Rashid - the Early Years

  • Abdul Rashid’s childhood was spent in conservative Sialkot in the districts of Rangpura (where he was born) and Heerawalapura.  He grew up in the large family circle under the supervision of Mian Atta Mohammed. It was a fairly hard upbringing with his father Meher Ellahi not only having to support 6 offspring but also his younger brothers, Fazal Ellahi and the charismatic Mohammed Sadiq.


  • Meher Ellahi has 4 sons; Abdul Ghani (the oldest), Abdul Aziz, Abdul Latif and Abdul Rashid (the youngest). Additionally he had 2 daughters; Ameena and Ghulam Fatima.


  • Rashid and his older brothers can be seen pictured below.

From Rangpura to Calcutta

  • The family were tailors and cloth merchants and had businesses in many cities in India, including Rajpur and Calcutta in modern-day India.


  • In the mid 1920’s Mian Mohammed Atta had moved to Calcutta to support the family tailoring business with his relative Haji Ghulam Mohammed. He took his sons Meher Ellahi, Fazal Ellahi and Mohammed Sadiq too. 


  • The family business was in the hustling Park Circus area of Calcutta and was called Ghulam Mohammed tailors. They made suits and other clothes for the British Army and for many famous Indian personalities of the time, including the actors such as Raj Kapoor.  It was a very profitable time for the family and the proceeds from the business were put to good use in setting up a future base in Sialkot.

Rashid early adventures

  • The family were tailors and cloth merchants and had businesses in many cities in India, including Rajpur and Calcutta in modern-day India.


  • In the mid 1920’s Mian Mohammed Atta had moved to Calcutta to support the family tailoring business with his relative Haji Ghulam Mohammed. He took his sons Meher Ellahi, Fazal Ellahi and Mohammed Sadiq too. 


  • The family business was in the hustling Park Circus area of Calcutta and was called Ghulam Mohammed tailors. They made suits and other clothes for the British Army and for many famous Indian personalities of the time, including the actors such as Raj Kapoor.  It was a very profitable time for the family and the proceeds from the business were put to good use in setting up a future base in Sialkot.

Back to Sialkot

  • Rashid enjoyed the 7 years he spent in Calcutta, going to school and in the evenings supporting his father and uncles in the business. He remembered it was a good time for the family financially and also fondly remembered the long train journey between Sialkot and Calcutta and back vividly. 


  • In 1939 (at the outbreak of the Second World War) when Rashid was 12 years old, he returned to Sialkot to complete his education. He attended Islamiya High School between 1939 and 1944 in the centre of Sialkot to get a proper Islamic education. See above school picture. It was a government run school, the headmaster being Ch. Allah Ditta, BA – a very imposing figure for Rashid at the time. His teacher whom he admired very much was N U Khan. During this time his father, Meher Ellahi and his uncles remained behind in Calcutta. They infact did not return to Sialkot till after partition in 1948, after they had wrapped up their businesses there. Therefore Rashid spend many years separate from his father during these early days. 


  • In the above picture, Rashid attending  Government Islamia High School, Sialkot in the spring 1944. Rashid is standing in the middle row, 4th from left.


  • At the Islamiya school Rashid excelled in sports, he was athletic and quite muscular for his age. He particularly enjoyed playing hockey and badminton and was good at both. Infact he played badminton unto well into his 60’s.