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Syed Ameenul Hasan Rizvi

Renowned journalist, intellectual and Supreme Court lawyer, Syed Ameenul Hasan Rizvi, died of a massive cardiac arrest in Bangalore on 5 February. He was 77. Rizvi who was on a visit to South India to follow up some legal case, had reached Bangalore just three days ago from Chennai. In Bangalore he complained of chest pain and was rushed to a hospital. He breathed his last in the same hospital in the morning of 5 February. 

Rizvi's death was shocking as he was still very much active in Muslim affairs in India. He had returned only recently from Surat and had co-authored a report on how the police had mishandled and tortured delegates who had assembled in the city to attend an educational conference organized by Tahreek-e-Ihyay-e Ummat. Police claimed that the organization was an offshoot of the banned SIMI. 

Rizvi was an active member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and was a member of its advisory council for 15 years. He worked with Jamaat-e-Islami Hind as its legal advisor for three years before taking over its mouthpiece Radiance Views-weekly as editor in 1977. He remained in that post for more than eight years. His tenure at the weekly is still counted to be the best years for the magazine and he is remembered as the best editor who served it. He fought Shah Bano case in the Supreme Court and presented Islamic views on the issue before the apex court. He was deeply involved in the struggle to secure the minority character of the Aligarh Muslim University. He also assisted the Commission probing the Bhagalpur riots. Rizvi was put behind bars during the infamous Emergency period proclaimed by the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the mid-1970s.

Author of several books including Supreme Court and the Muslim Personal Law, Dialogues Between Hindus and Muslims, Battles by the Prophet (in the light of Qur'an) and Three Major Errors in 12 English Translations of the Qur'an, he was a regular contributor to several newspapers and magazines on issues concerning religious harmony, Muslim personal law and Muslims.

Rizvi received his education in AMU from where he completed his BA in 1945 and Usmania University where he completed his law education in 1948. He practiced law for a few years in Raichur, Karnataka before setting off for a long journey that took him to Europe, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

For the last few years he was deeply involved with the Institute of Objective Studies and Milli Council besides a host of other social and religious organizations. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and seven sons. One of his sons is working with the Jeddah newspaper Saudi Gazette. 

Syed Ameenul Hasan Rizvi's death has been condoled by all Muslim organizations. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind's deputy chairman, Maulana Jalaluddin Ansar Umari has called his death a great loss of the community. Maulana Sirajul Hasan, Jamaat chairman also condoled his death. His death prayer in absentia was also offered at Jamaat's office in New Delhi. Several condolence meetings were also organized in the capital including in the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) and All India Talimi wa Milli Foundation. The IOS meeting was attended by a host of Muslim personalities in the capital including Muslim Personal Law Board chairman Maulana Mujahidul Islam Qasimi who described Rizvi's death as his personal loss as well as that of the community.

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