Renowned Islamic scholar Dr Israr is no more
Updated : Wednesday April 14 , 2010 10:07:33 AM
LAHORE: The world of Islam lost a luminary early on Wednesday as Dr Israr Ahmed breathed his last here. He died of a massive cardiac arrest, according to media reports.
The veteran Islamic scholar 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.
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.
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 IJT, Dr. Israr Ahmad became a Mudarris (or teacher) of the Qur'an. Even after resigning from the JI, 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.
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