Ever since Fasih had started developing bodyache and slight fever and he had isolated himself for safety of others, both Fasih and I were in constant touch with a brilliant doctor who is updating himself on COVID by minute as he also works in a covid ward in one of the major COVID Centres in Karachi.
Throughout my husbands isolation, decision for admission, follow up in HDU then ICU he was my guide. When he told me on a message, “Madam start preparing for Remdesivir, it takes a long paper work and he needs it asap.” I immediately remembered Shaila Andrabi had mentioned a bhai of hers who had also procured licence to get this wonder drug. So I messaged her in desperation. She messaged Osman Waheed, and I have no idea who he is except that he was the man to go to for Remdesivir. Shaila sent me his message, “I am going to call Dr. Fasih now”. I replied, “No Shaila, Fasih is in ICU ask him to call his nephew.” What 6 days, Remdesivir was available in ICU for Fasih in 6 hours. The drug costs a whopping PKR 98,000 and Osman Waheed refused to take money, as I was later told. Fasih recieved 3 of the 5 doses before he gave up his battle against COVID.
I was devastated and disoriented. I did not have strength to talk to anyone or get condolences from except very close of kin and friends, for almost till yesterday the 10th day.
The amount of love, support Fatima, Ismail and I recieved from family, friends, colleagues, Fasih’s patients, acquaintances, virtual friends has been very touching The sincerest grief( am not referring here the usual ritual of condolence) by so so many of you and the genuine feeling of loss of Fasih for them has moved us. Words cannot thank you enough.
The tender loving care we are receiving has restored our tremendous faith in humanity. Fasih and I both were always huge believers that there are always good people who keep the world going. But he had a bigger belief in goodness of people. I would always ask him, “Why do you always end up discovering good people around you and he would say, “Everyone has goodness hidden within them. You just have to shake it gently through your generosity.” And if someone would act unfair, or nasty despite his generosity, he was unforgiving and tough. His biggest trigger was telling lies and hypocrisy. He demanded quality work but sincerity and ethics were his bigger benchmarks.
Taj has a staff of 22. And they can be categorized in two sets: 1. Those who are sincere and hard working. They could be making mistakes, but are genuine and honest. They found him compassionate and he would go to any length to take personal care of them. 2. Those who are nasty, cover up their mistakes with lies or took undue advantage of his generosity. To them he was a terror and unforgiving.
Today the first group of staff, is standing by us like a rock, running the organization as per his standards, going extra mile to ensure nothing is missed out. We are indebted to them forever. They are our Taj family.
Whenever giving an example of a person who perfectly balanced duniya(world).and deen( faith), I cannot think of an example better than Fasih. He did not know or ever try to know what maslak or fiqah he belonged. For him his faith was the 5 pillars of Islam plus “do good to humanity and harm no one.” Period.
As a family we had the fortune to live in Makkah for 20 years, and him for 25 years. I did not ever see him preach anyone including me on religion but would always remind good deeds were essential part of faith. How quietly he would slip in the room to pray farz namaz and come out no one would ever realize. I did not see him miss any prayer. And he often joked why he has no prayer mark on his forehead.
Many people asked him he lived in Makkah and still did not sport a beard. He would reply my faith is in my practice and not appearance. He was a Pulmonolgist in Makkah’s main hospital King Abdul Aziz Hospital in Makkah. He was on 12 hour duty for 15 days on Hajj and would accompany critical patients in ambulance to Arafat and hence perform Hajj defacto with them every single year.
Once he got a call from the office of Imam Haram that the chief Imam of Haram then Abdullah Subayel wants you to see him, as he was not well. Fasih went and examined and brought him to hospital for further treatment. Hence Fasih became his regular Pulmonologist for few years. One day when he visited to see him, the Imam asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?” Fasih replied, “I want to go inside Khan e Kaaba.” Imam did not give any reply. Fasih came home and told me. I whined, “Why didn’t you tell him my wife is looking for a job in xyz hospital.” Fasih replied, “No. I didn’t want him to regret asking me ‘how can I help’ and prove to him that I am a petty opportunist expat. As such I doubt if he liked my request. And I know you will get the job you are after. Just keep pursuing.” Fasih kept seeing Imam sb periodically for his chest condition. The topic of Kaaba never came up.
