After a lifetime of teaching, Happy Home founder passes away

Published: April 10, 2012
A group photo taken on the occasion of Maryam and Faruqi’s wedding ceremony at 2, Windsor Palace, New Dehli on April 6, 1947. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, his sister Fatima Jinnah, Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and his wife Begum Ra’ana were also there. PHOTO: COURTESY MOEEN FARUQI

A group photo taken on the occasion of Maryam and Faruqi’s wedding ceremony at 2, Windsor Palace, New Dehli on April 6, 1947. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, his sister Fatima Jinnah, Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and his wife Begum Ra’ana were also there. PHOTO: COURTESY MOEEN FARUQI

A group photo taken on the occasion of Maryam and Faruqi’s wedding ceremony at 2, Windsor Palace, New Dehli on April 6, 1947. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, his sister Fatima Jinnah, Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and his wife Begum Ra’ana were also there. PHOTO: COURTESY MOEEN FARUQI
A group photo taken on the occasion of Maryam and Faruqi’s wedding ceremony at 2, Windsor Palace, New Dehli on April 6, 1947. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, his sister Fatima Jinnah, Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and his wife Begum Ra’ana were also there. PHOTO: COURTESY MOEEN FARUQI

On Monday at 6pm, Karachi lost an educationist, a scholar and a grandmother.

Maryam Faruqi, founder of Happy Home School, passed away at National Medical Centre after suffering from pneumonia. She leaves behind five children, 10 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Born in Pune in 1924, Faruqi was the eldest daughter of Sir Ibrahim and Lady Hawabai Haroon Jaffer, a well-known businessman, who also launched an Urdu weekly called ‘Muslim’ in 1912 and established a primary school in Haroon Hall, a building he constructed in memory of his father.

She was very close to her brother, Ahmed, who gave her the nickname Pyarijan, a name still used by her grandchildren.

Maryam received her early education at the Islamia School which is now named after her parents. After she came first in grade six, the headmistress asked her to teach Urdu to grade five. She did her matriculation at the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Pune and acquired the first merit position. She joined the Nauroji Wadia College and was awarded the Moosa Qasim Gold Medal.

She studied Persian at college and did her undergraduate in Urdu and Persian in 1945. When she achieved a first class in her BA, her brother sent her photograph to be printed in Daily Dawn, as the first Memon girl to achieve this. Her need to learn never stopped. After completing her BA, she had decided that she wanted to teach.

Her daughter, Ghazala, who is now the principal of Happy Home School System, recalls that after this photo was printed, her mother received a lot of letters from young men. “My uncle took away the letters written to her by Memon boys in case she wrote back. However, he did let her keep a letter from a man who was not Memon, my father, NH Faruqi.” She added that her mother wrote to Faruqi as he had beautiful penmanship, and the two soon became pen pals. She was impressed by his Urdu and education – he was an income tax officer.

Maryam did not want to marry a Memon, or an uneducated man. Her brother Ahmed understood. He said that since she was educated, her husband had to be educated too. So when Faruqi sent a formal proposal of marriage to Ahmed, he went to meet him in Delhi.

Despite the opposition from the family and community, Maryam and Faruqi were married in Delhi.

After her wedding, her husband opted to move to Pakistan. Maryam worked with Mrs Qazi Issa on the National Guard Movement in preparing young women for emergencies. She also worked with the Women’s Muslim League. She also enrolled for some vocational courses at Mama Parsi Girls Secondary School.

She went ahead and did a Montessori training course and loved it. She persuaded her husband that she would start a small teaching group at home – not more than 20 students in 1949. According to Ghazala, her father was a little embarrassed.

He did not want his wife working from home. However, Maryam continued to put her heart and soul into the group and eventually from 20 the group expanded to 200. After many discussions, Maryam and Faruqi decided that it was time to buy a piece of land and build a school. They bought a plot on Shaheed-e-Millat Road (then Jail road) and established Happy Home School. At first, the parents did not respond in kind, they were angry that the school was nearly a mile away, in the wilderness. However as time went by, more students started to enroll and Maryam had to employ more teachers and add more rooms.

Moeen Faruqi’s earliest memory of his mother is her working at school. He remembers her as being very passionate about education and wanting to excel. He says it was because she was a top student herself. He claims that besides her love for education, his mother was also a very caring person – always going out of the way for family and friends.

His sister, Ghazala, says that hers was a story of determination. “She was from a business family,” she said. “Her brothers were not highly educated and since her family was Memon, they did not believe in educating a girl. My mother told me that she spent every summer crying and begging her parents to let her go back to school when it started.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.

A letter from Faruqi’s granddaughter can be read here.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Truth From Pakistan
    Apr 10, 2012 - 7:00AM

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajeeoon ! Rest in peace Maam.


