Edhi Sahab- A Human

Let me start by presenting a piece by Altaaf Hussain Haali here:

فرشتوں سے بہتر ہے انسان بننا

مگر اِس میں پڑتی ہے محنت ذیادہ

“It is better to be a Human than an angel
But it requires more struggle to be put in”

First of all, I want to explain a very basic concept that I firmly believe in. We people are always going for superfluous things like being the ‘perfect’ Human Being or being a ‘Best’ friend. In my opinion, there is no such thing as ‘best’ or ‘perfect’ if you are just a Human Being or just a Friend or a Father that’s it! and Abdul Sattar Edhi was a Human Being. The basic definition of a Human Being applied on him, he justified it, he perfected it, exemplified it. Going back to the poetry of Maulana Haali, Edhi Sahab does not need to be mentioned or remembered as an ‘Angel’ because he was not, he was a Human- The Ashraf-ul-Makhlooqat. He was someone for whom Allah said to his angels that they will know things that even you (the angels) don’t know about.

I’ve always admired Edhi, like every other kid in our country has but I had any implicit approach to his life and how he became Edhi until I just recently read the marvel by Tehmeena Durani, I have nothing but respect and gratitude for this lady for taking out time to give the world this jewel of a book. The way she transcribed the interviews with Edhi Sahab, I started the book the night I received it from my PA and when I started reading the first page I was feeling really tired and exhausted because it was midnight. I kept on reading it and when I got to page 100 I thought I should go to sleep now, I read for like an hour or so, I’ll continue tomorrow and when I looked at the clock, it was 3:30 and the Fajr Azaan started. What I’m trying to say is, I was so immersed in it that I didn’t realize the time nor the exhaustion.

What I realized while reading the life of Mr. Edhi Sahab is that our nation’s major problem is not the government or military, corruption etc. The problem is at the grass root level, the problem is what we are being taught at our homes from the day one. I regret to say this but most of our parents don’t get how to bring up a child so that he won’t grow up to be a corrupt or a disease for his nation. We all know the famous saying of Edhi’s mother that she used to give him two Aanas, one to spend on himself and the other one to help someone out and she would actually get angry if he didn’t helped somebody with that aana. We all read or listen to that, say Masha ALLAH, Subhan ALLAH and move on, I think we need to stop for a second. Think, ponder over it, what are we teaching our children to do? What are the things we get angry over? A bad test marks? or I have even seen parents instructing their kids to not help these beggars etc because they are dhongis, how do you know that? and even if you do, don’t put that kind of negativity in your children’s head.
There is a reason Quaid-E-Azam always emphasized on this nation’s women to bring up their children the right way, he was a man of vision, he knew and understood that if our mothers taught their children the right thing from the very start they will definitely grow up to be beneficial for this country.

Next thing that struck me harder than lighting was his fathers and his own respect for labor. You can repeatedly read in the book that Edhi believed in getting the work done, better if by himself but the question is why was that? That was because his father taught him and showed him that labor is not a bad thing, it does not discourages your personality. This basic concept that even the Americans, British, Chinese, German, French understand better than us and I feel shame in saying this because this is the concept of Islam, our Prophet (P.B.U.H) taught us that but we seem to have forgotten all that. Edhi sahab literally sell pens on the streets, worked at a small Cloth shop and then a dispensary from where he went on to open his own dispensary. He was illiterate, true, but he was a man of knowledge, he read newspapers and books in his mother tongue. While working at the dispensary of the Seths as a volunteer, he saw things going sideways and that the seths were not treating everyone equal, even though those Seths were much more powerful than him, he never backed down, always raising his voice and always facing bitter opposition from the other side but when he went home and told his father about the happening, his father did not tell him to stop speaking for the truth instead he supported him and lifted him up when he was down, gave him the moral support that he needed at such times.

Last thing I want to mention here about Edhi Sahab is his belief in humanity. We people just don’t get it, right? ALLAH already had his angels (so many angels) praying for him, day and night, why did he created this world then? and No, I’m not saying we should leave Ibadah, did Edhi sahab leave Ibadat? All I’m saying here is:

“Dard-E-Dil k wastay paida kiya Insan ko
Warna Ata’at k liye kuch kam na thay karobayan”

Learn Islam, Learn Humanity, Learn Edhi sahab.


The project that I have been thinking about since…umm, forever? is to start my own little startup, fortunately what AMAL and Benji is teaching us all the way, to just start, have a small beginning, like Edhi sahab maybe?

  1. I wanted to do this project because on my urge to become a successful businessman I need to have a small beginning where I can grow my expertise about this work at ground level. This will help me a lot in gaining experience of having an actual business.
  2. In the past, it was always this or that. The timing never seemed right, I thought I won’t be able to micro-manage it because of my studies or the fact that I live in Islamabad and keep travelling to and fro from Faisalabad to Islamabad but this summer I had promised myself that I will do it no matter what and then this AMAL opportunity came by.

Q: What was my experience completing my first tasks?
To be honest, I really liked doing these first tasks, I felt kind of content and self-satisfied like I was actually doing this after all this time. Thinking about the future and what lays in there. Going to the TCS and other services asking about their packages, then going to cotton market doing the one thing I hate, shopping. But I actually enjoyed it doing it this time, for this.

3. The challenges that I faced while completing these tasks were minimal, well there was the challenge of deciding the name of the store which still is disputable and also the conflict of choosing designs and arguing with the shopkeepers about the rates, everything else went kind of smooth.

4. I learned that Benji and Edhi were right, we just need to be brave enough to just start something and let the work teach us. We can plan and plan and plan but until we actually execute the plan, then throw away the plan it won’t work until then.

5. Next steps are pretty clear, I have to make this bloom because I know that I started it and I cannot let it be a failure. I have to make the maximum out of it, learn from it, grow from here, believe in the dots and believe that everything is going to fall into place, soon.