Ehsan Elahi Zaheer

Ehsan Elahi Zaheer (Urdu: احسان الہی ظہیر‎) (31 May 1945 – 30 March 1987) was a Pakistani Islamic theologian and leader of the Ahl-e-Hadith movement.[1][2] He died from an assassin's bomb blast in 1987.

Ehsan Elahi Zaheer
Other namesAllama, Ihsan Ilahi Zahir; Ehsaan.
Born31 May 1945
Died30 March 1987 (aged 41)
EraModern era
Main interest(s)Salafism
Other namesAllama, Ihsan Ilahi Zahir; Ehsaan.

Early life and educationEdit

He was born in 1945 in Sialkot into a deeply religious trading Punjabi family of the Sethi clan, and he was educated in Salafi seminaries from Gujranwala and Faisalabad before earning Masters in Arabic, Islamic studies, Urdu and Persian at the University of the Punjab and further continuing his studies in Islamic law at the University of Madinah under many scholars, most importantly Ibn Baz.[3] Zaheer will eventually become Ibn Baz's "star student", and Saudis would translate his books (written directly in Arabic instead of his native Urdu) and distribute them all over the world at cheap prices.[4]


Zaheer believed that Shi'ites were Israeli agents[5][citation needed] and infidels.[6]


While Zaheer was giving a speech, a bomb which had been planted on the stage exploded, killing him.[7]

Due to hi influence, his funerals were held in Saudi Arabia, attended by millions including the country's main Islamic scholars, and he was buried next to Imam Malik.[8]


Many of his relatives are involved in the Islamic sciences, including his son Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer, a famous scholar who also leads the Jamiat Ahle Hadith party he founded,[9] while another son, Hisham Elahi Zaheer, is a well-known Islamic scholar as well.


  • Al-Qadiyaniyyah, a refutation of Ahmadiyyah (1376 AH)
  • Al-Barelvia, a refutation of Barelvi
  • Al-Babia
  • Alshia wa Tashee a refutation of Shia


  1. ^ Ravinder Kaur, Religion, Violence and Political Mobilisation in South Asia, p 153. ISBN 0761934308
  2. ^ Roy, Olivier, The Failure of Political Islam, by Olivier Roy, translated by Carol Volk, Harvard University Press, 1994, p.118-9
  3. ^ Mariam Abou Zahab, Pakistan: A Kaleidoscope of Islam, Oxford University Press, 2020, note 19 of chapter 6.
  4. ^ Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East, Henry Holt and Company, 2020, chapter 6.
  5. ^ Commins, David (2015-03-30). Islam in Saudi Arabia. I.B.Tauris. p. 170. ISBN 9781848858015.
  6. ^ Moghadam, Assaf (2011-07-21). Militancy and Political Violence in Shiism: Trends and Patterns. Routledge. p. 166. ISBN 9781136663536.
  7. ^ Derrick M. Nault, Development in Asia: Interdisciplinary, Post-neoliberal, and Transnational Perspectives, p 184. ISBN 1599424886
  8. ^ Imtiaz Alam, Religious revivalism in South Asia, South Asian Policy Analysis Network, 2006, p. 85
  9. ^ Kalbe Ali (30 April 2014), "Another side of the story in the missing persons’ saga", Dawn. Retrieved 3 April 2020.