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Islamic scholar, Dr Israr Ahmed is dead
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 09:53:24 PM, Agencies
Dr. Israr Ahmed
Lahore: Dr Israr Ahmed Islamic Scholar is Dead – 1932-2010: The world of Islam lost a luminary early on Wednesday as Dr. Israr Ahmed breathed his last in Lahore, Pakistan. He died of a massive cardiac arrest, according to media reports.
A veteran Islamic scholar, Dr. Israr was suffering from back pain and heart disorders for a long time. His funeral prayers will be held on Wednesday in Lahore. Dr. Israr was the head and founder of Tanzeem-e-Islami.
He had a huge following in Pakistan, India and Gulf countries, especially in Saudi Arabia. A medical doctor by profession, Dr. Israr was one of the founding members of the Jamaat-e-Islami. He was popular for his lectures and TV debates over current Islamic issues and his grasp over Islamic history made him a front-ranking scholar of Islam.
Dr. Israr Ahmed, SI, (Urdu: اسرار احمد), born April 26, 1932 and Died April 14, 2010 at 3am at his home in Lahore,Pakistan due to cardiac arrest) is a Pakistan-based Muslim religious figure who has been described as well-known among Muslims in Pakistan, India, the Middle East, and North America. Born in Hissar, (today’s Haryana) in India, the second son of a government servant, he is the founder of the Tanzeem-e-islami, an off-shoot of the Jamaat-e-Islami. He currently has a daily show on Peace TV, a 24/7 Islamic channel broadcast internationally, and until a recent controversy had a program on Quran TV (QTV (ARY)).
The veteran religious scholar Dr. Israr Ahmed has passed away here at his residence early on Wednesday morning, Cnews news reported.
According to family sources, he was suffering from back-pain and heart disorders for long time. His funeral prayer will be said at Khalid Market Ground on Wednesday, sources said.
His supporters describe him as having spent the “last forty years” actively engaged in “reviving the Qur’an-centered Islamic perennial philosophy and world-view” with “the ultimate objective of establishing a true Islamic State, or the System of Khilafah.” Ahmed is skeptical of the efficacy of “parliamentary politics of give-and-take” in establishing an “Islamic politico-socio-economic system” as implementing this system is a “revolutionary process”.
Controversy has accompanied statements he has made about Ali ibn Abu Talib, Jews and conflict with non-Muslims.
Early life and education
Dr. Israr Ahmad was born on April 26, 1932 in Hisar (a district of East Punjab, now a part of Haryana) in India, the second son of a government servant. He graduated from King Edward Medical College (Lahore) in 1954 and later received his Master’s degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Karachi in 1965. He came under the influence of Abul Ala Maududi as a young student, worked briefly for Muslim Student’s Federation in the Independence Movement and, following the creation of Pakistan in 1947, for the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba and then for the Jamaat-e-Islami. Dr. Israr Ahmad resigned from the Jama`at in April 1957 because of its involvement in the electoral politics, which he believed was irreconcilable with the revolutionary methodology adopted by the Jama’at in the pre-1947 period.
While still a student and an activist of the Islami Jami`yat-e-Talaba, Dr. Israr Ahmad became a Mudarris (or teacher) of the Qur’an. Even after resigning from the Jama`at, he continued to give Qur’anic lectures in different cities of Pakistan, and especially after 1965 spent a great deal of time studying the Quran.
In 1967 Dr. Israr Ahmadin wrote “Islamic Renaissance: The Real Task Ahead”, a tract explaining his basic belief. This was that a rebirth of Islam would be possible only by revitalizing iman (faith) among the Muslims – particularly educated Muslims – and the propagation of the Qur’anic teachings in contemporary idiom and at the highest level of scholarship is necessary to revitalize iman. This undertaking would remove the existing dichotomy between modern physical and social sciences on the one hand, and Islamic revealed knowledge on the other.
In 1971 Ahmad gave up his medical practice to devote himself full time to the Islamic revival. In 1972 he established or helped establish the Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qur’an Lahore, Tanzeem-e-Islami was founded in 1975, and Tahreek-e-Khilafat Pakistan was launched in 1991.
Dr. Israr Ahmad first appeared on Pakistan Television in 1978 in a program called Al-Kitab; this was followed by other programs, known as Alif Lam Meem, Rasool-e-Kamil, Umm-ul-Kitab and the most popular of all religious programs in the history of Pakistan Television, the Al-Huda, which made him a household name throughout the country. His television lectures generally focused on the revitalization of the Islamic faith through studies of the Quran.
