off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

He did come back
to Pakistan

Death is certain and every human being has to taste death but it is also a fact that we all prefer to die peacefully at home if possible. However, this does not happen all the time. God Almighty, it is said tests the patience of even the pious people at times by depriving them of worldly wealth and sometimes taking away the things they love the most like their loved ones. The tragedy that fell on Prof. Shahryar Sheikh an eminent cardiac physician of the country and his family last week is very painful. May Allah Pak save us all from such tragic events?

His young son Dr. Mobin Sheikh himself a cardiologist at the age of 49 years died after drowning in sea in United States. His dead body was brought to Pakistan for burial. His Nimaze Jinaza was offered at Jamia Ashrafia at about 10.00 AM on Thursday April 1st 2021. May his soul rest in Jannah. Ameen. Friends and well-wishers of Prof. Shahryar Sheikh had started coming to his residence near Jamia Ashrafia early in the morning. Prof. Shahryar Sheikh came to Jamia Ashrafia at about 9.45 AM. I was amazed to see him calm, quiet and composed reflecting that he had accepted the Will of God despite the precious loss. Allah Pak, it appeared had helped him overcome all the pain and agony which this tragic incident had inflicted upon his family.

When the condolence meeting started, after recitation of few verses from Holy Quran and its translation Sheikhul Hadees of Jamia Ashrafia in his brief address narrated the virtues of Shahadat and also pointed out that those who are martyred by drowning get Sawab equal to two Shaheeds and on the final day of judgment he will be waiting at the gate of Paradise to take his parents alongwith him into the Paradise. All this must have provided some solace to Prof. Shahryar Sheikh who was sitting next to Maulana Sahib. However, when he was given the mike to thank all those present, he could not control his emotions, burst into tears, similar was the case with many present on the occasion. Finally after Dua, Nimaze Jinaza was offered at about 10.10 AM which was largely attended by friends and well-wishers of the family which included quite a few eminent healthcare professionals as well.

Prof. Shahryar Sheikh sat with the dead body in the Ambulance which belonged to Doctors Hospital and Medical Center and took it to the nearby graveyard adjacent to the Mausoleum of Shah Jamal for final burial. It was a scene to watch him waving to the friends and well-wishers present at the Jamia Ashrafia from the Ambulance which carried the dead body of his beloved son Dr. Mobin Sheikh, thanking them to have come to participate in the Nimaze Jinaza. After few days everyone will forget all this but this tragedy has changed the world of Prof. Shahryar Sheikh and his family. May God Almighty give them courage to bear this loss. Ameen.

Late Dr. Mobin Sheikh, it may be mentioned here was a graduate of Medical College at Aga Khan University Karachi. After graduation he went to United States for postgraduate studies and eventually is reported to have settled there. While he was studying at AKU, law and order situation was very bad in Karachi. Hence, whenever he came from Lahore, Prof. Shahryar Sheikh would ring up his friend Prof. Abdus Samad requesting him to receive him at the airport and ensure that he is dropped safely at the University Hostel. Prof. Samad always not only did this duty willingly but also used to inform him once Mobin Sheikh had checked in at the hostel. This shows how concerned Prof. Shahryar Sheikh was about the safety of his son. However, he would have never imagined that one day he will have to face this tragic incident. It was a very sad day for me as well as I have known Prof. Shahryar Sheikh for many years. He has always been very kind to me. Being a kind hearted God fearing physician who practices ethical medicine and always upholds professional ethics are some of his qualities which I always admire. Perhaps his greatest gift to the People of Pakistan is Punjab Institute of Cardiology, the project he got completed working day and night with devotion and dedication.

In the evening on the same day I was invited to a dinner reception which was attended by a selected few from the affluent class in Defense Housing Authority. Guests assembled there were all talking about the number of plots each one of them have acquired in Defense, how big their houses are and how big are the basements. What is the present real worth of property in Defense? I was listening to all of them quietly but then I joined the discussion. I asked them irrespective of the size and number of plots they all have in Defense, eventually everyone will get a plot measuring seven feet by four feet at the most which will be their final resting place. A few yards white cloth is used for Coffin which also does not have any pockets. This did changed the topic of discussion a little bit and many of them agreed saying that if we remember all that, it will be a different world altogether.

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