Janaza prayers (Absentee funeral prayers) were held in two mosques in Sydney on Sunday 28 June for Syed Munawar Hasan, a former President of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan who passed away on Friday 26 June 2020 in Karachi. He was 78.
Limited number of attendees numbering up to 50 could only be accommodated at Marsden Park Masjid and Campbelltown Masjid due to COVID-19 restrictions where Janaza prayers were held organised by the Islamic Forum for Australian Muslims (IFAM).
The prayer leaders, Usaid Khalil and Ibrahim Khan respectively talked about the life and services rendered by Mr Hassan and made dua for the departed.
Born on 5 August 1941, Syed Munawar Hasan belonged to a highly educated, dignified, and religious family in Delhi and migrated to the city of Karachi, Pakistan after the after the partition of British India.
Munawar Hasan was the youngest of his siblings. He had leadership skills since childhood and participating in speech making and discussions was his hobby.
At Government College Nazimabad, he joined the leftist National Student Federation (NSF) and soon became its President in 1959.
At the same time, he encountered some activists of Islami Jamiat Talaba (Jamiat), an Islamic student organisation, who invited him to join the Jamiat and gave him Maulana Maududi’s literature.
Munawar Hasan soon joined the Jamiat in 1960 and became the elected president (Nazim) of Jamiat unit at the University of Karachi in 1963.
Under the guidance and training of Prof Khurshid Ahmed, Dr Zafar Ishaq Ansari and Khurram Murad, young Munawwar Hasan flourished as a student leader able to mobilise public opinion and became national President (Nazim-e-Ala) of Islami Jamiat Talaba 1966-68.
He obtained a masters degree in sociology in 1963 as well as in Islamic studies in 1966 from the University of Karachi.
He also joined the Islamic Research Academy at Karachi as a research assistant in 1963 and became its secretary general in 1969. Under his supervision, the academy published 70 scholarly books. He also served as managing editor of The Criterion and The Universal Message, Karachi.
Munawar Hasan became a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan in 1967. He served the Karachi unit as Assistant Secretary, Secretary, Deputy Ameer and Ameer 89-91 of the city of Karachi. He was then elected to the Central Shura and the Executive Council of the Jamaat.
He ran for the NA-191 Karachi-IX seat of the National Assembly of Pakistan in 1977 and secured the highest vote tally in Pakistan.
He was Assistant Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan in 1992–93 and became Secretary General in 1993 till 2008. He was elected Ameer (President) of Jamaat-e-Islami in 2008 till 2013.
Late Syed Munawar Hasan by his widow Ayesha Munawar, former Member National Assembly and Secretary General Jamaat-e-Islami Women division, son Talha Munawar, daughter Fatima Munawar, two brothers Syed Shafiq Hassan, former General Manager Textiles and former Director General Pakistan Telecommunications Syed Irshad Hassan
He was known for his simple living style and was cited as an example, “For decades he lived in a two-room portion in the house of Jamaat leader Naimatullah Khan in Karachi, content with the stipend from his party.”
Syed Munawar Hasan had always been more of an ideologue rather than a pragmatic leader trying to form political alliances with other parties in Pakistan able to work with his adversaries and those in idealogical opposition.
The Islamic Forum for Australian Muslims, Acting President Dr Kashif Aziz, IFAM Central Shura and members express their deeply sadness by the departure of Syed Munawar Hasan from this world and pray for him.