Grand Mufti passes away, demise widely condoled

The Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir Bashir-ud-din Farooqi, who died at a hospital in Srinagar on Tuesday, was laid to rest at ancestral graveyard at Mahraj Gunj here.
Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK
Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

The Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir Bashir-ud-din Farooqi, who died at a hospital in Srinagar on Tuesday, was laid to rest at ancestral graveyard at Mahraj Gunj here. He was 82.

With tearful eyes, an unending sea of mourners who had congregated from morning at his Soura residence, paid last respects to him, after which he was buried in his ancestral graveyard Sheikh-ul-Islam at Mahraj Gunj at around 4pm.

As per his family, he was hospitalised on Monday evening after he complained of chest pain. He breathed his last at SKIMS Soura at around 3 am.

His Nimaz-e-Jinazah, held in the premises of Khaqah-e-Moula in Downtown, was led by his son and deputy Grand Mufti, Nasir-ul-Islam.

Farooqi succeeded his father Qayam-u-Din as Grand Mufti in 1960. He visited various Islamic countries as J&K Grand Mufti.

His congregational Fateh Khawni, as per family, would be held on Friday at ancestral graveyard at 2.45pm after which a separate condolence meet will be held at his Soura residence.

Born in 1934, Farooqi received primary education in Srinagar. He passed Molvi Faazil examination with distinguished score. He also got a master's degree in Arabic and a law degree from the Aligarh Muslim University.

Farooqi was jailed thrice. In 1963, he was jailed for passing a resolution in which he termed plebiscite as only solution to the Kashmir "dispute".

Later, he was again jailed during protests and mass agitation following theft of the holy relic from Dargah Hazratbal. He was jailed third time during the controversy over "conversion of Parveena Akther".

In 2012, he issued a fatwa asking three persons to leave the state for "luring Kashmir to Christianity".

Recently, his book titled "Islam Ka Ayaali Nizaam (Personal Family Law of Muslims)" was published in which he criticised the authorities for introducing a bill on triple talaaq in Parliament.

On 8 July 2012, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam was nominated by his father as his successor for the coveted post in the Supreme Court of Islamic Shariat while other Ulema endorsed the decision.


Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief over the sad demise of Mufti Bashir-ud-Din.

In his message, the Governor prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family in its hour of grief.

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah expressed grief over the demise of Grand Mufti.

Expressing grief over the demise of Mufti Bashir-ud-Din, Farooq said: "Kashmir has lost a towering personality, who had carved a space for himself in the scholarly corridors of Kashmir. His scholarly attainments and penchant for Islamic learning will be remembered for the times to come. I pray for peace to the soul of departed and strength to the grief-stricken family to bear the loss."

Omar said: "Mufti Azam was a known socio-religious personality. He will be remembered for his literary disposition, humanness. May Almighty grant Jannah to the soul of departed."

Farooq made a phone call to the Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam Farooqi, son of Mufti Bashir-ud-Din, and personally extended condolences to the bereaved family.

People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief over the demise of Mufti Bashir-ud-Din Ahmad Farooqi.

In her condolence message, Mehbooba described his demise as an irreparable loss to the state and prayed for peace to the departed soul.

"I am saddened to learn about passing away of Mufti Bashir-ud-din saheb. In him, Kashmir lost a respected religious scholar and thought leader (sic). I stand in solidarity with the family and followers of Mufti saheb," she said.

Expressing shock over the demise of Mufti Bashir-ud-Din, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani said every living creature has to perish.

 "Late Muti Bashir-ud-Din was not only a learned Islamic scholar but a noble and pious man as well," Geelani said, praying for the eternal peace of the departed soul and courage to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss.

"On the directions of Geelani, Syed Naseem-u-Zaffer Geelani participated in the nimaz-e-jinaza of Mufti Bashir-ud-din Farooqi," the statement said.

The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman and Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema patron Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed sorrow and heartfelt condolence over the demise of Bashir-ud-Din Farooqi, stating that people of Kashmir will always remember his service in the field of Islamic jurisprudence and his contribution in social and political sphere of the valley.

In his message of condolence to the Mufti family, Mirwaiz said late Mufti sahib shared a close bond with the Mirwaiz family.

"The Grand Mufti infused a new energy in two important institutions—Darul Iftah and Darul Qaza and had always been on the forefront to serve the people through these institutions to the best of his capability. With the death of Grand Mufti, an era has ended."

Terming the death of Grand Mufti as a personal loss, Mirwaiz said late Mufti  has had close relations  with the founder of Awami Action Committe Shaheed-e-Milat Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq .

"Late Mufti sahib served as the general secretary of AAC and during that time was also imprisoned for supporting the movement for right to self determination," he said.

Soon after coming to know about the death of Grand Mufti, Mirwaiz visited the family of deceased to express solidarity and sympathy with the bereaved family, especially his son Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, who, he said, should carry his father's work forward.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, while expressing grief and sorrow over the demise, described him as an iconic Islamic scholar and social figure.

"JKLF chairman along with a delegation visited the residence of grand Mufti, met the bereaved family and expressed his condolences to them," a statement read.

Malik said: "Grand Mufti's efforts for social harmony and spreading Islam will be always remembered".

"On the directions of JKLF chairman, a delegation of JKLF also participated in funeral prayers of late grand Mufti," the statement said.  

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