Maulana Ahmad Laat’s Testimony


The following is a transcript of Maulana Ahmad Laat’s shocking testimony about gangster-like money extortion happening in Nizamuddin Markaz. It has been translated into English.

The full audio this testimony in Urdu can be found here.

Maulana Ahmad Lat: On the 13th of Ramadan, I was going for Taraweeh prayers. There was this person, Saifullah, who had come here (to Nizamuddin). We had very good relations, but we had not meet each other for almost two months. By fate, as I was going, I saw him and greeted him saying, ‘As-Salamu Alaikum Brother! You come and go without letting us know!’ I put some perfume on him and he left. As I reached the Masjid, and not even five minutes had passed, news came out that there was a commotion with sticks and clubs being used at the Masjid. Just a day before I arrived, a colleague of mine met me and started saying, ‘I was at “Noso*. I saw them there.’ I asked what was happening, and he replied, ‘There were such horrible assaults, they were the ones who managed all those sticks and clubs, they had it arranged and distributed.’ 

*Translators Note: We are not sure what ‘Noso’ means here. It could mean a place or an event

After Ramadan, I went to Dubai for a check-up. A young man met me and said (referring to the incident of 13 Ramadhan in Nizamuddin), ‘Maulvi Sahib, we were told that the place of Haq, the place to do good deeds (voice is unclear here), the place to learn is there (Nizamuddin). Why should I go there to learn to fight?’ This is what one of them complained to me. Another person met me and said, ‘You always say about the Masjid being a place of peace. That one should make the Masjid a peaceful place. Now, shall we make it peaceful with sticks and clubs?’. This is what people are saying… 

Every time there (in Nizamuddin), a hundred, a hundred and twenty-five, one hundred and fifty people (gangsters) were there. Saifullah and his son, (voice not clear) he’s always there. (There was an incident that) a Maulvi Sahib came from Mewat to meet Maulana Zuhair Sahib. When he was sitting outside, they dragged him down the basement and beat him up, asking him, what was the purpose of you meeting him (Maulana Zuhair)?”

Second person: There were four of them. All of them were taken downstairs and beaten. They were there to meet Maulana Zuhair Sahib, and when they came out, they were confronted with ‘Why are you meeting our enemy?’ After that, they were taken downstairs and beaten, and their heads were smashed. This happened when Maulana Ibrahim Sahib was present there. Maulana (Ibrahim) had just arrived there. This happened on the same day (Maulana Ibrahim arrived).

Third person: No, no, it happened the next day…

Second person: And when Maulana (Ibrahim) asked what was happening, they said there was a thief. They were beating the thief.

Third person: He went there because he had spent time in Jamaat with their younger brother, Maulvi Khabeer, two months ago, along with those four.

Maulana Ahmad Lat: In fifty years, I never even imagined such a scene could take place in this Masjid (Nizamuddin). In the villages, in rural areas, if there is even a slight noise in the Masjid, someone will quickly say: ‘Brother, it’s Ramadan, be quiet for the sake of Allah!’. Simple-minded villagers would say something like this. Now, this incident is happening right here in this Masjid (Nizamuddin)! 

Just the day before yesterday, Wali Inam asked me, ‘Nothing happened to you that night right?’ I said, ‘Yes, nothing happened to me that night, but it has been 20 years since I have been receiving (threatening) letters which I still have copies of.'”

Someone (Speaking in English): On the same night, two were talking in the… two Meewatis were talking (voice unclear). A doctor from Aligarh had come for personal matters, and he was staying (there in Nizamuddin). (He heard the) Mewatis were saying that now it’s Dr. Sanaullah’s turn. They were talking that the next person to be finished off (beaten up) was Dr. Sanaullah.

Maulana Ahmad Lat: (Referring to the money extortion letters) They told me to pay five hundred thousand, three hundred thousand, seven hundred thousand (Indian rupees) to a certain place. (They said:) Don’t ask who you are paying to, or who it is for. Just pay if you want to stay here (in Nizamuddin), otherwise, we will make your life difficult here. Out of concern, I said, “Brother, all we have is our work of Da’wa and Tabligh. We are here only for this”. The money which I used to pay (to these people) was all borrowed from others. I don’t have much money on my own. 

