Leeza Ahmed, Virginia North, USA
My grandfather, Abdul Rashid Sharif Sahib Shaheed, was born in Palestine in 1941 and tragically lost his mother when he was just two years old. He was raised with great love and care by his second mother, Hikmat Abbas Ouda Sahiba. He moved to Rabwah, Pakistan, when he was 15. His father, Choudhary Mohamad Sharif, served as a missionary in the Arab world and West Africa. His mother tongue was Arabic, and he understood and spoke Hebrew. His martyrdom took place on 30 October 1998.
He arrived in Pakistan with his respected father in December 1955. After completing his BA at Rabwah College of Islamic Education and his MA at Lahore College, he achieved significant success in the CSP examination and was appointed as Deputy Secretary of Finance in Punjab. Despite biased clerics campaigning against him, his honesty and outstanding performance prevented the government from arresting him, and he continued to excel.
Abdul Rashid Sharif Sahib Shaheed had great faith and trust in Allah. He never feared, panicked, or worried about his financial hardships. For his occupation, he held a high civil servant position. Whenever he received a job assignment, the extremist clerics of that area always rallied against him and expressed their disdain by questioning why he, an Ahmadi, held such a high civil servant position. Despite all of this, my grandfather never feared or panicked, as his faith in Allah was very strong.
Abdul Rashid Sahib was very kind-hearted. During droughts, he would gather water, keep watch to ensure that the water supply reached the correct people, and make sure no one was breaking the rules. His fellow officers acknowledged that they would have been in trouble if he had not been present on any given day. In Sheikhupura, Abdul Rashid Sahib was a consistent source of aid and helped with various facilities. He even established a school for free and a girls’ hostel. By the grace of Allah, Abdul Rashid Sahib contributed greatly to the service of humanity.
During Ramadan, he would lovingly gather all his children and make Iftar a joyful and loving time. Whenever he visited nearby small villages in extremely hot weather, he never gave up on fasting, no matter how intense the heat was. Additionally, during Ramadan, he consistently performed Tahajjud and Taraweeh prayers.
In accordance with the teachings of the Holy Prophetsa, he was a very loyal and patriotic citizen, embodying these values through his beliefs and hard work while serving his nation. Abdul Rashid Sharif Sahib Shaheed would always be happy to lend a helping hand. He believed in advancing his nation, and his diligent efforts often led to him returning home late. He was so hardworking that he could never relax and sleep peacefully.
On 23 July 1999, during his Friday Sermon, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh spoke about the following incident, which displayed Abdul Rashid Sharif Sahib Shaheed’s honesty and trust in Allah despite the worldly positions of others:
At one point, a negative recommendation against him reached President Zia, and an order for his termination was immediately issued. However, when Governor Punjab General, Sawar Khan, reviewed his file, he recognised the worth of this officer and issued a new order to transfer him to another location.
He generously participated in charitable works and, following in the footsteps of his father, remained steadfast in his principles. On the evening of 30 October 1998, he was brutally martyred by some individuals for the sole reason of being an Ahmadi.
Regarding my grandfather’s love and loyalty to the Jamaat, he never concealed his faith. He always fulfilled his chanda requirements and was very diligent about it. In fact, the night before his matyrdom, he went to submit his chanda for that month.
Despite not being a Hafiz, he had memorised a large portion of the Holy Quran.
He was very loving. Whenever he would travel for long periods, such as a few months, he would almost daily write and send an individualised letter on a postcard to each family member. No matter how late it was, he would stay up and wait for every one of his children to come home before he went to sleep.
My grandfather, Abdul Rashid Sharif Shaheed, led a very active life, which was embodied through his hard work for his nation as well. His martyrdom shows his love and loyalty for Khilafat and Jamaat, as he sacrificed his life for his faith. May Allah shower His blessings on him and enable all his progeny to follow in his noble deeds.