“He was man of very high quality. “Vo Jamia mein har dil Aziz thay” (He was loved by all in Jamia), says Dr. Masood Alam, Dr. Rafat’s colleague at Jamia Millia Islamia.
Syed Khalique Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI—Senior Ideologue of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind(JIH) Dr. Mohammad Rafat, who retired as a professor from the Department of Applied Sciences and Humanities at Jamia Millia Islamia in July this year, expired around 10.30 pm on Friday.
He was above 65 years of age and is survived by three sons, two daughters and his widow. While his eldest son-Mohammad Saad-is married and works as an electrical engineer in Kuwait, his elder daughter is married to the son of Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, former Ameer of JIH’s Gujarat unit.
Dr. Rafat’s widow-Nusrat-is the daughter of former Ameer of the JIH and a well-known Islamic scholar, Maulana Jalaluddin Umri.
According to his family, he contracted pneumonia on Friday evening and was rushed to Al Shifa Hospital. But the doctor on duty pronounced him “brought dead”.
For the last seven months, he had grown very weak because his haemoglobin level was constantly fluctuating and at one point, it had fallen below 3.5. Physicians had advised him to go for blood transfusion to raise the haemoglobin level but he did not agree.
A native of Khurja in Muzaffarnagar district of Western UP, he 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 from his service on July 31, 2020.
Dr. Rafat, who was associated with the Islamic movement ever since his student days, was a member of the Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora, 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.
Prior to 1995, he worked as Ameer-e-Muqami of JIH’s Abul Fazal Enclave unit. He also gave his services as President or Ameer-e-Halqa of Delhi and Haryana unit from 1995 to 2011, a period during which JIH set up its roots in different parts of Haryana, particularly in Mewat belt.
Besides being director of the Centre for Study and Research (CSR) for the last two years, he had also previously worked as chairman of the JIH’s Tasneefi Academy and secretary of the Jamaat’s Shoba-e-Tarbiyat(Department of Training).
Dr. Rafat, whose writings are compared with those of Maulana Sadruddin Islahi and other top intellectuals of JIH, also worked as honorary editor-in-chief of Urdu monthly, Zindagi-e-Nau, an Islamic research magazine, from 2009 to 2019.
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.
JIH Ameer Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, in a condolence message posted on his Facebook wall, described him as a “dervish” for his extreme simplicity and depth of his knowledge.
“The demise of Dr Rafat is a great loss for the Muslim Ummah, the Islamic Movement and the nation”, Mr Hussaini said, remembering him as a “sharp intellectual, great leader, a strong Islamic ideologue and a benevolent mentor”.
Praying for his “maghfirah”, JIH Ameer said that “as one of the foremost ideologues of the Jamaat, he always upheld and acted on the basic and core principles of Islam”.
Writing about his general conduct, Mr Hussaini said, “Dr Rafat led an extremely simple life and had a very pleasant disposition”.
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.