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The Daata of Pakistan – Abdul Sattar Edhi

I don’t know how to start and I have no words to pay tribute to the man named ‘Abdul Sattar Edhi’… who was known as ‘Living Saint’, ‘Mother Teresa of Pakistan’. In short many moving tributes are being paid to this legend but what clicked in my mind when I heard of his death, worldly death, as his name will always remain alive forever that ‘Daata of Pakistan’ died! For I know in my mind since my childhood when once I asked my mother that what was the meaning of ‘Daata’ as I used to hear the words like ‘Urs of Daata Ganj Bakhsh’ … ‘Daata Darbar Lahore’ … she replied that according to people’s belief it is that saint of Allah who dedicated all his life for people of God, his doors always opened for everyone irrespective of religion, cast and creed and that never anyone is returned empty handed from his place. So throughout life till now I have an imaginary figure of a saint…that a saint is long bearded whose hair are all white, a frail old body, he is polite and kind, and meets and shake hands with everyone who visit him, he helps poor and needy and also provides shelter, he lives a poor life himself for what my mind imagined that his diet is ‘Daal Roti’ … & believe me and tell me…are these not all traits that my mind shaped about word ‘saint’ … a Daata…were not in Edhi Sahab? Even more than that he possessed the qualities for which if ever documented would not be enough to cover in pages!

Abdul Sattar Edhi… State Funeral … Gun Carriage … 19-Gun Salute … his funeral wrapped in Pakistan Flag… Salute by Sipa Salaar of Pakistan General Raheel Sharif and by Chiefs of Air and Naval Staff… thousands of people mourning and attending funeral … the glowing tribute from all over the world… This was something I witnessed in my life for the first time!!! And I was really awed that Edhi Sahab rightly deserved this. About Gun Carriage I came to know from social media that it’s a military tradition of State funerals inherited from British Royal Artillery. In Pakistan, this tradition is done third time…First such was the funeral of Quaid e Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. Second was General Zia ul Haq. Abdul Sattar Edhi is the third figure and a second civilian after Quaid e Azam who is given this honor. So it was exceptional case.

Maulana Edhi… that’s what General Pervez Musharraf says to him.  He is right to call him Maulana…irrespective of ‘meaning of this word’ in society that is attributed to someone religious, always rolling prayer beads and wearing robe all time. Is there any religion above humanity, any prayer above serving people of God and any shalwar kameez that Edhi Sahab wore throughout his life and made it as his coffin better than robe? In his condolence message, General Musharraf said:

“Today the universe has lost a saint and our nation has lost a son that only gave and gave and kept on giving to everyone until he took his last breath. He not only just gave to the poor and the less fortunate, but to everyone in our country.”

Till his last breath… before sleeping forever, his eyes light up the world of two people! Such was the legacy of this saint!

About his legacy General Musharraf rightly said:

“I know Edhi Sahib’s legacy is indelible and shall live on for all times to come. I pray to Allah to give all of us the strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”

I will also cite here the few words that Edhi Sahab in his life said about General Pervez Musharraf in 2008.

“I cannot forget the favours done to me by President Pervez Musharraf in social work.  I remember when he put his foot down when I asked him to get the custom duty of Rs150 million on imports of roofs for earthquake affected people.”

Endless pages can be written for Edhi Sahab, still one cannot pay back for what he had done. If one really wishes to reward him for his services for humanity, his legacy should be continued, his mission should not stop and so his name will forever be remembered and written in golden words in human history. Pakistan Army deserve highest accolade for this State Funeral and all the security arrangements that they have done for this humble hero of humanity!

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