HAROON…………the gentle one

Northern Pakistan

Northern Pakistan (Photo credit: Imran…)


I am listening to the tafseer of Surah Al Araaf by Farhat Hashmi. She comes to the part where Moses (AS) is called by Allah SWT to give him the message, and as he gets ready to leave he asks his brother Haroon to take care of the Children of Israel when he is gone.

She then describes the temperament of Haroon (AS)………..born in the same household as Moses (AS) older brother to him, and yet unlike him, he is soft spoken, gentle and non confrontational.

My mind goes to another Haroon………soft spoken, gentle and non-confrontational. Born in a pack of five brothers and one sister some older than him some younger.

Old colonial home in Amritsar,check the rooftop contiguity

Old colonial home in Amritsar,check the rooftop contiguity

He at age one hunkering down in the darkened rooms of his grandparents home in Amritsar at night in a blackout that is only brightened by the torches of the Hindu rioters near my grandmother’s house.

My grandmother lived at the border of the Hindu section in a large sprawling bungalow that connected in the city with other homes through the closeness of their roof tops, My grandfather was the physician at the Hospital nearby treating Hindu’s and Muslims equally during the riot of Partition between Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan.

Neither my grandmother nor my grandfather ever thought of leaving their ancestral home in the Punjab ever. My father, who had gone to Pakistan to set up a Hospital, had left my mother and her three boys and one on the way with her parents in a safe, affluent neighborhood close to the hospital.

I can hear my mother relating “the night” Here is what I remember of what she said:

“As the evening shadows would lengthen the house would be plunged in complete blackout to deter the rioters from discerning who if anybody lived there. After many days of siege of the Muslim quarter, my grandfather was stranded in the hospital and could not return home because of the mobs at the gates of the muslim quarter.
Our fresh food was slowly running out, the first item of need was milk for Haroon.

As darkness would fall, my grandmother would rant and rave and send baduas to each member of the Hindu mob, and then would send her son (my mothers brother) to run across the rooftops and bring some milk in a lota. He being twelve, a lota was all he could carry while running over the roof tops, dodging bullets and trying to avoid being seen.

Haroon………..would cry when the shots rang out, but his crying also was quiet sobbing, he would never raise his voice as if he knew of the pre eminent danger they were in.”

Haroon my brother never cried aloud as far as I can remember. I recall the wordless tears in his eyes at age nine when he went to Boarding School in Murree, wordless tears in his eyes when my father died. I thank God he never witnessed my mothers or my sons death.

His smiles were also gentle; his laugh hearty but never raucous ……………..Haroon how aptly named was he.

Haroon arriving in Pakistan around one and one half year of age and living with our parents in an apartment in Lady Wellington Hospital where my father worked after partition.

My mother was physically and emotionally stretched as the hospital was mostly filled with the carnage that was carried out on the trains to Pakistan which arrived with people dismembered and severely injured.

Muslim refugees on the train to Pakistan

Muslim refugees on the train to Pakistan

Her mother and sister had been recruited to nurse the injured while my grandfather & father did surgery. Meanwhile my mother was taking care of her three children and her newborn baby. Haroon became a favorite of a half blind, very affectionate elderly woman from our family called “Mami Muradi” who had sought sanctuary with my parents after all her family was killed in Partition.

I see his photo; he is clinging to Mami Muradi’s legs and looking at the camera from behind the folds of her shalwar, his signature lock of dark hair on his forehead, his intelligent eyes assessing you before he accepts your presence in his life.

Haroon with the gentle hands that eased headaches without medicine, Haroon with the sharp wit and sarcasm that could reduce egos to a heap of sand

Haroon absorbing the pain and disappointments of life without batting an eyelash, Haroon writing a story of a father and a son………..Haroon breaking the academic records in all the commonwealth countries, Haroon spoiling his daughters with joy. Haroon working in Borders in the States.  and saying he enjoys it while in his heart he was homesick for Pakistan.

Haroon absorbing the pain of life till he could absorb no more and his heart exploding with it, spilling out all the anguish, releasing him forever from the ungentleness of this world……………

“Inna lil lahi wa inna elayhe rajaeown”. May his soul rest in peace and May Allah Subhanawataala give him Maghfirah, and guide his daughters and his siblings to the path of Allah Subhanawataala.

May his daughters pray for him everyday in every prayer, for his solace and Maghfirah in the Hereafter!

On being asked once why he spoils his daughters so much he said “they are all I have!”………….and now their prayers are all he has left in this world.

10 thoughts on “HAROON…………the gentle one


  2. Pingback: GRATITUDE: My Grandmother and a gift of mercy……… | Siraat-e-Mustaqeem

  3. Hi,
    First of all thank you so much for creating a wonderful blog & providing so much knowledge about Islam & the holy Quraan. I respect Islam in the utmost respect and thank you so much for making me read few lines from it.
    About the above post I feel so sorry that the incident happened and the casualities were the worst in Indian hisoty. I have read and listened to many older people in my country as well about the brutality by Mobs from both side.But at this time we can only forget the incidents and go on with a promise to each other to extend a brotherhoodness towards forgiveness.

    thank you


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  5. from my dear friend F a direct communication:
    Dear A,
    I shared the story of Haroon with my parents
    specially as it included the Hospital in Amritsar.
    My father’s face lit up and he was excited
    recalling his memories
    My grandparents lived in Majitha 11 miles from Amritsar
    He said from there the Hospital was 8 miles, on the out skirt of
    Amritsar affiliated with the only medical school .
    Abbijan took his younger brother after a dog bite on a bicycle
    to same hospital for the 14 days required regimen of injections !
    ……………several years[he was in high school/Islamia High School]
    a couple of years before the horrific events of ‘partition’.
    He went to Government College Lahore,
    and came back home for their hasty and frightening evacuation,
    [which they believed was only going to last a few weeks].
    Both my grandparents lived in Majitha, my Nana abbajan was in the British Royal Army
    and was away.


  6. Asalaamu Alaikum Aunty and Uncle,

    Whenever I finish reading some Quraan, I ask Allah to send the thawaab to members of my family, and then all others who have already died especially those who have no one else to pray for them. InshAllah there will always be children who will remember us in their prayers- Please remember me in your prayers.



  7. Walaikum asalaam Brother,
    I also used to cry about having only one child left to pray for me, who may or may not because the glitter of dunya is very distracting.
    I have come to the conclusion that I am responsible for my own self and that my book once closed is final and I have to work hard like you for my Akhera…………

    Inshallah He SWT in His infinite mercy will forgive my sins and grant me pardon on the Day of Judgment and give me entry into Jannat ul Firdous, I pray for the same for you.

    May Allah SWT give you health, strength, courage and consistency in striving for your Deen and making your Akhirah into a beautiful outcome, with His help, mercy and Graciousness.


  8. On being asked once why he spoils his daughters so much he said “they are all I have!”………….and now their prayers are all he has left in this world.

    Dear Sister,
    I donot have any one now. No one will be there to pray for my salvation.
    I hope Allah (SWT) will give me the oppurtunity and strength to do my own work for the Akhera.


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