Who is Sehrai?

In 1965, when he was 22 years old, Sehrai was jailed for the first time for “anti-government activities”.

GKNN
Srinagar, Publish Date: Mar 20 2018 12:37AM | Updated Date: Mar 20 2018 12:37AM
Who is Sehrai?GK Photo

Muhammad Ashraf Ali, popularly known as Ashraf Sehrai, was born in 1944 in TekiporaLolab in Kupwara district. His forefathers had migrated to this part of Kashmir from pre-Partition Pakistan. 

Sehrai studied in Tekipora till primary level before moving to Sogam High School for further studies. He passed his matriculation examination in 1959. He was a bright, intelligent but shy student who took great interest in debates and discussions on religious and political discourses since his childhood. Sehrai earned a scholarship in class 10 for his excellent command over Persian, Arabic and Urdu languages. He did BA (Hons) in Urdu from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). 

When Syed Ali Geelani was the district president of the Jamaat-e-Islami for Kupwara district, he would visit Tekipora frequently. The two struck a chord instantly.

Sehrai was impressed by Geelani’s knowledge of the Quran, Hadees (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)) and writings of Jamaat founder MaulanaAbulAlaMaududi. 

He has been affiliated with Geelani since 1959. Sehrai’s love for literature and poetry hasn’t diminished, but he doesn’t write anymore because of his political engagements. In 1965, when he was 22 years old, Sehrai was jailed for the first time for “anti-government activities”. He was imprisoned at Srinagar Central Jail for about six months. He has also been detained in jails outside the state.

In 2004, he and Geelani formed the TeH.