A Glimpse at Capt Faheem Abbas Shaheed through the Lens of His Family
“I felt as if he was calling my name, so I occupied myself with house chores thinking that maybe I was missing him too much. I had not seen him for months. But deep down I knew something was wrong. When my husband received the call of Capt Faheem’s shahadat, I instantly knew as to why I was finding it hard to breathe all day. It was because my son’s heart had stopped beating.”
– Mother of Capt Faheem Abbas Shaheed
“I could not comprehend the words coming out of people’s mouth as they paid their condolences or talked about their memories of him. I did not know what they were saying. The only thing I knew was that I had lost my best friend, my entire world.”
– Wife of Capt Faheem Abbas Shaheed
The only words that came out of my mouth were, zama zway (My son), Faheem!”
These are the words of Capt Faheem Shaheed’s mother that reflect the pain in her heart when her beloved, youngest son received a bullet in his own heart while defending the motherland.
Capt Faheem embraced martyrdom on May 5, 2021. After he passed out from PMA in 2017, he was posted to Siachen, then Lahore and finally to Hangu. He hailed from the tribal areas and received martyrdom in the same land while protecting his people. As he was fluent in Pashtu so his CO tasked him to communicate with the locals and keep an eye on any suspicious activity. He was on duty when he received the news of terrorists attacking his soldiers. He went to the headquarters where he was briefed about the situation and without any delay he reached the location to fight the terrorists. He managed to send his enemies to hell because of his excellent shooting skills. He valiantly fought the enemy and it was during this fight when a coward terrorist hiding behind a boulder started shooting at him. He received multiple bullets in his leg and chest but he kept fighting. He killed this last miscreant too just as a bullet pierced through Capt Faheem’s heart sending him to the galaxy of shining stars emitting eternal light. His soldiers recall their brave officer breathing his last with a smile on his face for having completed his mission.
It is said that when a woman carries her child in her womb for nine months, their hearts get connected and that is why a mother can immediately sense when her child is in pain. This is exactly how Capt Faheem’s mother describes her feeling prior to receiving the news of her son’s supreme sacrifice: “I felt as if he was calling my name, so I occupied myself with house chores thinking that maybe I was missing him too much. I had not seen him for months. But deep down I knew something was wrong. When my husband received the call of Capt Faheem’s shahadat, I instantly knew as to why I was finding it hard to breathe all day. It was because my son’s heart had stopped beating.” This is not only the story of Capt Faheem Shaheed’s mother but of all mothers who sacrificed lights of their lives for this land.
Capt Faheem Shaheed left behind a 17-year-old widow in addition to his ageing parents and a brother. The newlywed Mrs. Faheem saw all her dreams shattered when she heard the news of her husband’s martyrdom just six months after their marriage. “It felt like my whole world had crashed. At first, I could not believe it. I had talked to him only the previous night and he had promised to take me out for dinner and shopping when he would come home on leave. I could not comprehend the words coming out of people’s mouth as they paid their condolences or talked about their memories of him. I did not know what they were saying. The only thing I knew was that I had lost my best friend, my entire world,” recalls Mrs. Faheem, whose innocent 17-year-old face turned pale and her eyes shed tears as she narrated her pain.
Capt Faheem Shaheed achieved the honour that every Muslim desires to achieve and left behind a family who are aggrieved by their loss but at same time feel immense pride. His father, Ahmad Abbas, who served in Pakistan Army for 20 years, thanks Allah for blessing his son with this honour. He feels grateful that his son achieved what he, as a soldier, could not. “When I heard the news, it felt as if I had lost my backbone, I could not stand but then I realized that my son has been blessed. He gave his life protecting his country. Maybe I’m not that strong now as I have lost one of my two arms but I’m sure my son has strengthened this pure land with his blood.”
His brother expresses similar sentiments. He says that his younger brother had great passion to join Pakistan Army. He would read books and work on the requirements for getting inducted into the Army, so much so that before going for ISSB he gathered all his friends and rehearsed all the tests in front of them to leave no room for error. “He was my best friend, always supporting and helping me. We were always there for each other. He was in his first semester at UET when I informed him about the Call Letter; he could not control his excitement. At the time I did not know that it was not the excitement of his selection for the army but of the honour he would bring home.”
Indeed, it is an honour that he not only brought to his family but to the entire nation.
His mother says with serenity on her face that her son was born to be a shaheed. “He used to greet me by kissing my hands; he was so obedient that he always did what I told him to. The last time he came home, before leaving he kissed my hands and said: “Maa, pray for me that I become a martyr.” At that time, I did not know that he was not asking me to pray for his martyrdom but giving me the good news of the honour he will receive a few months later,” she said with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face. She says that she has given her son to this land but her faith is firm that her son is always around her: “I feel his presence around me; I feel him in folded pages of his books, his clothes still smell like him and whenever I feel sad I feel a peck on my hands and I immediately realize that my son is around me. Initially, I used to be very sad and cry a lot but one day I saw him in my dream. He was sad and angry so I asked him why. He replied that it was because I was sad and told me that he was very happy where he was and that he was always around me.’’
His widow, whose hands still have remnants of the proverbial wedding henna, shares that even though they spent only a few months together, her husband became her best friend. She says, “No matter how tired he would be, whenever he would come back to his room after duty, he would call me. We shared everything with each other. I had developed a habit of talking to him and now he comes in my dream every night to talk to me. Although he is not physically here, but I feel his presence around me all the time. I was very happy that I am the wife of an officer but today, I thank Allah that he blessed me to become the wife of a shaheed.”
Shahdat is an honour that every Muslim desires to acquire as it elevates their rank not only in this world but also ensures Paradise in the hereafter. Allah blesses only a few with this privilege: to stay alive even after their souls have left their bodies. Capt Faheem Abbas Shaheed is one of the few who received this honour while fighting the enemy and protecting the motherland. After talking to the family of Capt Faheem Shaheed, I realized that they mourn the loss of their son, husband and brother but they are content and honoured that their beloved has served this country and his wish of becoming a martyr was accepted by Allah.
It’s not easy to receive the body of your son, brother, husband or father but when you see the Green and White flag wrapping the coffin, no feelings remain stronger than that of Pakistaniyat and no relation remains but the relation with this flag. It is this feeling of pride and honour that the family of a shaheed feels, which motivates many hundreds of thousands to wear the same uniform and parents to say that they would sacrifice their generations for this homeland. It is the high spirits of these families that have helped Pakistan Army eliminate terrorism from its roots and allowed victory in the War on Terror. The sacrifice of a martyr is indeed great as he gives us the most precious gift he possesses — his life — but the sacrifice of his family is in no way smaller as they not only give away a piece of their heart and live with it but give it with gratitude. HH
What is Patience?
Explanation in the Qura’an
If there is grief and calamity then there is patience, and if there is no calamity then exercising patience is redundant. In reality patience means that when a calamity befalls us, then despite holding the power to exact revenge from the perpetrators, we do not do so, and instead our eyes fill with tears, our hearts are full of pain, and our lips utter painful sighs. We accept Allah’s will and through our silence we leave our matters in His Hands. This is patience. Thus the befalling of calamities, and crying over them, is a manifestation of patience.
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