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A Silent Soldier calls it a Day!
(written on the death of Khalid Masud)
Dr. Shehzad Saleem


The dawn of October 1st 2003 took away from us Khalid Masud, a man whose life epitomized sincerity, devotion and hard work. He was one of the most prominent pupils of the profound Qur’ānic scholar Amīn Ahsan Islāhī (d: 1997). He may no longer be with us, but his fond memories will continue to inspire all those who knew him and all those who read his works.

His mortal remains now rest in the same village near the Pakistani city of Jhelum where he was born in 1935. He graduated from the Islamiyyah College, Lahore and then did his masters in Chemistry from the Punjab University. He then proceeded to UK for further studies in this discipline. On his return, he joined the Industries Department and then served in the Quaid-i-Azam Library Lahore till his retirement in 1995.

In 1960, he came under the tutelage of Islāhī with whom he remained for more than three decades. During this period he studied Arabic language, Arabic literature, the Qur’ān and Hadīth with him. He also assisted Islāhī in the editorial affairs of the monthly ‘Mīsāq’. During this time, he also translated many works of Islāhi’s mentor, the great Hamīdu’l-Dīn Farāhī. In 1980, when Islāhī established the ‘Idāra Tadabbur-i-Qurān-u-Hadīth’, Khalid Masud was entrusted with the responsibility of running its affairs. He was also appointed the editor of a quarterly research journal ‘Tadabbur’ which served as an organ of this institute. He diligently discharged both these responsibilities till his death.

One of his primary works is a summarized one volume version of Islāhī’s magnum opus ‘Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān’. This work attempts to acquaint the reader to the sublimities of one of the most unique commentaries of the Qur’ān. A few months before his death appeared his last and perhaps most important work ‘Hayāt i Rasūl i Ummī’, a biography of the Prophet (sws). This thoroughly researched book is perhaps the first of its kind as it critically examines in the light of the Qur’ān the material available on the life of the Prophet (sws) in the Hadīth sources. Besides authoring the above two books and translating a number of articles of Farāhī from Arabic to Urdu, he also edited and compiled the transcribed lectures and discourses of Islāhī on the Sahīh of Imām Bukhārī and the Mu’attā of Imām Mālik.

Khalid Masud was not only a man of erudition and scholarship, but he was also a very pious Muslim. In fact, it would be difficult for one to judge whether his scholarship outdid his piety or his piety outshone his scholarship. All those who knew him admired his sincerity and commitment. He was not a celebrity. Fame he shunned; glamour he evaded. He did not need the approval of this world, for he was like a silent soldier who toiled relentlessly and selflessly to win the approval of the Creator of the heavens and the earth. He knew full well:


Only the actions of the just

Smell sweet and blossom in their dust


May the Almighty forgive him and may his soul rest in peace.


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