By: Aashie Hassan
I miss him. For some he was a father, for others a great colleague. For some he was a responsible brother, for others he was an amazing writer. But for me, he was an irreplaceable teacher. I wonder, how does one mourn death? What is death? What is its essence…its truth? Death is literally the transfer of one's soul from this world that we know to another reality which we call the hereafter. Sometimes death seems too simple to be true, yet at other times it is a horrible punch to the gut. I mean death is to come one day, so it's stupid to fear it because it's not as if you can prevent it or delay it. The best thing one can do is to prepare himself to face it. I am proud to say that he has left a legacy behind that will grant him a high place in Jannat ul Firdous…Inshallah wa Ameen. He made the most of his time in this deceiving reality we call duniya and succeeded in living his life the way he should have. I am proud to be his student. I am proud that I was born when he lived. I am proud to be in the same country as him. I am proud to call him my teacher…my mentor.
He is gone. I grieve him. I mourn him. I miss him. He was a man of many talents namely the skill of writing…the skill of moving one to tears or making one laugh hysterically. The skill of being an amazing role model and being able to depict a similar image to historic icons of our islamic past. He gave me a gift. An amazing one at that. He gave me the gift of love. Love for the right people. He gave me the gift of faith. Faith in the entity that created you and me. He gave me the gift of humanity. He gave me the gift of incomparable ideals and he gifted me a wild, adventurous, terrifying and an awesome imagination. His novels, his books, his magazine all contributed in my creativity and passion for writing. More importantly, they gave me a clear understanding of that which is right and wrong. He helped me stand up tall on my feet in terms of my belief, faith and Iman.
I remember my craze for his novels. I still am passionate about them but probably slightly bit more controlled. I can't help but recall an incident that I love to relate to friends whenever I spoke of him before. Once when I was around the age of 10 or 11…I had a geography test the next day and it was already past 7 pm. I hadn't even touched my books. The problem was that a newly released novel of his had made its way in our home and I was insisting on reading it before studying for the test. My older sister, who was a fan way longer then I was, hid the novel in the cupboard under some clothes. I found it and I remember standing by the cupboard door, eyes stealing quick glances at the door, ears tensed for any sound of approaching footsteps. I stood there and read the entire khas number. It's nothing to be proud of, I know, but I love this memory because it reminds me of my intense love for his writings. I miss Farooq and his quick hilarious answers to everything. I miss farzana and Farhat's astoundingly brilliant ideas that would relieve the characters from times of immense danger. I miss Mamood, Asif and Shoki's tendency to always jump into action and be the hero of the day. I miss Aftab and Makhan…I miss the bacha party…the choti party. Those who have read his novels know what I speak off. I wonder what they would have to say at an occasion such as this. After a few moments of sadness Farooq would definitely shoot something funny to make everyone light up. He would probably say, 'Mawt sai darnai walai aai asman nahi hum.' I am going to miss their 'Maha bharat of idioms and zarm ul amsal.'
On the other hand, bari party would be more solemn and would declare that mawt tau kisi din aani hi hai. My inspector Jamshaid…my Inspector Kamran Mirza…my bari party and choti party…they were my family. I don’t mourn one death but a whole family. People would say, this girl's gone crazy, she has fallen in love with the characters. Yes there have been other characters, BUT…these characters have been aren't just characters…he had presented them in such a way that they were real life people. The children were every day students…the elders were responsible figures of the household. He made it possible for us to relate to them and learn amazing things of being a muslim…a true momin. Normally, in books and novels the characters are unique and different from the normal people. Laikin afreen hai uss par jis nai adab ki duniya mai jassosi ka andaz hi badal dia. These characters were like you and me. The only different thing they had was faith, belief and trust in Allah سبحانہ وتعالی which you and I lack. They used to believe that everyone has been blessed with a brain. That intelligence was the greatest gift of the All Mighty. These characters would boost your confidence…they would make you want to be like them and the best thing is that you don’t need be extraordinary. No!!! All one needs to be special is have faith, and trust, and confidence in oneself and his/her Creator.
I miss him. He gave me a bright life. He gave me a life full of possibilities because there is nothing impossible in this world. All you need, I repeat, is to have faith and trust. Of course, you need brains too but like I said, we all got the same share of that. I am grateful to him for his amazing gifts. Death is to come to all of us, if not today then tomorrow. He made the best of his time. It's time I practice all of his lessons. We should practice the patience we have been taught and the most vital lesson from his life and his work is to make the time we have gold. Death is a reality. It is something we all have to go through…there is no way out of it. All we can do is not let go of this opportunity of life that we have. Not to waste our precious moments.
We miss him. We shall remember him. We shall pray for him. Ishtiaq Ahmed may have gone to his eternal abode physically but he lives in my heart. He lives in your heart. He lives in our actions and our lives as we implement his teachings. After writing my heart out, I still miss him. There is still this hole in my soul…a gash in my heart…my heart aches and eyes tear. My head hurts and my sleep escapes me. But I guess that's death for us. Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم spoke the truth when he said: Increase the remembrance of the destroyer of luxury i.e. death.
May Allah سبحانہ وتعالی make death easy upon all of us and have us prepared when it comes to greet us…Ameen.
May Allah سبحانہ وتعالی bless my teacher, a renowned writer Ishtiaq Ahmed, with countless blessings and a place high up in Jannat ul Firdous. And on the day of judgement may Allah سبحانہ وتعالی be smiling at him and be pleased with him…Ameen.