Once, Bhai (Maulana) Nadir (Ali) came to Nizamuddin. I told him that someone was threatening, sending threatening letters, and were also taking money from me. He (Maulana Nadir Ali) said that his nephew (Abdul Qadir) is in the CID (Criminal Investigation Department). He will ask him to meet me and take all the details. When his nephew came, he advised me that if anyone calls, write down their number. If they ask for money, just give them this address and send them to me (indicating that I will pay the money to them). 

The next sum of money they asked for was two hundred and fifty thousand (Indian Rupees). They came to extort the money from me. So I said, ‘Brother, I don’t have such an amount of money. However, I have a friend that will arrange it for me. This is his number.” They went there. One of them was….. Maulvi Abdul Rashid’s nephew! Who was Maulana Fazlullah’s grandson, a Mufti, who used to recite the Qur’an with me at night two years ago. Therefore, I treated him as Maulana (Fazlullah)’s kin. Abdul Qadir (the CID officer), who was Maulana Nadir Ali’s nephew, slapped him saying, ‘This cap and this beard? Do you have no shame doing this?’ 

Upon further investigation, it was found that everything was happening from there (referring Nizamuddin, under the instructions of Maulana Saad). They were the ones doing it. It reached Maulvi Shah Sahib (Maulana Saad). First, he said to tell Ahmad Lat that if he wants to file a case, then don’t do it here, go home first. This means they want me to go and let them do whatever (evil) they are doing there. The good thing is that I was about to go to America. Me and my wife’s were given first-class tickets (*See Translator’s Note). Ibrahim Maniyar was called from Hyderabad to somehow postpone this trip and end this case (which is now under CID’s radar). They made some preparations. Bilal Bhai had come from Mecca. I went to them. They then said, ‘Brother, let’s end this.’ I had come by plane to Nizamuddin. Brother Farooq, Maulana Ibrahim, and this Maulvi Sahib (Possibly referring to Maulvi Abdul Rashid’s nephew), all three were called by Maulvi Shah Sahib (Maulana Saad) and told to end the case. I told them that I had given twenty million rupees, bit by bit. Twenty million rupees (I stressed). After that, they said, ‘Brother, leave it, money is nothing. Alright, brother, let’s end everything today.’ 

*Translators Note: Maulana Ahmad Laat who was travelling with his wife were bought first-class flight tickets from the brothers in USA. Maulana Ahmad did not purchase the tickets himself. The fact that he is mentioning this clearly shows that this was an extraordinary event as he was travelling with his wife. It is a false accusation that the elders always travel first class.

One day Maulvi Ishaq Sahib, who he knew everything, a letter had also come, I had it read to him. He told me that today he heard and read an interesting news in the paper. I said, ‘What happened?’ He said, ‘Two families were going together on a boat. Both were playing with a small child. They threw, the other caught. They threw, the other caught. Suddenly, one boat moved ahead due to the wave and the child was (accidentally) thrown into the sea! Now, who will go and retrieve this child?’ (I believe) your money also went like that’ I thus made Sabr upon this. 

This CID officer, Abdul Qadir, his boss was a non-Muslim, he said: ‘Brother, you guys should resolve this amongst yourselves.‘ Abdul Rashid said that our decision would be made by Maulvi Ishaq Sahib. He is our responsible elder. (Abdul Qadir’s) Boss was a Hindu. Ironically, the boss said, ‘We have heard about Muslims that they do not support the oppressor, they support the oppressed.‘ (How is it that these oppressors claim that) they are being oppressed and decide on the matter? Sadly, they lost the money (I paid). After that, they (referring to Nizamuddin) never admonished him (Abdul Rashid’s nephew) but rather gave him more encouragement (to do what he was doing).

The CID officers and some others told us to just file a case (make a report and they will do the rest). However, I said, ‘Brother, this whole world, the fasting, Salat, and whatever (good that) is happening all over the world is because of the blessings of this place (Nizamuddin). I will be so unlucky that because of me this place (Nizamuddin) gets locked (and closed down) and everything ends. (I would rather prefer that) as I go or come back from the Masjid, (someone) just shoot me down, so that I will be martyred and the issues will stop and will end htere. This was my reply to them. I kept it this way. 

