ATP Quiz: Guess Who This Is (More Hints)

Posted on January 22, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Quiz, History, People
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Adil Najam

Thank you to those who have so actively responded to our current ATP Quiz where we gave you some quotes and asked you to guess who they are from (here). Many of you have gotten to the bottom of this, but others are still further away. For those who have not seen the first set of hints, do so here; also, a number of comments already posted on that may be helpful.

Largely becasue I wanted to post the following quotes anyhow, and partly by way of giving more clues to teh identity of the person we are thinking of, here is a little more from him.

Let me first finish the story where we left it – his going to Gen. Zia ul Haq’s Majlis i Shura. Here is what he did there:

On the 12th of July 1984, I finally stood up to speak and the venerated members of the assembly, along with General Zia ul Haq straightened up to listen…. “You formed this Shura according to Islamic concepts… [but] when there are no human rights, domestic laws, facilities for health and education, protection for domestic servants and kisaans, there is also no Shura. Does anyone still want to call this assembly an Islamic Shura? …Have you converted mosques into courts of genuine Islamic justice or into schools for the illiterate? Are you using Zakaat funds for development programs? Are you rehabilitating destitutes on a provincial and district level from the Bait ul Maal? Are you reducing unemployment by giving small loans and setting up small industry? … As a rule based on victimisation, self-preservation and greed is visionless, it is also destructive. This country needs help, help to recover from its past and now its present. The people have been neglected long enough, one day they shall rise like mad men and pull down these walls that keep their future captive. Mark my words and heed them before you find yourself the prey instead of the predator…. If you talk of an Islamic system, let me guide you towards the West which has adopted it…. When you push people against the wall, they reject you. As Martial Laws and restrictive methods are tantamount to terrorism, they are the mother of terrorist activities.” … Somebody shouted, “Ghaddar, Ghaddar,” but another urgently silenced him.

So much for his direct involvement in politics. But his passions went outside of parliament and created furors.

Extremist groups … rose against me without understanding what I propounded. Some said I was from the Aga Khani sect, others declared me a Shia, a Qadiani, even an atheist… I noticed a huge banner declaring me a non believer outside [a] mosque… A letter from the Imam of a mosque in Islamabad arrived saying, “I believe you are a good man. Your ideas and interpretations are, however, adopted from the Aga Khan faith. If you come to me I will convert you into a true Muslim.” …I issued a press release, “Nobody in the world is in a position to declare my faith except I, myself.”

[Speaking to a group of Pakistanis in USA] I objected, “You have spent four and a half million dollars towards a mosque when another stands just one and a half kilometers away. Reevaluate your priorities and your responsibilities.” Pakistan’s Muslims are split into hundreds of sects. All they do is try and establish what is haram and what is halal…People had conveniently forgotten that I propagated a concept that Sufi saints had already preached…. The humanitarian traditions of sufism spread Islam in the Subcontinent, and Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims were equal before God. The inspiration derived from Sufi character was an advantage to our faith, and the tolerant and refined image of Islam was the ideal…

So, does this help us in getting to an agreement on who this person is?

25 Comments on “ATP Quiz: Guess Who This Is (More Hints)”

  1. The Pakistanian says:
    January 22nd, 2007 10:45 am

    Seems like most of the people are leanning toward Abdus Sattar Edhi. I never thought of Edhi Sahab as a political figure or even a controversial one as suggested in the earlier post. Well, if it indeed is Edhi Sahab, I will be honest, I would have never guessed him in a million years! Good one :)

  2. Samdani says:
    January 22nd, 2007 11:17 am

    I guess people who know better have figured out that it is Edhi. Would not have guessed that. But if it is so, I am really surprised. I know he was harrassed by the MQM folks, but did not know that the religious types and maulvis also gave him a hard time.

  3. Bundagi says:
    January 22nd, 2007 11:57 am

    Definitely Not Edhi…this is either Zafarullah Khan or Khan Wali Khan…So when do we ge tthe answer to this???

