LAHORE: Noted religious scholar and founder of the Tehreek Tanzeem-e-Islami, Dr Israr Ahmed, passed away early on Wednesday at the age of 78.

Dr Israr – survived by his widow, four sons and five daughters – had been suffering from severe back pain and cardiac problems for a long time.

His funeral prayers, led by his son Aakif Aslam, were offered at the Model Town Central Park and attended by a large number of people.

Prominent personalities who attended the funeral included Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hassan, Secretary General Liaquat Baloch, former JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, Maulana Samiul Haq, PML-N’s Zulfiqar Khosa, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, Jamaat Ahl-e-Hadith chief Zubair Ahmed Zaheer, former Lahore nazim Amir Mehmood, Maulana Abdur Rehman Ludhianvi, Maulana Rafi Osmani, members of national and provincial assemblies, and provincial ministers. Dr Israr was laid to rest at the Marrian graveyard. Family sources said Dr Israr had complained of backache between Tuesday and Wednesday night, adding that he did not let them take him to hospital saying he was okay. They said they later called in Dr Amir Aziz who prescribed medicines and advised him to rest. However, his attendant found him dead around 2:20am.

Born in Hariyana, India in 1932, Dr Israr actively participated in the Pakistan movement and was even the general secretary of the Muslim Students Federation. He completed his MBBS in 1954 from King Edward Medical College and got a degree in Islamic Affairs from Karachi University in 1965. Initially, he joined the JI but developed differences with its then chief Maulana Maudoodi and formed the Tehreek Tanzeem-e-Islami in 1975, which he headed until his death. He was also the chief patron of the Quran Academy. Dr Israr also authored over 60 books and delivered lecturers around the world. He had also been awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1981. Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari expressed grief and sorrow over Dr Israr’s death, saying he was a great intellectual who devoted his life for teaching Islam and its principles. Zardari said Dr Israr’s death was a huge loss for the country as he served the people with devotion and dedication. The president also offered condolences to the bereaved family. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who could not attend the funeral, condoled with Dr Israr son, saying the country had been deprived of a true Muslim scholar.

Inna lillah wa inna illeh rajiyoon..may his soul rests in peace..aameen.