A Meeting with Abdul Sattar Edhi

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Known for his humanitarian work and as Pakistan’s Angel of Mercy, Abdul Sattar Edhi, or Edhi Sahab, has returned to his Lord today at the wise age of 88.

He has dedicated the majority of his life–almost six decades–to philanthropy. He was the person that brought the first ambulance to one of Pakistan’s largest cities, Karachi. What began with one small office in 1957, the Edhi Foundation now has over 300 centers and over 1800 ambulances. Some numbers are placed at around 60k that have benefitted both orphans and abandoned children, thanks to Edhi’s work.

Edhi was known to be suffering from kidney failure and was receiving dialysis treatment at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, or SIUT, a privately-owned free hospital in Pakistan. SIUT is open to the public and will not turn away any patient–rich or poor, Farwa Rizvi told me, who has acquaintances that work at the hospital. She was in Pakistan earlier this year in March.

A personality as large as Edhi could have gone anywhere and would’ve had the luxury of being accepted–but the humble giant chose a place open to anyone, regardless of their background, echoing a sign of his humility. It is the biggest kidney dialysis treatment facility in the area.
Rizvi coincidentally happened to meet Edhi while he was at the hospital when she was there visiting a family member. This is what she had to say about the memorable event:

“Edhi Sahab was at SIUT and although I felt terrible for interrupting his diagnosis, he was so humble. Ali [her husband] was very excited to meet him but part of me was really sad.

I was amazed to the extent of silence when I met him. I was thinking ‘what do I even say to such a person? What should I even ask?'”

Farwa asked a question that is relevant to all youth:

“Aap kya waseehat deyngay aagay ki naslon ko? [translation: What advice would you give to future generations?]”

The great Edhi responded:

“Insaan bano, insaan banao, insaniyaat phelao. [translation: Become human, create humane beings, spread humanity.]”

Edhi will be buried shortly, please recite a Surah al-Fatiha for the gentle soul.

Editor’s note: Aseel Machi is related to Farwa Rizvi, however that did not influence nor change the essence or content of the story. 


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