A Glowing Star of the Ahmadiyya Galaxy has Set

Tribute to Mr. Naseer Ahmad Faruqui

by Nasir Ahmad

The Light & Islamic Review (US), May/June 1992 Issue (Vol. 69, No. 3, pp. 12–13)

A Photograph of
Naseer Ahmad Faruqui

An illustrious civil servant, prolific writer, scholar of the Quran, life-member and Vice-President of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-e-Islam Lahore, with a life dedicated to the cause of Islam, Mr. Naseer Ahmad Faruqui breathed his last late in the evening of 5 December 1991. A clean-shaven, open-hearted, clean-minded and straight-forward officer of the prestigious Indian Civil Service, the love of the Quran was ingrained in him as a mission which he fulfilled to his last breath.

Mr. Faruqui rose to the highest positions in the civil service — Chief Secretary in the Government of West Pakistan, Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to President Ayub Khan, retiring as Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan. But these official preoccupations did not make him oblivious, for a moment, to his prime objective, namely, study and service of the Quran. Dars-e-Quran [Discourse on the Holy Quran] has been a distinguishing trait of Ahmadis and some of our elders kept up this tradition during their lives. Mr. Faruqui was invariably one of them. Others include our present Head, Hazrat Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan, the late Dr. Allah Bakhsh and the late Maulana Aftab-ud-Din Ahmad. For them, dars-e-Quran was a nutriment for their souls.

Mr. Faruqui had a brilliant career in the civil service and, after his retirement, could easily have taken a post in some national body or at the United Nations, but he preferred to devote the rest of his life to the service of the Quran. He regularly delivered dars-e-Quran and Friday khutbas [sermons], even when it became difficult for him to walk in the last five years of his life. Even in this condition, he was mentally very alert, and his handwriting and speech were fluent and steady. During the last few weeks when everyone was worried for his deteriorating health, he was concerned mainly about the forthcoming annual December gathering, and was busy preparing notes for the dars-e-Quran and the speech he very much wanted to deliver. He intimated to the organisers that he would definitely deliver a speech, but was doubtful about the dars after the morning prayers due to his health. He assured that if his health permitted, he would also like to hold the dars, which he had been delivering regularly during the three days of the gathering for the last three decades.

His zeal and devotion for the dissemination of the knowledge of the Quran increased day by day. In his retired life, he vigorously piloted the Anjuman’s project of translating the Quran into the important languages of the world. He was so particular about the correctness of the translations that when the Spanish translator had completed his work, he invited him to Pakistan. He would sit with the translator for hours from dawn to dusk during the sultry summer months to check the translation. First, he would explain to the translator intrinsic and cognitive meanings of important words, constructions and phrases of the Quran. Then he would ask the translator to explain to him the meaning of the Spanish word in English, and after evaluating similar other words and their meanings, he would select the nearest equivalent in Spanish.

In case of other translations, namely, French, German and Russian, he could not personally sit with the translators, but he took great pains in explaining to them various difficult points which the translators were faced with. Whenever a query came, Mr. Faruqui replied to it promptly. If it could be explained over the phone he never hesitated to do so; otherwise he would answer it in detail. Mr. Faruqui’s intuition, thorough knowledge of the Quran, and his prompt guidance enabled the translators to complete their works in the shortest possible period. That is how we have been able to complete these four translations in a record period.

Besides guiding the translators, he vigorously launched fund-raising campaigns to which people from the Jamaats all over the world responded spontaneously and generously. The Quran translation project envisages not only translation of the Quran, but also of other important works on Islam, as well as the Ahmadiyya Movement, into key languages of the world. In short, Mr. Faruqui put his heart and soul into the project, was the moving spirit behind it, and laid down solid foundations for its smooth running. We are sure that in years to come we shall see the fruition of his devotion and deep commitment for the spread of the Quran for which he toiled till his last breath. Truly he fulfilled the dying wish of the late Maulana Muhammad Ali who, when too ill to speak loudly, could hardly whisper into Mr. Faruqui’s ear:

“Our task is to carry the Quran to the world, then it will do its own work”.

Mr. Faruqui is no more with us, but his zeal and devotion for the Quran will inspire us to go ahead with the ambition of delivering the message of the Quran to the farthest corners of the world.

(In the article above, we have omitted some details which had already been covered in the previous article by Begum Razia Faruqui. — ‘The Light’)

Note from the Editor: Those who sent messages of sympathy at the passing away of Mr. Faruqui included:

  • Mr. Ghulam Ishaq Khan, President of Pakistan, and
  • Mr. Wasim Sajjad, Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan.