Junaid Jamshed – You will be missed.

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ملے خاک میں اہلِ شاں کیسے کیسے
مکیں ہو گٔیٔے لا مکاں کیسے کیسے
ھؤے ناموَر بے نشاں کیسے کیسے
زمیں کھا گٔیٔ نوجواں کیسے کیسے

To God we belong and to Him shall we return…

The tragic death of Pakistani singer-turned-religious preacher Junaid Jamshed in plane crash on Wednesday left the entire nation grief-stricken.

JJ has been a national icon for so many Pakistanis. We remember him as the singer, the scholar and the philanthropist.  As part of band “Vital Signs”, Junaid gained nationwide recognition with 1987 album Vital Signs which included the hit songs “Dil Dil Pakistan” and “Tum Mil Gaye”.
His solo album was released in 1994 and was quite successful. His other two albums were “Us Rah Par” and “Dil Ki Baat”. In 2004, he bid adieu to his music career and focused on preaching, which paved way to religious recitals on television. He became a travelling evangelist with the conservative Tableeghi Jamaat group.

Many of the reactions on social network Twitter spoke to this apparent dichotomy between his two lives, first as a heartthrob pop sensation singing about love and heartbreak, and later as a bearded preacher admonishing youth, women for straying from Islam and inviting people towards religion.578139-juanid-1374067711-430-640x480

An Islamabad-based development professional and analyst, Mosharraf Zaidi said in a tweet. “Junaid Jamshed’s journey was so quintessentially Pakistani. Conflicted, passionate, devoted, ubersmart, and so, so talented. Tragic loss.” – That’s true; undoubtedly a tragic loss it is.

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As people mourn the death of yet another icon we shall go back to see the times he made us feel like he was a true a trendsetter, a spiritual inspiration, the centre of much media attention:

  • Junaid was into philanthropic work like no other. He never used to speak of it in public. He was a generous man. He did help thousands, both through his charity and through his role in reviving the faith of so many.
  • He was an incredibly humble soul – Despite being a religious scholar with his own following, he never called himself an aalim.
  • Those who knew him always said that there was an aura around him. He was purely talented and extremely amiable.
  • Like all of us, he had his shortcomings. We all strongly disagreed with so many of his stances, and agreed with others. But he was a good soul.
  • He may have fallen and gotten up many times on the path he chose. But he chose to stay on that path anyways. Not many take that path after a taste of such fame and adulation.

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Today, he has left us in a state of utter disbelief. He is just one story and this is just one out of the 47 others who lost their lives yesterday. Each story is unique. Each life unparalleled. Lives full of promise. If we take home one thing from Junaid Jamshed’s passing away, it is that life is very short. And unpredictable. So let’s stop being so critical of others and their actions/words.

Rest in peace JJ – you will surely be missed.


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Amna Kazi

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