ALLAMA MUFTI JAFAR HUSSAIN  

Name      :  Jafar Hussain ibn e Hakim Chirag Din ibn e Hakim Ghulam Haider

Born        :  1332 H (1914 A.D.) at Gujranwala, Panjab, India

Died         :  1358 H (1980 A.D.) at Gujranwala, Pakistan 

BIRTH & EARLY LIFE 

Mufti Jafar Hussain was born in the small town of Gujranwala, Panjab. He was born in a family that was known for its honesty, integrity and nobility. His uncle, Hakim Shehabuddin, besides his name and fame as a physician, always took interest in history, literature and poetry. The house was a meeting place of the town’s intellectuals. Mufti Jafar Hussain was one of the five children of Hakim Chirag Din, the younger brother of Hakim Shehabuddin.  Jafar Hussain had his early upbringing and education under the tutelage of his uncle Shehabuddin. From his early days glimpses of brilliance were noticed by the uncle and others around him.  

Hakim Shehabuddin had taken the full responsibility of the education and upbringing of this nephew of his. Besides imparting to him the intricacies of the Unani System of Medicine, he taught to him the Persian classics Viz: Gulistan, Bostan and Akhlaq e Jalali etc. Besides the personal instruction given by Hakim Shehabuddin, Jafar Hussain was sent to the Sunni Imam of the Jameh Masjid, Maulana Chirag Ali, Qazi Abd al Rahim and Maulana Mohammed Ismail Salafi for instruction in Fiqh and Hadit. Jafar Hussain was so brilliant in early childhood that he commenced studying the intricate book, Kaafia, on the first of Ramadan, and completed it by 27th of that month! We must mention here that Kafia is a book of grammar that takes the students many months or, rather years to study it completely. More that 350 commentaries have been written on the book. While Hakim Shehabuddin’s family was free of any religious bigotry, on the other hand they were ardent admirers of the Ahl al Bayt (a.s). Despite financial stringency they were determined to give higher religious education to this brilliant child of theirs.  

By the time Jafar Hussain reached the age of 12 years, he had prowess over Urdu, Persian and Arabic languages. In search of knowledge he used to visit the learned persons in the town. He now reached a stage that the need to acquire higher learning in Lucknow was felt by the young student. Those days Lucknow was the center of Jafari Learning. The Hauza e Ilmia there was the focus of attention of all the seekers of knowledge in the Sub-Continent. There was a formidable group of eminent Mujtahids in the Hauza imparting knowledge to a large group of students.  

JAFAR HUSSAIN’S MENTORS IN LUCKNOW 

Mufti Jafar Hussain pursued his studies under very eminent mentors in Lucknow, Viz: Najm al Millat wal Deen Allama Sayed Najm al Hassan, Sayed Zahoor Hassan Baharvi, Sayed Abul Hassan Munnan Saheb who was the father of Maulana Ali Naqui, Sayed Sibte Hassan Jaunpuri, Mufti Sayed Mohammed Ali Saheb e Quba, Mufti Sayed Ahmed Ali, Sayed ali Naqui Al Naqavi. 

Mufti Jafar Hussain spent 8 years as a student in Lucknow and then functioned as a tutor at Madrasa e Nazimia in the same city for another year. In this time he was able to organize means for proceeding to Hauza e Ilmia Najaf e Ashraf, Iraq, for further studies and left the shores of India in the year 1936. Incidentally, Allama Iqbal has waxed eloquent about Hauza e Ilmia Najaf e Ashraf in these words: 

Kheera na kar saka mujhe jalwa e Danish e farang

Surma hai meri aankh ka khak e Madina wa Najaf 

The sight of the wisdom of the West couldn’t dazzle my eyes

But the dust of Madina and Najaf is collyrium for my vision!

 

Mufti Jafar Hussain completed his studies in 5 years to qualify as a Mufti and Mujtahid. The certificates are still kept as valuable possessions with his family in Gujranwala.  

Mufti Jafar Hussain had the singular privilege of studying under the great scholars of the time: 

Ayatullah al Uzma Aqai Sayed Abul Hassan Isfahani, Hujjat al Islam Aqai Sheik Abd al Hussain Rashti, Hujjat al Islam Aqai Sheik Ibrahim Rashti, Hujjat al Islam Aqai Sayed Jawad Tabrizi, Hujjat al Islam Aqai Mirza Baqir Zanjani, Hujjat al Islam Aqai Sayed Ali Noori. After receiving the certificates of proficiency from these great mentors Mufti Jafar Hussain returned to Lucknow in the year 1940 H. He then reported back to his guide and mentor Najm al Millat Allama Sayed Najm al Hassan.

