Thousands of people gathered in the northern Kerala village of Ettikulam to pay last respects to prominent religious scholar Sayed Abdurrahman Al-Bukhari, who died Saturday aged 95.
Known as Taj-ul Ulama and affectionately called Ullal Thangal, he breathed his last at his son’s residence in the village near Payyanur in Kannur district around 3.40 pm. His body was buried at the Ettikulam Jama Masjid.
His elder son Fazal Koyamma Thangal led the first funeral prayer at 7 a.m.
He leaves his wife Fatma, younger son Hamid and daughters Muthu Beevi, Beekunhi Beevi, Kunhatta Beevi, Cheriya Beevi and Ramla Beevi.
“He had contributed immensely in the fields of religious education and social life of Kerala. He was a great scholar,” Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said in his condolence message.
Thangal, a native of Chaliyam in Kozhikode district, was the President of Samastha Kerala Sunni Jam’iyyathul Ulama, an organization of scholars and clerics and the principal of Ullal Syed Madani College.
He was awarded the title of ‘Tajul Ulema’ in the year 2000 on completion of 50 years at Ullal.
He was also the president of Jamia Sa’adiya Arabic College and and advisor to the Markaz Saqafathi Ssunniya and All India Sunni Jam-iyyathul Ulema and served as a Qazi in a number of places in Karnataka and Kerala.
He assumed charge as the principal of Seyyid Madani Arabic College, Ullal, in the year 1971 and became the Qazi of Ullal on Nov. 9, 1978. He was indisposed for quite some time.
“He enjoyed tremendous goodwill among his students. He possessed a prcious wealth of thousands of disciples spread across India and abroad,” said his longtime associate AP Aboobacker Musliar.
The Sunni Education Board has declared holiday for the religious schools under it in respect of the departed soul.
Several scholars and leaders, including Aboobacker Musliar and Syed Ibrahim
Khaleel Al-Bukahri, chairman of the Ma’din group of institutions, participated in the funeral prayers.
KC Venugopal, India’s junior minister for civil aviation, and KC Joseph, Kerala’s minister for diaspora, also visited the mourning family and offered condolences.