Dr. Israr Ahmed (26 April 1932 – 14 April 2010) was a Pakistani Islamic theologian, philosopher, and Islamic scholar who was followed particularly in South Asia as well as by South Asian Muslims in the Middle East, Western Europe, and North America.
Israr Ahmed was born in Hisar, a province of East Punjab of the British Indian Empire, on 26 April 1932. His father was a civil servant in the British Government who relocated his family from Hisar to Montgomery, now Sahiwal, Punjab Province of Pakistan.
After graduating from a local high school, Ahmed moved to Lahore to attend the King Edward Medical University in 1950. He received his MBBS degree from King Edward Medical University in 1954 and began practicing medicine. In addition, he obtained his master’s degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Karachi in 1965.
Ahmed worked briefly for Muslim Student’s Federation in the Independence Movement and, following the creation of Pakistan in 1947, for the Islami Jami`yat-e-Talaba. Later Ahmed went on to become the 4th Elected President(Nazim-e-A’ala) of the Islami Jami`yat-e-Talaba. Ahmed was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1981. He has authored over 60 books in Urdu on topics related to Islam and Pakistan, nine of which have been translated into English and other languages.
Like Naeem Siddiqui and Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Ahmed also worked closely with Syed Abul A’la Maududi, Israr Ahmed “considers himself a product” of the teachings of “comprehensive and holistic concept of the Islamic obligations” of Abul Ala Maududi. Supporters describe his vision of Islam as having been synthesized from diverse sources. He has also acknowledged the “deep influence” of Shah Waliullah Dehlawi, the 18th-century Indian Islamic leader, anti-colonial activist, jurist, and scholar.
Israr Ahmed died of cardiac arrest at his home in Lahore on the morning of 14 April 2010 at the age of 78. According to his son, his health deteriorated at around 1:30 am with pain in the back. He was a long-time heart patient. His survivors included a wife, four sons, and five daughters. He spent almost four decades trying to reawaken interest in Quran-based Islamic philosophy.