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The Warrior who became a Martyr (Written on the Martyrdom of Dr Muhammad Farooq Khan)
Dr. Shehzad Saleem

He lived like an undaunted warrior and died the death of a martyr. For the past few years, he gallantly stared death in its eyes as he continued to vehemently condemn terrorism and militancy. His armory was nothing but arguments drawn from the sources of Islam. Death threats could not swerve him from his stance and he would seldom pay heed to voices beckoning him to exercise care and caution. And then, the inevitable happened. He was shot at when he was busy seeing his patients at his clinic in Mardan on October the 2nd and could not survive the bullet wounds. His face still wore that typical beam – his vintage hallmark familiar to all those who knew him – when he lay enshrouded before his burial.

Dr Muhammad Farooq Khan had a multi-faceted personality and had immense reserves of energy. Truly, a man larger than life, he stood like a rock for all what he believed. He was an Islamic scholar, intellectual and a political activist; he hosted many TV programs and also made several appearances as a guest speaker on private and public TV channels; he was a fiery speaker and also authored almost a dozen books on the Islamic thought; but, above all, he was a humane and a humble person: he personally provided for many destitute families and took active part in welfare work; as a psychiatrist, he served the medical profession with exemplary zeal and dedication.

Born in 1954 in a village of the Khaybar Pakhtoonkhwa province, Dr Farooq graduated from Khyber Medical College in 1979. He did a diploma in Psychiatry in 1984 from the University of Vienna. He remained an active member of the Jamā‘at Islamī. In 1991, he came under the tutelage of Javed Ah*mad Ghāmidī, and ever since then remained a strong proponent of the latter’s views. He also remained for several years a member of the Board of Governors of Al-Mawrid, a foundation for Islamic research and education. He was currently the Vice Chancellor of the Islamic University in Swat. Some of his important books include: “Translation and Commentary of the Holy Qur’ān” (Urdu), “What is Islam?” (Urdu), “Pakistan and the 21st Century” (Urdu), “Islam and Some Important Contemporary Issues” (Urdu and English), “Islam and Woman” (Urdu and English), “Muslim Ummah: Way to Success”, “Jihād and Qitāl: Some Important Issues” (Urdu), “Kashmir Issue: Perspective, Current Situation and its Solution” (Urdu). His website sheds light on his life and works.

Dr Farooq was a firm believer in open dialogue and debate with all those who held contesting opinions. Unfortunately, his adversaries resorted to foul instead of fair play. When they could not counter his solid criticism on terrorism and suicide-bombings, they unleashed a barrage of death-threats on him and when they could not silence him with these threats, they silenced him with their guns – a tragic yet enviable end to this warrior who is now a martyr. Fare thee well!

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