KARACHI, May 30: Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, who advocated sectarian harmony throughout his life, was born on July 12, 1952, at Shamzai in Swat. He acquired his early education at Madressah Mazharul Uloom, Mingora, and completed a course in Dars-i-Nizami at Jamia Farooqia, Karachi.

Mufti Shamzai obtained master's degrees in Arabic and Islamiyat, and wrote his doctoral thesis on Imam Bokhari. He taught for almost 20 years at Jamia Farooqia. At the invitation of Mufti Ahmed-ur-Rahman, he moved to Jamiaul Uloom Islamia, Binnori Town, where he taught Hadith and supervised students studying for PhD in Fiqh. In 1997, he was elevated to the post of Shaikh-ul-Hadith which he held till his assassination.

Mufti Shamzai undertook many journeys to spread the message of Islam. He went to many European countries, including England and Germany and South African countries. Some of the books written by Maulana Shamzai are Zahoor-i-Imam Mehdi, exegeses of Saheeh Bokhari and Jamia Tirmizi. He wrote reviews of, and prefaces to, many books.

Mufti Shamzai wrote a weekly column in a newspaper in which he answered people's questions about various aspects of Islam. He took part in Afghanistan jehad and helped freedom-fighters.

He also extended support to the Taliban government in Afghanistan. He issued a Fatwa against the US when it launched an invasion of Afghanistan. In February 2001, he, along with the late Maulana Yousuf Ludhyanvi, pledged his loyalty to Maulana Masood Azhar of the Jaish-i-Mohammad.

Maulana Shamzai remained associated with many religious parties, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazlur Rahman group), Aalami Khatm-i- Nabowwat and Mufti Mahmood Academy. Maulana Shamzai leaves behind his widow, three sons and five daughters.

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