Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, former president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, an erudite Islamic scholar and eminent author, breathed his last at Al Shifa Multispeciality Hospital in New Delhi at around 8.30 pm on August 26, following a prolonged illness. He was 87.
Born in a village called Puttagram in the North Arcot district of Tamil Nadu in 1935, Maulana Umari completed Alimiat and Fazilat (Masters in Islamic studies) from Jamia Darussalam, Omerabad, Tamil Nadu. He obtained his baccalaureate (Munshi Fazil) in Persian from the University of Madras. He also received a B.A (English) from Aligarh Muslim University.
Maulana Umari associated with JIH during his student life. After completing his studies, he dedicated himself to Shoba-e-Tasneef, Rampur (Jamaat’s research department which was shifted to Aligarh in 1970 and later registered as Idara Tahqeeq-o-Tasneef Aligarh with Maulana Umari as its Secretary; he later became its President). He formally joined the Jamaat in 1956. He served as the JIH city president of Aligarh for a decade. He was JIH Vice President for four consecutive terms from April 1990 to March 2007. He had been President (Ameer) of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind for three consecutive terms from 2007 to 2019.
Maulana Umari was rendering his valuable services as the chairman of the JIH Shariah Council since 2019. He was also Vice President All India Muslim Personal Law Board, a premier umbrella body of Indian Muslims. He was also President of Supreme Guidance Council of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat.
He was founder Editor of the quarterly Islamic research journal, Tehqeeqat-e-Islami since 1982. He was also Editor of Jamaat’s Urdu monthly organ Zindagi-e-Nau for five years from June 1986 to December 1990.
Being a noted Islamic scholar, educationist, researcher, orator, and author Maulana Umari has penned over 50 books in the Urdu language and contributed hundreds of research articles to various journals and magazines, on various topics including Islamic doctrines, Islamic jurisprudence, Dawah, Islamic social system, rights of women, human rights, contemporary challenges and political issues. Later, a large number of his books were translated into various languages from the original Urdu ones which include Islamic Solution to Human Issues; Ma’roof-o-Munkar; Inviting to Islam; Woman and Islam; Muslim Woman: Role and Responsibilities; Rights of Muslim Women – A Critique of the Objections; Submission to God Glory to man; Islam and Unity of Mankind; Of the Weak, Oppressed, and Islamic Shield; Islam: The Religion of Dawah; State of Our Community and Nation and Our Responsibilities; Muslim Women and Economic Enterprise; and Social Service in Islam. His other books in Urdu include Sehat-o-Marz aur Islam ki Taleemat, Inabat Ilallah, Sabeel-e Rab, and Islam Aur Manav Adhikkar. Many of his books have been translated into Indian and foreign languages like English, Hindi, Arabic, Turkish, Malayalam, Kannad, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, and Bangla languages.
He is survived by two sons and two daughters. His funeral prayer was led by JIH President Syed Sadatullah Husaini at Masjid Ishaat-e-Islam in the sprawling Jamaat campus in New Delhi, on August 27. He was buried in the nearby Shaheen Bagh graveyard.
Condolences Pour in from around the World
Religious leaders from across the communities all over the world and from various organisations condoled the death of Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari.
Expressing its deepest condolence to the entire Muslim community in India on its Arabic website, Ikhwanul Muslimoon (Muslim Brotherhood) said: “The Muslim Brotherhood, as it mourns this venerable scholar, extends its sincere condolences to the Islamic community in India and to his family, students and lovers, in India and around the world, praying to God Almighty to grant him the highest place in the Paradise with the prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs and the righteous, and those who are good companions.”
The Ikhwan’s message further said, “The Muslim Brotherhood extends its sincere condolences and sympathy to the entire Islamic community in India and to the Muslims of the Republic of India and its scholars on the death of the scholar Sheikh Jalaluddin Al-Umari, the former Emir of the Islamic community in India, who passed away at the age of 87.”
The condolence message began with a verse of Surah Ahzab, “Among the believers are men who are true to their covenant with God”, and ended with a verse of Surah Fajr that says, “Oh, the reassured soul. Return to your Lord, satisfied and well-pleasing. So enter among my (righteous) servants, and enter My Paradise.”
Syrian Muslim Brotherhood also extended deep condolences on the death of the former JIH president.