 

PROCEEDS TO NAWGAWAN 

His mentor instructed him to proceed to Nawgawan e Saadaat in the Muradabad District of upper India and function as a tutor and head-master at Madrasa Bab al Ilm. As an obedient disciple he accepted the assignment, went to his new station and embarked on his job. He stayed only for two years at Nawgawan and returned back to his ancestral town, Gujranwala. A teacher always wishes to busy himself in imparting knowledge to the seekers of learning. Mufti Jafar Hussain too had this urge and therefore made efforts to establish a madrasa in Gujranwala.  

ESTABLISHES MADRASDA E JAFARIA 

Alas his efforts bore fruits! A magnanimous Momin, Master Allah Datta, donated his house for establishing the Madrasa. Thus came into existence the first ever Shia school of learning, Madrasa e Jafaria, in the town of Gujranwala. This was perhaps the first institute in the district after the school of Allama Baqir Shah Chakdalwi and that of Allama Mohammed yar Shah. A committee was constituted under Barkat Ali Jafari to look after the functioning of the Madrasa. Maulana Hakim Noor al Din and Maulana Sharif Hussain were entrusted the task of teaching at the school. Mufti Jafar Hussain himself took active part in the teaching activity at the Madrasa. The notable students who received instruction at the Madrasa e Jafaria are: Allama Hussain Baksh Jada Saheb, Maulan Abd al Ghafoor, Maulana Sayed Abid Hussain, the Imam of Jama Masjid Narowa.  It is a pity that the Madrasa couldn’t be kept active for long because of paucity of funds. When the Madrasa was wound up, Mufti Jafar Hussain concentrated all his attention on addressing Majlis gatherings and propagation of the word of the Ahl al Bayt (a.s). He intensively traveled the length and breadth of the country for the purpose. This was during the period 1944 to 1946. In 1947 the country was divided when he started his literary work. His first published work is the monumental Urdu translation of the collection of Hazrat Amir al Momineen (a.s)’s sermons, popularly known as Nahj al Balagha or “The Peak of Eloquence”.  

ORGANISATIONAL WORK

After the formation of Pakistan the government was engaged in framing the constitution of the country. Since the country was established as a Islamic entity, persons of different schools got busy in trying to dominate the scene. When Mufti Jafar Hussain and Allama Hafiz Kifayat Hussain got wind of these activities, they strongly protested saying that their community had certain rights and norms that must be protected. In those unsavoury circumstances, at 15 Nisbat Road, Lahore, “Idara Tahaffuz Huqooq Shia, Pakistan” was establisahed. This timely leadership had the desired effect and the entire community rose as one in support of the organization. The community rejected the infamous Resolution No.6 of the Constituent Body in one voice. The government, in their discretion, invited Idara Tahaffuz Huqooq e Shia on the Constituent Committee and Mufti Jafar Hussain was sent as the representative of the Idara. We are mentioning here the salient points of the resolution drafted by him. 

RESOLUTION OF INTENT 

In his draft Mufti Jafar Hussain strongly suggested framing of a constitution for the country which guaranteed the rights and the privileges of the people according to the norms of democracy, freedom, justice and tolerance as enunciated by the Holy Quran and the Shariah. The constitution should be such that it should enable the individuals, and the people in general, to freely follow the tenets of Islam according to the Quran and the Sunnat of the Prophet (s.a).  The constitution must guarantee that the minroties have the freedom to follow their religious practices without let or hindrance and also promote their cultural practices.  

BOARD OF ISLAMIC EDUCATION 

In 1949 Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan nominated Mufti Jafar Hussain to the Board of Islamic Education. The importance of the Mufti on the Board could well be imagined only if we know the names of the other members thereon. These eminent members were: Dr. Hamidullah-Chairman, Mufti Mohammed Shafi, Sayed Sulaiman Nadavi, Maulana Zafar Ahmed Ansari. It is on record that on every occasion Mufti Jafar Hussain very boldly put forward the Shia point of view whenever there was a need to do it. It will be very appropriate to mention one incident in this regard. .

THE 22 POINTS 

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, demised almost immediately after the formation of the country. The inimical forces got an opportunity to start their machinations against the country. They went to the extent of carrying on the propaganda that it wasn’t possible to enforce Islamic law in the country. When asked why they had such a thought, they said that there were 73 Sects in Islam and that every sect believed that it was the true and real Islam! They wanted to know as to which sect should prevail over all the rest to enforce its norms on the entire population of the country.  

