During the Indian Emergency in 1975, Haji Mastan was imprisoned. Whilst in prison, he was influenced by the ideals of politician Jaiprakash Narayan. In prison, he began learning Hindi. Later he went on haj, and thereafter came to be referred as Haji Mastan. He devoted time for his meetings with the poor, solving their problems through financial assistance and his contacts. Haji Mastan became a Muslim leader in 1984 and started a political party.