A whole week has passed since Edhi breathed his last…
For a whole week, I read poems and articles about his greatness. People wanted to award him for his great work. Some proposed to start an award in his name, or change Gaddafi stadium’s name to Edhi stadium, or declare the day of his departure as “Edhi Day” to celebrate his memory.
I wondered if humanity will need a reason to remember Edhi. Could the enormity of his noble mission be rewarded by a mere award? Would a building in his name be required to remind people of ‘Once there was an Edhi?’
Memorials are for those who can be forgotten.
And, I wondered if Edhi could ever be forgotten? Whenever there’ll be a calamity, whenever there’ll be a bomb blast, we’ll see Edhi rushing to the site. We’ll see Edhi covering the bodies of the dead, we’ll see Edhi adopting the kids out of sin, and we’ll see Edhi housing the ‘living dead’ for their families.
And, then I wondered, “Who is Edhi?”
Certainly not an angel, a ‘farishta’ everyone so fervently declare him to be.
“First become a human yourself and then everything will fall into its place” was what he advised.
Then ‘Who is Edhi?’
He said, “My religion is humanitarianism.”
Does this mean humanitarianism is equivalent to Islam; he certainly cannot belong to two religions at one time.
Was he an epitome of Islam or an epitome of humanity?
If Islam is an epitome of humanity, then ‘Who are we who claim to be muslims?’
Was Mother Teresa Muslim by this standard? Can Dr. Ruth Pfau be declared a Muslim for being a humanitarian?
Is there a greater religion in this world, greater than all the other religions in the world; the religion of HUMANITY? The religion that is as old as the humans themselves, the religion that has even fewer followers than those of Prince Philip Movement.
Ever since Edhi died, I wanted to write about him. I wanted to celebrate his life, like others; I wanted to pay my tribute to his noble life and death, like others.
But I couldn’t find any words. No words however big, however, grand matched up to the enormity of his task. Edhi is an embodiment of trust for us. He is a symbol of what this nation can do if only they had someone trustworthy.
The only befitting way to pay tribute to people like Edhi is to be like Edhi…
But before we chant in our emotional fervor “I am Edhi”, let’s look into our own collars and ask ourselves,
‘Do we have what it takes to be an EDHI?’
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