This challenge of the enemies of Islam was accepted and 31 top Ulema of different sects got together to promulgate a Document of 22 Points. This deliberation went on for four days and on January 24, 1951 the document was finalized. This was a fitting reply to the propaganda of the detracters.   

STEP AGAINST QADIANIAT 

On May 18,1952 Chaudhry Zafr ullah Khan, the Foreign Minister, gave a talk in Karachi that hurt the feelings of the Muslims in the country. As a reaction to this, an all parties conference was arranged. Mufti Jafar Hussain was a signatory on the invitation that was issued for the meet. He gave a very thought provoking speech during the conference and highlighted the points of view of his Sect. At the end of the deliberations the conference resolved that Qadianis be deemed a non-Muslim minority, Chaudhry Zafr ullah Khan to be removed from the position of Foreign Minister and also other Qadianis working as important functionaries be relievd from their positions.  

HIS ERUDITION & SCHOLASTIC SERVICES 

Mufti Jafar Hussain was a erudite scholar of very high caliber. One can well imagine his brilliance that at the age of 8 years he could study the intricate tome, “Kafia ibn e Hajib” in just 27 days or complete the study of the 16 years’curriculum of Nazimia in just 8 years. Talking of his erudition would be just like trying to see the sun in the light of a lamp! At the tender age of 14 years he had made a thorough study of the Unani System of Medicine, had perused a lot of Persian classics like Shara Jami, Mir Qutbi, Miabazi and Muqamat Hariri. Translating the sermons of Hazrat Ali (a.s), “Nahj al Balagha”, into Urdu he gave a proof of his comprehension of the intricate verse. This one work could be counted as the reward for his life’s toil! Mufti Jafar Hussain has made the same achievement translating the sermons into Urdu as did Sayed Radi collecting and compiling them in the original Arabic version! He also translated into Urdu, Sahifa e Kamila, the compendium of the supplications of Imam Zain al Abedin (a.s). When one reads these translations, the depth of meaning engrosses the reader. His Seerat e Amir al Momineen (a.s) is a work of great research and study. An English translation of the book has been published by Ansariyan Publishers, Qum, Iran.  

LEADING THE COMMUNITY 

In 1979 President Zia al Haq initiated some actions to enforce the Islamic Laws. Collecting the Zakat through government agencies was one of the decisions. While making these announcements the Jafaria Fiqh was totally kept aside. The President also announced that the decisions had been unanimously approved by the Islamic Council. Mufti Jafar Hussain addressed a press conference to register protest against these decisions at the risk of facing the ire of the Government. Some dedicated persons joined hands and arranged a Shia Convention. This Convention met on April 12 & 13, 1979 at Bhakkar. There were four sessions chaired by Mufti Jafar Hussain and other eminent persons. The theme of all the speeches was that for the Shia Community the Jafari Fiqh must be enforced in all their affairs. When the resolutions were passed in the final session of the Convention, the assembled crowd spiritedly endorsed all the resolutions raising their hands and voices! It was resolved to form a separate Shia Waqf Board; all the restrictions on observation of Azadari to be lifted; the Government to provide facilities to the members of the Community for the Ziarat of the Holy Shrines; Shia Ulema be appointed to the Shariah Courts; Shias to be given representation in the committees for devising the educational policies and the Shia Ulema to be included in the programs for giving talks on the radio and the television. They also resolved that Ulema from Iran and Najaf e Ashraf be invited to Pakistan as was done in the case of the Ulema from Saudi Arabia. At this convention it was unanimously agreed that Mufti Jafar Hussain was the leader of the Shias of the country. Mufti Jafar Hussain demanded in his speech that the Government gave its consent to the Resolutions by April 30,1979. At the conclusion of the convention   the gathering of over a million persons disbursed from Bhakkar..  

