Pakistan lost its most respected and renowned humanitarian. Abdul Sattar Edhi passed away in Karachi on Friday. He was the founder of Edhi Foundation. He was not just the greatest humanitarian of Pakistan but according to the Huffington Post, he was the world’s greatest living humanitarian.
Abdul Sattar Edhi was and will be an inspiration to all humanity. The work he did for mankind is unparalleled. He started the Edhi Foundation with just five thousand rupees. His organization became the largest welfare organization in Pakistan. It all happened because of the determination, resilience and his love for humanity. His love for welfare work started at a very young age. It was his personal experience which he gained by looking after his sick mother that caused him to develop a system for helping the old and mentally challenged people.
The Edhi foundation has helped so many people and has saved countless lives. It has rescued over 20,000 infants. It has rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans. This organization has trained over 40,000 nurses. There are more than 330 welfare centers of Edhi foundation in urban and rural areas of Pakistan. These centers operate as the food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for women and children and clinics for sick people. Edhi foundation also runs the world’s largest ambulance service and provide a 24 hours service. There are about 1,500 ambulances in the service.
Now that such an inspiring and dedicated person has left us, the question is how we can continue his work. How can we water the plant of idealism and hope which he planted? He told the world that nothing is impossible. He did not have a lot of money, but he still became the founder of the largest welfare organization in Pakistan. What he had was determination and unconditional love for his fellow people.
The life of Abdul Sattar Edhi holds so many lessons for us. All we need to do is look a little closer. He knew the importance of action. The words alone are not enough. He said that
Empty words and long praises do not impress God. Show Him your faith by your deeds
He showed through his deeds that his love for humanity was bigger than everything else. For him, there was no ethnic divide. He helped people and did not ask what their religion was. He said,
My religion is humanitarianism
The service of Edhi for the humanity cannot be repaid in any way. It can be honored by respecting and honoring his beliefs. He was a simple man. He had no political affiliation. He never asked for anything. All he asked was to love the people who were not as fortunate as their fellow beings.
The life of Edhi teaches us that if you are passionate about something, anything is possible. If you are compassionate, then the duties and responsibilities of a family will not become a hurdle. He has a family, and he still served the humanity. The way he worked alongside his wife, Balqees Edhi is an example of how important is the role of women in welfare. He has taught his children to help the needy through his actions.
He did not have any formal education. He said,
What use is education when we do not become human beings? My school is the welfare of humanity.
Edhi’s life teaches us that the important thing in life is to be sympathetic, loving, caring and compassionate. If you have all the education of the world but you fail to open your heart and your arms to the fellow humans in need then that education is wasted.
His last wishes were to donate his organs. Even in his last breaths, he was thinking of helping people. The philosophy of Abdul Sattar Edhi was based on the critical elements of endurance, patience, struggle, compassion, perseverance and sacrifice of personal comforts.
Imam Hussain Ibn e Ali said,
The most generous person is the one who offers help to those with whom he has no hope of getting a return
Edhi was the most generous person. He spent several nights sleepless looking after the needs of his fellow human beings. He thought about the starving peasants, the abandoned children, and poor sick people. He never wished for a reward. For all he has done for the society, it is the moral duty of the society to study his life and try to follow in his footsteps. Continuing his work is the only way of honoring the legendary Abdul Sattar Edhi.
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