Abdul Latheef Naha
MALAPPURAM: Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) State president Syed Mohammedali Shihab Thangal, 73, was buried with full State honours at the Panakkad Juma Masjid on Sunday afternoon. Tens of thousands of people from different walks of life paid their last respects to the great leader.
A host of dignitaries, including Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, Union Minister of State for Railway E. Ahamed, Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala, paid their tributes to Thangal.
Thousands of people were disappointed as they could reach nowhere near the body of Shihab Thangal, who died at a private hospital here on Saturday night.
The Kodappanakkal house of Shihab Thangal at Panakkad near here choked with the emotional turnout of people since his body was brought there on Saturday night. People poured in thousands through the night, blocking traffic at all points leading to Panakkad.
The body was shifted to the Municipal Town Hall at Malappuram by 7 a.m. on Sunday after the obligatory bathing and wrapping it in white Kafan (shroud). Long, multiple queues of people reaching beyond Munduparamba and Kizhakkethala were soon formed. Traffic to Malappuram was diverted at many points.
The Town Hall witnessed mass prayers for Thangal every 15 minutes. Top Muslim leaders, including Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliar, led the Janaza prayers.
The body was taken to the Panakkad Juma Masjid by 2 p.m. After a few rounds of prayers and a gun salute by the State police, the Janaza of Thangal was lowered into a six-foot grave at 3 p.m.
The burial prayer beginning with Allahumma zabbithhu indassuhaal, Allahumma alhimhul jawaab rent the air as the mourners threw three handfuls of sand into the grave.
The tombstone at the grave read in Arabic: Syed Mohammedali Shihab, born May 4, 1936 and dead August 1, 2009.