DHAKA, Bangladesh

A prominent Muslim cleric in Bangladesh died on Friday evening while undergoing treatment at a hospital in the capital Dhaka.

He was 103.

Ahmad Shafi, the head of Hefazat-e-Islam, Bangladesh’s largest “non-political Islamic group,” was a prominent figure in the South Asian country. He was suffering from various health complications due to old age, including diabetes, high blood pressure and respiratory distress, his eldest son Mohammad Yousuf told Anadolu Agency.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed sorrow over the demise of Shafi.

“Allama Shafi was a renowned scholar of the subcontinent, and chairman of Al Hayatul Uliya Lil Jamiatil Qaumiya [popularly known as Hathazari Madrasa], also the chairman of Qawmi Madrasah Education Board, ‘Befaqul Madaris’ in Bangladesh,” said a statement by the Religious Affairs Ministry.

Ahmad Shafi died just a day after he stepped down as the director-general of the Hathazari Madrasa in the southeastern city of Chattogram following a student protest. He fell ill during the protest and was admitted to a hospital.

He was later airlifted to Dhaka as his health deteriorated.

The government with an official order shut the madrasa on Thursday following the protest.

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