The name of Mufti Hanif Qureshi, Shabab-e-Islami founder and Ahle Sunnat Waljammat religious scholar, was among the top trends on X, formally Twitter, as his supporters were claiming victory against another religious scholar and YouTube sensation Muhammad Ali Mirza.
Hanif Qureshi vs Muhammad Ali Mirza Debate
Both religious scholars have been indulging indirectly on the video-sharing platform YouTube for months, challenging each other to an open debate on issues pertaining to sects and various aspects of Islam.
YouTube has become a new ‘battlefield’, where religious scholars post videos against each other on different topics to woo followers who like, share, and comment on their videos.
Muhammad Ali Mirza, who has amassed millions of followers online and has an overwhelming digital presence, has introduced a trend in his videos of challenging his peers. In one such video, Mirza challenged Hanif Qureshi to a ‘debate’.
It is pertinent to note that debate is a wide term, and in such a religious debate, both sides agree to some points about merits and demerits of the framework of the engagement.
After the latest challenge, Mufti Qureshi subsequently reached Jhelum city with his followers near the Muhammad Ali Mirza Academy and created hype on digital media platforms about the upcoming challenge.
But, the Jhelum district police officer, along with a police contingent, stopped him from advancing further towards the academy. The DPO also recorded a video along with Qureshi and his followers that the Mirza academy staff had told the police there would be no debate and any contest would be held online or through YouTube videos.
Mufti Qureshi, in the presence of the Jhelum DPO, levelled serious allegations against Muhammad Ali Mirza and claimed his victory in the 'debate'm saying the latter had run away. The YouTube channel of Mufti Hanif Qureshi then posted another video in which rose petals were showered upon his arrival at his seminary in Rawalpindi, chanting victorious slogans in a debate that did not even take place.
Mufti Tariq Masood vs Engineer Muhammad Ali Mirza
In 2021, renowned religious scholar Mufti Tariq Masood also reached Jhelum to engage in a debate with Engineer Mirza. He ‘waited’ for two days, but no contact was established by Mirza's academy. The ‘dispute’ was solved and addressed by both parties on various podcasts and platforms.
Who is Muhammad Ali Mirza?
Engineer Muhammad Ali Mirza points out ‘contradictions’ in almost all sects of Islam, citing references to the books of Ahadith and the Holy Quran. He is a qualified engineer and started government service, but according to his own narrative, took an early retirement. He claims his academy in Jhelum does not accept any funds from individuals or organisations.
Mufti Hanif Qureshi has 185,000 subscribers with 1,700 videos on his YouTube channel, while Engineer Mirza has 2.58 million subscribers on YouTube with 2,100 videos.
Mufti is serving in ‘Jamia Rizwia Ziaul Uloom’ in Rawalpindi.
This is not the first time both have indulged in a debate, which earlier took place on a private television news channel among a group of religious scholars belonging to different sects.