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May 2nd, 2010

Abdul Aziz Shora of Kashmir Passes away

Death of veteran Lahore Ahmadi journalist
Authority and reseacher into tomb of Jesus in Kashmir
Asked Quaid-i Azam at press conference “Who is a Muslim”

Obituary by Dr Khurshid Alam Tareen

With great sorrow and grief I am to inform you that one of the founding members of AAIIL (Kashmir) Mr Abdul Aziz Shora Alias Aziz Kashmir breathed his last on April 27, 2010 in SMHS Hospital after a brief illness. Mr Shora was 90 years old, and was born in 1919. He is survived by six sons and one daughter.

He joined journalism at the age of 19. Initially he worked with Urdu weekly ‘Al-Baraq’ and also with Khalsa Gazette. He founded Urdu paper Roshani in 1943, which was a weekly in the beginning but has come out as State’s reputed daily.

Mr Shora hailed from an Ahmadi Family. He had very strong convictions for the jamaat. When Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali appealed Ahmadi youth to come forward and get enrolled in Mubaligh Class. He also joined as an honorary member of the class. He was the only young man with a clean shave, all other members had beard. One of the old members questioned Late Hazrat Amir, Sir isn’t this a class of Ahmadiyya Mubalighs? He wanted to highlight the non-existence of Shora Sahib’s beard. To his question Hazrat Amir Replied aren’t you one of them?

Shora Sahib’s paper regularly published articles on Islam and Ahmadiyyat. He wanted to give this paper to Jamaat, but Jamaat didn’t have funds to run it. Hazrat Amir suggested that let Shora Sahib run the paper of his own since he is also spreading the light of Ahmadiyyat so Jamaat will give him some financial help. This was given in the shape of books.

Because of his sincerity and hard work he was chosen as General Secretary to the Press Forum of Jammu & Kashmir. Just before partition of India Hazrat Qaid-e-Azam Mr Muhammad Ali Jinnah spent his holidays in Srinagar. The press people wanted to interview the Qaid. Mr Shora was also among the journalists who met the Qaid. Maulana Zafar Ali Khan and his Ahrari counterparts had put a demand that Ahmadis should be declared Kafirs, and as such shouldn’t be allowed membership in Muslim League. Mr Shora posed same question to the Qaid-e-Azam to which he replied in English:

“What right I have to declare a person non-Muslim when he claims to be a Muslim. Any body who wants to get enrolled in Muslim League can do so irrespective of caste and creed.”

This interview was published in almost all leading papers of India including “Inqilaab” of Lahore. When Pakistan Assembly declared Ahmadis as Non-Muslims in 1973, the same article was reprinted in both Roshani and Paigham-e-Sulah Lahore.

Mr Shora Sahib was well read and had very good aptitude for research work. He also helped Khawja Nazir Ahmad during compilation of his monumental book “Jesus in Heaven on Earth.” Mr Kashmiri published his individual research as an independent venture under the title “Masi Kashmir Mein”, which was later translated into English with lot of new material. This English version bears the title “Christ in Kashmir.” This book has undergone several editions so far. He was acknowledged as a living authority on the Tomb of Jesus Christ at Rozabal Srinagar.

All the researchers who have worked on this subject met Mr Shora without fail. BBC team which was working on the Rozabal Tomb made a documentary of their research. YouTube has a video clip of the same, in which Mr Shora has been referred as an authority on the subject.

Mr Shora Sahib’s demise is great loss to Kashmir and Lahore Jamaat. May Allah bless his soul and grant him Jannat al-firdos. All Jamaat’s are requested to offer Namaaz Janaza for this noble soul.

7 Responses to “Abdul Aziz Shora of Kashmir Passes away”

  1. May 2nd, 2010 at 12:57 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    At the time of our second South Africa case in the late 1980s, Abdul Aziz Shora made a sworn declaration (original in Urdu in my possession) about the reply given by Mr Jinnah at the press conference about Ahmadis. Details are as below.

    In 1944, at a press conference in Srinagar, Kashmir, Mr. Jinnah gave his view on the issue of whether Ahmadis ought to be expelled from certain Muslim organisations. An Ahmadi journalist who was present, Mr. Abdul Aziz Shura, editor Roshni, has made a sworn statement, dated 15 January 1988, about the proceedings of this conference. We quote from this below:

    “I, Abdul Aziz Shura, known as Aziz Kashmiri, editor of the daily Roshni, Srinagar, Kashmir, make the following declaration under oath.

    “A delegation of the Kashmir Press Conference, Srinagar, which included several leading newspaper men, met Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, President of the Muslim League, at his appointed time, on 23 May 1944 at 11 a.m., at ‘Koshik’, Nishat, Srinagar, and asked various questions.

    “I asked Quaid-i-Azam, Who can join the All-India Muslim League? At this, Mr. M. A. Sabir, editor of al-Barq, told the Quaid-i-Azam that the background to the question was probably that in Kashmir Ahmadis were not allowed to join the Muslim conference. Quaid-i-Azam smiled and recorded his reply as follows:

    ‘I have been asked a disturbing question, as to who among the Muslims can be a member of the Muslim Conference. It has been asked with particular reference to the Qadianis. My reply is that, as far as the constitution of the All-India Muslim League is concerned, it stipulates that any Muslim, without distinction of creed or sect, can become a member, provided he accepts the views, policy and programme of the Muslim League, signs the form of membership and pays the subscription. I appeal to the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir not to raise sectarian questions, but instead to unite on one platform under one banner. In this lies the welfare of the Muslims. In this way, not only can Muslims make political and social progress effectively, but so can other communities, and so also can the state of Kashmir as a whole.’

