Abdul Sattar Edhi: A life in pictures

Published: July 9, 2016


PHOTO: AFP Abdul Sattar Edhi, 1928-2016. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan’s greatest humanitarian, philanthropist and social activist, Abdul Sattar Edhi, led a simple life dedicated to helping the needy. Following his death on Friday night, tributes poured in for the man unanimously revered as a national hero. He spent his life in service to the people of his country and his passion for helping mankind inspired thousands to follow his lead.

Having bathed, fed and clothed thousands, his skin was left darkened by the sun, his broad shoulders weakened by the weight of the thousands he carried, but his bearded face never lost the smile. Edhi was indeed a man made of steel with a heart of gold. He belonged to all of us.

As Edhi is laid to rest today in Karachi, we look at 20 inspiring pictures from Edhi’s life.

Edhi is pictured with his first car which he converted into an ambulance. “In my entire life I have driven no other car, except my ambulance which I have driven for 48 years,” said Edhi. Edhi is seen below with some friends in his early days as a social worker.

After the death of his mother, Edhi devoted his life to helping others. He bathed, fed and clothed the poor and continued his work for years to follow.

Edhi would spend day and night traveling the city in his ambulance in search for the sick and needy. When he came across such people, he would pick them up and take them back to the Edhi centre.

Edhi was born in 1928 in a small village in Gujrat, India. His mother suffered from a stroke when he was aged 11 after which she could not function properly. Edhi led an extremely simple life. He was known to have owned only two sets of clothing, which he alternated between when one was dirty.

Abdul Sattar Edhi never took an interest in formal education. He said, “The world’s sorrow is my teacher, a source of wisdom and knowledge.”

On the sixth day after Pakistan was founded, Edhi moved to Pakistan. He set up a business selling match boxes and later became an agent in the wholesale cloth market. At the age of 20, Edhi took help from the Memon community to obtain a water dispensary to facilitate the poor and needy.

A friend of Edhi’s, Haji Ghani Usman, helped him in his mission and donated some money. With the money, Edhi was able to purchase a car, make a water dispensary and establish a hospital equipped with four beds.

Abdul Sattar Edhi used to attend weddings where he would wash dishes, sell milk and distribute newspapers. At the end he said, “Don’t do work for Memons, work for humanity.”

Following the death of his mother, Edhi made tremendous efforts to help the needy and open hospitals. He often said that he would go to any length to help humanity even if he had to beg.

Edhi died at the age of 92 and was suffering from kidney failure. He was undergoing treatment at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation.

“I ask only from him who gives happily and says nothing to anyone, and that can only be Allah,” reads a poster with a picture of Edhi. This was the first public appeal by Edhi to collect donations of Rs2 million. He said he wanted the money to go to the people.

Here are some more pictures:

A young girl shakes Edhi’s hand as he collects donations on a side street in Karachi. PHOTO: AFP

Edhi looks toward an empty cupboard from which money was stolen during a raid of Edhi’s office in Karachi, 2015.

Edhi is photographed as he sits in his office in Karachi. PHOTO: AFP

Edhi is pictured holding a newborn at one of his centres in Karachi. He regularly took in women, children and men who had no place to go. Edhi never said no to anyone. PHOTO: AFP

Edhi is pictured with Geeta, a mute and deaf Indian girl who strayed into Pakistan more than a decade ago, after which, Edhi took her under his care.


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Reader Comments (26)

  • Taha
    Jul 9, 2016 - 4:38PM

    Picture says Edhi sahab died at age of 92. But his age was 88 at time of death.Recommend

  • Furkan Awan
    Jul 9, 2016 - 5:51PM

    I always loved you and May Allah bless you the highest place in Jannah ! Surely Pakistan Lost a huge Treasure Recommend

  • M N Prasad
    Jul 9, 2016 - 6:38PM

    Age is not important….. his age is not matters.. the ways & mean of Life matters…!! he did it & achieved more than lifetime! ..next generation cant belive a man like him was really alive…, served the community with humanity….. its heart felt moment..! M N Prasad , Bangalore, IndiaRecommend

  • Baber Zaidi
    Jul 9, 2016 - 8:12PM

    May Allah (swt) shower HIS Blessings on Edhi Sahib. He was Mohsin-e Insaniyat and symbol of what PAKISTAN suppose to be. We have lost TRUE treasures in Edhi sahib & Amjad Sabri within two weeks. Allah (swt) inkay Darjaat buland karay! AmeenRecommend

  • Raw is War
    Jul 10, 2016 - 1:26AM

    even he was not spared in Pakistan????Recommend

  • Farooq Ahmed
    Jul 10, 2016 - 11:13AM

    Allah pak Edhi sb ko jnnatul firdous atta frmye.ameenRecommend

  • abdul rauf
    Jul 10, 2016 - 1:54PM

    Beauty gets attention but Personalty gets the hearts.
    That personalty is abdul sathtar edhi . who always helped the poor once.Recommend