(…Voice unclear… ) Regarding the son-in-law, it was said that the last five hundred thousand he took was used for his business. One day, he was coming from somewhere, and on the way, a man beat him so much, that he became unconscious, fell, and all the money was stolen. The last five hundred thousand he took from me was used for his business. Well, my property (at Nizamuddin) is now gone. There was a risk to life, and in such situations, it’s a person’s duty to save their life. How can we go there in such a state? (One example is that) If anyone (even) greets Maulvi Zuhair with a handshake, his head will be smashed. (While I was about to leave) someone stepped out the door and asked me where and why I was going. (I replied) Oh, brother, it’s been fifty years for us, the salt (of Nizamuddin) is in our veins! We are what we due to the blessings of this place. We are shedding tears of blood. Do you think it is easy for us to leave like this? Nizamuddin was the centre of the whole world…(Maulana became emotional and teary here). You can never understand what we are going through. (People say,) Let’s go to Nizamuddin! let’s go like this? Is this how you say to go?

Second person: Look, it’s not a matter of personality; this work is a trust, and it’s our responsibility to protect this work. We haven’t left Nizamuddin because we want to form a party

Maulana Ahmad Lat: (Saying in an emotional and teary state) After hearing what I have said, if anyone among you has a heart in their chest and believes in Allah, then place your hand on your chest and ask! What should we in these circumstances? I remember the day, right after the demise of Hazrat Ji, may Allah have mercy on him, there was a trip to America, Australia, and all those places. Even at that time (in 1995), I know the people who were told, and I know the people who told them, that now they have to take control of all key aspects/positions (in Nizamuddin), and not let Maulana Inam Sahib’s people come forward. Maulana Umar, may Allah have mercy on him, was with me on the journey through Australia, and there was a time when his (voice unclear) happened. This is not something new today. You only hear the external parts that is apparent now (but many things have been happening in the background for a long time)…

Well… Allah is great. 

Today, after all seeing the things that have happened in Nizamuddin, we asked Allah, ‘O Allah, how can we stay in this situation?’ Many have advised me to leave. It’s prohibited in a Hadith for a group leader to tell his group to jump into the fire. Should I go there to have my head broken, to have my neck cut off? I ask Allah, ‘O Allah, grant me martyrdom in Your cause and let my death be in the city of Your Prophet.’ But to die like this, to be humiliated like this? 

Once, I was advised when Nizamuddin’s market was being built. (I am referring to) those shops that are there now. I adopted a son named Abdul Qayyum. I called him back saying that I cannot manage his education and upbringing, as I live here in Nizamuddin. People then advised me, ‘Maulvi Sahib, the market is being built, take a shop and bring him here, you can then have a house here. You can continue your work (in Nizamuddin) and they will stay there (in the house)’. I said, ‘I came to this Masjid purely for the effort of Deen. If one has to earn, Surat is a big city, and Gujarat is big. He can earn however he wants there. I cannot engage in any business for him. Maulana Ilyas Sahib, may Allah have mercy on him, had cursed that whoever stays in this Masjid (Nizamuddin) for worldly purpose or for business. Allah SWT should not bless their business, their life, or their wealth.’

Second person: Supporting the wrong cannot be justified under any circumstances. To end this work with our own hands is to support the wrong.

Maulana Ahmad Lat: I went to the grand mosque there, and effigies of Hazrat Isa (Jesus) and Hazrat Maryam (Mary) were hanging from the pillars. The siren continued for an hour and a half. When we visited Granada and the Royal Palace, I saw that one (… voice unclear…) of the queen and one (… voice unclear…) of the caliph, they bathed there for eight hours daily, with a book in hand, reading. When I read this text, my immediate reaction was that what we saw there was precisely what should have happened; the result was visible to our eyes. This is because Allah has no kinship with anyone; we are all His servants. We have our principles of work, its methodology, and its foundations. Maulana Ismail Sahib, may Allah have mercy on him, the father of Maulana Ilyas, had much larger properties in Jhanjhana. As he moved to Nizamuddin, he gave it all up. People would come and say, ‘Hazrat Ji! That house, so-and-so Patwari has… so and so…..  Oh!! You are worried about the house, the land… Don’t you see (… voice unclear…) what it is? He no longer considered his home in Jhanjhana. A man came from Meerut, I have his statement of the 19th Ramadan, 1963. In it, a man came, he said, ‘Hazratji (Maulana Yusuf), you don’t have to do anything, just go to the Meerut court and say that you are the son of Maulana Ilyas. All these lands and houses are yours. And we will handle the rest of the proceedings.’ Maulana Ilyas, may Allah have mercy on him, warned, ‘Today you have said, but I am following in the footsteps of my ancestors, I am not here for that, Allah has given me a much greater task.’

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