From Pop to Piety

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Written by: Hafsa Bint Yar Muhammad Nizamani

Yes, I am writing about Shaheed Junaid Jamshed. He was a popular pop singer. From the beginning of his career, he ruled over the hearts of his fans. It was the time of General Ziaul Haq when he started his career. His handsome face and sweet voice charmed all and sundry. He was clean shaven, he wore jeans and his most famous song 'Dil Dil Pakistan' ranked no. 2 in the world. The song became so famous that it is on every Pakistani child's lips even today. This song is considered an unofficial national anthem of Pakistan. It became so famous that the Indians imitated it and composed a ‘Dil dil Hindustan’. Junaid Jamshed soared to fame. He was at the peak of his career and had obtained everything a materialist could long for… wealth, fame, comfort… everything worldly but peace of heart and mind were missing. He was restless. One day, he attended a Karachi Tablighi Jamaat Ijtama (gathering) where he met the prominent Maulana Tariq Jameel Sahib and told him about his restlessness. Maulana Tariq Jameel showed him the right path. "Peace of heart and mind lies only in the path of Allah سبحانہ وتعالی," he said. Maulana Tariq Jameel Sahib's words touched his heart and, leaving everything, he went off to Chitral for forty days to preach Islam. Tariq Jameel Sahib says in one of his bayans that one day Junaid Jamshed called him on the phone and said, "Maulana Sahib, just now I am lying on an old and torn carpet in a little, old mosque in Chitral yet I am experiencing such peace and serenity which I never found in five star hotels even." This was the beginning of his mission and yet he had not given up singing which was his sole source of income. Some of his friends refused to accept his invitation when he called them over to lunch or dinner. They said that his earnings were illegal. He was very upset due to this objection. When he came to know this, Maulana Tariq Jameel Sahib phoned him and said, "Junaid Bhai, I am coming over to your house to have a meal with you." Junaid Jamshed was very surprised and asked, "Maulana Sahib, are you really coming to eat with me?" "Yes, yes, I am coming over to your house and we will have a meal together. But why are you so surprised?" "People refuse to accept my invitation.” “But I will come,” Maulana Sahib assured him. This made Junaid Jamshed very happy and he went back to preaching Islam with a glad heart.
He became a preacher in 1997 but did not give up singing till 2003. Then one day, he did so. He said in one of his interviews, "I had already repented but I received Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali's secretary’s call lo sing ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ for Azadi Train. I refused to sing. I told him that I had given up singing but then the prime minister himself called me. He said to me humbly, ‘Junaid, you sang for Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, you sang for Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef but now when my time has come, you refuse. I request you to sing for me too.’ I said, ‘O. k, I will sing for you. But I shall sing on one condition… that I shall announce that I have given up singing in that crowd.’ He said, "Ok, I accept your condition. Only sing for me this time.’ And thus he gave up stardom. His fans requested him not leave the world of singing but he left it only for Allah سبحانہ وتعالی.
Like every pious person Allah سبحانہ وتعالی tried him too. Maulana Tariq Jameel sahib said in one of his bayan, "After leaving singing, one day he phoned me, ‘Maulana, my mother is very sick and I have no money for her medicines. Pepsi company has offered me one crore rupees for one C. D. but I have refused them." He remained steadfast in the difficult time. Jealous people said, "He has cut off his own foot. What will he gain by becoming a mulla? His popularity will vanish in time and when he will starve, he will beg for a chance to sing again." But the world saw that Allah سبحانہ وتعالی rewarded him manifold. Instaed of starving, he became richer than ever before. Even in his new profession he was never far from limelight. He made a name for himself as a recite of naats and hamds. Allah سبحانہ وتعالی blessed him with such fame that he became the ideal of millions of people. He him said, "Now I am more popular than I was as a singer. Allah سبحانہ وتعالی has blessed me with more fame than ever before." At the time of his Shahadat, he had approximately 2.8 million fans on Facebook. It is true indeed  that all honour is in the hands of Allah سبحانہ وتعالی.
It is said in a hadith, "Prepare well for your hereafter," and Junaid Jamshed really prepared well for his hereafter. May Allah سبحانہ وتعالی bless him with the highest paradise. Aameen.