  • Ibrahim
    Jul 10, 2016 - 3:18PM

    Great man Abdul satar Eidhe Recommend

  • la his soul in jannatul firdaus .and hs grave be a piece of jannat for this great personaliity.Amen
    Jul 10, 2016 - 3:29PM

    truely honest lover of humanity..May Allah Bless his soul in jannatul firdous .and hs grave be a piece of jannat for this great personaliity.AmenRecommend

  • hasan
    Jul 10, 2016 - 3:30PM

    A truely honest lover of humanity..May Allah Bless his soul in jannatul firdous .and hs grave be a piece of jannat for this great personaliity.AmenRecommend

  • hafeez
    Jul 10, 2016 - 4:06PM

    We always love u SIR.EIDHI is not a name its a thought for everyone who realise the humanity.we salute u.we will never forget what u do for mankind u will always be in our heartsRecommend

  • Syed Zahid Asif
    Jul 10, 2016 - 5:36PM

    EDHI Sb is the TRUE practical picture of ISLAM in 21st Century.Recommend

  • Jul 10, 2016 - 5:47PM

    Abdulsatar echo is my life super heroRecommend

  • Zahid Jan
    Jul 10, 2016 - 5:56PM

    EDHI spent his entire Life for the comfortability & happiness of others. I just say that “The happiest movements are serve & help to others there is no precious thing in the universe to help others which is GOD GIFTED” its my personal experience too. MAY ALLAH HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE”. Recommend

  • Muhammad saleem
    Jul 10, 2016 - 6:56PM

    He was a real hero. He lives in our hearts
    May his soul rest in peace
    All the blessing of Allah are with himRecommend

  • M Ali
    Jul 10, 2016 - 7:16PM

    Ghurba Edhi (mother)
    Abdul Shakoor Edhi (father)
    Born Abdul Sattar Edhi 1 January 1928
    Bantva, Bantva Manavadar, Western India States Agency, British Raj (Present day Bantva, Gujarat, India)
    Died 8 July 2016
    Karachi, Pakistan
    Cause of death Kidney Failure
    Resting place Edhi Village
    Nationality Pakistani
    Other names Angel of MercY
    Ethnicity Bantva Memon
    Known for Social work
    Simple lifestyle, Humanitarian
    Spouse(s) Bilquis Edhi
    Children Faisal Edhi, Kutub Edhi
    Awards Lenin Peace Prize (1988)
    Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1989)
    Wolf of Bhogio Peace Award (2005), ItalyRecommend

  • Mrs umar
    Jul 10, 2016 - 7:23PM

    Edhi sahab was a kind f a person born once in millions f yearsRecommend

  • Anwar ul Haq
    Jul 10, 2016 - 8:46PM

    I am extremely thankful for to #Google for sharing our sad feelings with the world. The whole Pakistani nation mourns the death of her great man #AbdulSattarEdhi. May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace.

    Abdul Sattar Edhi was truly a great man, this world would never see this kind of person again. a man who never used collected donations for his own needs and comfort. Recommend

  • Anwar Saifi
    Jul 10, 2016 - 9:53PM

    I pray to Almighty Allah that He gives us the strength to follow the footsteps of Abdul Sattar Edhi and we serve humanity with the same spirit. Amen.Recommend

  • Jul 11, 2016 - 2:03AM

    He was one of the best humans on this planet who lived like saints and sacrificed their lives for the well being of down trodden segment of society. May Allah shower his special blessings and grant him a highest place in Paradise!Recommend

  • Muhammad Zahid
    Jul 11, 2016 - 9:26AM

    Edhi sahab was a kind f a person born once in millions f years

    Muhammad Zahid

  • Muhammad Jameel
    Jul 11, 2016 - 11:33AM

    May ALLAH ALMIGHTY rest his soul in peace, aameen.Recommend

  • Ghulam Rabbani
    Jul 11, 2016 - 3:44PM

    Eidi Sahab had always been my inspirational role model.
    i always dream and plan to start with a small free ambulance to escort injured / dead to the hospitals in India.
    If i could atleast manage 5% of what he used to do in his wordly life, i will be the happiest person in the globe.

    Please pray for my success and May Allah swt the most merciful grant Eidi Sahab a noble place in Jannatul Firdous.Ameen Ya Rab.

    Jazak Allah khair

  • Jul 12, 2016 - 9:08AM

    Edhi Saheb, a fellow Gujarati, was 88 years old being borne in 1928. He was a true Saint.Recommend

  • Sandeep
    Jul 12, 2016 - 11:36AM

    Edhi Saab, We will miss youRecommend

  • Hasan Saman
    Sep 29, 2016 - 9:20PM

    strong textRecommend

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