‘More Muslim than you’

An interesting tweet from@AliIkram

RIP

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I hadn’t heard of Abdul Sattar Edhi but he has just died and is being widely mourned.

He has been called the ‘Father Teresa of Pakistan’.

Abdul Sattar Edhi (Memoni, Urdu: عبدالستار ایدھی‎; 1 Sindhi: عبدالستار ايڌي‎ January 1928 – 8 July 2016) was a prominent Pakistani philanthropist, social activist, ascetic, and humanitarian. He was the founder and head of the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan and ran the organization for the better part of six decades. He was known as Angel of Mercy and was considered Pakistan’s “most respected” and legendary figure. In 2013, The Huffington Post said that he might be “the world’s greatest living humanitarian.”

Revered by many as a national hero, Edhi created a charitable empire out of nothing. He masterminded Pakistan’s largest welfare organisation almost single-handedly, entirely with private company and donations.

Wikipedia:

Al Jazeera refers to him as legendary and “a prominent Pakistani philanthropist and humanitarian”.

Thousands attend funeral for Pakistan’s legendary Edhi

Tens of thousands attended the state funeral for Pakistan’s legendary philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi in Karachi.

Prominent Pakistani philanthropist and humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi was laid to rest on the outskirts of Karachi on Saturday at a state funeral attended by thousands of people. 

Edhi, 88, died late on Friday at a medical centre after a long battle with kidney disease. His death triggered a massive outpouring of grief across the nation of 190 million for a man who trancended social, ethnic and religious divisions. 

Tens of thousands attended Saturday’s ceremony, the first state funeral since the 1980s, at Karachi’s National Stadium. 

At one moment, crowds broke through the military lines to help carry Edhi’s coffin, which was draped with Pakistan’s green and white flag and covered with rose petals. 

Pakistan’s top civilian and army leadership offered funeral prayers at the stadium, as the country mourned the loss of a man commonly known as the “Angel of Mercy” for his internationally acclaimed social work.

For more than 60 years the Edhi Foundation, a charity he created with his wife, Bilquise, has run clinics and orphanages across Pakistan and managed a fleet of ambulances that provided much-needed assistance to poor communities failed by an inadequate public health and welfare system. 

“He was one of the chosen ones. People like him come once in many centuries, and he was a special chosen one,” one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera at the funeral.

A hero to the poor

Born in the western state of Gujarat in British India, Edhi and his Muslim family moved to Pakistan in 1947 during the violent partition of the subcontinent.

He built up his charity solely through donations, focusing on addicts, battered women, orphans and the disabled.

Despite the vast sums of money that passed through his charitable foundation, Edhi lived modestly with his family in a two-room apartment adjacent to the headquarters of his foundation.

Renowned for an ascetic lifestyle and recognised by his long white beard and traditional black cap, Edhi was a hero to the poor but infuriated some religious leaders with his refusal to give preferential treatment to Muslims above minorities.

He also berated hardline groups for attacking civilians, criticised the government for incompetence and corruption, and denounced tax-dodging by the rich.

Despite constant threats, the Edhi Foundation became Pakistan’s most relied upon social safety net, handling many of the responsibilities that the Pakistani government could not.

The Edhi foundation was at the forefront of the response last year when a devastating heatwave struck Karachi, a city of more than 20 million people.

Sounds like a good bloke who did extremely well in a challenging part of the world..

It’s good to see someone who does so much and uses religion positively and not to discriminate.