EULOGY: Molana Mushtaq Ahmad Khan
On 19th February 2019, a man peerless in every aspect, a flawless son, a wonderful father, a great friend, a compassionate mentor, and above all a man true to himself and to others passed away leaving a void never to be filled.
Molana Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, born on 19th April 1951 in Seer Hamdan, was known to masses for different reasons. He rose to fame as a religious scholar, an orator, and a poet. But his personal life equally deserves due consideration. He was a perfect example of being a human, holding all the attributes that one ought to hold.
His life can serve as a guide for all and any. I had the opportunity to stay alongside for a fairly decent period of time. When seen as a son, we find him dutiful and humble. As a paterfamilias, he serves as a responsible person who sacrificed his comfort for his family. He never allowed materialistic pursuits to overshadow his conscience but at the same times provided his family everything they needed.
As a father, we again find him the epitome of perfection who toils for his wards to see them flourishing and jubilance and who misses no efforts to equip them with quality education, enabling them to compete and to improve their living standard, while continuing to live austerely. Not only would he care about immediate relatives but also about neighbours and people who he came across even though he hardly knew them.
Within the family and friend circle he was a symbol of love. What could be the most beautiful character than being ethical? No one can say that he has been acrimonious to any one among his relatives or friends and even to opponents. Once there had been a controversy about a religious issue- a person had written a pamphlet against ideas of Hanafi-School of thought. A group of youngsters came to Molana to apprise him about the issue. They put forth their suggestions about rebuttal but one of the enraged youngsters began to lay bare writer’s private issues. Molana was infuriated and responded exasperatedly saying that ‘character assassination has no place in Muslim etiquettes’. He added ‘if you are among my well-wishers, refrain from casting aspersions on others’.
Ironically, his fame also earned him a good number of enemies who wasted their time in creating hurdles in his way. A malign campaign was launched to wane his influence, a series of devious stratagems were planned. But, against all odds, he survived owing to his exemplary fortitude. When anyone would complain about anyone’s venomous behavior against him, he would often recite: Girtay hain shah sawaar he maidaan–e- jung mein / wo tifl kya giray jo ghuthnon kay bal chalay (it’s the gallant knights riding in battles that fall, Not feeble babies who can do naught but crawl) and never would he retaliate. Moreover, he was certain and happy about his successful life and never allowed anything to weaken him. When any hate-drove adverse situation would arise, he would quote Hazrat Ali (R.A):‘if someone hurts you then do not be upset, as it is the law of nature that stones are hurled at only those trees that bear fruits’. In the end, he proved that endurance and perseverance pay off when his funeral witnessed a scene of surpassing excellence.
He was affectionately known, as ‘Bai-toth’ (dear brother) even by his friends and contemporaries for his brotherly outlook that would draw people close to him. Many of his companions, especially disciples and youngsters, would call him Papa-Ji (father). And the reason behind this was Molana’s compassionate and empathetic attitude. I remember when he was not keeping well and everyone around him was ominous, he called one of his close disciples and told him: ‘Do you remember the daughter of that deceased acolyte of mine? I couldn’t arrange her marriage but please take care of her’. Do search a compatible match for her’. I was confounded, how a person on deathbed could think about distant people. Later, I shared this event with my mother and her reply was: ‘You don’t know your uncle’.
After his passing away, we witnessed the influx of destitute from different areas to our home, wailing at his grave and wailing and exclaiming for his departure. They mourned his loss just deeply as his immediate family did.
He had dealings with clerics, preachers, and other religious men and was aware of the fact that these respect-deserving people are largely ignored. They are being paid low wages to serve as Immams and other functionaries at mosques etc despite they having similar needs like others. Molana would make serious efforts to depute them in reverential communities, where they would be respected personally as well as financially.
Molana would supervise more than fifty English medium schools in South Kashmir that work on no-profit – no loss basis. He would take part in appointing teachers for them and sometimes he would appoint more employees than required only considering the condition of the applicants and to help them in some way. Once a few colleagues raised concern about it and Molana said, “if that poor person would get a meagre amount for his services, would it affect the entire structure in anyway? Since then no one dared to repeat this question.
Molana would greatly value promises made with people. Recently, he had promised his friend to attend a religious gathering at latter’s home but fell ill. While he was rushed to the hospital, he said to his assistant, “have you intimated the inviter that we cannot come? Can we arrange a substitute-orator for his gathering”? We all requested Molana not to care about that, but he replied – “a promise is a promise”. In contemporary times doing justice with the profession as he did is commendable and a trait, worth following. After suffering partial paralysis, he continued his mission of preaching and once he prolonged his speech – deleterious to his health. In gestures, we asked him to stop. Nevertheless, he continued until completing his topic and later told us: ‘they have spent money and invited me here for some purpose. Allah would punish me for not complying with them.
A legend with high-class qualities has left the world creating a void that will never be filled. However, I personally believe if anyone would imbibe his philosophy of living, he would succeed in both worlds and I desire to be the one.
The writer can be mailed at; firstname.lastname@example.org