  4. Farrukh says:
    January 22nd, 2007 12:56 pm

    Now I am quite cconfused and unsure who it coudl be. Its probably going to be a surprise.

    But whoever it is, he is spot on about this Masjid building binge by Pakistanis in teh USA and other places outside Pakistan. Wher I live in teh US has far more mosque than are needed for that community and all they do is keep fighting amongst each other, all are differnet sects, and the result is that we end up having 3 Eids and unending masjid politics. I heard of this village near Mirpur whicch sent lots of peopel abroadd to work, they did well and now supposedly they have 6 mosques in the little village. But still no school!

    As the guy says, get your priorities right.

  5. January 22nd, 2007 12:57 pm

    I am 100 percent sure that its Maulana Abdus Sattar Edhi, here are some clues that led me to believe that its Edhi Sahib:

    1. clue#1:Mithadar , an old karachi neighborhood is the place where he first started his welfare work for the memon community and from where he stood up for elections.

    2.He was branded as Aga Khani which means that he belonged to a community which does resembles the Aga Khani community as they speak the same gujarati language. In karachi in which there are Sunnis which majority of memons are and then there are ismailis or Aga Khanis.

  6. PatExpat says:
    January 22nd, 2007 1:29 pm

    Definitely not Abdulsattar Edhi.

  7. Owais Mughal says:
    January 22nd, 2007 2:04 pm

    I believe this person is Edhi. Reason is the Gujrati language which is commonly spoken by Memon community from which Edhi hails as well as the Aga Khan community for which he was mistaken by the Islamabad mosque guys.

    I also remember that he was selected for Zia Shoora from Karachi

  8. January 22nd, 2007 2:22 pm

    Fascinating to see Pir Pugara and Altaf Hussein’s name taken by some in the same vein as Edhi.

  9. Akif Nizam says:
    January 22nd, 2007 3:09 pm

    I’m as perplexed as the next person but it’s definitely not Edhi. Edhi has never been part of any politics to my knowledge.

    My guess would be Ghulam Mustafa Khar but I would have a hard time believing that he is uneducated …..or short.

  10. Roshan Malik says:
    January 22nd, 2007 3:29 pm

    I think someone from Ispahani family.

    Sorry folks for being absent from ATP for so long as went to Pakistan for holidays. Really missed so many interesting posts.

  11. Bhindigosht says:
    January 22nd, 2007 4:29 pm

    Well, Adil mentioned that this personality is revered by Pakistanis…. and I can think of very few people who are actually revered by Pakistanis. I also think that this may be Edhi, based on the masjid in the USA bit…Edhi had been offered to have a masjid built in his name by the NRPs(Non-residents Pakistanis), and he had refused citing reasons similar to the ones mentioned above…. but again Edhi would be an obvious answer

  12. Sajjad Haider says:
    January 22nd, 2007 5:35 pm

    I think this great person is Qudrat Ullah Shahab who has written the Shahab Nama whic is the autobiography .

  13. Poo Poo Head says:
    January 22nd, 2007 7:10 pm

    Could not be Edhi. His Year of Birth is 1928 per

  14. Farrukh says:
    January 22nd, 2007 7:28 pm

    Not all Aga Khanis speak Gujrati. Especially in teh Nortehrn Areas and even in Karachi. Also I think he was ‘acused’ (not confused) of being Aga Khani by this purist maulvi in Islamabad not because of his language but his beliefs I think. That is what the passage suggests. What he is callin his SUFI beliefs were not welcomed by that maulvi and those putting the banner outside the mosque.

    So, maybe not Edhi because I dont recall him being targeted by the mullahs.

  15. hakim says:
    January 22nd, 2007 8:51 pm

    Definitely not Edhi. I don’t think he ever got into politics. Plus, the birth dates don’t match.

  16. A. says:
    January 22nd, 2007 9:20 pm

    To clarify – I suggested Altaf Hussein based on the karachi connection and a liberal attempt at recognising that his followers might think of him as a great man – my opinion is to the contrary.

