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Born in 1938 in a prominent political family of Kashmir at Delina Bla,  Qazi Qudratullah had every comfort available to him. His father Qazi Abdul Gani, whose name is inscribed in golden words in the history of subcontinent, was not only a legislator of repute but also a public figure of huge support. Due to his exemplary role in Kashmiri Freedom struggle against the Dogra Autocracy, he was christened “Fidayay e Milat” by the than Muslim Conference leadership. He would never compromise with his conscience and in the year 1939 he said good bye to politics when nomenclature of Muslim Conference was changed. Thereafter he lived a simple life and worked in his own land.

He had preferred dignity over comfort. Qazi Qudratullah saw his father working hard and witnessed his ethereal character. Unfortunately when he was just 16 years of age, his father passed away! Thereafter Qazi Qudratullah struggled for his life and, despite being the son of a famous legislator, he in no way found any help or assistance from any quarter. He along with his other brothers toiled hard and rose to prominence. Qazi Qudratullah got appointed in the forest department and was was posted at a check-post.

One fine day, some smugglers breached the check-post with timber. When the officer enquired from Qazi Qudratullah about the lapse he replied that it was prayer time and God is more important than timber. In another incident he seized timber of a smuggler who was relative of his officer after which the officer advised, rather pressurised, him to release the smuggler and hush up the matter but the gentle yet courageous Qazi Sb squarely refused and told the officer that all are same under law and relationship should not hamper us from doing justice with our job. Due to this steadfastness and God character, Qazi Qudratullah Sb, was ousted from the job. Again he was left jobless and helpless. After some years he got appointed in the mechanical division of flood control department. There he worked with same honestly, dedication, zeal and zest.

An episode is still remembered. He had collected some amount for the construction of house but due to his bad luck he lost the entire amount. He was living in a tiny room with his wife and children, his hard earned money and savings were lost and he was left completely penniless. As a way out, he was suggested by some of his friends to sell machine oil in market. Without giving any second thought he rejected the offer of corrupt practice and said to his friends that ” Allah meray liyay Makaan Banayay Ga ,mein kyun Bay Emani Karu” (Almighty Allah SWT will make house for me , why should I be dishonest). He worked in the department till his retirement and lead prayers in the nearby masjid of his place of posting.

At the time of his retirement all his colleagues accompanied him upto his home and shed light on the qualities and good deeds that he had displayed throughout his time with them. He had been Imam of various masjids in Delina including his own Qazi Musa Shaheed Masjid. Besides he would teach elders in evening time under erstwhile adult education programme. He was a ardent reader of Quran and other Islamic books.

His vegetable gardening was famous. There was hardly any variety which he would not grow in his garden and he would happily distribute the excess produce among near and dear ones. He was a thorough gentleman.

I had a strong, close and affectionate relationship with the deceased since my childhood. I can safely equate his persona with a shade of a Chinar. It was a serene feeling to be with him and it was so soothing to talk and listen to him. He would patiently listen to all. I am so lucky to had a good space for me in his kind heart.  When I was a student, he would encourage me to study more and more. When I got appointed as lecturer on contractual basis and was posted to a far off place, he admonished me to remain steadfast and when I got a permanent govt job as teacher, it was he who guided me how to teach and treat the students. He would always pray for my bright future just like my parents would do. So happy was he to listen to the news.

He was my mentor and guide in every matter.  He would laugh with in my happiness and would console me when I would be sad. He always supported me in my good decisions and would stop me from digressing from the righteous path.

He closed his eyes on 28th of July 2019 and I was deprived of a divine blessing for ever. His departure has left a big void in my life which is difficult to reconcile with.

The writer is lecturer by profession and is presently posted at Govt Higher Secondary Institute Delina Baramulla.

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