Not exactly a bleeding-heart liberal, but open-minded by religious standards, Maulana Marghubur Rahman - the 96-year-old influential rector of Islamic seminary , Darul Uloom - died on Wednesday at his ancestral home in UP's Bijnor.
A young Rahman had waged an offensive from the seminary against the Muslim League and Mohammed Ali Jinnah's call for a separate Muslim state. Indian Muslims, he would argue, belonged to India.
In February 2008, while delivering a speech, Rahman had invoked a Quranic principle to declare killing of innocents as anti-Islamic, which became the foundation of Deoband's fatwa (edict) against terror, first reported by HT.
"He was the spiritual force behind my initiative against terror. He cited a Quranic verse that expressly forbid killing of innocents. This became the basis of the anti-terror fatwa," Rajya Sabha member Mahmood Madni said.
Born in 1914 in Bijnor, Rahman joined Darul Uloom Deoband in 1929 and came under the influence of nationalist clerics, such as Hussain Ahmed Madani, the great grandfather of Mahmood Madni. Darul had vehemently opposed the two-nation theory that was the basis for the creation of Pakistan.