ISLAMABAD CONVENTION 

After the Bhakkar Convention, the entire Community was all attention! They were looking forward to favorable action from the Establishment. But the president came up with a statement in Karachi that the country couldn’t promulgate two sets of laws. He said that the majority of the people followed the Hanafi Sect and the Hanafi Fiqh should then prevail. This was a dictator’s oppressive edict to the 3 Crore Shia population of the country. It was a challenge for the Community and they came out to confront the dictator! On 4 and 5 July 1980 a convention was called to commemorate the anniversary of the Martyr Ayatullah Baqir al Sadr. With the approval of Allama Mufti Jafar Hussain the convention was given the title of “Convention For enforcement of Jafari Fiqh in Pakistan”. He had already announced on April 30, 1979 his resignation from the Islamic Council. He was now making whirlwind tours of the country and was received by the Community with open arms at all the places. The people had one slogan “Ek hi Qaaed ek hi Rahbar, Mufti Jafar, Mufti Jafar—There is only one leader, only one guide; that’s Mufti Jafar!” When the Government gauged the high spirit of the Community, they made the wrong decision of banning the Islamabad Convention. It was announced that stern punitive action would be taken against those who tried to contravene the ban order. All the entry points to the city were sealed. Many rumors were circulated for the consumption of the visitors to the city. False propaganda was done that the Convention had been called off. There were also rumors that the demands of the Community had been accepted. Despite all these impediments a huge crowd gathered at the Hocky Ground near the Red Quarters. This was the first time that such a huge crowd challenged the lion in his own den! Instead of raising their voices in their towns and villages, the people gathered in the capital and raised their protests near the President’s Secretariat. Mufti Jafar Hussain had already reached the guest house of the Masjide Itna Ashari Lal Quarters Islamabad on July 03. On 2nd July he had met the President on his invitation. They confabulated for well over 2 hours. The president suggested to him to hold the convention at Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi instead of holding it in Islamabad. Mufti Jafar Hussain turned down the suggestion. The Convention commenced on the morning of July 04, 1980 at the Hockey Grounds of the Lal Quarters Islamabad. Throughout the day there were speeches accompanied by emotional slogans from the crowd. At 9 P.M. the Supreme Council and the Consultative Council met at the Masjid e Ithnaashari to finalize the programme for the next day. The next day, July 05, the proceedings started at 7 A.M. with the recitation of the Holy Quran. Since there was a spate of speakers, everyone was allowed only 2 minutes to speak.At around 11 A.M. the crowd demanded immediate action and a march to that end. The leader appreciated the spirit of the people but advised the crowd not going forward in a procession. It was decided to take a delegation of 5 Ulema to the Ministry of Religious Affairs. It is a fact that if Mufti Jafar Hussain had yielded to the emotional outburst of the crowd, it might have resulted in breach of peace. He also wanted to give to the authorities a message that the Community wasn’t like those who take the crowds to the street on the slightest pretext. The delegation met the Central Minister for Religious Affairs, Mahmood Haroon. He said that he would consult the President and then deliberate with the delegation. On this promise of the minister, the delegates patiently waited the entire day. Around the end of the day they returned back to the venue of the Convention and reported the status to the gathering. The natural result was strong outburst by the crowd. At last it was decided that the gathering would march to the Secretariat. The people started marching towards the Secretariat shouting slogans. The army and the police inflicted baton-charge on the hapless crowd. When they felt that the baton-charge was ineffective, they started throwing tear-gas shells on the crowd. But they were dealing with the people who keep crying from the cradle to the grave! The tear-gas was no deterrent for them. However one youth, Mohammed Hussain Shaheed, succumbed to the hit of a tear-gas shell on his head. This fatality didn’t deter the crowd from their determination. In fact it galvanized their spirit. Mufti Jafar Hussain appealed to the crowd to maintain peace! The procession reached the Secretariat and the crowd surrounded the complex. They thus sat in protest there. 

LONG CONFABULATION WITH THE PRESIDENT 

On the next day, July 6,1980, at the invitation of the President, Mufti Jafar Hussain went with a five member delegation to the secretariat of Chief Martial Law Administrator for discussions. The meeting lasted for 12 long hours. Mufti Jafar Hussain had Maulana Gulab Shah, Maulana Sayed Safdar Hussain Najafi, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Sayed Fida Hussain Naqvi and Sayed Shabbir Hussain Naqvi in his team. The President was assisted by the Minister for Religious Affairs, Mohammed A. Haroon and the Secretary Home Affairs and the Chief Adsministrator Zakat Council.  

THE ISLAMABAD AGREEMENT 

After hearing the points of view of the delegation led by Allama Mufti Jafar Hussain, the President reiterated that every citizen of the country had the freedom to follow the norms of the faith of his choice. He also said that the Fiqh of any sect wouldn’t be enforced on the followers of any other sect. To dispel doubts from the minds of the Shias he said that he was bound by the promises and commitments made by him to the Shias. He also said that steps would be initiated to implement these promises in letter and spirit. He also said that if any rule was enforced against this commitment, it would be suitably amended to meet the requirements of the Shia Fiqh. He also said that in future rules will be promulgated keeping in mind the Jafari Fiqh. He said that the guiding principles in this regard would be finalized by 15 September 1980. Mufti Jafar Hussain thanked the President and assured him that the people who had assembled in Islamabad would return to their homes forthwith. 

