Islamic cleric Mufti Abd-ur-Razzaq of Bhopal passes away, laid to rest with state honours

By Pervez Bari 

BHOPAL: A leading Islamic scholar and freedom fighter Mufti Abd-ur-Razzaq Khan of Bhopal, who was national vice president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (Maulana Arshad Madani faction), breathed his last after a prolonged illness here on Wednesday. He was about 96 years of age.Mufti Abd-ur-Razzaq was laid to rest on Thursday afternoon with state Guard of Honours granted by the Madhya Pradesh Government. Since he was a popular figure and had followers cutting across the barriers of religion, cast and creed the funeral was held amidst tight security apprehending mass turnout in the face of prevailing lockdown and Corona curfew in the city.
He had authored more than 50 books including Sarzamīn-e-Hind: Ambiyā kirām aur Islām; Qur’ān mai kya hai?, Āzādi; Aslāf aur Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind; Islāmi zindagi: paidā’ish se jannat tak; Ahle Qur’ān aur ahle kitāb etc.

Police sealed walled city 

Meanwhile, considering the popularity and his large number of followers, police took precautionary measures to avoid large congregation during his last rites because of corona curfew. The police put up barricades at prominent squares and roads of old city areas and police officers along with district administration also appealed people to avoid gathering because of the Corona curfew. Bhopal entry points from all sides were also sealed to prevent followers and admirers of the cleric from all the districts of the state from entering the city.

 Mufti Abd-ur-Razaaq Khan of Bhopal

Police barricaded the roads in old Bhopal. Only family members and limited people were allowed to attend the funeral. The heavy police force was deployed at all the prime squares and areas including Tarjama Wali Mosque, Iqbal Maidan, Peer Gate, Bhopal Talkies, Nadra bus stand, Alpana Talkies, Sangam Talkies, Moti Masjid, Ret Ghat, Kamla Park and adjoining areas. In addition to barricading all the routes to old Bhopal, the old city area was guarded by additional force of 700 policemen. The routes connecting Bhopal from borders and the roads towards old city areas remained closed.

Equally respected in all circles

Mufti Abd-ur-Razzaq in 1958 had established the Madrasa Islamia Arabia in Bhopal and a mosque popularly known as Tarjama Wali Masjid of Bhopal. He used to teach Islamic preaching in Indian language because of which the mosque gained the name Tarjama (translation) mosque. He was an Indian Muslim scholar, mufti and an activist of Indian freedom struggle, who was equally respected in political, social, civil and all circles. The Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Anandiben Patel, honoured him in January 2021 for his participation in the Indian freedom struggle.

He was revered by leaders of all religion. He used to organise meetings of leaders of various faiths to establish inter-religious dialogue with objective of creating communal harmony among the people. He was among those religious leaders who ran one of the oldest Gaushala on the outskirt of the city.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh, MP Congress Committee president & former chief minister Kamal Nath, Rajya Sabha member and Digvijay Singh expressed grief over his demise.

Meanwhile, Mufti  Abd-ur-Razzaq was born on 13th August 1925. He was schooled in “Masjid Malang Shah”, Jamia Darul Uloom Ilāhiya and Jamia Aḥmadiya in Bhopal. In July 1952, he joined the Darul Uloom Deoband to complete his studies. He studied Sahih Bukhari with Hussain Ahmad Madani; Sahih Muslim with Fakhrul Hasan Moradabadi; Jami’ al-Tirmidhi with Muḥammad Ibrāhim Balyawi; Sunan Abu Dawud with Bashīr Aḥmad; Sunan Nasai and Sunan ibn Majah with Mubārak Hussain; Muwatta Imām Muammad with Meraj-ul-Haq Deobandi; Muwatta Imam Malik with Sayyid Hasan; Shama’il Muhammadiyah with Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi; and Sharah Wiqāyah with Muhammad Salim Qasmi. He completed studying the “Dars-e-Nizami” course in 1377 AH and then specialized in “Ifta” with Mahdi Hasan Shahjahanpuri.

Participated in freedom struggle

Mufti  Abd-ur-Razzaq participated in the Indian freedom struggle. In 1947, he was part of a fight that took place in Bhopal’s Qazi camp against the British colonialism. In 1958, he established Madrasa Islamia Arabia, one of the oldest and largest Islamic seminary in Bhopal. He was patron of various Islamic seminaries in Madhya Pradesh. He was also the state-president of the Darul Uloom Deoband’s “Rābta Madāris-e-Islamiya” for Madhya Pradesh. He is credited with the growth and development of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind in Madhya Pradesh. He served as its national vice-president and the state-president for Madhya Pradesh. In 1958, he was appointed the vice-mufti of Bhopal’s “Dārul Qadha” (Islamic court); and chief-judge in 1968. He served as the Mufti of Bhopal city from 1974 to 1983. He promoted inter-religious harmony by organizing meetings with leaders of various faiths.[10] He was a vivid speaker and instructed Muslims to cope with communal riots with ways befitting the situation.

In 2016, denouncing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishva Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal activities in Madhya Pradesh; he told Muslims to maintain peace and not to engage in rioting or other things that could damage the peaceful atmosphere in the State. He expressed, “if someone attacks you and you don’t have any other solution but to kill him or to die for saving others from rioters, do not hesitate and go ahead. He also asked the political leaders of Madhya Pradesh to control these right-wing organisations and stop them from attacking and abusing Muslims.