Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,
“I got it first! I got it first!” My brother was madly waving the novel in his hand and running around the whole house, successfully goading me to follow him in a rage.
“It’s mine!” I hollered after him. But he gleefully shot in his room and shut the door, locking it after him.
“You’ll get it after I read it and tell you the ending!” he maliciously shouted from inside, and I felt tears of frustration flow down my cheeks. Oh why did boys have longer legs?
All this was going through my mind, like a film from the days of my youth, as I listened with a numb mind the news that the author of those well-loved novels had passed away. Ishtiaq Ahmad … a name that does not need an introduction among the Urdu reading populace of two generations; a name that became beloved to those reading his articles and admiring his stance on the everyday things in life; a name that became an icon for writing his Qadam ba Qadam series.
Like a snap of the fingers he is no longer among us. Little would either he or his family have known he would return to Jhang, his city, in a kafan. We can mourn his death, sigh over it, be saddened that his book of life has reached ‘The End’, but we cannot bemoan what he did with his gift of life. He took what he had and sharpened it, honed it, perfected his skills and used it for the tarbiyyah of the Muslim children. He swayed children towards good stories so that lives were inspired and enriched.
We miss you dear sir, and we salute you, and I hope that every one of us will try and send you as much eesal-e-thawab as we can as a thanks for being a part of our lives that pushed us towards Jannah. May Allah سبحانہ وتعالی grant you the highest of rewards for it. Ameen.