Child prodigy: Lights dim on a beautiful mind

Published: December 29, 2011

Aarifa Karim Randhawa.

Aarifa Karim Randhawa. Aarifa Karim, a Pakistani girl from Faisalabad who became the world's youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in 2004 at the age of nine, is in a critical condition in a hospital.

FAISALABAD: In 2004, Aarifa Karim Randhawa was the youngest ever Microsoft certified professional in the world. Born in 1995, she received the prestigious title at the age of nine.

On December 22, Aarifa was admitted to Lahore’s CMH hospital after suffering cardiac arrest. On Thursday, doctors said there is no hope for her survival, and that her life support could be switched off ‘at any time’.

Aarifa’s father, Lt Col (Retd) Amjad Karim Randhawa told The Express Tribune that she had suffered an epileptic attack, which caused severe brain and heart damage. Randhawa said “only a miracle will allow my brilliant, genius daughter to live now”.

After the news of Aarifa’s condition emerged, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice and offered economic support to the family, but they have refused to take the money.

When Aarifa, now 16, was given the title of a Microsoft professional as a young child, she visited the company’s headquarters in the US.  When she met Bill Gates himself, she had two questions: Why weren’t children allowed to work for Microsoft, and why such few women worked for the organisation.

Her love for technology, however, started long before she was recognised internationally. After discovering computers for the first time at the age of five, she pestered her father for a personal computer, and after that there was no looking back.

Aarifa’s father recalled the year in which his daughter passed the test which enabled her to be declared the youngest professional certified by Microsoft in the world. “When she passed the test at age nine, everyone thought the result was wrong,” he reminisced. She wanted to make software just like Bill Gates, he added. She would say that she wanted to work for children and poor people.

Proudly, he said she came from a ‘low-profile’ family, but she would always say she wanted to study all over the world and then come back to help the people in her village. Her dreams were never for herself alone.

Aarifa’s achievements go far beyond recognition from Microsoft alone. The 16-year-old, a student of Lahore Grammar School’s Paragon campus, has represented Pakistan in various international forums.  In 2005, the child prodigy received the Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal from the government as well as the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award. In addition, she has received the president’s award for Pride of Performance, medals from IT professionals around the world, and also became a brand ambassador for PTCL in 2010.

Her talents however, are versatile. Besides excelling in the field of science and technology, Aarifa also flew a plane at the age of 10.

Aarifa’s life hangs in the balance, and while most have given up hope, her father says: “I am praying and I want everyone to pray for her”. (WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM THE NEWS DESK)

Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (224)

  • Nakhtar
    Dec 30, 2011 - 7:03AM

    Allha rehm framey.Ameen


  • Tridev Acharya
    Dec 30, 2011 - 7:10AM



  • Tridev Acharya
    Dec 30, 2011 - 7:12AM

    *Truth is always the winner and it will win this time also .. *


  • Iftikhar Ali
    Dec 30, 2011 - 8:25AM

    technology sucks everyone
    May Allah bless her with health!


  • Afshan
    Dec 30, 2011 - 8:33AM

    Praying for her life and health. InshaALLAH all the DUAs for her will work and she will recover Ameen.


  • Izhar Minhas (USA)
    Dec 30, 2011 - 8:50AM

    Can any one keep me posted related to my very precious daughter of Pakistan. My email address:[email protected]
    I am really worried for her well beingand praying for her early recovery. May Allah (SWT) have Mercy on this rising Pakistani star & Pakistan as well. Ameen


  • Arsalan
    Dec 30, 2011 - 8:52AM

    Hope she is able to recover inshAllah. Prayers are with her.


  • e-samosa
    Dec 30, 2011 - 8:57AM

    Terrible news. I desperately hope she feels gets better.


  • Sachal Sarmast
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:01AM

    My daughter, I have prayed for you, you will wake up and bloom.


  • M Bilal Sohail
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:04AM

    May ALLAH recovers her soon and she get rid of these (crisp) moments from which she is being going on…..

    Prayers from the core of my heart….


  • Zalim singh
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:05AM

    may god bless her.


  • Tabish Bilgrami
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:17AM

    May she live long and fulfill her ambitions. Ameen!


