Khadim Hussain Rizvi

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Ameer-ul Mujahideen

Khadim Hussain Rizvi
Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi.jpg
1st Ameer of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan
In office
1 August 2015 – 19 November 2020
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded bySaad Hussain Rizvi
Born(1966-05-22)22 May 1966
Died19 November 2020(2020-11-19) (aged 54)
Political partyTehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan
OccupationPreacher, leader
Founder ofTehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan

Khadim Hussain Rizvi (Urdu: خادم حسین رضوی; 22 May 1966 – 19 November 2020[1]) was a Pakistani Islamic author and the founder of Tehreek-e-Labbaik,[2] a political-religious organization founded in 2015, known to protest against any change to Pakistan's blasphemy law.[3]

Fluent in Urdu, Punjabi, Arabic and Persian, he was known for his speeches in the defense of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, and apart from the Quran and hadith, for heavily quoting the poetry of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi and Muhammad Iqbal, whom he considered to be his main influences.[4]

Early life

Khadim Hussain Rizvi was born in 1966 into an Awan family[5] at the Pindigheb area of Attock District, Punjab. His brother, Ameer Hussain, is a retired Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) from Pakistan Army.[6]

He started hafiz class in Jhelum. Further, he took admission in Jamia Nizamia, Lahore.[2] He is a Hafiz-e-Quran and Sheikh-ul-Hadith.[7] He delivered Friday sermons at Lahore's Pir Makki Masjid while in the Punjab Auqaf and Religious Affairs Department.[2] He has been a wheelchair user since 2009 ever since an accident near Gujranwala as the driver of his vehicle fell asleep while driving from Rawalpindi to Lahore.[2]

In 2017, he founded a political party called Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a political front for Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYP).[8] TLP came into existence after the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri, who assassinated Salmaan Taseer, the Governor of Punjab, for opposing the blasphemy laws and subsequently rose to fame. During the assassination of the Governor, Rizvi was serving as an auqaf official in the Punjab government. Rizvi had justified the assassination on the pretext that Taseer had termed the blasphemy law as a "black law". He was served warning notices to cease and desist from spreading his views in favour of blasphemy laws but his refusal to do so led to his removal from public service.[2]

After his removal, Rizvi had more opportunity to preach his views. He travelled across the country to build support for Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which deals with blasphemy committed against Muhammad. He also spoke out for the release of Mumtaz Qadri; his persistent advocacy earned him the nickname of "blasphemy activist" in religious circles.[2]


2017 Faizabad sit-in

On 6 November 2017, Rizvi organized a long march from Lahore to Islamabad to press for the resignation of the Law Minister Mr. Zahid Hamid who belongs to PML(N) regarding an alleged ill-motive change and favouring Ahmadis, in bill of "2017 Election of Pakistan".[9][10][11] Rizvi soon began receiving support from public, other religious political parties and other segments of society, making way for mushroom growth of protests nationwide.[2][12] The general public took the same demand of resignation of the Law Minister to the streets.[2] Thereafter, total shutdown began, and the government ultimately responded with a forced shutdown of all news channels, followed by blocking social media networks, to contain the situation and the flow of information. This created mayhem and confusion in the cities of Karachi, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore along with some others in Punjab. Finally, by late evening the army chief intervened and asked "both sides" to show restraint.[2]

2018 Asia Bibi protests

On 31 October 2018, after eight years of detention and conviction by all the lower courts, a Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy, was found innocent in a landmark Supreme Court verdict.[13] The final judgment said that one of Bibi's accusers violated the Ashtiname of Muhammad, a "covenant made by Prophet Muhammad with Christians in the seventh century but still valid today".[14] Justice Asif Saeed Khosa ruled that the two women who made accusations against Asia Bibi "had no regard for the truth" and that the claim that she blasphemed Muhammad in public was a "concoction incarnate".[15] The Supreme Court of Pakistan's ruling cited "material contradictions and inconsistent statements of the witnesses" that "cast a shadow of doubt on the prosecution's version of facts."[14]

This prompted the TLP, under the leadership of Rizvi to initiate demonstrations in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan. Clashes with police were reported. A leader of TLP, Muhammad Afzal Qadri, said all three Supreme Court judges "deserve to be killed". The Red Zone in the capital, Islamabad, where the Supreme Court is located, was sealed off by the police.[16] In public speeches, Rizvi demanded that Asia maloona should be subjected to the punishment for blasphemy under Pakistan's penal code. He was quoted as saying, "Our sit-in will go on until the government accepts our demand" denying reports that the sit-in would soon be over.[17] He would later be arrested on 23 November 2018 along with other TLP leaders[18] and then subsequently released on bail in May 2019[19]

Murder of professors

In March 2019, a third year student at Bahawalpur's Government Sadiq Egerton College, Khateeb Hussain, stabbed associate professor Khalid Hameed in a fatal encounter.[20] Khateeb Hussain was in contact with Zafar Gillani, a lawyer and senior member of the TLP prior to the murder, and obtained approval for the act over Tinder. The supposed motive for the killing was blasphemous and insulting rhetoric towards Islam.

