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14 December 2011

Bhopal bids tearful adieu to Shahar Qazi Maulana Fazil Qasmi

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: With a heavy heart and tears welling up in their eyes people of Bhopal turned up in tens of thousands to bid a tearful adieu to their Qazi-e-Shahar Maulana Syed Mohammad Fazil Qasmi as his mortal remains were laid to rest in the Jahangirabad graveyard on Monday night.

Maulana Fazil’s Namaz-e-Janazah, which was held at the sprawling Lal Parade police ground, was led by his mentor and teacher Mufti Abdul Razzaq. The Shahar Qazi had passed away on Sunday night at the age of 52 following a massive cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters. He had assumed charge of Bhopal Shahar Qazi in April 2010 after the death of late Shahar Qazi Maulana Abdul Lateef Qasmi.

Before the Namaz-e-Janazah Mufti Abdul Razzaq paid glowing tributes to his student Maulana Fazil Qasmi. He said the death of an Aalim (religious scholar) is the death of “Alam” (world). He announced a monetary help of Rs. 2000/- per month to the wife of late Maulana Fazil Qasmi.

The funeral procession was a sea of humanity wherein milling crowds of people participated not only from Bhopal but from small townships located in the vicinity of the state capital. When the coffin was lifted for the last phase of the final journey a near stampede like situation was created as people, both elite and the commoner, jostled with one another to lend their shoulders to the casket carrying the body of late Bhopal Shahar Qazi. The pathway from where the funeral procession passed was littered with slippers, sandals, shoes as surging crowd swelled and people had no chance to retrieve their slipping away footwear for want of getting trampled in the melee if they tried. The protruding handles at four ends were lengthened nearly 20 feet at both ends by tying long rods to enable more people to lend their shoulders to the casket.

Congress MLA Mr. Syed Arif Aqueel, Bhopal District Congress Committee chief Mr. P. C. Sharma, former Congress Minister Mr. Satyadev Katare and other prominent politicians attended the funeral amongst others.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has expressed profound grief over the death of Shahar Maulana Fazil Qasmi. Mr. Chouhan visited the residence of the Shahar Qazi in Chhaoni area in the morning for offering his condolence. Urban Administration and Development Minister Babulal Gaur accompanied him. Chief Minister Mr. Chouhan and Mr. Babulal Gaur placed wreaths on Maulana Fazil Qasmi's body.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Chouhan said that he cannot still believe that Maulana Fazil Qasmi is no more among us. He said that he was a kind-hearted religious person. He worked for peace throughout his life. Remembering him, Chief Minister Mr. Chouhan said that whenever Maulana Fazil Qasmi met him, he always talked about people's welfare. He used to talk about the ways through which the government can improve common man's life.

Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee president Mr. Kantilal Bhuria, AICC general secretary Mr. BK Hariprasad, Congress Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly Mr. Ajay Singh have expressed profound grief over demise of Shahar Qazi. Chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Hajj Committee Dr. Sanwwar Patel said, " Demise of Shahar Qazi is my personal loss". Nayab Qazi Syed Mushtaq Ali Nadvi said: " Shahar Qazi worked for the cause of religion till his last breath".

It may be mentioned here that Maulana Fazil Qasmi who was participating the three-day “Aalami Tablighi Ijtima”, which began at Ghasipura in Eintkhedi village on the outskirts of Bhopal on Saturday, suffered a massive stroke on returning home. He had led Asr Namaz at the Ijtima site wherein tens of thousands are attending the religious congregation and later offered Maghrib players also. He also solemnized 30 of the about 400 Nikhas that were performed after Asr prayers. He returned home after the Maghrib Namaz and after Isha Namaz he suffered the stroke and thereafter passed away on the way while being rushed to hospital.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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