June 20, 2021

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Shafi’is can show surprises

Following the announcement of the new committee of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, the followers of the late Amir Shah Ahmad Shafi, the founder Amir, have started pushing for the formation of a counter-committee. In the meantime, a draft of the 313-member committee has also been prepared. Now the work of finalizing the committee is going on. If all goes well, the counter-committee may be announced next week, officials said. At the same time, the process of formation of Shura Committee and Central Advisory Committee in the same size has started in the 15 to 31 Central Majlis. Maulana Moinuddin Ruhi, the joint secretary general of the founding committee of Hefazat, said, “There may be a surprise in the committee.”

Meanwhile, the leaders of the 33-member central committee, which announced Allama Hafez Junaid Babungari as emir and Nurul Islam Jihadi as secretary general, could be further expanded, the committee leaders said. However, the scope of the committee will increase step by step.

Discussions have started about who can come to the top leadership in the counter committee of Hefazat. Former leaders of Hifazat have expressed inability to say who has been included in the draft list of the 313-member committee, but the names are being heard. Madhupuri, Allama Rezaul Karim Pir Saheb Charmonai, Ataullah Hafezi, former Joint Secretary General Maulana Moinuddin Ruhi, former Assistant Secretary General Obaidur Rahman Khan Nadvi, Maulana Sajedur Rahman, former director of the Islamic Foundation. Mostaq Ahmed, Maulana Ruhul Amin Khan, Maulana Ruhul Amin Khan Ujani, Mufti Mianur Rahman Saeed, Maulana Hafizur Rahman Siddiqui, Faizul Karim Pir Saheb Charmonai etc. Most of these leaders held various important positions in the first Central Committee of Hefazat. In the new central committee announced last Monday, Ataullah Hafezi got the post of Naib Amir.

From these leaders, discussions are going on that Amir, Secretary General can be elected. Apart from this, discussions are going on with one or two people about bringing leadership. Maulana Yusuf Madani, the eldest son of the late Amir Ahmad Shafi, and Maulana Anas Madani, the youngest son, may also hold important positions. Among them, Anas Madani was the publicity secretary in the first committee of Hefazat. After the death of Ahmed Shafi, there was a 201-member committee, then a five-member convening committee and lastly a 33-member central committee on Monday. However, in a 33-member committee, Yusuf Madani was appointed assistant secretary general, but he declined the post.

Followers of the late Amir Ahmed Shafi have organized a seminar on June 18 at the National Press Club auditorium in the capital. The seminar on the ongoing crisis and transition and the life, work and contribution of Allama Shafi is scheduled to be held on that day from 10 am to 5 pm in different stages. Three to four hundred scholars from all over the country are expected to attend these meetings throughout the day.

Asked about the counter-committee, Maulana Moinuddin Ruhi, acting secretary general and spokesperson of the Hefazat’s founding committee, said, “Why should we have a counter-committee? However, most of the members of the founding Shura Committee will take the final decision on the issue.

Several former Hefazat leaders said the Hefazat Central Committee was formed in January 2010. The initiative was taken to form another committee on August 13 last year, 10 years after the formation of the first central committee. Hafez Junaid Babungari was made the secretary general of the 151-member committee approved by Allama Shafi. Although it was a joint committee, it was not announced. Amir Shah Ahmad Shafi died on September 17 last year while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Dhaka.

Another leader said that the process of forming another new committee has started with the undisclosed committee approved by the then Amir. Many of those who have been left out of the Babungari-Jihadi-led committee (followers of Shafi) will be included in this committee of custody. Work is underway to involve the excluded scholars from many districts.

In this regard, Maulana Moinuddin Ruhi said, ‘Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi’s principles and ideals are being worked on to form a platform with scholars. Everyone who works tirelessly for the Muslim Ummah will be involved. We will move forward towards the decisions that will be taken unanimously at the June 16 meeting.

Asked about the rumors of a counter-committee, Maulana Mir Idris, the newly-elected organizing secretary of Hefazat, said, “I hope no one will make a mistake by forming a counter-committee.” He said, ‘The president of each district will be an ex-officio member in the central committee. The scope of the Central Committee may increase somewhat. However, no final decision has been made yet.