In 2018, Sareer Ahmed, the principal of Islamia College in Charsadda, was murdered by a 17-year old student whom he had reprimanded for missing a number of classes. The student accused the professor of engaging in "blasphemy" for reprimanding him for skipping class to attend rallies held by the TLP.[21]

Both students stated that they were inspired by Rizvi.[22]

2020 Zindagi Tamasha controversy

In 2020, Rizvi promoted protests on the release of the Pakistani film Zindagi Tamasha. He accused film-maker Sarmad Khoosat of blasphemy. The material he alleged to be blasphemous includes criticism of ulama and an alleged reference to bacha bazi.[23][24] Pakistani author Mohammed Hanif, who had seen both the censored and uncensored versions of the film, denied that any criticism of ulama was contained in the movie.[25]



On 19 November 2020, Rizvi was taken to the Farooq Hospital in Allama Iqbal Town area of Lahore after collapsing. Upon reaching the hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival. He was later taken to Shaikh Zayed Hospital, where he was declared dead at 8:48pm. He had been ill for a few days and had been a wheelchair user for some time.[1][26] Rizvi's son Saad Hussain Rizvi said that his father had started breathing again for five minutes after being declared dead, but stopped breathing again and finally died.[27] The funeral prayers were held at the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore and were led by Saad. Rizvi was later buried inside Madrassah Abuzar Ghaffari, associated with Rehmatul Lil Alameen mosque.[28] A local official estimated that nearly 200,000 people attended the event.[29] Rizvi was suffering from fever and breathing problems before his death, but no COVID-19 or autopsy tests were conducted.[30][31] Saad was appointed as the new ameer of TLP on 21 November.[32]


  1. ^ a b "TLP's Khadim Rizvi passes away in Lahore | SAMAA". Samaa TV. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ali, Kalbe (3 December 2017). "Who is Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi?". Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  3. ^ Barker, Memphis; Iqbal, Aamir (1 November 2018). "Asia Bibi: anti-blasphemy protests spread across Pakistan". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  4. ^ K K Shahid, "‘If I curse in anger, it is justified’", The Friday Times. 1–7 Dec 2017 Vol. XXIX, No. 43
  5. ^ Warraich, Suhail (10 December 2017). "A Barelvi revival?". The News International. Islamabad. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Back to the Barelvis | Special Report |".
  7. ^ Mehmood Hussain (1 May 2018), "Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Rise of Religious Extremism 2.0 in Pakistan", South Asia Journal. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  8. ^ "The Mullah of NA-120". Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Tehreek Labik to hold Islamabad long march". Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  10. ^ Hussain, Shaiq; Constable, Pamela (11 November 2017). "Large religious protests halt traffic in Islamabad and Rawalpindi". Retrieved 18 December 2017 – via
  11. ^ "Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (SAW) protest continue – Times of Islamabad". Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  12. ^ Shahrukh, Malik (25 November 2017). "Discordant Saga of Blasphemy".
  13. ^ Correspondent, Sana Jamal (1 November 2018). "All you need to know about the Aasia Bibi case". GulfNews. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  14. ^ a b Asif Aqeel (31 October 2018). "Pakistan Frees Asia Bibi Maloona from Blasphemy Death Sentence". Christianity Today. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  15. ^ Barker, Memphis (31 October 2018). "Asia Bibi: Pakistan court overturns blasphemy death sentence: Christian woman to be freed after being sentenced in 2010, accused of insulting prophet Muhammad". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2018. Justice Asif Khosa, in a verdict widely praised for its courage and rigour, noted that the two sisters who accused Bibi "had no regard for the truth" and that the claim she smeared the prophet in public was "concoction incarnate".
  16. ^ "Imran Khan condemns blasphemy hardliners". BBC News. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  17. ^ Barker, Memphis; Iqbal, Aamir (1 November 2018). "Asia Bibi: anti-blasphemy protests spread across Pakistan". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  18. ^ Abrar, Mian. "Khadim Rizvi among other TLP leaders arrested". Pakistan Today. Archived from the original on 10 September 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  19. ^ "TLP leader Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi released on bail". International The News. Archived from the original on 16 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  20. ^ AFP, Mohammad Imran (20 March 2019). "Bahawalpur student stabs professor to death over 'anti-Islam' remarks". DAWN.COM.
  21. ^ "Pakistani principal shot dead by student over blasphemy dispute". 23 January 2018 – via
  22. ^ Rehman, Atika (27 March 2019). "Student behind stabbing of Bahawalpur professor may have had help from outsider". DAWN.COM.
  23. ^ "Film about cleric held over 'risk to Muslims'". 22 January 2020 – via
  24. ^ Asad Hashim (21 January 2020). "Pakistan delays release of film after far-right protest threat". Al Jazeera.
  25. ^ "Myths about Zindagi Tamasha | SAMAA". Samaa TV.
  26. ^ Taimoor, Muhammad; Gabol, Imran (22 November 2020). "Huge turnout for TLP chief Khadim Rizvi's funeral at Lahore's Minar-i-Pakistan". Dawn. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  27. ^ "Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Pakistan's 'blasphemy activist', dies in Lahore at 54". The Print (in en-IN). 20 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  28. ^ "TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi laid to rest in Lahore". The Print. 21 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  29. ^ Bukhari, Mubasher (21 November 2020). "Thousands attend Pakistani cleric's funeral despite COVID-19 curbs". Reuters. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  30. ^ "TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi laid to rest in Lahore". The News International. 21 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  31. ^ Bukhari, Mubasher (21 November 2020). "Huge crowd gathers for Pakistani firebrand cleric's funeral". Reuters. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  32. ^ "Who is TLP's new chief?". The News International. 21 November 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2020.