About 3 months later he got a call from a clerk in Haram that on a certain day there is Ghusl e Kaaba and the door will open for wshing of the Kaaba inside. His pass is ready to pick up for the entry after the washing. And few days later he lined up with very select dignitaries for the tour inside. He prayed and even looked around to inspect what did the interiors look like. Next year he again got a call, and then next and then next for 17 years. Each year he would go inside and pray 2 rakahs. One year he invited his father in the same season to also give him the opportunity to see. He asked the clerk that this time I will give my pass to my father. The clerk said, “Ley, hada haram.” (Why this is illegal). And then he gave Fasih a nasty smile. Before Fasih could even react, he took out another pass and said, “Go inside together.”
In 2013 he packed up a coveted job and his high connections in Makkah to come to Pakistan and complete his dream of Taj Consultants Clinics whose construction was nearing completion in Karachi.
I repeat, I have yet to know anyone who was so much a man of faith yet considered service and good deeds as a bigger blessing that mere rituals.
Each Ramadan Taj Consultant Clinics staff has daily iftar together. Everyone from CEO to the housekeeping boy sit together and eat and then pray Maghreb. Every staff’s birthday is celebrated from top to bottom with a cake and given birthday gift. Cake is brought for Christian nurses to cut on Christmas.
In Taj itself he confronted some doctors and staff whose actions contradicted their religious appearance.
One day his young female RMO came crying in his office, “Sir XYZ consultant said I have insulted his faith.” Fasih asked the details, so she replied she was sitting in her desk in the triage room and door was closed. Suddenly a man in Salwar Kameez with large flowing beard barged into the room banging the door open and said where is the nurse? So I asked him, why did you not knock the room?. The man replied, “I want nurse. Where is the nurse?” Doctor replied, “Why did you open the door without knocking? Look at your appearance and look at your behaviour.” That man replied, “You are insulting my piety. I am a consultant.” And left. The RMO got so scared, she came to Fasih crying. Fasih went to the Consultants room and gently asked him “What’s the matter?” He replied, “Your RMO insulted me on my appearance because I am a maulvi.” Fasih replied, “Dr Sb how is this an insult to your piety? Should you not have knocked at the door instead of banging the door open? Didn’t Prophet SAW even knock before entering his daughter’s room?” The consultant didn’t say a word. Fasih turned back, “And next time first introduce yourself as who you are and why you are looking for the nurse.” The man had no answer.
Just few months ago a GP who had taken a clinic on rent and was not paying his dues for several months despite reminders from.the Admin. Fasih was at home and he got a call from the guard downstairs that Dr.ABC is smuggling his furniture and stuff out of the building emptying the room late night, planning to run away without paying 3 months rent and other Bill’s. Fasih first went to his room it was open and vacated. Then he went down and nabbed the doctor, “Tumko sharam nahin aati itni bari darhee rakh ke chori se bhaag rahe ho? “ The doctor threatened, ” Kabardar meri darhi ko kuch mut kehna…” Fasih, “Guard darwaza lock ker do, ye bhagne na paaye. Mayn police ko phone ker raha huun, ye admi dues diye beghair bhaag raha tha.” The doctor folded hands and said, “Police mut bulao, mayn payment ker ke apna furniture le jaoonga.” And Fasih let him do that.
He was a Syed and hence many of his patients from interior Sind would want to touch his feet. He strictly refused and said this does not make him a better individual in the eyes of Allah. To those who insisted, he would actually get angry and threaten not to see them in his clinic.
