Monday, May 14, 2018

Perspective: An hour with Dr. Abdus Salam | Mansoor Ahmad


Dr Salam instinctively helped people. He liked to help them in their careers and there are, no doubt, people all over the world who owe their careers in a greater or smaller measure to Dr Salam.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Author
By Mansoor Ahmad | May 13, 2018

Professor Dr. Abdus Salam was a devout Muslim, a Pakistani theoretical physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979 for his theoretical unification of the two fundamental forces of nature. Abdus Salam’s religion did not occupy a separate partition of his life; it was deeply attached to his work and family life. He once wrote: "The Holy Quran enjoins us to reflect on the verities of Allah's created laws of nature; however, that our generation has been privileged to glimpse a part of His design is a bounty and a grace for which I render thanks with a humble heart."

It was in April 1993 when first time I met this great personality, Professor Dr. Abdus Salam in Bangladesh, at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. I was holding the Office of District Quaid of Chittagong, Greater Chittagong, Noakhali, Comilla and Chandpur District Majlishes. I planned to make a tour for Fazilpul, Ambar Nagar (two separate Majlishes under Noakhali District and Comilla Majlish.)

Mawlana Imdadur Rahman Siddiqi Saheb who is currently serving as Principal of Jameya Ahmadiyya Bangladesh was posted as Missionary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Chittagong and Chief Tabligh Co-ordinator of Chittagong, Greater Chittagong, Noakhali, Comilla and Chandpur Jama’at. When Mawlana Imdad Saheb came to know about my Majlish tour plan, he told me that he as well wanted to tour with me these Jama’ats for tabligh activities. Both of us embarked on our Tour.
After completion of our trip in Comilla, Mawlana Imdad Saheb told me that he needs to go to Dhaka for some of his important works. I agreed to accompany him on his way to Dhaka. We went from Comilla to Dhaka by Night Coach and reached Dhaka the next morning.

When we reached our Central Mosque at Number 4 Bakshi Bazar Road, we came to know that Professor Dr Abdus Salam was at Dhaka upon an invitation of the Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. On that day, Dhaka University conferred Professor Salam Doctor of Science Degree. The Degree was awarded by the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Begum Khaleda Zia.

After breakfast, I met Mr Mohammad Abdul Hadi, Sadr, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Bangladesh who has currently been living in London and is holding the position of Naib Sadr & Secretary Ishaat of Merton Park Jama’at. Sadr Saheb was really happy to see me. He wanted to know from me for how many days I planned to stay at Dhaka. I told him that my plan was to leave Dhaka the next day. Sadr Saheb told me that as Dr Salam was in Dhaka, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Bangladesh had scheduled some duties with Dr Salam and accordingly my duty was scheduled from 8.00pm to 9.30pm at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. He also told me that he would come to pick me at 7.30pm.

Accordingly, Sadr Saheb came to our Central Mosque at Bakshi Bazar in order to pick me and we reached at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel Room where Dr Salam was staying. It was a thrilling experience for me and I did not believe that I was going to meet a Nobel Laureate - one who was a most respected, influential and powerful spokesman for science in the developing countries. Professor Abdus Salam was regarded as a man of three worlds, the world of Islam, the world of Theoretical Physics, and the world of International Co-operation. I find it difficult to articulate into expression the emotions which overwhelmed me when I entered the room of Professor Salam. I was constantly invoking darood on Holy Prophet SAW and reciting Istegfar.

We saw Dr Salam was sitting on a Sofa. I said him salam and embraced with him. Sadr Saheb introduced me to him saying, ‘This is Mansoor Ahmad, District Quaid of Greater Chittagong’. Dr Salam offered me with his loving and affectionate looking. He kept me looking with his talented bright shining eyes saying ‘Yes, Yes’. When we arrived there we saw Mawlana Abdul Awal Khan Chowdhury, Missionary In-charge, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Bangladesh and Mr Ahmad Tabshir Chowdhury who is currently Sadr, Majlis Ansarullah Bangladesh attending Professor Salam.

Professor Salam was suffering from an illness, an unusual ailment of the nervous system which had rendered it impossible for him to walk easily even with a stick. Mostly, he used a wheel chair during the period of his illness. The leader of the Political Party known as Bangladesh Awami League, Sheikh Hasina Wazed (Current Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh) was expected to come at 8.00pm to see Dr Salam during the time when my duty was scheduled with this Nobel Laureate.

I along with Mr Tabshir assisted Dr Salam in changing his attire. He wore a white shirt, a black suit with a red tie and black shoes. I gave him some medicines as prescribed. At 8.00pm Sheikh Hasina came and waited in the Guest Room. Dr Salam asked me to walk him to the room where Sheikh Hasina was waiting to see him.

Sheikh Hasina came and stayed about forty minutes and discussed many topics with Dr Salam. I, with Sadr Saheb and Mr Mr Ahmad Tabshir Chowdhury were sitting in the same room. I thoroughly enjoyed their discussion. What I noticed from a close curious examination from their meeting was that Sheikh Hasina kept on talking on various issues like Bangladesh Politics, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, Bangladesh Drug Policy, Education System of Bangladesh etc. Yet Professor kept listening to Sheikh Hasina, but barely talked or replied back to her, which in-fact is a quality of a great leader.

Those who recognized Professor Salam were fully mindful that he was magnanimous and generous. In addition, Dr Salam instinctively helped people. He liked to help them in their careers and there are, no doubt, people all over the world who owe their careers in a greater or smaller measure to Dr Salam. All these ingredients made for a highly successful administrator.

After a prolonged illness Professor Abdus Salam at the age of seventy died on the 21st November, 1996 in Oxford, England. His body was brought to Pakistan and buried in Beheshti Maqbera, [Heavenly Cemetery] Rabwah. . His death shall be mourned and grieved by his admirers all over the world.


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Mansoor Ahmad, London, UK


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1 comment:

  1. Jazakumullah Mansoor Ahmad sahib for your nice writeup. You have very sharp memory. Just to add, Dr. M. A. Wajed Mia, husband of Sheikh Hasina, who was a scientist and a favourite student of Dr. Abdus Salam sahib also present there. I and Dr. Mujahed Uddin Ahmed, Professor of Bangladesh Agricultural University and an Ahmadi were in fulltime duty of Dr. Abdus Salam sahib during his tour.

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