Divine and earthly problems – Dr A Q Khan

37

Since the day of the creation of this world and of us human beings, we have always been facing problems of all kinds, some divine and some man-made. The earthly problems were floods, earthquakes, weather, etc but the divine problems were meant to test our character, our faith and our patience.

For that we have the potent prayer: “Wa kafa billahe waliun, wa kafa billahe naseera” (Allah is enough for my protection; Allah is my Helper and He is sufficient). There are many troubles and curses mentioned in the Quran and disobedience and wrongdoers have been dealt with.

At the moment, Allah’s curse has come in the shape of the Corona Virus. Enlarged photographs taken with electron microscopes make this terrible killer look like a beautiful toy for children. Advanced countries, those in the forefront of resources and advanced technologies, have been the worst hit.

People have started turning towards God to help them. This is the divine law: when nothing else helps, one automatically seeks God’s benevolence and mercy.

Pakistanis are known all over the world as being one of the most philanthropic nations. In Karachi, many communities are very active in welfare work such as medical centres, hospitals and educational institutions. Since I am from Karachi and regularly go there to visit my younger sister, I quite often meet many of these people. I have also been instrumental in doing my share in the form of the construction of the Institute of Behavioral Sciences/Dr A Q Khan Centre for Mental Health (now attached with Dow University) and the Dr A Q Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (now attached with Karachi University). Both are offering excellent services to the people of Karachi.

There is one specific field in which a lot of work is being done in Karachi – Thalassaemia. There are many clinics in operation providing excellent services to thalassaemia patients. I have also been involved in this work. In the early 90s, Lt-Gen Faheem Ahmad Khan, Lt-Gen Riaz Ahmad Chowhan, Lt-Gen Muhd Saleem, Lt-Gen C M Anwar and I established a centre near Liaquat Bagh where thalassaemia patients were treated.

This is an often painful and fateful disease. In Pakistan there are estimated to be more than 10 million patients. It is not contagious but is inherited and is spread when both parents are carriers, which often occurs in marriages between cousins. The disease can be either Minor or Major. If the parents are both Minor carriers, the children have a 50 percent chance of getting the disease in its Minor form.

The biggest problem is that apparently healthy people can be carriers without knowing it. If the parents are both carriers of the Major variety, their children will get the Major form of the disease and their life will become almost unbearable. They require constant blood transfusions of healthy blood and treatment to lower the iron content of the blood. Names to be mentioned, but by no means the only ones doing excellent work, are: Kashif Mulla or Kashif Iqbal Thalassaemia Care Centre (KITC) and Al-Mustafa Welfare Trust (owned by Haji Hanif Tayyab).

Recently the Amir, Maulana Lilyas Qadri, Mr Ehtesham Pervez and two other gentlemen of Dawat-e-Islami visited me. I was pleased to learn that they were very active in collecting blood for thalassaemia patients. They are also running a state-of-the-art treatment centre in Karachi. Mr Ehtesham informed me that the recent collection campaign was very successful and encouraging. Up to the end of March of this year they had visited 80 cities and collected 1115 bags from 35 collection points, bring the total number of bags obtained so far this year to 3201. What a noble cause and what a noble activity. I request everyone to help them.

May the Almighty shower His infinite blessings on all those people active in social work of any kind and guide them to carry on their noble activities – Ameen.

Email: dr.a.quadeer.khan@gmail.com