Dr Abdul Hameed Fayaz, who hails from Shopian’s Nadigam village, on Tuesday became the new Ameer-e-Jamaat of the largest socio-religious party of the state – Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir (JIJK). Out of the total 160, Fayaz got 79 votes to become the new leader.
Jamaat was established during the late nineteenth century, with an aim to make the urban Kashmiri Muslim fight against the Maharaja rule. The Jamaat’s origins majorly lay in the Islamic reforms and anti-Dogra movements.
Who is Dr. Abdul Hameed Fayaz?
Born in 1957, Fayaz is an Islamic scholar and is well known for his strong oration. Scores of people come to hear him from all across the state.
Fayaz’s journey to become an Islamic scholar first took off in 1978 when he joined Islami Jamait-e-Talaba. Four years later, in 1982, he became Nazim-e-Zillah of Anantnag, and later served as the Jamaat’s President for a brief period of ten years from 1987 till 1997.
He was then back to college in 2001, when he did Ph.D. in Urdu from University of Kashmir. Fayaz also went on to become the Ameer-e-Zillah for his home district, Shopian.
Before being elected as the Ameer-e-Jamaat, Fayaz served Jamaat as a General Secretary from 2009.
In his speeches, Fayaz has often stressed upon bringing a solution to the Kashmir issue. In an interview in 2013, he had said: “Jama’at considers Kashmir issue an international dispute whose resolution should be sought within the relevant resolutions of United Nations or if that is not possible due to any reason, then through tripartite talks with people of the state as the principal party.”
Jamaat has lost many prominent figures and frontline leaders in the 90s in Kashmir’s freedom struggle; and Fayaz, in his speeches, has always talked about their “sacrifice” as an attempt to fight for the “right to self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Under the new Ameer-e-Jamaat, Jamaat is expected to be more pro-freedom and have connect with youth.