Who Was Maulana Samiul Haq, the Slain ‘Father of Taliban’?

Who Was Maulana Samiul Haq, the Slain ‘Father of Taliban’?

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Video Producer: Anubhav Mishra & Debayan Dutta

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

An influential Pakistani cleric, Maulana Samiul Haq- also dubbed the “Father of Taliban”, was killed at his residence in Rawalpindi by unknown assailants on Friday, 2 November.

Haq, an 82-year-old heart patient, was the head of the Islamic religious seminary Darul Uloom Haqqania in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Akora Khattak town and also the chief of the hardline political party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Sami (JUI-S).

Haq's sprawling Haqqani seminary taught many of Afghanistan's Taliban and thousands of other students a strict interpretation of Islam. His seminary even received funding of millions of dollars from President Imran Khan's provincial government in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.

Here’s taking a look back at the life of the religious leader, who’s passing has left the country in a state of strife.

Maulana Samiul Haq. 
Maulana Samiul Haq. 
(Photo: AP)

Born on 18 December, 1937, in Akora Khattak of Nowshera district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Haq seemed to follow in his father’s footsteps. His father, Maulana Abdul Haq, was also a prominent religious cleric of the times, a report by The Express Tribune, said.

According to reports, he began his education in around 1946 at the Darul Uloom Haqqania, which had reportedly been founded by his father. In this institution, he studied fiqh, usul al-fiqh, Arabic literature, logic, Arabic grammar (sarf and nahw), tafsir, and Hadith.

Following his father’s death in the 1980s, Haq decided to enter the field of politics. Gaining influence and prestige, he became the head of his faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S), a party founded by Shabbir Ahmad Usmani as an offshoot of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) in 1947 in Pakistan, The Express Tribune reported.

In this time, he was also elected as a member of the Senate twice. 

‘A Religious Teacher’

Initially working as a teacher of grammar and literature, Haq specialized in the teaching of Hadith and Tafseer and later became the Chancellor of the seminary- Darul Uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak.

Haq's sprawling Haqqani seminary taught many of Afghanistan's Taliban and thousands of other students a strict interpretation of Islam.

Haq’s followers crowding the van in which his body is being carried. 
Haq’s followers crowding the van in which his body is being carried. 
(Photo: AP)
Sirajuddin Haqqani, the deputy leader of the Haqqani network, a US-designated terrorist organization, was one of dozens of Taliban leaders who graduated from Haq’s seminary, located in the conservative Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province on the border with Afghanistan, AP reported.

Also Read : ‘Father of Taliban’ Maulana Samiul Haq Assassinated in Rawalpindi

Haq’s seminary, which was dubbed as the “University of Jihad”, had several other extremist leader among its alumni including Haqqani Network founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AIQS) leader Asim Umar and slain Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, AP reported.

According to The Express Tribune, Haq was also one of the drafters of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (the Finality of the Prophethood) law that was put in action in former Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s government.

Relationship with Imran Khan and PTI

Haq was a known ally of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Earlier this year, Khan had been widely criticized for embracing Haq ahead of Pakistan's July elections, which turned the former cricketer-turned-politician in power.

Other than this, Khan’s provincial government in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa had also donated millions of dollars to Haq’s hard-line seminary. 

At the time, Khan had defended the move, saying he wanted to see Pakistan's thousands of madrassas, or religious schools, broaden their curriculum.

Responding to the news of Haq’s death, Khan expressed his condolences from Beijing, where he is on official tour, and directed the investigating agencies to begin operations into the incident.

Also Read : Farokh Urges Imran Khan to Restore India-Pakistan Test Ties

Haq is survived by his wife and his nine children – four sons and five daughters. Haq’s family also extends on to his four brothers, including a man named Maulana Anwarul Haq, who has presently taken charge of running Haq’s Darul Uloom Haqqania, The Express Tribune reported.

(Participate in the second edition of The Quint's My Report Debate and win Rs 10,000. Write an essay on how to fix India and Pakistan's relationship. Submit now)

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