THE COMMUNITY’S LEADER ARRIVES 

The crowd remained all attention, with patience, the entire day. Talks were delivered by many speakers, one after another. These speakers played a major role in keeping the tempers of the crowd in control. When, almost at dusk, their supreme leader, Mufti Jafar Hussain arrived, the ground reverberated with the slogan-- “Ek hi Qa-ed, ek hi Rahbar—Mufti Jafar, Mufti Jafar!” He silenced them with a motion of his hand and pin-drop silence descended on the crowd! After recitation of the Verses of the Holy Quran: 

THE LEADER OF THE COMMUNITY SAID 

“Brothers! The noble purpose for which you have traveled from far and near, Al Hamd u Iillah that has been achieved! The President has acceded to our demands! He has also indicated that the rules for the Zakat will be in accordance with the Jafari Fiqh but also any new rules that come up for promulgation would be done with due consideration to the Jafari Fiqh!” The crowd greeted this announcement with joyous slogans. Mufti Jafar Hussain continued his speech saying, “We pay tribute to the Martyr Mohammed Hussain for his spirit of sacrifice who laid down his life for withholding the Fiqh Jafaria! You must now disburse and proceed to your homes and inform the people in your areas about the happy development!” Now the people raised slogans and started leaving the ground for their homes! 

FORMATION OF ZAKAT COMMITTEES 

After the resounding success in Islamabad, Mufti Jafar Hussain traveled far and wide in the country. He was welcomed with open arms in all the places. Besides informing the people about the development, he also discussed the affairs and problems of the Community in general. He also started formation of the Shia Zakat committees in all the places. One must admit that these committees didn’t function as they should have!  

A LOOK AT HIS LEADERSHIP OF FOUR YEARS 

The Community that suffered 34 long years of complicated problems expected miracles from the leadership that came into existence only sometime ago. A long list of demands came up for their consideration. It was quite natural that the demands sprang up. What were the demands? Some of the salient demands were:

  1. Enforcement of the Jafari Fiqh with governmental backing.
  2. Formation of Shia Zakat committees.
  3. Establishment of organized press for the community and issuing a daily newspaper.
  4. Prescribing separate curriculum for Shia Theology in schools.
  5. Removing the impediments in the observation of Azadari by the Communiy.
  6.  Establishment of separate Shia Waqfs Board.
  7. Strengthening the Movement at the State, Division, District and Tehsil levels.
  8. Formation of a national Secretariat which should coordinate with and guide the Commnity in an organized manner.

As far as enforcement of the Jafari Fiqh by the Government was concerned, Mufti Jafar Hussain worked intensively, traveled to all the nooks and corners of the country, addressed press conferences, met the Government functionaries to galvanize action in the matter. For this purpose he resigned from the membership of the Islami Nazariyati council, the honorarium from which was his only source of income at that time. But he didn’t compromise on his principles. On the strength of the resolutions passed at the Convention on July 4 & 5,1980 he was asked to give a message to the community that would be a beacon of guidance for them. He said, “The Community must abstain from dissensions, remain united!”  

HIS LAST WILL & DEMISE

Mufti Jafar Hussain had already made his will. He willed that his funeral bath be given by Maulana Abd al Ghafoor Jafari and Maulana Sayed najm al Hassan and that he be interred at the Karbala Gamay Shah. 

Mufti Jafar Hussain remained admitted to the hospital for 25 days. On August 28 there was much deterioration in his condition. He spent a sleepless night and around sunrise on August 29 he breathed his last. He demised around 6 A.M. The sad news spread like the wild-fire. At 9 A.M. the cortege left for Karbala Gamay Shah. There was a huge crowd at the funeral in deep mourning.  

THE FIRST FUNERAL PRAYER

The first funeral prayer was offered at Imamia Masjid, Khayali Darwaza, Gujranwala. The prayer was led by Maulana Safdar Hussain Najafi, Senior Vice President, of the Movement. His mortal remains were kept for some time at his home for the people to have a last look. There were huge crowds of mourners vying with each other to see his face for a moment.  

THE SECOND FUNERAL PRAYER 

The Acting Governor of Panjab, Lt. General F.S.Lodhi, along with other senior army and civil functionaries was already at the Karbala Gamay Shah. As soon as the bier reached the funeral site, announcement was made for the funeral prayer. The entire ground was full of mourners and the crowd was over-flowing for a good distance outside it. The prayer was led by Allama Sayed Mohammed Yar Shah over the loud speaker. The people couldn’t control their emotions. The men were vying with one another to give a shoulder for the last journey of their leader!

 Source Lectures of Moulana Sadiq Hassan from www.Imamia.org  &  www.Hussainiat.com