Maulana Masood-ur-Rehman Usmani (1968 – January 5, 2024) was a prominent Pakistani Islamic scholar and religious leader who served as the Central Deputy Secretary of the Sunni Ulema Council (SUC) and Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) until his tragic assassination on January 5, 2024.
Early Life and Education:
- Maulana Usmani was born in 1968 in the Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan.
- He received his religious education at various madrasas, including Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi and Jamia Ashrafia Lahore.
- He earned the distinguished title of “Maulana” by completing his Dars-e-Nizami, a traditional Islamic scholarly program.
Religious and Political Roles:
- Maulana Usmani played a significant role in Pakistani religious and political spheres.
- He served as the Central Deputy Secretary of the Sunni Ulema Council (SUC), a prominent Sunni Muslim organization in Pakistan.
- He was also a member of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), a religio-political party associated with the Deobandi school of thought.
- Maulana Usmani actively participated in interfaith dialogues and advocated for religious tolerance and harmony.
- He was a vocal critic of sectarian violence and extremism, promoting peace and understanding between different religious communities in Pakistan.
Controversies and Assassination:
- Maulana Usmani’s views and pronouncements often courted controversy, particularly regarding his stance on sensitive religious and political issues.
- He was arrested in April 2018 under unclear circumstances, leading to protests and demonstrations by his supporters.
- On January 5, 2024, Maulana Usmani was tragically assassinated by unidentified gunmen in Islamabad, sending shockwaves through Pakistan’s religious and political circles.
- His assassination remains unsolved, and the motive behind the attack is yet to be determined.
- Maulana Usmani’s legacy remains a subject of debate, with his supporters praising him as a champion of Islamic scholarship and religious moderation, while his critics raise concerns about his association with certain extremist groups and his controversial pronouncements.
- His assassination has undoubtedly left a void in Pakistan’s religious and political landscape, and his death continues to be mourned by his followers and supporters across the country.
- Maulana Usmani was also a member of the Council of Islamic Ideology, a constitutional body that advises the Pakistani government on religious matters.
- He was known for his eloquence and charisma, and his sermons and lectures were widely followed by his supporters.
- Maulana Usmani’s assassination is a stark reminder of the ongoing religious and political tensions in Pakistan, and it highlights the challenges faced by the country in promoting peace and tolerance.
Maulana Usmani’s life and legacy are complex and multifaceted, and he remains a controversial figure in Pakistani society. It is important to approach his biography with a critical eye and consider various perspectives before forming an informed opinion about his contributions and the impact he had on Pakistan.
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