It was a very sunny  and lazy afternoon in Mina. We (Dad, Asrar and me) just had our lunch and were lazing around. Mom was in the ladies camp, so I think she must have also just had her lunch. The Meccan Sun was shining with all it’s ferociousness and made sure we dare not step out of the camp. Our organizing team had arranged guest lectures by renowned Scholars to make sure we actually learn and renew our faith instead of making it another journey. Tariq Jameel Saab was a regular. We loved how he explained the Seerah of the Prophet and other stuff in his mesmerizing tone. Just loved it!

So this hot afternoon, Tariq Jameel Saab introduces a young, handsome and tall lad and informs the gathering that he’d now like to introduce a pop singer and he’ll walk through his life journey of how he renounced his singing career and devoted his talents to please Allah.

Enter Junaid Jamshed! This was the first (and last) time I got to see Junaid Bhai. Many Pakis aroudn me started telling aah, MashaAllah, Dil Dil Pak Junaid. I then didn’t quite understand the connection b/w Dil Dil Pak and Junaid .

The Ustaad, Tariq Jameel Saab handed over the mic to his Shagird and he opens his mouth to say: Assalamualaikum! That’s one of the most melodious and sweet Salaam I ever heard. He then goes on talking for an hour and half plus about his journey, how he changed tracks and how Tariq Jameel would use to pray to Allah to guide him to the right path. He talked about how he found peace in waking the dusty and hot streets of Karachi doing Tableegh and not finding this peace in those funky 5-7 * hotels. I was mesmerized by his journey.

My Mom later tells me how she was dead tired but didn’t sleep at all and was hooked on to this awe-inspiring journey told by JJ himself.

Time flew. We came back to India next month and then I looked up JJ’s Naaths online. Amazing collection. We downloaded most of them and had it put up on Dad’s phone. We started listening to his Naaths whenever we were down or emotionally sad. It’d just lift up our spirits.

JJ’s naaths are the only *thing* that we used to listen in the background in our family dinners. We don’t have a TV, so we don’t bond over movies or music. JJ’s Naaths/Hamds were the only thing we all sat around and listened. Music was considered taboo in our homes, so even though we listened individually, JJ’s recitations was the only thing we played on a loud speaker in our homes and we all let it sink in our hearts. We never listened to any other reciter, we never really cared about Naaths/Hamds untill JJ came along. And we never got bored of listening to his Naaths/Hamds for more than 9+ years.

My Mom and I would sit together and sing along with JJ’s voice playing in the background. It was like JJ helped us have more family moments together through his Naaths/Hamds.

Fast Forward, Dec 7, 2016. I’m idling around, when news breaks out about a PIA crash and JJ being on-board! My heart sunk! I couldn’t believe this. As I check out online, more news comes in. Some pray and hope for mercy, some for a miracle that might save him. But alas, comes the confirmation that he’s been martyred in the path of Allah. What a noble way to finally meet the Rab.

His last tweet!

Thank you JJ for everything! I hope we meet again InShaAllah on the other side.

I’ll leave you with one of my fav nazm by JJ:

Categories: Personal


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