"Bichra kuch iss adaa se k rutt he badal gayi,
Ik shakhs saarey shehr ko weeran kar gya."
(Warning:-This will be all over the place because my head’s not with me right now. Also, if you have anything against JJ, keep it to yourself please.)
My only form of entertainment was a computer which I was never allowed to use. So, when baba brought back home a CD labeled Jalwa-E-Jana, I was over excited because that meant me getting to press that ‘switch on’ button on the CPU and hence, the computer.
Baba handed over the CD to me and asked me to put it in the CPU and so I did. As I sat with both my parents listening to the entire album (Jalwa E Jana) I saw both of them tearing up from time to time and then they’d wipe the tears as quickly and as sneakily as they could. The words on the album, the verses, didn’t make any sense to my seven-year-old self and neither did the fact that both my parents (people who I thought of as my rocks; people who never cried) cried listening to it.
And from then on, it sort of became a ritual. Every Friday we’d all sit together and listen to it to the point where I knew the album by heart.
We visited Makkah and I remember vividly, all of us were sitting on the steps that led to the Ka’aba and Baba was reciting Ilahi Teri Chokhat Par and I wanted to understand what it was about all of it that made me feel as calm as it did.
20th Ramadan 1435H (2013)
Flipping through channels because I was bored when the beautiful/soulful Qaseeda Burda Shareef being recited by Mehmud-Ul-Hasan Ashrafi (plus other naatkhuwaan), Junaid Jamshed (late) and Waseem Badami caught my attention and I paused. Reciting along with them under my breath was an experience I remember to this day. The chills that ran down my spine and the goose-bumps that are so vivid, it’s painful.
All those Shan-E-Ramzan transmissions that followed, I watched without missing as much as second. I wasn’t religious before it and I wasn’t as religious as I could have been after but something Junaid Jamshed’s words cracked some part of my shell. I tried to be as punctual as I could with my daily prayers.
We visited Madinah Al Munawwarah on Eid-Ul-Azha. I was going through a particularly hard time and I finally understood the meaning behind “Sakoon E Jahan hei Nizam E Madinah”. I found myself reciting Mohammad Ka Roza every time I paid a visit to Roza E Rasool (S.A.W). “Sahara lainay ayah hun terey kaabey k aanchal mein” were the words that poured out during the duas after the nawafil I prayed at the Hateem and Riyaz Ul Jannah.
And from 2013 onwards, I didn’t miss any of the Shan-E-Ramazan transmissions that aired .The excitement I felt for those transmissions would be multiplied by a hundred every year. They made me participate in Ramadan with more spirit and enthusiasm. Whether it was prayers or the recitation of Qur’an or tasbeehaat, I participated with all my heart because Junaid Jamshed said it meant more coming from someone who didn’t have a clean slate. It meant more coming from someone who regretted and repented.
You all might think I am over exaggerating but Junaid Jamshed was an important part of my life as I grew up. He impacted my life in such a way that I wanted to change the person I was, put things away that were wrong. He was an inspiration; a perfect example of rightful transition.
8th Rabi Ul Awwal (2016)
And right now as I sit writing this, tears being my constant companions, I am listening to Ummati by Junaid Jamshed. To be more specific,
“Gham k andheron ne ghaira hua hei,
Aqaa dushwaar jeena hua mera hei”
Pakistan has been hit with many tragedies this year and in the past. Each of them left voids which will never be filled. For instance, Amjad Sabri, Abdul Sattar Edhi etc. All these people were legacies and infinities of hard work, patience and what not folded into the beings that they were and their losses just as great. But JJ’s loss is a personal blow. It has left as much a void in the world as it has in my heart. I can’t even think of how he is not with us in the physical word anymore because martyrs never die. He went how he would have wanted to go.
“Chale Jo Hoge Shahadat Ka Jaam Piker Tum,
Rasool-e-pak Ne Banhoon Main Leliya Hoga,
Ali Tumhari Shuja'at Pay Jhomte Honge,
Husain Pak Ne Irshad Yeh Kya Hoga,
Tumnhe Khuda Ki Razain Salam Kehti Hain”
The fact that I won’t get to hear JJ calling out Azaan anymore or hear him saying his patent “Ajeeb” during the Shan E Ilm segment breaks my heart into a million pieces. To think there will be no enthusiastic Dil Dil Pakistan breakouts or him giving us all hope in times of great tragedies is horrific. I feel like I have lost someone who was my own; someone who was family.
“ye kon sir se kafan lapaitey chala hei ulfat k raastay par,
farishtey hairat se tak rahey hein ye kon zi ihtiram aya”
Who will inspire me to do better every year? Who will smile, raise his hands and say, “Chalo saarey kaho ya Allah, maaf kardein!” and then, “Aaj sarey maaf kardiye gaye.”
I wasn't perfect before and neither will I ever be but his loss, as unbelievable and painful as it is, should be motivation for me and for all of us to strive for betterment. He left behind a legacy packed in all those naats, hamds and interviews that we should all make a vow to follow till our last breath; carry his legacy forward.
I know all of this all over the place but my heart is in literal pain and I doubt that will ever stop (Subside, it might but stop? Never!). My headache hasn’t gone away ever since I heard the news around 6:15. I don’t even know what to say anymore.
I know most of you have dealt with the loss of family and friends who were closer than family so you know how this feels. You never get used to this sort of thing. It hits just as hard as the first time every time. I lost family today. I lost someone I looked up to today. I didn’t know waking up today would lead to this. I can’t even.
“kahan se laun taqat dil ki sachi tarjumani ki,
khudaya rehm meri is zaban e bezubani par.”