    I actually think (considering the silhouette) that it can’t be Edhi sahab. Consider this a second vote for the author of “Shahab Nama”, as suggested by Sajjad Haider above.

    I think all of us are eagerly awaiting the answer just to relieve the suspense!

  17. MQ says:
    January 22nd, 2007 9:41 pm

    Some important clues are:

    1.He won an election from Mithadar in 1964. That rules out any Punjabi, Pathan, Baloch or an Urdu speaking person from Karachi and points to a person of Memon, Bohri or Khoja community.

    2. He went to a “madrass” or “the madrassa” upto class four and then dropped out. This could be Sindh Madrassa and not necessarily a relgious seminary.

    3. He is/was controversial to some and revered by others. Now how many people who have been in politics are “revered” in Pakistan — past or present? Only Edhi comes to mind, but was he ever an MNA or in Zia’s shorba? I don’t know. Never read his life story.

    Whoever he is, his message is powerful, gripping, and so relevant — in fact, much more so — even today.

    P.S: The man in the silhouette shown at the top of the post looks more like Ardehsir Cowasjee, though!!!!

  18. Raza Haider says:
    January 22nd, 2007 9:43 pm

    Definitely not Edhi – he has been invlved in his charity full time since 1951 and could not have been playing an active political role in Ayub Khans regime

    Come on Adil….tell us already!!

  19. Ahmed says:
    January 22nd, 2007 10:43 pm

    It can’t be Qudrat ullah shahab though many a traits point to him. He was in civil services and may had been a part of majlis-e-shura on grounds of beauraucretic set up. But according to my limited knowledge he never once contested for election.
    Another thing, it just occured to me that Shahab sahib was in self intiated exile to switzerlad during Zia regime so he could’nt paossibly participate in majlis e shura. Somebody please correct me if the exile was in bhutto period.

  20. January 23rd, 2007 12:21 am

    Abdul Sattar Afghani?the ex mayor of karachi?

    anyway I am more intrested to learn photoshop from you than guessing this image :-)

  21. Manzoor says:
    January 23rd, 2007 1:05 am

    Shahab was an ICS bureaucrat, highly educated and during 1960s he was secretary or something like of the Ayub Khan. It was later during the Yahya days he went on an exile in London. I doubt Edhi being a political activist. But I remember when he went to London on an exile during the unrest in Karachi he was even branded as an Israeli agent by one of our national newspapers who get his commando training in Lebanon and same kind of non-sense. Other person from Sindh was GM Syed who also hasn’t any formal education. But he was anti-establishment. Utterly confused………………………

  22. Manzoor says:
    January 23rd, 2007 1:58 am

    Edhi had to left his madrassah, in his own words,”I became the team leader in the Madrassah and used to divide all the kids into two teams for games. Later, I had a fight in the madrassah as a result of which I had to drop out of my fourth grade.”

  23. January 23rd, 2007 3:29 am

    [...] I have really enjoyed this ATP Quiz thread (here and here). I had hoped that this method will get people more engaged than just writing a post on Edhi sahibs work. I also really wanted people to read and think about the passages that I had included from his autobiography – Edhi: A Mirror to the Blind. They are thought provoking passages and worthy of our attention. I was surprised by many things in the book, and it is obvious from the comments that so were you. A lot of you actually got the answer fairly early on but it was interesting to see how some of the facts were so surprising and so contrary to our popular perception of the man that it kept many others wondering. So, first of all, thank you for your participation and your patience. [...]

  24. January 23rd, 2007 4:24 am

    Friends, the result is now available, so we will discontinue comments here and move the discussion to the results post.

  25. January 23rd, 2007 11:46 am

    [...] My posts over the last few days have all been designed to build up to this (here, here and here). Irrespective of whether Abdul Sattar Edhi is a Pakistani or not, irrespective of how much most Pakistanis hold his selfless zeal in reverence – and irrespective also of all the ways in which a few have tried to malign him – I believe that Abdul Sattar Edhi deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. [...]

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