By S. Arshad, New Age Islam
Maulana Sarfaraz Nayeemi, an Islamic religious scholar and crusader against Taliban and religious militancy in Pakistan was killed in a suicide attack by the Taliban on 12th June 2009 along with his four pupils. He was instrumental in bringing together anti-militancy ulema, teachers, intellectuals and Sufis of Pakistan and had formed an anti-Taliban block in the country. He was associated with the Darul Uloom Nayeemia. He had a liberal and broad-minded view of Islam as apart from being educated in Islamic sciences he had also received modern education and had earned a doctorate degree.
Maulana Sarfaraz Nayeemi
Looking back, we know that Pervez Musharraf was a supporter of Taliban and Al Qaida and other militant organisations until 9/11. After that, his policy towards Taliban shifted as he became a part of the US war on terror against Taliban and Al Qaida in Afghanistan in 2001. This infuriated the Taliban and from January 2002, the Taliban conducted a number of attacks in Pakistan. They regularly targeted minorities like Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and Shias. They conducted suicide bombings on school vans, religious congregations, funeral processions, schools and business and residential complexes. They declared the democratic Pakistani government the government of Kafirs and murtads(apostates). In madrasas run by them, they would train students to be suicide bombers telling them that those dying in suicide bombings, go to heaven and meet with 72 houris. They had created such a panic among the people of Pakistan that no one would dare to write or say anything against them.
In this environment of bloodshed and violence, Maulana Sarfaraz Nayeemi took up the task of creating awareness among the people of Pakistan about the un-Islamic ideology of suicide bombings followed by Taliban. On 22 October, 2004, Maulana Nayeemi issued his first Fatwa against suicide bombings. He said, "Suicide is Haram in Islam" and that " There was no justification of suicide bombings in Pakistan". With this he started an awareness campaign against the Taliban in the country. He travelled across the country and met ulema of various schools of thought, organisers of madrasas, intellectuals and SajjadaNashins of Khanqahs and tried to bring them on one platform against Taliban. He would organise meetings and conferences against the ideology of suicide bombing preached and followed by Taliban in towns and cities. The participants would shout "Go Taliban go" in these meetings. On 19 July 2007, he issued a Fatwa again saying "it is not true that suicide bombers go to heaven".
His efforts gradually bore fruit and he was successful in forming an anti-Taliban block comprising ulema of different schools of thought, intellectuals and academicians.
On 14th October, 2008, a grand convention against Taliban and militantism was held in Darul Uloom Nayeemia. In this convention, representatives of 28 religious and political organisations took part and a Fatwa against Taliban and its ideology of terrorism and suicide bombing was unanimously adopted declaring suicide bombing Haram and un-Islamic.
All these activities of Maulana Nayeemi made him an eyesore of the Taliban. They started issuing threats to him but Maulana Nayeemi did not stop his anti-Taliban campaigns. He did not tell his associates or students about death threats given to him. He stopped taking anyone pillion rider on his bike.
On 10 June 2009, he organised another conference against suicide bombings and terrorism in Aiwan-e-Iqbal. Thousands of Sufis, intellectuals, scholars and ulema participated in it.
Now the Taliban decided to eliminate him. Two days later, on 12 June, which was a Friday, when Maulana Nayeemi was sitting in his office with his four students after the Friday prayers, a suicide bomber entered the office and blew himself up killing Maulana Nayeemi and his pupils.
Today, the fight against Taliban is being carried forward by his son Maulana Raghib Nayeemi and his students from Darul Uloom Nayeemia.
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