He would often tell his staff, your quality of work and good deeds are part of your faith. Don’t think just rituals will take you to heavens.
Prof M. A. Almani was Fasih’s mentor. It was under his guidance Fasih founded and became the Founder President of the blood bank in Liaqat Medical College, Jamshoro in 4th year of MBBS. Prof Almani was the first person he took me to meet after I arrived in Karachi, Pakistan after wedding. Once years later, Fasih walked into the public service commission interview for 18 grade. To Fasihs surprise, Prof Almani was one of the three examiners. He smiled and told the other examiners you ask questions. I have nothing to ask. In April.2015 he knew who to call as Chief Guest for the inauguration of Taj Consultants Clinics. Ofcourse it couldn’t be anyone but Almani Sb. Prof M A Almani is in his late 80s now and I dread to imagine how shattered he would be to hear Fasih’s tragic news. 😦
Fasih often shared interesting stories about his blood bank activities.
Once to replenish the blood bank they organized a blood donation camp in a nearby district. They collected many pack when suddenly some local nationalist goons came and threatening to destroy the collected blood with accusation that as non son-of-soil he was collecting their blood to feed some rose garden in Karachi. Fasih sent message to Prof Almani, who was the Principal of LMC then, and he arrived and stood in front of Fasih angrily saying, “before you touch him and his blood packs spill my blood.”
2 years later,he was doing Housejob in Surgery, during Ramadan with his sister and sister in law he drove after Sehri from Hyderabad to Karachi in an Alto. On the way still closer to Hyderabad they had a near fatal accident with a truck and were rushed to Jamshoro hospital. He had extensive injury in his neck, chest snd right hand. He needed 10 pints of blood. It was the same blood bank which had the plaque on its wall Founder President Syed Fasihuddin who supplied those 10 pints immediately. The in charge of the blood bank started crying. Fasih was bedridden for 6 months had several surgeries. All his right hands tendons were cut and he took almost 5 -6 reconstructive surgeries to put them together. It was after this incident he had to change his choice from surgery to medicine and then pulmonology.
Blood donation was his annual ritual and he took special pride that he was O Positive- a universal donor.
When Fasih got admitted with Covid I did some googling and was so relieved to find that persons with O positive blood group have less complications in COVID19 than any other blood group. Wonder why he still succumbed to the wretched virus.
I echo the sentiments of one of his patients bases in Ohio who wrote on Taj’s page, “He was my and my family’s doctor. I will hate Corona Virus always for one reason- for taking this man away.”
This portrait is made with the pictures of all the doctors and nurses who passed away so far in COVID 19 Pandemic. You can enlarge and see. It’s very difficult to be a doctor , very easy to criticize. Celebrate and hug each other in Heavens you all brave doctors who gave your lives for mankind and wish health and life to your colleagues on Earth who are still working day and night. #covid19#doctors
Salute to a person I never met but heard all the wonderful stories about. Who gave up his glorious career to serve the poor and needy, trying to create affordable healthcare system started a hospital from his life savings. My friend Quraishi Ilmana lost her husband Doctor Fasih, working day and night, treating Covid patients in Karachi.
“Salam” Nahin hota asaan Sab kuch chhor Kisi nayee jagah Pher se ghar basaana Nahin hota saan Sab kuch chhor Nishchhal man se “Taj” ka sapna sajaana Nahin hota asaan Parivar se reh door Nirbal ka sambal banna Pher yeh sab ker dikhaya Tum ne “Fasih” Kunke tumhe mila Ilmana, Fatima aur Ismail ka sahara Aaj nahin ho tum yahan Per jo dekha sapna Khuli aankhon se tumne Usne anekon ka ghar jilaaya Nahin hota asaan Achaanak sir se nek saaye Ka youn hi chale jaana Ishwar ko bhi shaayad Zaroorat hogi tumhari. Om Shanti ~Poonam Jain Kasliwal
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