Haji Mastan was born in 1926 in Tamil muslim family Panaikulam, near Ramanathapuram, in the Madras Presidency, British India (now Tamil Nadu, India). He lived in the coastal town of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, before migrating to Bombay (now Mumbai). At the age of 8, he migrated there with his father.
The blockbuster 1975 Bollywood film Deewaar was loosely based on Haji Mastan's life, with Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan portraying a fictionalized version of him. Deewaar was later remade into a 1981 Tamil film, Thee, starring Rajinikanth in the same role.
After his release from prison , Mastan entered politics and formed a political party in 1980-81 and renamed it as Dalit Muslim Surakhsha Maha Sangh in 1985. He did well in political life because of the concern and financial assistance he had offered to the people during his career as a wealthy businessman.
The 2010 film Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai was heavily based on Haji Mastan's life, although it was also partially fictionalized. Actor Ajay Devgn portrayed the character of Haji Mastan (as Sultan Mirza) in the film, while Emraan Hashmi portrays underworld don Dawood Ibrahim (as Shoaib Khan). On 25 May 2017, it was announced Rajnikanth's forthcoming film will be Kala Karikalan which is believed to be based on Mastan. His foster son Sundar Shekar Mishra sent a notice to Rajinikanth when he learned of this. In response, Wunderbar Films issued a statement clarifying that the film is not based on Mastan's life.