The final farewell for the legendary ‘King of Ghazals’ was held on Friday at Noorani ground in Ancholi where hundreds of people turned up to offer the Namaz-e-Janaza for Mehdi Hasan who passed away at the age of 85 on June 13 after succumbing to multiple organ failure.
The roads were lined with scores of mourners, forcing a number of men, women and children to climb on to the roofs of houses and buildings in Samanabad en route to the funeral procession. The workers of Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF) encircled the ambulance which was carrying the casket to make a passage towards the funeral ground in order to avoid any disruption. Those who could not attend the funeral prayers because of tight security arrangements had gathered on the roads of the Muhammad Shah graveyard in North Karachi, where the legendary ghazal singer was laid to rest.
Religious scholar Maulana Ferozuddin Rahmani led the funeral prayers. Those who attended the funeral included noted personalities from the music, television, radio and film industry, politicians, lawyers, journalists as well as fans of the iconic ghazal singer.
While paying tribute to Mehdi Hassan, film star Nadeem Baig shared his substantial artistic experiences with the maestro. “In my career, I have had the privilege of working with almost all the big names in the music industry but voices like that of Mehdi Hassan are born once in centuries,” he said, “His death is a big tragedy, not only for Pakistan but also for the whole world.”
Veteran TV actor Qazi Wajid shared Hassan’s passion and commitment to the arts that helped him acquire international fame. “Mehdi Hassan used to rehearse not only the whole night before his shows but also the night after them,” said Wajid, adding that, “it is impossible for anybody to grasp the intricacies and command on classical music like that of Hassan again.”
TV artist Anwar Iqbal, who came to attend the funeral, lamented that the art of Mehdi Hassan had vanished with him. “I feel sorry to say that we did nothing to transfer his art to our future generations and now nobody can fill the vacuum that is there because of Mehdi Hassan’s departure.”
Pop singer Tanveer Afridi, expressing his love for the iconic ghazal singer appealed to the nation to pray for him, “Mehdi Hassan did a massive work in the field of ghazals which cannot be done in centuries. I request the Pakistani nation to please recite Surah-e-Fateha for him.”
At the funeral, Sajjad Mehdi, Mehdi Hassan’s son, said that “His prayers are enough to keep us on the right path till the end of our life.”
Sajjad Mehdi was satisfied with the government’s assistance in his father’s treatment during the long period of illness. “The chapter of my father is now closed but we will always remember the kindness and support from the government and others.”
A number of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Q leaders were also present at the funeral including Wasay Jaleel, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Raza Haroon, Dr. Sagheer Ahmed, Rauf Siddiqui, Nisar Khuhro, Waqar Mehdi, Rashid Rabani, Shaukat Tareen and Haleem Adil Sheikh.
Soyem of Mehdi Hassan
The soyem for the departed soul of Mehdi Hassan will be held on Saturday, June 16, from Asr to Maghrib at his residence, at Al-Noor Society, FB Area, behind Edhi cold storage.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2012.
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