Mohammedali Shihab Thangal
Veteram Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader
Syed Mohammedali Shihab Thangal passed away at a private hospital in Kerala’s
Malappuram district yesterday August 1.
Thangal died following cardiac arrest at a private
hospital near Malappuram. He was 73.
had dominated the Kerala politics for over three decades.
He is survived by
his second wife Ayesha Beevi, two sons and three daughters. Thangal
married Ayesha Beevi in 2006 after the passing away of his first
wife Shareefa Fatima Beevi.
Thangal always resisted pressures to take up plum postings in Muslim
countries that had good relations with India and also preferred to
keep away from the corridors of power. For several decades he had
been the fulcrum on which the IUML, the second most powerful ally of
the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, stood
Thangal, born May 4, 1936, was the eldest son of Panakkad Pookoya
Thangal. After his schooling in Calicut, he went for higher studies
on Islam in Tirur. In 1958, he went to Egypt for further studies and
obtained a higher degree from Al Azhar University in 1961. He
continued his studies in Cairo University and pursued a doctorate in
Arabic literature in 1966. On the death of his father in 1975, he
took over as president of the Kerala state committee of IUML, a post
he held till his death. After the demolition of the Babri Masjid in
1992, Thangal made a passionate plea to all the Muslims in the state
to remain calm.
Thousands of mourners from all walks of life today paid homage to
the veteran IUML stalwart.
funeral held at Panakkad Juma Masjid with state honours today on
Condolence messages continue to pour in lauding his services,
especially his role in preserving communal and social harmony at the
most trying times like demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. Thangal
passed away last night aged 73.
President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC
President Sonia Gandhi sent their condolences while Chief Minister V.
S. Achuthanandan called at his residence this morning to pay homage
to the leader.
her message, Patil said Thangal was a prominent social worker active
in public life and the country has lost an eminent figure in him.
his message, Dr. Singh said, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the
passing away of Thangal. He was one of Kerala’s most prominent
leaders and led the IUML for many decades with great distinction. He
was a nationalist who cherished secular values; and a social worker
and a powerful orator.”
“Thangal was a religious scholar with strong academic credentials
and will be remembered as a leader who championed the propagation
and importance of education. He had the strong following of his
community but framed his politics in terms of larger national issues
and aspirations,” he added.
convey my sincere condolences to his family, his friends and his
admirers at this irreparable loss,” the Prime Minister said.