By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
09 July 2016
Abdus Sattar Edhi
It would have been an Honour for Nobel Committee if Edhi has accepted its Peace Prize.
One wonders as to why Abdus Sattar’s parents named him as such. At the age of eighty eight, when he died recently, certainly was not ‘out of sight’ of the world at large except perhaps the Nobel Committee to not have awarded him the so called coveted Peace Prize. May be giving such an award was not in keeping with the Committee’s “Politics and Marketing” requirements.
Malala Yousufzai from the same country, herself a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize was correct in saying that the Prize would have been too small a thing for him. Yet one assumes that Edhi would have accepted it mainly for the financial gift that came with it, it in order to put it in use for the Edhi Foundation and thus for the benefit of Pakistani nation.
Even the Huffington Post had recently acknowledged him as “The greatest living humanitarian”. Many world organizations and institutions and a few Universities had bestowed on him deserved honours. Notable amongst those was the Lenin Peace Prize. Perhaps it is because of that, that he was subjected to lengthy interrogations at Airports by Israel, Canada and USA! He modestly responded by saying that ‘perhaps it was because of his beard and the dress’. The latter of which he possessed only two pairs.
It is said that ‘behind every successful man there is a woman’. In Edhi’s case it appears to be especially true for as he had said that he was lucky to have such a woman for a wife. Madam Bilqis Edhi must be the woman behind the man for him to have been providing such outstanding services for its citizens and for so long; in a country so beset with ineffectual, inefficient government and leaders that, what is supposed to be an ordained and obligatory task of a State, let alone an “Islamic” State; an individual’s private foundation is providing it on charitable basis. Something to be ashamed of for any country!
It is understood that their children too are also involved in the running the foundation. The Maman community, best known for its charitable works at large; was the initial supporter of Abdus Sattar Edhi.
It is indeed an insult for Islam that in an officially designated Islamic Republic, this should be the case that many of the necessary services for its citizens are provided on charitable basis by individuals. Yet the country is endowed with many natural resources and therefore is rich. Yet it is known as a bagging-bowl (Kashkol) and its leaders famous for carrying it with them for hand out, ostensibly called ‘Aid’, where ever they go on State visits!
An Islamic State: the follower of Muhammad and his Message of Quran, in particular Pakistan the land of the pure, should be setting an example for the rest of the world - “give everything in access to your requirement for the good of humanity”. But if the publication of “Panama Papers” is anything to go by, Edhi’s State is setting exactly the opposite example despite its name and therefore it would be prudent for it to remove the word Islam and Pakistan from its name to stop the world making a mockery of it and putting the Greatest Humanitarian of modern age to shame from being the country’s citizen. No amount of bestowing awards, pinning medals and giving him State funeral washes that stigma.
May his soul rest in eternal peace and may All Mighty give solace and strength to his family to carry on with the immense task that Edhi ‘ almost a saint’ has set for them!
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer