Remembering Junaid Jamshed: The life you’d die for and the death you’d live for
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to title this article ‘the life you’d die for’ or ‘the death you’d live for’, as both of these phrases aptly emulate the life and death of Junaid Jamshed. He lived in a way one wishes to live and died the way one yearns to.
If you conduct a quick dip-stick test and ask people how they would like to live their lives, they would not hesitate to respond with “happy, famous, rich and reputable”. When asked the question, “How would you like to die?” many would say that they would want to be remembered as martyrs. Similarly, Jamshed is always remembered on all of these accounts and will be for generations to come.
More than his life, his death had a huge impact in bringing change to the lives of many people, regardless of whether they followed him or not. I have personally met many people who transformed themselves into better human beings and became honest after Jamshed’s sudden demise. People who felt disconnected, even while sitting among ulemas (scholars), have turned to religion in a positive manner. People who opposed his ideology now defend him on every possible forum. He was able to change the hearts of his adversaries by his sheer bearing and gentle behaviour. Even in death, he continues to change people.
Jamshed was a forgiving man by nature. Even after being assaulted at the Islamabad airport, he did not bring the felons to task, and withdrew the FIR saying,
“My Lord is always awake, he is not sleeping, and he can bring each one to the task even if I don’t want to pursue the case. Whosoever forgives others in this world, Allah will forgive him in the day of reckoning.”
His decision to be the bigger person thawed many hearts and increased his fan following.
Jamshed was also exceedingly humane by nature. I once met a man who credited Jamshed with his transformation. He was travelling with Jamshed on a visit to an embassy where they were to present hefty giveaways to all the ambassadors. On the way to the embassy, they both offered Zuhr prayers at a local Masjid. As he stepped out, a corn-seller gave him some corn, saying it was especially for him. In return, Jamshed gave him the lavish giveaway which was meant to be given to one of the ambassadors. The man was awestruck and moved by Jamshed’s gesture to which Jamshed said,
“Learn to surprise people with gifts they can never expect, Allah will surprise you with the blessings that you never thought of. Your happiness in life is directly proportional to the happiness you bring in for people.”
Everyone wishes for the kind of death Jamshed embraced – martyrdom followed by an oceanic funeral unprecedented in history.
Jamshed always asserted,
“Once I die, bury me where the ulemas/scholars pass by regularly, as Allah pacifies the grilling of the deceased in the grave when an Aalim passes by it.”
For him, talking about death was this simple. He was finally laid to rest in Darul Uloom among other religious elders, while Maulana Tariq Jameel recited the first part of Surah Baqarah and Mufti Taqi Usmani read the last part of the Surah.
It was an ideal farewell where thousands came to pay their respects, the righteous shouldered the body and ulemas graced the burial. Many people objected over the decorum of funeral he was given by the Pakistan Air Force, and to them I say, God is the one who decides who to bestow honour upon and who not to (Surah Al Imran 26).
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