While it was scarcely believable in itself that a man like Abdul Sattar Edhi existed in the world, his residence and service in Pakistan make it an even more extraordinary occurrence. Not because there is something so wrong with Pakistan that such a man could not live here, but because of the persistent bigotry the nation has proudly exhibited over the years.
Not because there is something so wrong with Pakistan that such a man could not live here, but because of the persistent bigotry the nation has proudly exhibited over the years.
Or perhaps it was sheer good fortune that he emigrated to Pakistan from Gujarat.
But probably people like Abdul Sattar Edhi are needed in places like Pakistan. Where no one else in there to help the helpless.
When there wasn’t anyone to help anyone, there was Edhi. Who would not shy away from begging in order to help others if he needed to.
Words fail you for some people. I have been struggling for words for nearly a week now and have not been able to find any save one.
The more I think of it, the more it becomes clear. I can hardly think of a single human being who was even remotely close to being like Abdul Sattar Edhi.
Abdul Sattar Edhi was a Mahatma.
No one else even comes close. Probably Jesus, and Gandhi. The only person in modern times who fits is Malala.
And looking at Abdul Sattar Edhi, a strong case could be made that even the other two were probably not as great in terms of the magnitude of service. And the overwhelming evidence to support it due to his existence in the modern age of information.
He did not just provide free funeral to those without means, he also helped raise abandoned infants. He gave hsi own name to nameless babies. He provided food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, hope to the hopeless.
You know, all those things that your God is supposed to do.
He showed us how to love in a world void of it, and how to live in a world where doing so is so hard.
And somehow found a partner who had it all figured out for him. It’s not easy living with a Mahatma.
Unknowingly, he became one of the last few factors uniting a nation bitterly divided on ethnic and linguistic lines, and ended up uniting them, if only for one last time, in Pakistani nationalism that many of them despise so much.
Yet his loss was a global one.
And it was again remarkable that we are lucky to call such a man a Pakistani citizen. And to have had him serve our nation, purely out of his dedication to humanity.
In a society filled with hateful, bigoted beasts thirsty for the blood of the innocent by accusing them of blasphemy, he even served those who declared him an infidel. He even served those who badmouthed him. And are still doing him, harming his legacy while he is gone.
He never discriminated.
Abdul Sattar Edhi was the Mahatma of Pakistan.
Who said saints were a thing of the past?
But probably now they are.
And we don’t even know how to mourn such a loss.
RIP Abdul Sattar Edhi.
Please donate to the Edhi Foundation.