Maulana Muhammad Shafi Moonis, former Naib Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, breathed his last at his residence, following brain haemorrhage, on April 6. He was 93.
Born on May 1, 1918 at Kulheri, District Muzaffar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, Maulana Moonis worked as a teacher at a school in Ghaziabad and at Ajmeri Gate Higher Secondary School, Delhi, before joining Jamaat on full time basis. Then he rendered his services at Markazi Darsgah Jamaat-e-Islami in Malihabad and later in Rampur.
He came to the Jamaat fold in 1944. “He was attached with the socialist group of Congress party. A Salfi Aalim tried to win him over but was originally not successful. As a strategy that Salfi Aalim provided him books by Maulana Abul Aala Maudoodi. After reading volume three of the book Islam aur Siyasi Kashmakash he was convinced and started participating in the activities of the Jamaat. Thus instead of joining the Salfi movement, which the Salfi Aalim had intended, he was won over by the Jamaat,” notes the Jamaat website.
The Maulana served the Jamaat and the Muslim community in various capacities. He was Local President, Ghaziabad and Delhi units, Zonal President, Delhi & Western U.P., and Hyderabad State, Andhra Pradesh, Secretary General and Naib Amir of the Jamaat. He was also Member Central Advisory Council and Representatives Council of the Jamaat, the position which he held till the last breath. He was also Honorary Advisor to Amir Jamaat during the last term.
Besides his services to the Jamaat, the Maulana served the community as General Secretary of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat and member All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Deeni Taalimi Council, and Secretary General of Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity (FDCA). The Maulana was also one of the Members of the Governing Council of Board of Islamic Publications, under which Radiance Viewsweekly is published.
In 1955 he was in-charge of Jamaat’s Relief Work at Jabalpur following the communal flare-up in the area. Later, he supervised Jamaat’s relief work at the various places.
During the Emergency, he spent a long period in Tihar Jail, New Delhi, along with other Jamaat leaders.
The Maulana died during the 5-day session of Jamaat’s Central Representative Council (CRC); he attended this session on the first three days viz. till his last time before his going unconscious. It was happy coincidence that all the members of the CRC participating in the session could meet him during the session and also attend his funeral prayers and procession.
In a joint statement on April 6, Syed Shahabuddin, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat; and Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, Working President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, condoled the sad demise of the departed leader.
The statement said: “With heavy hearts we condole the people of India and the Muslim community on the sad demise of Maulana Muhammad Shafi Moonis, who died in Delhi today. He was a great pillar of the Indian Muslim community for the last six decades and played an active and leading role in all the affairs of the community these past decades. He was a former general secretary of Jamaat-e Islami Hind and a former general secretary as well as a former vice president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat. He was also involved with other milli organizations and activities. He was known for his considered views and steely steadfastness for issues of milli interest. A certain void has been created by the death of such a senior leader of the community who was involved with its affairs till his last days. While we deeply condole his sad demise, we pray to Allah ta’ala for his maghfirat and high station in Paradise. Ameen.”
RICH TRIBUTES PAID
In a condolence meeting held at the Jamaat headquarters on April 7, the leaders of Jamaat and other community leaders paid rich tributes to Maulana Shafi Moonis.
Deputy Amir of Jamaat Muhammad Jafar Saheb said that Maulana’s death was a great loss to the Jamaat, Indian Muslims and personally to him also. He said that the Maulana gave equal respect to people who came from different walks of life. He was a good listener, a keen observer, a deep analyst and a great arguer. He came across many difficulties during the course of his organizational duties but he never got disheartened or disappointed. He was a die-hard optimist who was always hopeful and saw the brighter side of things. He preferred Jamaat’s benefit to his own benefit and when it was the question of benefit of the Jamaat or the community he gave preference to the advantages of community. He was a great disciplinarian and was very punctual in attending meetings.
Syed Jalaluddin Umari, the Chief of Jamaat presided over the meeting, and said that Maulana Shafi Moonis was a self-made person who did not have the benefit of madrasa or university education but by his studies acquired vast knowledge both in religious and secular fields. He said that we can learn the art of achieving consensus by studying the life of Maulana Moonis who in spite of having his own set opinions always tried to reach consensus.
Mr Azharuddin, the All India President of Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) said that the Maulana played a key role in establishing and developing SIO. The Maulana stressed the point that SIO should play a pro-active role in educational institutions.
Dr Zafrul Islam Khan, Acting President of AIMMM, paying homage to the departed Maulana, said that he used to present his views comprehensively and forcefully but never tried to impose them.
Mr Javed Habib, Social Activist and former President of AMU Students’ Union, and Maulana Yusuf Islahi also praised Maulana Shafi Moonis. The meeting concluded after passing a condolence resolution and praying for peace and forgiveness for the late Maulana.