  • Rizwan
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:24AM

    May Allah listen to all the prayers and give us back the true wealth, pride n future of our beloved nation


  • sunil vohra
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:24AM

    May she recover and pursue what she loves most


  • Sabir Nazar
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:26AM

    We are very proud of her achievements, May her parents have strength at such critical time…Ameen


  • Fasih Khan
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:31AM

    May Allah Almighty Bless Her with health and happiness. Ameen.


  • Monia
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:31AM

    May Allah bless her with peace in this world and the world hereafter….may Allah give her parents the strength to deal with this trying time.


  • rubina hassan
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:40AM

    May Allah bless her with health and long life Ameen!


  • M. Salman Khan Ghauri
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:55AM

    Allah bless her with good health. Ameen


  • Nadeem
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:57AM

    May Allah bless her with health and she may live long.She is pride of our nation.


  • RizwanTKhan
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:58AM

    Miracle will happen Inshallah and the kid will get well.


  • saraali
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:59AM

    I am really sadden by this news. My prayers are with you. May Allah grant you good health. Ameen.


  • SAM
    Dec 30, 2011 - 10:06AM

    Hey my GOD, MY ALLAH, please give her life back, please give her a beautiful, wonderful, amazing, healthful, strengthful life once again…..Aameen…..I know you are there to listen to our prayers, so please give her life….Aameen.


  • roshan wadhwani
    Dec 30, 2011 - 10:11AM

    Ohhhhh!!!!!!! really very sad to hear! Heartiest pray for her May Allah Bless her with a new life and may she recover soon to serve this country and achieve her goal..Ameen


  • Pakistani
    Dec 30, 2011 - 10:12AM

    May ALLAH giver her to sehat-e-kamla wa ajla.


  • Gulzar Soomro
    Dec 30, 2011 - 10:40AM

    We all pray for her good health .


  • Ismat
    Dec 30, 2011 - 10:52AM

    May Allah give her a long, healthy, happy and successful life (Amen).


  • Muhammad Imran
    Dec 30, 2011 - 10:54AM

    May ALLAH keep HIS blessing on her, but I read the following article, which may be related to this event. Her parent should read the following article.


  • Gulshad ahmed
    Dec 30, 2011 - 10:57AM

    O God heal her. She is our asset.Recommend

  • Saquib
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:03AM

    Ya Allah we know what you have done, doing and will do is right, because you know what is right and wrong for us.
    But please our lord if my pray give life to this little girl, then please accept my pray for her and for all those people who are in bad health condition or in any tension.


  • donz
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:17AM

    May Allah bless her health and long life AMEEN


  • Muhammad Saleem Usmani
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:27AM

    May Allah Almighty give her a speedy and complete recovery.


  • Jamal Hasan Shah
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:30AM

    May Allah Bless her with speedy recovery and a long, healthy and successful Life.Ameen


  • dr H.Z
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:47AM

    i have seen miracle happen INSHALLAH she will get well soon i am going for umra tomorrow i will pratt for her in haram and about that remark over burden or family pressure i think that person dont have kids of his own he dont know the pain of parents no one wants to see there kids in pain rite now shez not the younget ms person shez her parents little princess hanging between life n death so mister instead of giving this brytal remark say some good prayer for her if u cant do this then dont write painful remarks any ways i will pray for her life


  • saqlain mujtaba
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:49AM

    God protect her and get well soon


  • mishall
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:49AM

    My prays are with her and her family. She is truly an asset and will be a great lost.Our very own child genius.


  • mishall
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:53AM

    My prays are for her and for her family. It is indeed a tough times for her and her family. She is truly an asset. I pray for her recovery. Please update us all on any thing about. If she needs blood let me know. We need all start a campaign for her.


  • Faheem
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:55AM

    My prayers and best wishes for her and her family. She is a daughter and a pride of Pakistan.


  • Dec 30, 2011 - 12:10PM

    she IS a miracle… may ALLAH bring her back to life…

    and according to our honourable president and prime minister, we need asifa to guide us through the hard times!


  • I Khan
    Dec 30, 2011 - 12:22PM

    and saquib,she is 16.not a little girl. read the passage.


  • Zafar
    Dec 30, 2011 - 12:23PM

    I pray for her full recovery. We need more of such prodigies in this country.


