Remembering Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad: A Human Being Par Excellence

Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad’s sudden and unexpected passing away in a tragic car crash last September left thousands, including me, at a sheer loss for words. The loss was felt deeply by thousands who had known him professionally and personally; thousands who he had instructed; thousands of others who have grown into who they are today under his guidance and patronage, and thousands who merely remember him for once speaking a few words of kindness in an angelic demeanour.

r Hasan’s numerous professional achievements are well known across all sections of society in Pakistan and far too many to list down or understand the importance of. But those who understand them know that Pakistan lost a special someone in that tragic incident in the country’s north. He was a man who wore many hats, but never could you for once doubt him on not doing justice to any of his roles. Never. He was an excellent teacher who took great pains and pride in imparting more than academic knowledge to his subjects. He aspired bigger, thought deeper, and questioned harder. And these were the very traits he strived to inculcate among his students. Talk to any one of them and they will tell you not about the academic knowledge that they got out of him, but of life lessons they learned, not knowing that they were in fact being provided to them during Dr Hasan’s various lectures. Such was his finesse with the delicate art of instructing.

Dr Hasan was indeed a man larger than life, and one who was committed to enabling mankind actualise their God-given potential. And although he was as excellent as they get as a teacher, he knew he had more inside of him. And that probably was the encouragement for setting up what has now become the University of Management and Technology Lahore.

Dr Hasan built the institute one step at a time, but he himself worked at a pace many of his peers found hard to keep up with. He was an administrator one day, a professor the other and then the next day you saw him being a financial and management guru devising ingenious ways to grow the institute. He was a leader par excellence. He was “lead by example” personified.

In his highly fast-paced years, Dr Hasan achieved many feats, the biggest of which is certainly UMT, which grew into a premier general university of Pakistan in a shot span of time under his focused guidance and entrepreneurial flair. Besides, he was the member of the board of governors of Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Tricastmedia (Pvt) Ltd, and International Business Forum, Turkey – a global networking platform of management and business professionals. He also remained the chairman of National Business Education Accreditation Council, was the founding chairman of Association of Management Development Institutions of Pakistan (AMDIP) from 2002 to 2006 and was a member of the Executive Board of AMDISA. He was also a member of the executive board of Asia Academy of Management, Hong Kong, an offshoot of Academy of Management, USA. All these feats were carried out along with his extensive work in the realm of instruction, research, curriculum development, institutional leadership and entrepreneurial engagements. It is difficult to even list down all that he achieved, and conducting these activities must have demanded superhuman skills. His sad demise has concluded a remarkable spell of institutionalisation and leadership. He was an accomplished leader who founded several learning institutions that offered educational as well as corporate trainings. He was at the forefront of curriculum development that drove innovation in academics, in everything from social sciences to life sciences and technology.But despite his uncountable achievements, it is not his professional acumen, his vast knowledge, his noteworthy understanding of worldly and religious matters or his ability to turn ideas into reality that many miss most. What people who knew the good doctor really find missing in their life is the once familiar feeling of knowing someone out there who could be truly counted on in an hour of need. 

In spite of his busy schedule, the heavy burden of responsibilities on his shoulders and his endless commitment to his cause, hardly anyone can recall an instance when Dr Hasan did not respond to a request for advice or guidance; be it over telephone, via email or in person.But what’s truly mind boggling is that almost everyone who knew him thought exactly the same about him and his ability to be there for others. Financial, legal, physical, religious… Think of a problem and you’ll find dozens of people who Dr Hasan helped get out of. And that is what truly made him, above all else things, a true friend to be relied on.Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad was a friend the people got when they needed one.His was a smile to assure the jitteriest of nerves; his was a character to inspire the most uninspired among us all and his was a mind set on greater good of the people. His life is a celebration of hard work, of determination, of devotion, of dedication, of poise and of possibilities. His life was beautiful, as was he, and as was his name. Hasan.

Today, UMT speaks volumes of Dr Hasan’s efforts. The institute set up by him has risen in stature, respect and repute, and has amassed domestic appeal as well as an international outreach. Although he is not physically around, his spirit of excellence, the longing for humanitarian service, the passion to produce leaders and the urge to see Pakistani youth get educated a little better lives on in spirit at UMT. 

May Allah shower unending mercy upon Dr Hasan’s soul. 

AMEEN