I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. – (Robert Frost)
By Emanuel Sarfraz, Arsalan Haider
r Hasan Sohaib Murad the founder of ILM Trust and UMT was one such person who chose the path less traveled and it made a lot of difference in the world. He started from scratch and with great missionary zeal he was able to achieve what many other cannot even dream about. A reference was held in the memory of Dr Hasan Sohaib at the University of Management and Technology the other day to celebrate his life and pray for the departed soul . The event was held in connection with the first death anniversary of Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad.
Leading personalities from different walks of life especially from the education sector attended the function. A number of his students who are now role models in their own right were also present there to pay tribute to their mentor. A documentary about the life and achievements of Dr Hasan Sohaib was screened on the occasion. Close friends and family members came on stage to share their thoughts and feeling about Dr Hasan.
Asad Qureshi and noted poet Amjad Islam Amjad presented their poems as tribute to Dr Hasan. His student Rana Zamin, colleague Dr Naveed Yazdani and friend Ansar Pervez, who is former Chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission spoke about Dr Hasan’s life and experiences with him. Ameerul azeem, Secretary General Jamaat Islami, and senior journalist also paid glowing tributes to Dr Hasan. Founding Director Intersections International, Rev Robert Chase, in his video message talked about Dr Hasan’s services of cementing relations between USA and Pakistan. He spoke his great role in promoting inter religious harmony and good relations between people of different religions.
Governor Punjab Ch Muhammad Sarwar said Dr Hasan was his close friend and whenever he came from UK he would meet him and visit UMT. “We are here to celebrate the life of Dr Hasan Murad. I am not here as governor or chancellor but for my friend and brother. He was favorite personality, who spent his life in making other people’s lives better by educating them.“If you only read his quotes they are better than reading 10 books. He never laid foundation of UMT to earn money. He always said that education must not be used to make financial gains. Thousands of poor students have graduated from this university and are now living successful lives.
“He has left behind him a wonderful team to carry on the work he started. Ibrahim Hasan Murad and his team never let his legacy down. The best way to celebrate life of any dignitary is to follow in his footsteps. The level of success is not about wealth or designation houses but what he has done for people and what legacy he left behind. I am ready for any services that are needed and to facilitate UMT,” Ch Sarwar said.
Dr Abdul Qadir Khan speaking on the occasion said he was happy to see UMT grow. “Ibrahim Hasan Murad and his team are doing well. I often talk to Prof Abid Shirwani and he tells me how the university is making progress. Nearly 20,000 students are studying here and I hope in the coming years the number of students studying here gets doubled,” Dr Qadir said.
Former Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri appreciated UMT was among Asia’s top 500 universities due to the effort of Dr Sohaib Hasan.
“If we see our education sector we see that private sector with less resources is doing a lot more than the public sector, which is deplorable. “Pakistan has been left behind in this region due to not investing in education. Bangladesh is ahead of us. All the countries of the Pacific Rim including China, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam and even Cambodia are making great progress because they have invested in education sector. The government action with regard to education is not good,” Kasuri maintained.
Head of Akhuwat Dr Amjad Saqib said Dr Sohaib was a visionary. “He was a leader who saw dreamed of helping others and giving education to deserving students. We are following in his footsteps,” he said.
Former federal minister Muhammad Ali Durrani was a close friend of Dr Hasan Sohaib. He said he had not come to terms with the fact that he was no more in this world. “He did a lot but still had a lot to do. In my opinion the role he had to play in this society was not over. I do not understand why Allah Almighty called him from this world,” Durrani said.
Punjab Minister Mehmoodur Rasheed said he knew Dr Hasan for 45 years. “He spent his life to achieve his goal. He built UMT. He spoke less and listened more and always had a smiling face. Whenever I approached him for fee concession for deserving students he never turned down my request. He has done a lot of work in his short life. May Allah Almighty rest his soul in peace,” he prayed.
Widow of Dr Hasan Sohaib, Begum Dr Noshaba Hasan brought tears in the eyes of many in the audience when she shared her feelings about his passing away. “An icon, legendary mentor and a gentleman, I gave him the title of Iron Man. I have spent 31 years with him. I called him Quaid-i-Azam second and he smiled. He was no doubt an institution within himself.”
“I always felt he was beside me, protecting and supporting me. I feel his presence at every moment. He is in peace. His last sentence on 9th October last year was that he had become very tired. Seasons don’t change now. He gave utmost respect. I feel his presence every day and also his absence,” Dr Naushaba said.
Dr Hasan’s daughter Mariam Murad said her father was a humble person and had all the good qualities one could desire. “He was a man of strong will power and very loving. He had a mission in life and that was to serve others. He worked for Allah Almighty. He had early in his life discovered Quran and his hobby was reciting Quran. We must live up to the prestige attached to his name. We should adopting his qualities in our daily lives,” she said.
Farooq Murad’s nostalgic account of the time when he received news about Dr Hasan’s death was heart moving. “God loves those who work for humanity and Dr Hasan was one such person who had dedicated his life to serving others,” he opined.
Ahmed Umar Murad. Chairman ILM Trust, shared his memories about the time he had spent with Dr Hasan. “People know him as expert of many things but he had only one thought in mind that he had to be in front of Allah Almighty one day. He did it all for Allah Almighty,” he said as a testimony on Dr Hasan’s life.
At the end of function Dr Hasan’s son, Ibrahim Hasan Murad, who is President of UMT gave the vote of thanks. “Different aspects of my father’s life has been shared. I would like to share the time I spent with him and what I learnt from him. It was faith that kept him going. Death is good news for a Momin (faithful). He was my leader, mentor and friend. My grandfather after performing Haj in 1965 prayed for martyrdom for my father. That prayer was answered. When I was bringing back the body of my father I slept for some time and during my sleep I had a dream and I saw that my father was alive and in some palace. Maulana Fahim said since I had seen him alive at a beautiful place he was a true martyr. When we brought his body home in Lahore it was fresh and there was strange sweet fragrance coming from his body. Once he brought me shirt with number 27 inscribed on it. He said if I pray in mosque that prayer will give me reward of 27 prayers from Allah Almighty. He always believed in serving humanity and Ummah.”
“He treated rich and poor alike. He always kept smiling. He had pain for Ummah. He visited Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Malaysia to forge ties among the Ummah. Once a Turkish envoy came for meeting my father. After the meeting he had tears in his eyes on knowing about the vision of my father for Ummah.
“My father was a very humble person. He used to introduced himself as teacher in UMT. ‘I am teacher first of all’ he used to say. He was a very down to earth person and very simple. He gave respect to everyone and never got angry at anyone. He never swore in his life. Serenity and calmness were the hallmarks of his life. He never fired anyone from his job. He always forgave others. He gave scholarships worth Rs 3 billion but never told it to anyone. He was of the view that kindness should not be told about. He loved everyone regardless of his background and religion. His personal library had 10,000 books and I think he at least brought 50,000 books in his lifetime.
“Very few people the world live their dream. He once said he wanted to be Vice Chancellor and Imam as well. He became both. His dream came true. We should take him as our role model in our lives and adopt his good ways of life,” Ibrahim said.
The event must have left marks on the minds of many. It was about the will and faith of a man who through his struggle in life was able to wins the hearts of thousands of people and the blessings of Allah Almighty. True Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad is a role model for the young people of Pakistan.