International Union of Muslim Scholars, in a condolence message in Arabic, said: “We have received with hearts full of contentment with God’s decree and destiny the news of the death of Sheikh Jalaluddin Al-Omari, Emir of the Islamic Community and member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.
The message further said: “Sheikh Al-Omari – may God have mercy on him. The deceased was one of the prominent figures working in support of truth and religion. He also played a major role in charitable and humanitarian works in India.”
Expressing grief over the death of Maulana Umari, Christian leader Fr. (Dr) M D Thomas said, “Hearty condolence. I knew him well. We had very cordial meetings. May Allah reward him a hundred fold.”
Sant Veer Singh Hatkari, in his condolence message, prayed Almighty Allah to give strength to the Maulana’s family and his relatives to bear the loss.
JIH Secretary General T. Arifali, condoling the death of Maulana Umari, said, “The Indian Muslim community has lost one of its prominent and outstanding leaders with the demise of Maulana Jalaluddin Umari, a renowned Islamic scholar and former Ameer, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’oon (We belong to Allah, to Him we return).”
“May Allah help us fill the void left by the departure of such a personality! May Allah forgive all his shortcomings and bestow His blessings, and provide him the highest pedestal in Jannatul Firdous. Aameen”, JIH Secretary General said.
Extending its deep condolences with the sad demise of the Maulana, Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) said, “Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari was one of the most erudite scholars of this century. His vision of Islam in a plural society laid down an incredible mark in the trajectory of Muslim Ummah across the globe and charted a way forward for an egalitarian society. He was also a great leader of Indian Muslims. His exemplary contributions, sacrifices and dedication towards Islamic movement till his last breath will inspire generations to carry the baton forward. We pray that Almighty Allah grant him the highest station in Jannatul Firdous and grant peace and tranquillity to his near and dear ones.”
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind president Maulana Mahmood Asad Madani expressed his deep grief and sorrow over the demise of the former JIH president. “Maulana Umari always welcomed the ‘ijtimaiyat’ (collective effort) in the cause of the Muslim community during his 10 years as the JIH president,” Maulana Madani said.
The JUH president described Maulana Umari as “a storehouse of knowledge, endowed with intuition, a great thinker and a man of high moral precepts.”
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimin (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi said that the demise of Maulana Umari, a great Islamic scholar and former president of the JIH, was a great loss to the Muslim community in India.
Former chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan prayed for the maghfirah of the Maulana and a high place in Paradise. “Another pillar of the community falls: Maulana Jalaluddin Umari, ex-Amir, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, celebrated author and orator, breathed his last today,” Dr. Khan said in a tweet.
All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat (AIMMM) president Navaid Hamid, in a tweet, described Maulana Umari as a “celebrated Islamic scholar.”
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), in a tweet, also expressed its condolences over the demise of Maulana Umari. The Board said that the Maulana, who was Board’s Vice President, gave his invaluable services to the Board as well as the Muslim community in India. It described Maulana Umari as a well-known writer, outstanding thinker and prudent Islamic scholar.
Palestine Scholars Association has also condoled the death of Maulana Umari. Expressing sorrow over the demise of the former JIH leader, a statement signed by the Association said, “We offer our condolences to the Muslim brothers in India in general and the brothers in the Islamic community in India in particular, as we offer our condolences to the Sheikh’s (Maulana Umari’s) family, loved ones, students and brothers for this great loss.”
Acknowledging the services of Maulana Umari, the Association said that the former JIH president passed away “after a life full of calling people to Almighty God and advocating issues of the oppressed, foremost of which was the issue of Palestine.”
“We, in the Council of Palestinian Scholars, received with great sadness, patience, and anticipation the news of his death of His Eminence Sheikh Jalal Al-Din Al-Omari,” the statement said.
Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to India Ali Chegeni, in a condolence letter to JIH president Syed Sadatullah Husaini, said he was “deeply grieved to hear about the passing away” of former JIH president Maulana Jalaluddin Umari.
“I express my deepest condolences on the passing away of this wise and learned personality to his respected family, you, and all the members of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind,” said the letter from the ambassador of Iran.
High Commissioner of Malaysia to India Hidayat Abdul Hamid telephonically registered his condolences with the JIH officials.
Dr. Muhammad Muzammil of Afghan Society for Social Reform and Development, in an Arabic message, also condoled the demise of Maulana Umari.
More and more condolence messages are pouring in.