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Dr. Israr Ahmad (26 April 1932 – 14 April 2010) was a Pakistani Islamic theologian, philosopher, and Islamic scholar who was followed particularly in South Asia as well as by South Asian Muslims in the Middle East, Western Europe, and North America.

He was the founder of Tanzeem-e-Islami, an offshoot of the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Ahmad was born on 26 April 1932 in Hisar, Punjab, to Haryanvi-speaking Ranghar/Rajput family.[8] His father was a civil servant in the British Government[8] who relocated his family from Hisar to Montgomery, now Sahiwal, Punjab Province of Pakistan.[6][8]

After graduating from a local high school, Ahmad moved to Lahore to attend the King Edward Medical University in 1950.[4] He received his MBBS degree from King Edward Medical University in 1954 and began practising medicine. In addition, he obtained his master's degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Karachi in 1965.[4]

Dr Israr Ahmad worked briefly for Muslim Student's Federation in the Independence Movement and, following the creation of Pakistan in 1947, for the Islami Jami`yat-e-Talaba and then in 1950 joined Jamaat-e-Islami led by Abul Ala Maududi, but left the party when the latter opted for participating in electoral politics in 1957. Dr Israr resigned from the Jamaat-e-Islami in April 1957 because of its involvement in national politics, which he believed was irreconcilable with the revolutionary methodology adopted by the Jama'at in the pre-1947 period. His interest in Islam and philosophy grew further and he subsequently moved to Karachi, Sindh Province in the 1960s. where he enrolled in Karachi University.

He criticised modern democracy and the prevalent electoral system and argued that the head of an Islamic state could reject the majority decisions of an elected assembly. Dr Israr Ahmad was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1981. He has authored over 60 books in Urdu on topics related to Islam and Pakistan, nine of which have been translated into English and other languages.

Dr Israr Ahmad relinquished the leadership of Tanzeem-e-Islami in October 2002 because of bad health. He had appointed Hafiz Akif Saeed (his son) the Emir of the Tanzeem (from 2002 to 2020) to whom all rufaqaa of Tanzeem renewed their pledge of Baiyah.

Originally a member of Jamaat-e-Islami, Dr Israr became disappointed with its electoral activity, "significant policy matters", and what he saw as the "lack of effort to create an Islamic renaissance through the revolutionary process." He and some other individuals resigned from JI and in 1956 founded the nucleus of Tanzeem-e-Islami, an attempt to create a "disciplined organization." "A resolution was passed which subsequently became the Mission Statement of Tanzeem-e-Islami.

Along with his work to revive "the Qur'an-centered Islamic perennial philosophy and world-view" Israr Ahmad aimed with his party to "reform the society in a practical way with the ultimate objective of establishing a true Islamic State, or the System of Khilafah".

A major Pakistani English-language newspaper commented about his views of modern democracy and the electoral system, "A critic of modern democracy and the electoral system, Israr believed that the head of an Islamic state can reject majority decisions of an elected assembly.

Award: Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) Award by the President of Pakistan in 1981 for his services in the field of religious instruction.

Dr. Israr Ahmad died of cardiac arrest at his home in Lahore on the morning of 14 April 2010 at the age of 78. He had given up the leadership of Tanzeem-i-Islami in 2002 due to poor health. According to his son, his health deteriorated at around 1:30 am with pain in the back. He was a long time heart patient. His survivors included a wife, four sons and five daughters.

One major Pakistani English-language newspaper commented after his death, "Founder of several organisations like Anjuman-i-Khuddamul Quran, Tanzeem-i-Islami and Tehrik-i-Khiiilafat, he had followers in Pakistan, India and Gulf countries, especially in Saudi Arabia. He spent almost four decades in trying to reawaken interest in Quran-based Islamic philosophy.

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