PESHAWAR - In the harsh winters of January 1938, the tenth and last child of Qazi Muhammad Abdul Rab was born at his house in Ziarat Kaka Sahib. This fragile newborn was destined to rise from his relatively humble circumstances in Nowshera district to a position of great strength in country’s religious and political echelons.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed, as he was named by his family, received his early education and gained his love for religion from his home. Later he graduated from Islamia College Peshawar and secured M.Sc. degree in Geography from University of Peshawar.

He served as lecturer for three years at Jehanzeb College Saidu Sharif Swat, before he quit teaching and started his own business. He marked his presence in this field and was elected as vice president of the Sarhard Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

But his affiliation with politics had started in his school days when he joined Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba. Later, he became member of Jamaat-e-Islami in 1970 and was elected to the office of president of its Peshawar branch. He served JI as secretary and then Ameer of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Qazi was raised to the office of Jl secretary general in 1978 and then in 1987 was elected its ameer, a slot he got four more times in party elections of 1992, 1994, 1999 and 2003 – making him probably the longest serving head of Jamaat over a period of almost 22 years. However, in 2008, he excused to be elected once more and Syed Munawwar Hassan was elected as the new JI chief in 2009. Qazi, who was the third JI ameer after Syed Abul Ala Maududi and Mian Tufail Muhammad, however kept serving the organisation till his death.

Qazi Hussain Ahmad was first elected as member of the Senate of Pakistan in 1986 for a term of six years. He was re-elected in March 1992, but he resigned as a Senator in 1996 as a protest against the corrupt political system. He was elected as MNA on MMA alliance ticket in 2002 general elections from his native town Nowshera. He served as the parliamentary leader of the opposition MMA.

He was a strong critic of counter-terrorism policy of the United States, and was widely known for his opposition to US interference in the internal affairs of other countries, especially the Muslim states, and he was particularly against the American and her allies’ occupation of neighbouring Afghanistan.

In November 2012, Qazi Hussain Ahmad escaped unhurt from an assassination attempt when a female suicide bomber tried to kill him by blowing herself up in Mohmand Agency. He was an eloquent orator and an author of several books. He had full command on Urdu, English, Arabic and Persian languages, besides his native tongue Pashto. He was a great admirer of the poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal and frequently quoted his Urdu and Persian verses in his speeches and conversations.

After 74 years of eventful and taxing life, ailing Qazi died at an Islamabad hospital on Sunday. He was suffering from heart disease and asthma, and was taken to Islamabad from Peshawar for treatment a couple of days back. Qazi Hussain Ahmad is survived by two sons and two daughters.