  • Apr 10, 2012 - 9:25AM

    It indeed is a very sad day for us – the Happy Homers. I can never forget her smiling face even if I was caught running late for the class after recess. She was an affectionate and a truly committed educationist who selflessly devoted her entire life to provide quality education. Being an enlightened individual, she introduced Quran as an additional subject, which helped us learn teachings of the Holy Book at our formative years.

    As an ex-student of her school, I am deeply saddened by this loss, and I admit that all her students are indebted to her for whatever we have achieved in our lives.

    May her soul rest in eternal peace. Amen.


  • Hassan
    Apr 10, 2012 - 9:33AM



  • Ajamal
    Apr 10, 2012 - 9:55AM

    An examplary personality for every one to be proud of. May Allah grant her His eternal mercy.


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Apr 10, 2012 - 10:01AM

    May Al-Mighty Allah rest her soul in peace.

    She worked very hard with dedication and enthusiasm. There are many children who got education and now are spread all over the world.


  • Apr 10, 2012 - 10:08AM

    Being a Happy Homer of 1983, this is a sad day for me. Her contribution in the making of thousands of educated Pakistanis should be appreciated at the highest level.


  • Nisar Ahmed Sheikh
    Apr 10, 2012 - 10:43AM

    She really was great lady. Besides many qualities she had unmatchable sharp memory, she knew her students, thousands in number by name,


  • Afaq
    Apr 10, 2012 - 11:10AM

    Sad News, But they mess the education system by making it business and put down the quality of education by hiring low profile teachers. I did my eduction from there but now realized that that was my parents mistake.


  • Hina Alavi
    Apr 10, 2012 - 1:44PM

    Mrs.Faruqi was like our mother in the truest sense .. our “Spiritual Parent”. She made sure we learned the worldly knowledge as well as religious knowledge, quite unmatched in any other school todate.She took care of both OUR TAALEEM AND TARBIAT which sadly lacks in most schools. She was our mentor…. and she cared about each an every student of her school… she invited social work icons, icons who made a difference despite their disabilities, religious scholars and even Harpo the Clown to introduce her students to various aspects of life. She shared words of wisdom, news, articles and even good verses with us. i recall one that she shared in assembly a verse, i recall the second line “Paish ker Ghafil amal koi ager dafter may hai” she explained in detail that we are responsible for our actions and we will be asked on the Day of Judgement this second line……..
    We Happy Homers can never thank her enough for the subtle as well as direct guidance that she provided us unconditionally!!!! Hope Her Legacy is prevails…

    Allah Taala Unkay Darajaat Buland Fermaey or Unko Jannat ul Firdous mai Jagha Ata Fermaey. aameen


  • Tayyaba
    Apr 10, 2012 - 1:44PM

    Being a Happy Homer of Batch 2000, it is a true loss for me. She was one of a kind and shall always be admired. Her contribution in the field of education is exemplary and whatever I am today is because of her. I still remember when she used to visit the school and everyone was disciplined. I remember this picture in the school library (shaheed-e-millat road) which we used to see everyday. She was a great woman, a great mother and a great educationist. May her soul rests in peace (aameen)


  • Pakistani
    Apr 10, 2012 - 3:12PM



  • Mohammad Mansoor Ali Ansari (1983 Batch Happy Homer)
    Apr 10, 2012 - 3:39PM

    The contribution of Madam Farooqui in building a breed of patriotic, loyal, competent, highly cultured and positive individuals cannot be measured easily. I wish and pray that her eternal journey would full of rewards and may Allah grant her highest place in Jannah. Aameen!


  • Truth Teller
    Apr 10, 2012 - 6:32PM

    I did not knew her but must admit that she must be a great lady to take the cause of education forward. RIP.


  • fatima ahmer
    Apr 10, 2012 - 7:31PM

    she was a great woman, a great educationist, may her soul rests in peace


  • fatima ahmer
    Apr 10, 2012 - 7:36PM

    Allah grant her highest place in jannat.Ameen


  • Apr 10, 2012 - 9:24PM

    assalamualikum i felt so sad to hear…may ALLAH give her place in JANNAH TUL furdious ameen,,,may ALLAH REMOVE HER SINS AMEEN FROM AMIMA KHAN ARTS AND SCIENCE ACADEMY,,,


  • asif shah
    Apr 11, 2012 - 2:55AM

    yeh ghari mehshar ki hai, tu arsa’ay mehshar mein hai
    paish ker ghafil, amal koi agar daftar mein hai

    (Dr M. Iqbal)

    i am certain she will have loads of good deeds to put forward, Insha Allah.


  • Asad Ali
    Apr 11, 2012 - 5:27AM

    INNALILLAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAAJIOON.,.,.,may her soul rest in peace .,.,.,.,i am also a ex happy homer .,.,.,.,.,.,she was a very nice and active lady .,.,.,.,un say danday bhi khaye hain mainay .,.,.
    i think that her death is the biggest loss for us .,.,.,.,

    thanx for prvoviding such a great institution .,.,.,.,i am proud to be the HAPPY HOMER .,.,.,


  • Dr.S.Rehan Shamim
    Apr 11, 2012 - 7:48PM

    We are all very sad to hear her demise.All my brother & sisters are Happy homer.We always discussed our old school memories & Madam farooqui`s major contribution towards happy home school.May Allah Blessed her soul.Happy homer class 1985.


