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A Citizen of Paradise (Written on the Martyrdom of Dr Habib ur Rahman)
Dr. Shehzad Saleem


The cold-blooded murder of our dear Dr Muhammad Farooq Khan just over a year ago had shook all of us to the core and today while we still have not recovered from that shock, a second shock has jolted us. In a very similar manner and perhaps for very similar reasons, our dear Dr Habib ur Rahman embraced martyrdom at the hands of some brutal barbarians who shot and killed him while he was seeing patients at his clinic. He was in his late forties.

It was only some hours before his death when I had met him for the last time. In fact, he had remained with us for the better part of the day. I could hardly believe my ears when I was informed that this valiant warrior was no more. Later, my friend and colleague Dr Khalid Zaheer, reminded me of the last words which we both heard from our dear Dr Habib. In a meeting where friends and compatriots were paying tribute to Dr Muhammad Farooq Khan and lamenting his early demise, Dr Habib had gingerly remarked: “Dr Farooq was called early by God because he was loved more by God,” As soon as I recalled these words, I could not but help saying in my heart: “Dr Habib! you too have been called early because God loved you more; what’s more – your own name1 bears testimony to this.” And then another though crept into my mind: This wonderful human being whose sincerity and piety, devotion and hard-work, courage and commitment remained exemplary and inspirational for all of us and who lived amongst us as an unsung hero is surely a Citizen of Paradise:


صلہ شہید کیا ہے تب و تاب جاودانہ


He was sincerity and devotion personified. He was not a leader like Dr Farooq; he was a worker – a worker all the way and working for the cause of truth was his mission: wurk, wurk und wurk. The cause of truth was dearer to him than his own life. He remained undaunted – in fact, at times heedless to the threat that existed in the society for the message of Islam he was spreading.

Those who have silenced him should know that death cannot for the least defy his mission. With his blood and with the blood of people like him, the torch of truth shall shine even more brightly and dazzle the eye of the beholder.

Farewell!  O Noble Soul.

Good bye!  O Citizen of Paradise!



1. Habib ur Rahman in Arabic means “someone who is loved by the Gracious God.”

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