Pakistan’s legendary philanthropist, social activist and might be called as ‘World’s greatest Humanitarian’ passed at the age of 88 on a Friday night in Karachi. His family reported of his death and his son, Faisal Edhi asked to ‘’ pray for the departed soul ’’ of his father.
A state funeral was held at the National Stadium after zuhur prayers. According to ISPR state honour was given to Edhi by guard of honour and 19-gun-salute. He was only the third Pakistani to receive the historical gun carriage funeral (after Quaid e Azam and Zia ul Haq). Many prominent figures participated in funeral prayers of Edhi at National Stadium , Karachi.
Edhi was known for his social work. He resolved to spend his life in service to humanity. He almost single handedly changed the state of welfare in Pakistan.
Edhi founded the Edhi Foundation. It was started with a sum of five thousand rupees. Over time, it has grown in size as well as service. To this day, Edhi Foundation has rescued over 20,000 abandoned infants, rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans and has trained over 40,000 nurses. It also runs more than 330 welfare centers in rural and urban Pakistan which operate as food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for abandoned women and children and clinics for the mentally handicapped. The Edhi Foundation currently runs the world’s largest ambulance service working 24 hours (1500 of them ).
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This selfless man used to wash dishes inmarriages , sold milk and newspapers to carry on his work to serve the humanity. His life is a perfect example of simple living and serving others at the same time.
From being a peddler to an agent selling cloth in wholesale market , he opened a free dispensary with the help of his community.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has said ‘ The believer is like rain , wherever he goes he brings goodness’
Edhi Foundation has run relief operations in Africa, Middle East, the Caucasus region, eastern Europe and United States where it provided aid following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Together with his wife Bilquis Edhi , he won several awards for his work like Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1986 , Nishan E Imtiaz by the Pakistan’s Government (1989) , Lenin Peace Prize in 1988 and more. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif .
Edhi was known as the ‘Angel Of Mercy’ and even ‘’Father Teresa’’ of Pakistan. Revered by many as a national hero, Edhi created this charitable empire out of nothing. He masterminded country’s largest welfare organization almost single handedly, entirely with private company and donations.
Born in 1928 in Gujrat, British India and later shifted to Pakistan due to partition. At the age of eleven , his mother was paralyzed due to a stroke. It was because of his personal experience of taking care of his mother that he developed the need to take care of the old, mentally challenged and disabled people and get involved in community service. He did not let his weakness of not being able to provide for his mother to overpower his determination.
“I saw people lying on the pavement … The flu had spread in Karachi, and there was no one to treat them. So I set up benches and got medical students to volunteer. I was penniless and begged for donations on the street. And people gave. I bought this 8-by-8 room to start my work.”
Abdul Sattar Edhi donated his eyes before his death. And departed with the last words ‘Meray mulk ky gareebo ka khayal rakhna’– Take care of the poor of my country. He will be remembered for years to come for his excellent & selfless service to humanity.
This reminds us of a beautiful ayah from the Quran :
“They ask you (O Muhammad) what they should spend in charity. Say: ‘Whatever you spend with a good heart, give it to parents, relatives, orphans, the helpless, and travellers in need. Whatever good you do, Allah is aware of it.'” – The Holy Quran, 2:215
Abdul Sattar Edhi was sent as a mercy to us. He fulfilled the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to a great stretch.
May Allah grant him the highest of ranks in Jannah and make his charity a shade for him on the Day Of Judgement.
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