    “Mr. M. A. Sabir tried as hard as he could to persuade the Quaid-i-Azam to declare Qadianis as being out of the fold of Islam. But the Quaid-i-Azam stuck resolutely to his principle and kept on replying: ‘What right have I to declare a person non-Muslim, when he claims to be a Muslim’.

    “The proceedings of this press conference were published, under my signature, in the Riyasati of that time and the Lahore newspapers, especially Inqilab, Shahbaz, Zamindar, Siyasat etc.”

    A brief report of this press conference is given in the Urdu book Tahrik Hurriyyat Kashmir, by Rashid Taseer, published by Muhafiz Publications, Srinagar, in volume 2 which covers the period 1936–1945 on pages 290–291. It refers to Mr. Jinnah’s reply on the Ahmadiyya issues as follows:

    “Reporters asked him a question about Ahmadis, that they were not being permitted to join the Muslim Conference because they were considered to be non-Muslims. What was his view on this? Mr. Jinnah said: ‘Who am I to declare as non-Muslim a man who calls himself a Muslim?’ It was after this that almost all the Ahmadis of Kashmir joined the Muslim Conference.”

    In a footnote, the names of several journalists are listed who attended this press conference. Among the names are: Mr. Ghulam Muhiyy-ud-Din Nur, editor Nur, Khawaja Sadr-ud-Din Mujahid, editor Khalid, Mr. Muhammad Ayub Sabir, editor al-Barq, and Mr. Abdul Aziz Shura, editor Roshni.

    For further details of this event see this link.

  2. May 19th, 2010 at 6:24 am
    From Dil Sooz:

    If the companions of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were like stars around shining moon then I want to say 2nd generation companions of Mujaddid /Imam of 14th Hijra Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Sahib (HMGA) were at least reflecting sand particles in serene moon light.

    Be it field of Journalism where late Shora Sahib was such an example or be it excellence in field of commerce like pious men of Sheikh family. In field of medicine we find Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan who established 1st Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Pakistan to expertise in nation building where we find 1st Minister of Finance of Pakistan . Please notice I have not mentioned any 1st generation companions of HMGA who are even more shining examples.

    All these people achieved so much success because they kept “faith over world”. As poet said: “Jab Husn ata hey to nazakat aa he jati hey”.

    I call upon any skeptic to show me any such grouping in Muslim Ummah who have such concentration of stalwarts in such a small group. As prophecy of HMGA shows Allah SWT has promised him an army of Intellectuals numbering in 5000 only for defense and propagation of Islam. Shora Sahib was indeed one of them. My eyes water as I imagine he fell as Mujahid doing his job as news bearer (journalist) in this “Qalmi Jihad”. May Allah raise him in Jannat ul Firdous. Amen.

  3. From the blog Pak Tea House

    “The truth is that Ahmadis were closely involved with Jinnah as early as 1931 when he went and attended Juma prayers at their London Mosque.  It was the  Imam of the Woking Mosque who being Jinnah’s close friend convinced him in 1934 to return to India and take over the Muslim League.”

    Can some one throw more light on this?  The author of the blog article does not mention that the woking mosue was run by the Lahore movement.  Also I was wondering if generally some one can throw more light on the relationship of the Lahore Ahmadiyya elders with Jinnah.  I believe Jinnah was once a guest at Maulana Muhammad Ali’s home in Lahore (some function in Jinnah’s honour I think) and Jinnah made a comment to MMA saying some thing to the effect of Maulana being too agressive in promoting Islam! 

  4. July 12th, 2010 at 9:20 am
    From Usman Khan:

    @Dil Sooz
    Re. First Finance Minister: Do you mean the anti-democratic Malik Ghulam Muhammad? I hope you do not and it is me who is mistaken.

  5. July 12th, 2010 at 12:22 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Malik Ghulam Muhammad was not an Ahmadi, and Dil Sooz cannot be referring to him. Could it be Mian Ghulam Abbas Tamim (son of Mian Ghulam Rasul Tamim of Jhang), who was Auditor-General of Pakistan?

  6. Yes I was referring to Mian Ghulam Abbas Tamim S/O Mian Ghulam Rasul Tamim of Jhang, who left his lucrative career as financial expert in London to come to aid of nascent state of Pakistan

  7. March 4th, 2014 at 6:53 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    At this link you will find the Audit Code of Bangladesh containing also Prefaces from earlier editions for Pakistan and British India. On pages ii and iii are prefaces by our Mian Ghulam Abbas, one dated 1951 and a later dated 1959 as "Comptroller and Auditor-General".

    See also this link from an archive. It is about the Conference of Commonwealth Auditors-General in July 1954, and is a list of the delegates who appeared in a photograph. One is : "Mr. Ghulam Abbas (Auditor-General, Pakistan)". The photo does not appear to be there, however.

    Also, it is stated in Maulana Muhammad Ali's biography regarding the printing of the first edition of his English translation of the Quran in 1915/16:

    "It was decided to have the English translation printed in England because the printing machines that were required for the high
    quality, fine paper that was to be used were not available in India. So Maulana Sadr-ud-Din at Woking was entrusted with the arrangements for its printing, a task which he fulfilled extremely well. Later on, Mian Ghulam Rasul’s son Mian Ghulam Abbas also
    went to Woking for the same work." (A Mighty Striving, p. 146)