Syed Munawar Hassan (Urdu: سید منور حسن; born in the year of August 1944 in Dehli) is a famous politician and the former Ameer (President) of Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan.
Early life and education of Syed Munawar Hassan
Syed Munawar Hassan was born in the city of Dehli, British India in August 1944. At the time of the Partition of India, he shifted with his family and settled in Karachi city. He gained a Master’s in Sociology (1963) and in Islamic Studies (1966) from the University of Karachi.
Hassan joined the National Students Federation (NSF) – a Communist student group – and was elected its President in the year of 1959. The real change appeared in his life when he came closer to the activists of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) Pakistan and studied the writings of Mawlana Syed Abul Ala Maududi and Maulana Naeem Siddiqui. As an outcome, he joined IJT in the year of 1960 and was elected President of its University of Karachi Unit, Karachi City Unit and member of the Central Executive Council. He became its national President in the year of 1964 and served in that capacity for 3 consecutive terms. During his tenure the Jamiat organized various campaigns mobilising public opinion regarding education problems.
He joined the Islamic Research Academy (IRAK) and later Islamic Jerusalem Studies, at Karachi city as a Research Assistant in the year of 1963. He became its Secretary General in the year of 1969. Under his supervision, the Academy issued 70 scholarly books. He also served as Managing Editor of the The Criterion and The Universal Message, Karachi.
Hasan became a member of Jama’at-e-Islami Pakistan in 1967. He served the Karachi unit as Assistant Secretary, Secretary, Deputy Ameer and Ameer of the city. He was appointed to the Central Shura and the Executive Council of the Jama’at. He represented the group at various platforms, involving United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA). He ran for National Assembly in 1977 and secured the highest vote tally in Pakistan. He was Assistant Secretary General of Jama’at-e-Islami Pakistan in the time period of 1992–93 and became Secretary General in 1993.
Syed Munawar Hasan speaks Urdu and English. Several of his speeches, mostly in the language of Urdu, are available in cassette form. He heads a number of planning and research bodies within the Jamaat.
In the month of late March 2014, Munawwar Hasan became the first sitting emir in the history of JI to be voted out of office when Siraj-ul-Haq Khan was elected Ameer by the Jamaat Arakeen (JI members with voting rights). At least one analyst (Nasir Jamal) attributed the change in leadership to JI Arakeen’s desire for a relatively younger and more pragmatic Ameer.