Dr. Israr Ahmad also criticized modern democracy and the electoral system and argued that the head of an Islamic state can reject the majority decisions of an elected assembly. Although he did not like to receive it personally, Dr. Israr Ahmad was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1981. He has to his credit over 60 Urdu books on topics related to Islam and Pakistan, 9 of which have been translated into English and other languages.
Dr. Israr Ahmed relinquished the leadership of Tanzeem-e-Islami in October, 2002 on grounds of bad health and Hafiz Aakif Saeed is the present Ameer of the Tanzeem to whom all rufaqaa of Tanzeem renewed their pledge of Baiyah.
The nucleus of Tanzeem-e-Islami, which Israr Ahmad founded, was created in 1956, following the resignation of Ahmad and some other individuals from Jamaat-e-Islami over its electoral activity and “significant policy matters. They came together and tried unsuccessfully to form an organized group … A resolution was passed which subsequently became the Mission Statement of Tanzeem-e-Islami.”
Later, disappointed with what he saw as the “lack of effort to create an Islamic renaissance through the revolutionary process” he again attempted to create a “disciplined organization,” namely Tanzeem-e-Islami.
Along with his work to revive “the Qur’an-centered Islamic perennial philosophy and world-view” Ahmed aims with his party to “reform the society in a practical way with the ultimate objective of establishing a true Islamic State, or the System of Khilafah”.
According to the Tanzeem-e-Islami website Ahmed and the party believe “the spiritual and intellectual center of the Muslim world has shifted from the Arab world to the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent” and “conditions are much more congenial for the establishment of Khilafah in Pakistan” than in other Muslim countries.
On his tanzeem.org website Ahmed describes the roots of the Shia-Sunni conflict as belonging to a “counter-revolutionary movement” that sought to overthrow the revolution of Islam in the form of “the Jews of Arabia and the Persians.” While “some scholars have even declared the Shias to be kafir … there has been no collective verdict of apostasy against the Shias (as was given in the case of the Qadiyani community).” “The present sectarian version of Shiism” can be traced to “the Safavid dynasty in Iran,” although the Iranian Islamic Revolution may have reversed this unfortunate trend.
According to Tanzeem-e-Islami’s FAQ, while both Hizb ut-Tahrir and Tanzeem-e-Islami share belief in reviving the Caliphate as a means of implementing Islam in all spheres of life, Tanzeem-e-Islami does not believe in involvement in electoral politics, armed struggle, coup d’état to establish a caliphate, and has no set plan of detailed workings for the future Caliphate. Tanzeem-e-Islami emphasizes that iman (faith) among Muslims must be revived in “a significant portion of the Muslim society” before there can be an Islamic revival.
Abul Ala Maududi
While Ahmad “considers himself a product” of the teachings of “comprehensive and holistic concept of the Islamic obligations” of Abul Ala Maududi, he opposes Jamaat-e-Islami’s “plunge” into “the arena of power politics,” which he considers to have been “disastrous.”
Danger of foreign powers
Nov 19, 2007 Ahmed warned that “the NATO forces are waiting on the western front to move into Pakistan and may deprive the country of its nuclear assets while on the eastern border India is ready to stage an action replay of 1971 events and has alerted its armed forces to intervene in to check threats to peace in the region.”
Israr Ahmad’s Thoughts and Academic Works
Miss Shagufta Ahmad has submitted her master thesis entitled, “Dr. Israr Ahmad’s Political Thoughts and Activities”to the McGill University, Canada in 1994. The thesis discussed in detail the intellectual development of Israr Ahmad and the influence of Allama Iqbal, Abul Kalam Azad and Maulana Maududi, Political Thought, especially his theory of revolution and the activities of his three organizations i.e. Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qur’an, Tanzeem-e-Islami and Tehreek-e-Khilafat. Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qur’an has published this thesis in 1996. Dr Israr also strongly supports the idea “Apostasy” and the punishment of Apostasy is Death.
Fawad Ali Lauhany, an M. Phil Scholar of the Department of Political Science, University of Peshawar (Pakistan), has written a thesis entitled, “A Critical Analysis of Dr. Israr Ahmad’s Views on Islamic Revolut and submitted it to the said university in 2009.
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