How Ghazi brothers got hold of seminaries

There is a general misconception that the Lal Masjid clerics who are making the headlines nowadays owe their ‘glory’ to the blessings of intelligence agencies. The facts tell a different story.

It would be interesting to know how Maulana Abdullah, the late father of the Ghazi Brothers ‘maneuvered’ to get the Khitabat of Lal Masjid and Jamia Faridia. Equally interesting would be to know why masjid and madrasah were respectively named as Lal Masjid and Jamia Faridia. It was the late Field Marshal Ayub Khan, the country’s first military ruler, who got appointed late Maulana Abdullah as the prayer leader of Lal Masjid, on the advice of his spiritual guide, Pir Sahib of Deval Sharif.

Jaafar Brothers, one of the leading industrialist groups of the country who had constructed Jamia Faridia, in order to show reverence to the great Sufi Saint Khawaja Ghulam Farid named the seminary after him. It was handed over to the Maulanas by the then secretary CBR, Syed Hassan Akhtar. The land for Jamia Faridia was allotted during the late Gen Zia’s regime.

This was due to the blessing of Pirs that Lal Masjid Maulanas could manage to take over these religious seats. A graduate of Jamia Binnoria, Karachi, late Maulana Abdullah landed in Rawalpindi soon after President Ayub Khan took the decision to shift the capital to Islamabad. He took oath of allegiance to the then Pir of Deval Sharif, Muhammad Abdul Majid. This was a significant move on part of a Deobandi Maulana.

The information has been verified by the son of Pir Deval Sharif, Rooh-ul-Husnain Moeen and coordinator of Auqaf Department, Syed Muhammad Ali Wasti who says that many people told his father about the religious school of thought of late Maulana Abdullah, but Pir Sahib gave no importance to the point and considered and treated him like a changed man.

Maulana Abdullah served as the prayer leader in the mosque of Pir Sahib and later requested him to exercise his spiritual influence over his disciple, Gen Ayub.

Pir Sahib Deval Sharif helped Maulana Abdullah in his appointment as Khateeb of Lal Masjid. The Auqaf Department later took over Lal Masjid, but Maulana’s religious dynasty kept on flourishing unhindered. It was during Zia regime that Jamia Faridia was established. As the story goes, a partner of ‘Jaafar Brothers’ dreamed that he was at the tomb of Khawaja Ghulam Farid and that a river full of water was flowing around. He shared the dream with Syed Akhtar Hassan, the-then secretary CBR, and sought his interpretation of the dream.

Akhtar termed the dream as a good omen and advised him to build a seminary and name it after Khawaja Ghulam Farid. Jaafar did accordingly. Akhtar helped him acquire the land from the government of late Gen Zia. Admiral (retd) Muhammad Sharif, whose son-in-law (Sha’aban Shoukat) these days is running a massage center (spa) in Super Market, had then allotted this land. Interestingly, Lal Masjid brigade had raided an alleged prostitution den and then a massage center. However, the massage centre of Sha’aban Shoukat was not touched. Sha’aban was a CBR officer and left the CBR job to start this apparently lucrative business. The CBR secretary handed over the management of the Jamia to Maulana Abdullah and since-then the seminary has been under the command of the family.

Why Lal Masjid was so called? Some say that it was named after Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a highly revered saint of Sindh buried in Sehwan Sharif. This may well have been a ploy of the military government of Ayub Khan to please the people of Sindh who were not at all happy with the shifting of the capital from Karachi to Islamabad. It was most probably due to this reason that its walls were painted with red colour.


16 Comments so far

  1. Phil (unregistered) on July 8th, 2007 @ 9:42 pm

    Great post, very informative! Thanks!

    I thought its called Lal Masjid coz of the bricks, made of red soil… Anyways, the word Lal is usually used with things and persons who embrace ‘shahadat‘.

  2. d0ct0r (unregistered) on July 8th, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

    interesting post.. 3 dictators(Ayub-zia-Mush) and 3 maulanas..(Abdullah-Abdul Aziz-Rasheed Ghazi) ..

  3. binary-zero (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 12:59 am

    i just feel so bad about media now, most of them are giving very much time to anti-govt. or (i would called them) terrorists. They are being biased here, not sure if any one feels like that too.

  4. ahmad (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 1:51 am

    Good work but i would like to know that when and how Moulana Abdullah was killed and who was behind the murdur?

  5. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 2:40 am

    Well the mosque is called Lal Masjid after the Lal quarters in the vicinity.

    Interesting read … and wow … Spa’s being inter-linked with ghazis here …!

  6. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 2:56 am

    @B-Z: after listening to all that crap, eeman taaza hojata hay, nahiin :-)

  7. Phil (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 3:01 am

    I understand that A, but why are Lal Quarters called Lal Quarters? Paint, bricks or soil?

    Red Fort because of red bricks, and soil.

  8. redsnapper (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 4:23 am

    @FaKeeRa: Very informative but two questions:

    When you say the info was verified by son of Pir and coordinator from Auqaf, did you verify yourself ?

    Lal Masjid folks are die-hard deobandis and have always been so. Deobandis refer to Pirs/Sufis and their followers as grand “mushriks” (though the declarations have gone underground eversince formation of mma).

    How could they live with having a seminary named after a pir/saint/sufi ?

    Would really look forward to a response.

  9. TURAB (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

    Wahabis have red mosques and hence the mosque (constructed on illegal land) is red….. The media is the worst! geo and ary are trying their level best to down play all the positives from the govt’s side! they are worst than fox news in terms of bias

  10. Babar (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

    I havent watched ARY, but GEO is doing a very very bad job. Well but you know where the sympathies of most of their hosts lie and also their mental level. But I think GEO never had any credibility anyways. As we say in Lahore, its a 2 number channel.

  11. Babar (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

    I always knew about the deep connections of their sister urdu daily and the mullahs, but wasnt aware so far about their electronic media.

  12. FaKeeRa (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 6:31 pm

    sorry for not mentioning the source before. I forgot to add that.
    well, both the articles are from The News, I tried to get to the actual link was not able to revive it from there, So I put the main link.
    and once again Sorry for not mentioning it before.

  13. redsnapper (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 7:45 pm

    @FaKeeRa: searched the link for you. It is

    You can put it in your post.

    I would disagree with the assertions made int the article however. The link with intelligence agencies is not negated by anything in the story.

    Check the story on BBC Urdu. It is quite different. According to BBC, Allama Binnori (of Binnori Town Madressa in Gurumander Karachi) requested Ayub to appoint Maulana Abdullah.

    Maulana Abdullah, Ghazi Raseed’s father, was very close to Mufti Mahmood and became the center of Anti Bhutto movement in 1977. Maulana Fazl, of course, you would know is son of Mufri Mahmood.

    Read the article, its very interesting.

  14. sohaib (unregistered) on July 16th, 2007 @ 4:30 pm

    People call them clerics…..Rightly.
    they were absoluteley right with their concepts about ‘Sharia’ but were absolutely wrong with the way they wanted, to impose it. they’ve been involved in politics and war(which they called jihad).
    Which Islam were they repersenting?

  15. ELi (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

    i want to point out here that Pir Sahab of Deval Shreef is ‘Barelvi’ . and its very rare for deobandis to consult barelvis.

  16. ELi (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

    Pir sahab of deval shairf is from ‘Barelvi’ firkah and its very rare for deobandis to consult or take advices from barelvis!!!

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