  • Tabrez Durrani
    Apr 11, 2012 - 11:03PM


    Even with my brief association with Happy Home School (Nov 99- July 2000), Mrs. Farooqui left a great impression on me as an educationist and as a manager of a whole thought process a whole school system which is unique in its own.

    My condolences to the family and all associated with Happy Home – i am with them at this time of great loss and grief


  • Apr 13, 2012 - 4:21PM

    This is sad news. May Allah bless her soul with eternal happiness.


    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:16PM

    It is indeed a sad day for us all.
    Mrs.Farooqi was a unique lady.Her contribution to education and
    improving so many lives is remarkable. a driven & determined
    woman, she accomplished so much in life and leaves behind arich legacy.
    May she rest in peace.


  • Hassan Farooqi
    Apr 13, 2012 - 8:35PM

    May Allah forgive her sins and grant her Jannat. May Allah give the strength to survivors Ghazala Nizami and Zaheer Faruqi to cope up with the loss. Happy Homers, especially from around 1973 please join the Happy Home groups on linkedin, facebook, and yahoo groups so we may stay in touch with each other.


  • Shah Affan
    Apr 14, 2012 - 8:59AM

    Mrs. Faruqi will be missed by all her students. May Allah give her a high place in Jannatul Firdos aameen.

    Lot of our teachers from happy Home have passed away. Mrs. Mazhar (History teacher), Mrs. Mumtaz (Urdu and Islamiat teacher), Sir Sultan (Urdu teacher), Sir Bashir (Maths and Physics teacher), Ms. Najma Hashim (English and Science teacher who later became Head mistress of primary class) Sir Hussaini (PT teacher), Sir Jamil (PT teacher). Ms. Noorbi aapa, Rasool Khan (Gate keeper).

    These teachers made us what we are right now. Allah bless their souls aameen.

    It’s not just Mrs Ghazala Nizami who lost her mother, We, students of Happy Home feel like Mrs Faruqi was our mother too and we are also crying on her sad demise. Hope Mrs Ghazala can bear this loss with courage. We all are with you Mrs. Ghazala Nizami.


  • Dr Sabaa alkind
    Apr 14, 2012 - 3:48PM

    INNALILLAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAAJIOON.,.,.,may her soul rest in peace .,.,.,.,i am also a ex happy homer from batch of 1979.
    I never knew how silently she explored our talents and molded our personalities by making us participate in extracurricular activities.If it was not for her I would have never overcome my shyness.She created in us love of poetry through baidbazi competitions,Debates,essay writings,quiz shows.You name it and we had it.
    She encouraged us to read news paper by introducing current affairs class in history periods.We were suppose to make scrap books of important news and write our impressions and give our comments on it which was never done in any other school at that time .I still remember covering Islamic summit conference.
    It is indeed a great loss…….
    She will always be remembered….


  • Tariq Nizami
    Apr 14, 2012 - 7:46PM

    It is a Great Loss of Mrs. Maryam Faruqi, Founder of Happy Home School on 9 April to all of us Happy Homers. It was a sad day for Happy Home as we lost our Great Mother. On behalf of Happy Home Alumni Association Trust that May Al Mighty Allah rest her soul in peace, we all will miss her alot she always will be with us.

    Happy Home Alumni Association Trust


  • capt Aijaz ali khan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 2:22PM

    mrs Farooki was agreat lady her teaching institutes has done agreat job to improve education lavel in Pakistan she will be remembered for many many years from students of Happy Home Schools who are doing good jobs arround the world. I pray Almighty to place her departed sole in best part of Heaven.


  • Umair Mazhar
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:38PM

    Mrs.Farooqui was a great lady. May Allah rest her soul ! She will be remembered by millions of students till eternity. A true motivator and a great leader !

    Umair Mazhar


  • Munawer
    Apr 18, 2012 - 6:55PM


    Henry Longfellow once wrote..”lives of great people all remind us…we can make our lives sublime….and departing leaves behind…footprints on the sands of time!!”

    Indeed it is a very sad day for all of us who are connected to Happy Home school in some way.
    Although I must confess that I was scared by her strictness but now when I do look back and think of those days I do realise how crucial it was for us to learn some sort of discipline in our lives..something which is sadly missing in our nation…but then again not everybody is lucky enough to get an opportunity to be educated in Happy Home!
    In particular,the religious aspect of our education which we had in our early days were unique and a trademark of Mrs.Farooqi.
    I would like offer my sincere condolences to Ms.Ghazala and all her family and all the “Happy Home Family” on this great loss.May Allah SWT bless her with the Best…Ameen.


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