It was a sad news on the 14th of April. Dr. Israr had been around all my life. He got my parents married ( recited the Nikkah), named me and said the funeral prayer of a beloved. And of course, all my Eid days started with him and his "Khutba" in the windy and sunlit Lawrence garden.
He was a hardliner. Perhaps the most conservative of all religious scholars.
In these modern times, I too found the lack of a T.V/ radio in his household, the swiftness with which they married all their children, gender segregation and what not. But there was of course a lot more to him. He was a historian and an interpretor of the Quran and Hadith.
And then I fear, these matters are private. He never came chasing me with a gun, to do what he wants me too.
His voice was thick, crisp and angry. On one or two occasions I said the Eid prayer behind some other maulvi.And what a drag! No mention of politics, war on terror, Americanization, the Afghan war, dictatorship and what not. Dr. was an authority on all the above and more. In the middle of a speech, he would quote Iqbal lucidly. Sometimes the Eid lecture "Khutba", mandatory for Muslims to listen to, would go on for a very long time. Amidst butterflies, flowers and sweaty women, I sat at the back, listening to the angry old scholarly dreamer.
His grave is some distance from my place, under the shadow of a power plant, visible from the road, dressed in flowers. Sad. He has had a connection with me, and yet he probably doesn't even know.
I encountered this community on Facebook. " Shut the barking Dr. Israr". Of course I couldn't appreciate it. That's too much of an insult to angry old man. Let alone a scholar. Rest in Peace Dr. Israr. You will be missed.
A blog claimed that Dr. Israr called a semi-naked journalist Haramzadi ( illegitimate) once. Here is a staunch follower's reply to it:
Mohammed Ashfaq-ur-Rahman Siddiqui said...
Haramzadi = harami ki zaat ; ya harami ki aulad. “West ne haramzadi ka huliya badal diya hai.” If this reported were to be wearing decent clothes, dr. saab wudnt have called her a 'haramzadi'. now i kno u haramzadi type women wud be hung on the point wht according to me or how do i define decent clothes. its how women should cover their body as prescribed by Islamic shariah. if you call yourself a muslim and do not follow this, then u r haramzadi. u r a haramzadi as rightly pointed out by dr. saab. dont feel sorrow at dr. saab's comment. be grateful tht he corrected u. and try to carry urslf wid dignity and honor and grace wherever u r out reporting. know islam before posting wht ur filthy mind and stinking mouth utter anything directed towards as prominent persona as dr. saab. Fear Allaah and ask for his blessings to guide us all towards the path of righteousness.