09 January 2021

Islamic scholar, senior ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Dr. Rafat passes away

 JIH Prez calls it a great loss to Islamic Movement, country


New Delhi: Islamic scholar, prolific writer and senior ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), Dr Muhammad Rafat, who recently retired as a professor from Jamia Millia Islamia, passed away on Friday evening at the Al-Shifa Hospital, New Delhi. He was 65 years of old and is survived by three sons, two daughters and his widow. His widow-Nusrat-is the daughter of former President of the JIH and a well-known Islamic scholar, Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari. His funeral prayer will be held on Saturday evening here at the JIH Markaz mosque (Masjid Ishat-e-Islam).


Expressing condolences over his death, JIH President Syed Sadatullah Husaini said: “The demise of Dr Rafat is a great loss for the Muslim Ummah, the Islamic Movement and the entire country. He was a leading intellectual, tremendous leader, firm ideologue and a benevolent mentor. He was an erudite scholar of Islam and a prolific writer. He was blessed among many qualities with a razor sharp memory and an unmatched ability to give speeches on a myriad of topics without any notes in such a coherent manner that it would appear as if he is reading a written essay. He led an extremely simple life and had a very pleasant disposition. He was a teacher of theoretical physics. This subject of science has a deep connection with philosophy, so he made a direct study of philosophy and important ideas of science from its original sources. As one of the foremost ideologues of Jamaat, he always upheld and acted on the basic and core principles of Islam. May Allah forgive his sins and grant him the highest Paradise.”


A native of Khurja in Bulandshahr district of the Western UP, Dr. Rafat did his MSc in Physics from the Aligarh Muslim University in 1976 and PhD from IIT-Kanpur. He joined Jamia Millia Islamia in 1985, one year after receiving his PhD degree. He retired as Professor- Department of Applied Sciences and Humanities from the Jamia Millia on July 31, 2020.

Dr. Rafat, who was associated with the Islamic movement ever since his student days, was a member of the Central Advisory Council, the highest decision-making body of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind from 1999 till his death. He wrote more than 15 books on various subjects in Urdu and English languages.


Besides being director of the Centre for Study and Research (CSR) of JIH, for the last two years, he had also previously worked as chairman of the JIH’s Tasneefi Academy (Authors Academy) and all India secretary of the Jamaat’s Tarbiyah Department (Training Dept.). He also gave his services as the JIH President of Delhi and Haryana from 1995 to 2011. He had also worked as honorary editor of Urdu monthly, Zindagi-e-Nau, an Islamic research magazine, from 2009 to 2019. Besides, he headed several important committees of the JIH for policy-formulation and the creation of new institutions and allied organizations. 

After the news of his death was broken, large number of messages started pouring in on social media and other groups, expressing condolence and remembering his contribution to the Islamic movement in the country.
In a message on the social, Dr. Omair Anas, a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) alumnus, currently assistant professor in International Relations at Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey, compared Dr. Rafat with a “sufi”, having no worldly greed, a man full of humility and simplicity.

JIH’s Public Relation’s Director Mujtaba Farooq, in his condolence message, said that Dr. Rafat was having the qualities of a Muslim “Dervish”. He described him as “confluence of the modern knowledge and Islamic thought because he had very deep knowledge about the modern contemporary issues as well as Islam”.

His colleagues at Jamia Millia Islami remembered him as a genius and yet, a very humble human being always ready to help anyone who approached him with any problem. Prof Masood Alam, who joined the Jamia the same day Dr. Rafat joined, said, “Dr. Rafat was a man of very high quality. It is impossible to find a man like him”. Speaking about his knowledge, Dr. Alam said that while Dr Rafat taught physics, he was having equal command over mathematics and students as well as teachers benefitted from his vast knowledge. “Vo Jamia mein har dil Aziz thay” (He was loved by all in Jamia), said Dr. Alam.

Dr. Musheer Ahmad, former Head of the Department of Physics and Humanities, who gave farewell to Dr. Rafat on his retirement in July 2020, described Dr Rafat as “very nice, supportive, cooperative and humble” human being. He helped every one who came to him with a problem, whether he was a student or a teacher.

Speaking about the vastness of Dr Rafat’s knowledge, Dr. Ahmad said that while Dr Rafat taught physics, in several cases he guided students and teachers in research work on social sciences subject. He said that several years ago, Dr.Rafat provided him material and guided him in preparing a speech on Islam and Christianity at the Carmel Convent school that had a very good effect on the audience.

“Dr Rafat was a thorough gentleman. There is no parallel to his knowledge in physics”, Dr. Ahmad commented about Dr Rafat. PR/Sources/India Tomorrow.


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