  • AD
    Dec 30, 2011 - 12:39PM

    May Allah bless her


  • kashif m
    Dec 30, 2011 - 12:49PM

    God bless her


  • nadia
    Dec 30, 2011 - 12:52PM

    May Allah Give her health and courage to her family ,ameen. She is a gem


  • Kamran
    Dec 30, 2011 - 1:28PM

    Rest In Peace. We will miss you


  • Sobia
    Dec 30, 2011 - 1:43PM

    We don’t want to loose such a precious gem.Oh Allah we wan’t to see her shining in the whole world like before.May you recover soon …Ameen !!


  • Muhammad Taimoor
    Dec 30, 2011 - 2:10PM

    May Allah save her life. Ameen


  • Hira
    Dec 30, 2011 - 2:44PM

    May Allah bless her with good health and long life… Ameen sumameen


  • shuja
    Dec 30, 2011 - 2:46PM

    O God she is daughter of this nation.O God we need such shiningstars at our this gloomy state of our country.O God we cant afford to lose this lovely baby.God pleeeeeese……


    Dec 30, 2011 - 2:47PM

    May Allah bless her… and give her healthy long life…..Ameen


  • Bilal Aslam
    Dec 30, 2011 - 2:53PM

    Allah is ko seaht day Ameen


  • kaalchakra
    Dec 30, 2011 - 2:56PM

    This is incredibly sad……I am at a loss for words.


  • FN723
    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:00PM

    Hoping and praying for a miracle.


  • Michael Dallaire
    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:01PM

    May peace be with you. A heart breaking, but also inspirational story of a brilliant young mind.


    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:07PM



  • M Jalil Haider
    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:25PM

    I pray that Allah gives her shifa-e-kamila. Ameen


  • hawaiianon
    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:26PM

    Why didn’t the family accept financial assistance? Is she getting all the medical care she needs? I really hope they’re doing all they can to save her.


  • Dr Shariq Ali
    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:27PM

    Every one of us whom i know is preying for the little genius, oo god please help her, u can do miricles, she is our nations pride. dear Aarifa please come back.


  • Dec 30, 2011 - 3:27PM

    May Allah bless her and give her complete health. Ilahi Ameen


  • Mard-e-Haq
    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:40PM

    I pray for a miracle Aarifa.


  • Jared
    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:55PM

    Get wellRecommend

  • Kashif
    Dec 30, 2011 - 3:58PM

    May ALLAH (swt) bless her with a speedy recovery and long, healthy and happy life.. Ameen!


  • Nathaniel
    Dec 30, 2011 - 4:45PM

    May modern Science restore her previous health.


  • Dec 30, 2011 - 4:52PM

    May Allah protect her and see her through these trying times…the same Allah that gave her an epilitic attack. Thank you for harrming this child, Allah is great!


  • Ryan P
    Dec 30, 2011 - 4:58PM

    I hope she gets better, this is truly a shame and a shock. May she get the miracle she deserves.


  • Dec 30, 2011 - 5:18PM

    She is such a prodigy, I was once also an MCSE and know how hard it was to become one, and she did it at 9! Just 9 years old! What a bright star she is!

    My prayers for the family.


  • Brittany
    Dec 30, 2011 - 5:19PM

    How sad for this to happen to such an amazingly talented person. Sometimes doctors are wrong. Maybe she can be the rare exception again and recover.


  • Steve
    Dec 30, 2011 - 6:06PM

    Religion aside. Get well young one. I hope you make a recovery.


  • A thakur
    Dec 30, 2011 - 6:36PM

    This is really heartbreaking news. Aarifa get well soon. Pakistan needs daughters like you.


  • Roger Craton
    Dec 30, 2011 - 7:10PM

    I rarely pray, but I begged for the life of this poor child to the Merciful Benefactor. May she recover fully and continue inspiring people around the world with her genius.


  • Iqbal Ahmed
    Dec 30, 2011 - 7:19PM

    Mat Allah give her long life with good health.


  • Iqbal Ahmed
    Dec 30, 2011 - 7:22PM

    May Allah give her Long Life with Good Health.


  • JimmyJohn
    Dec 30, 2011 - 7:25PM

    God Bless Her…


  • Dec 30, 2011 - 7:38PM

    Prayers and well wishes, my dear. I wish you the best and hope for your recovery.


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