LAHORE: Noted scholar and Tehrik Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi died at a local hospital on Thursday night after a short bout of fever.
Rizvi, 55, left behind a widow, two sons and two daughters. Rizvi’s aides said he had been suffering from fever for the last few days, which he apparently caught during his two-day sit-in at Rawalpindi from November 14 through 16.
On Thursday, his condition suddenly deteriorated and he almost fainted in the evening. He was taken to the Sheikh Zayed Hospital and, according to hospital sources, was pronounced dead after reaching the emergency ward.
The TLP leadership was in a consultation meeting till the filing of this report in the evening on announcing the burial time and place.
Rizvi became one of the strongest voices for the honor of Holy Prophet (PBUH) four years ago when he led a sit-in at Islamabad against the PML-N government demanding release of Mumtaz Qadri, the Punjab police official who shot dead the-then governor Punjab Salman Taseer for alleged blasphemy.
With his often harsh tone and choice of strong words, he became the most popular leader of Barelvi school of thought within no time, as he led many protests and sit-ins, countering challenges to the cause of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (PBUH), demanding punishment to the blasphemy accused and opposing an amendment to the oath of parliamentarians by omitting the words of finality of the prophethood.
His sudden rise in the country’s politics four years back shook up politics, as a vast majority of Ahle Sunnat population, which was opposed to government policies on blasphemy issue, followed him.
This benefitted his party TLP in 2018 elections when it became the fifth largest party in terms of votes polled as it bagged over 2.2 million votes. The TLP was originally founded as a religious, apolitical organization, but was turned into a political party before 2018 elections.
Born on June 22, 1966 in village Nikka Kalan of Attock district, Khadim Hussain Rizvi received his basic education from various seminaries in Pindi and Jhelum before settling in Lahore and completing Dars-e-Nizami from Jamia Nizamia Rizvia.
He later began teaching at the same seminary besides specializing in Hadith, Arabic Grammar, Logic, and other subjects. He became paralyzed waste down as a result of a road accident in mid-90s. Since then he has always been on a wheelchair, supported by aides and family members.
A number of political and religious leaders expressed sorrow over his sudden death and condoled with the family. "On the passing of Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi my condolences go to his family. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un," tweeted Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed heartfelt condolence on the death of Allama Rizvi, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations. “May Allah Almighty bless the departed soul in eternal peace,” the COAS said.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed sorrow over the death of the TLP chief. In a statement, he said, “May Allah bless his [Khadim Rizvi] soul and give patience to the bereaved family and his supporters.” Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz also took to the micro-blogging site and condoled the death of the religious leader.
Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri expressed deep sorrow and grief over the death of TLP leader. In his condolence message, he prayed for the departed soul. He said the services of the cleric for Islam will be remembered for a longer period.
"Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi's death is a tragedy," said Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi. "We offer condolences to Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi's family," he added. Punjab government spokesperson Firdous Ashiq Awan also offered condolences on the death of Rizvi.
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