Dr. Israr Ahmad or Tanzeem-e-Islami
As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths (Al-Ankabut 29:69)
Dr. Israr Ahmad, the second son of a government servant, was born on April 26, 1932 in Hisar (a district of East Punjab, now a part of Haryana) in India. He graduated from King Edward Medical College (Lahore) in 1954 and later received his masters in Islamic Studies from the University of Karachi in 1965. He came under the influence of Allama Iqbal and Maulana Abul A`la Maududi as a young student, 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 for the Jama`at-e-Islami. Dr. Israr Ahmad resigned from the Jama`at in April 1957 because of its involvement in the electoral politics, which he believed was irreconcilable with the revolutionary methodology adopted by the Jama'at in the pre-1947 period.
While still a student and an activist of the Islami Jami`yat-e-Talaba, Dr. Israr Ahmad gained considerable fame and eminence as a Mudarris (or teacher) of the Holy Quran. Even after resigning from the Jama`at, he continued to give Quranic lectures in different cities of Pakistan, and especially after 1965 he has, according to his own disclosure, invested the better part of his physical and intellectual abilities in the learning and teaching of the Quranic wisdom.
Dr. Israr Ahmad wrote an extremely significant tract in 1967 in which he explained his basic thought that an Islamic Renaissance is possible only by revitalizing the Iman (true faith and certitude) among the Muslims, particularly their intelligentsia. The revitalization of Iman, in turn, is possible only by the propagation of the Quranic teachings and presenting the everlasting wisdom of the Book of Allah (SWT) in contemporary idiom and at the highest level of scholarship. This undertaking is essential in order to remove the existing dichotomy between modern physical and social sciences on the one hand and the knowledge revealed by Almighty Allah (SWT) on the other. This tract is available in English as Islamic Renaissance: The Real Task Ahead.
Dr. Israr Ahmad gave up his thriving medical practice in 1971 in order to launch a full-fledged and vigorous movement for the revival of Islam. As a result of his efforts, the Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Quran Lahore was established in 1972, Tanzeem-e-Islami was founded in 1975, and Tahreek-e-Khilafat Pakistan was launched in 1991.
Dr. Israr Ahmad first appeared on Pakistan Television in 1978 in a program called Al-Kitab; this was followed by other programs, known as Alif Lam Meem, Rasool-e-Kamil, Umm-ul-Kitab and the most popular of all religious programs in the history of Pakistan Television, the Al-Huda, which made him a household name throughout the country. Although he did not like to receive it personally, Dr. Israr Ahmad was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1981. He has to his credit over 60 Urdu books on topics related to Islam and Pakistan, 9 of which have been translated into English. In the context of Quranic exegesis and understanding, Dr. Israr Ahmad is a firm traditionalist of the genre of Maulana Mehmood Hassan Deobandi and Allama Shabeer Ahmad Usmani; yet he presents Quranic teachings in a scientific and enlightened way, being also a disciple of Allama Iqbal and Dr. Muhammad Rafiuddin, and also because of his own background in science and medicine. Concerning the internal coherence of and the principles of deep reflection in the Quran, he has essentially followed the thinking of Maulana Hameed Uddin Farahi and Maulana Ameen Ahsan Islahi, though even here he has further developed their line of argument. Dr. Israr Ahmad believes in a dynamic and revolutionary conception of Islam, and in this regard he is a disciple of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Maulana Sayyid Abul A`la Maududi.
For the last forty years or so, Dr. Israr Ahmad has been actively engaged not only in reviving the Quran-centered Islamic perennial philosophy and world-view but also reforming the society in a practical way with the ultimate objective of establishing a true Islamic State, or the System of Khilafah. He has widely traveled abroad and the audio and video tapes of his Quranic discourses in Urdu and English languages have circulated in thousands throughout the world.
A master's thesis, entitled Dr. Israr Ahmad's Political Thought and Activities, was written by Ms. Shagufta Ahmad in the Islamic Studies department of Canada's Mac Gill University. This thesis is available from Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Quran Lahore.
Dr. Israr Ahmad's weekly Urdu Khutbahs from Lahore are now available on the Tanzeem-e-Islami http://www.tanzeem.org.pk website.