The TLP leader was suffering from fever since the past few days, confirmed family sources. He had complained about the fever as he led a protest at the Faizabad Interchange a few days ago.
After Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s health deteriorated, he was taken to a local hospital on Thursday evening. He had expired before arriving for treatment, confirmed hospital sources. They added that those who accompanied Rizvi to the hospital did not provide any information about any history of the disease.
Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s body was later taken to his residence at Grand Battery Stop, Multan Road, where a large amount of TLP workers gathered.
Pir Aijaz Ashrafi, a senior leader of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA), in a statement said the timings of his funeral prayers will be announced later. His death was also confirmed by Dr Asif Ashraf Jalali, the head of TLYRA. Jalali said Rizvi passed away at his home in Chowk Yateem Khana in Lahore.
The firebrand cleric made his last public appearance at a sit-in staged by thousands of TLP followers at Islamabad’s Faizabad Interchange to protest the publication of blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in France. The group had decided to end the sit-in on Monday after successful negotiations with the government.
Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri expressed grief and sorrow over the TLP chief’s demise. He said, “Pakistan has lost a respected religious scholar and true admirer of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)”, adding that Rizvi’s services for Islam will be remembered for long.
Born in 1966 in the Pindi Gheb area of Attock district, Punjab, Rizvi was said to be an introvert who shied away from talking about his personal life even among his close circles, let alone with media personnel. A Hafiz-e-Quran and Sheikh-ul-Hadith, Rizvi used to deliver Friday sermons at Lahore’s Pir Makki Masjid, located near Daata Darbar, during his time in the Punjab Auqaf Department.
Rizvi had been confined to a wheelchair since 2006 ever since an accident near Gujranwala. Contrary to rumours, Rizvi was injured because the driver of his vehicle fell asleep while driving from Rawalpindi to Lahore. Many mistook him as a Shia because of his last name, but in truth, he was a staunch follower of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, the 19th-century founder of the Barelvi sect.