Well-known Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Sadiq passed away late on Tuesday night after a prolonged illness.
Senior vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the 83-year-old Shia cleric with a massive following across religions and nations, was admitted to Era Lucknow Medical College and Hospital (ELMCH) on November 17 with severe pneumonia.
Sadiq is survived by his wife Taj Sultana, three sons and a daughter. His health condition had been very critical and he had also contracted UTI, septic shock, acute kidney shutdown and paralytic ileus.
Condolences of people from all walks of life and faith poured in on social media and many rushed to the hospital and his house on getting news of his sad demise.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed grief over the cleric's demise and prayed for peace for the departed soul. He also expressed his deepest condolences to the bereaved family members.
An educationist, Islamic scholar and ambassador of communal amity, Sadiq was born in Lucknow's famous Khandaan-e-Ijtehaad.
His father was Maulana Kalbe Husain and his brother was Maulana Kalbe Abid, both of whom held a strong standing in the community.
His initial education was from Sultan-ul-Madaris in Lucknow, followed by further education at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). He did Ph.D in Arabic literature. Besides Arabic, Sadiq was proficient in Urdu, Persian, English and Hindi languages.
Sadiq was perhaps the first cleric from India in his times who gave sermons in the memory of the martyrs of Karbala across the world especially in the English language.
He also promoted scientific thought in the community and introduced the practice of predicting days of Islamic festivals based on astronomy, besides traditional moon sighting.
His following among Sunni Muslims and Hindus was as strong as among Shias.
He was the driving force behind the 'Joint Shia-Sunni Namaaz' on Islamic festivals started by S2S volunteers and has been observed in Lucknow for five years.