the national struggle, 1918-1958, that Mustafa Castle attained its eminence as a hub of political activity. My father Nawab Ismail Khan had very cordial relations with the Nehru family. When my grand father Nawab Ishaq Khan was District and Session Judge in Allahbad, he was greatly impressed by the eminence of Pundit Moti Lal Nehru as a lawyer. On my father's return from England after becoming a barrister at law he made him start his legal practice as assistant lawyer to Pundit Moti Lal Nehru who prevailed upon my grand father to let his son stay with him as his guest. So he stayed in Anand Bhawan for a couple of years. Hence his life long friendship with Pundit Jawaher Lal Nehru and Mrs. Vijay Lakshmi Pundit.

Sorry for this very elaborate reply. If you need more information you may contact my niece Bina- telephone-661298 and Iqbal Mohammad Khan- telephone-663551 Both of them are residing in Mustafa Castle.

I hope I have answered all your queries. Please acknowledge receipt of this message.

Appreciatively yours

Iftikhar Ahmad Khan Adani

Contact Address:
Iftikar Ahmad Khan Adani, E-mail Address : pwcs5b@yahoo.com, Phone: 9221-589-4517

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