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Remembering Jamal Mian

January 05, 2013

MAULANA Jamal Mian Farangi Mahali, who died on Nov 14, had a multifaceted personality and was a topmost scholar of India and Pakistan. While he was in Karachi, most of the time he would take me along whenever he wanted to meet somebody.

He once told me that after the partition of India when prime minister Nehru came to know about his intention to migrate to Pakistan, he visited him in Lucknow and brought toys for his children.

When Nehru suggested to him that he should not go to Pakistan, the Maulana said to him that ‘everybody is not like you in India’.

Being a joint secretary of the Muslim League, Jamal Mian decided to go to Pakistan and got settled in Dhaka where he knew the Ispahani family very well.

I used to work for PIA as a senior navigation officer. Whenever I went to Dhaka I visited him. Those days Chaudhary Khaliquzzama was the governor of the erstwhile East Pakistan. Once Jamal Mian took me to the governor who received the Maulana very courteously.

Chaudhry Sahib asked Maulana Jamal Mian about me but Before the Maulana could say something I told Chaudhry Sahib that I am related to Squadron Leader Fahimuzzama, who was also related to Chaudhry Sahib. Governor Sahib caught hold of my hand and said: “Son, you are also related to me.”

At the time I thought in the heart of hearty that the whole humanity has descended from Hazrat Adam (peace be upon him) and they are all related to each other.

After the fall of Dhka Maulana Farangi Mahali stayed for some time with Mohammad Azfar, chief secretary of Pakistan, and Raja Sahib Mahmoodabad.

Before the fall of Dhaka I was a navigator on the last plane of PIA flying to Dhaka and back to Karachi. Mualana Sahib wanted me to bring his collection of books and letters written by prominent writers of India and Pakistan to him.

I could manage to bring some books and letters and happened to see one letter written by Gandhiji addressed to the Maulana. It was the first letter by Gandhi written in Urdu in which he admitted that because of Maulana Sahib he learnt how to write Urdu and this was the first letter written by him in Urdu to Maulana Sahib.

I end here though there are many things that I can write about the Maulana. He was related to me and we stayed together for a few years in the same house on Karachi’s Kashmir Road.

May Allah bless his soul and keep his scion happy and prosperous.