Amjad Sabri no more, that was all I got last afternoon. Carrying on with the legacy of Sabri Brothers, Amjad Sabri was the gem that led the family name after his uncle Maqbool Sabri, who made a formidable qawwali group with his father, the late Ghulam Farid Sabri in the mid-50s. Soon they were known for their soul-stirring renditions of Arifana Kalam (mystic poetry).
Social media went abuzz yesterday afternoon with the news that Amjad Sabri has been shot dead in Liaquatabad area of Karachi, which was also his place of residence. At about 1600 local time in Pakistan, I received a phone call from my brother who lives abroad. The first thing that came out of this mouth was, did you hear the breaking news? I raised my voice in joy and said tell me all about it because I was expecting some good news regarding the wedding season in our family.
Suddenly his tone changed to sorrow and grief. What came next was Amjad Sabri target killed in the metropolis. Being in the news business he expected that I should have known before, but to my utter ignorance and few pieces I had to finalise before I head home, I did not bother to check my minute to the minute newsfeed. Quickly jumping on to a few credible news websites I soon found out it to be true.
A big fan of Qawali and how Amjad Sabri had kept me entertain throughout my sleepless university nights, I had no words but to reply him back by saying that’s sad.
I didn’t speak for long and hung up the phone refreshing several news website pages that I read the story on, in hope to find out that our media has cocked up again. But unfortunately, that never happened. Amjad Sabri, remained low profile regardless of his powerful voice, aura and connections. He was someone very joyful and at a master in his art.
I still remember back in 2011 when my exams were near I could hardly focus on my studies, but singing to the tunes of Tajdaar-e-Haram and Bhar Do Jholi took all my stress away leaving me mesmerized to the beautiful word of Sufi music. I have little to no knowledge about Raags and Saazs but that didn’t matter. The magic that Amjad Sabri created was all I was under.
Even though the Qawal was handsomely paid he never ever thought of leaving his area, home and especially his people in the neighbourhood. He always stated that he belonged to a low-income family, and he loves to stay at his predecessors’ place. A person so faithful to his roots and proud of it was the great Amjad Sabri. I never met him, but his voice was enough for me to have a connection to such a humble and talented soul.
We think of so many things to do in life but forget that life is uncertain. We indulge ourselves in worldly things but forget we have to go to Allah after all. The Sufi man Amjad Sabri was a true Ashiq-e-Rasool. In the morning Sehri transmission of Samaa Television he made a prayer with tears in his eyes seeking mercy from Allah and help of Muhammad (P.B.U.H) in persuading Allah to forgive his since and grant him heaven. This proves a long-standing narrative that every soul knows when its time is up. Amjad Sabri surely knew, and he was shot dead in the afternoon by the very Namaloom Afrad. May Allah accept his prayers and of the millions who are praying for him. May his soul rest in peace and Allah grants him the highest place in Jannah.
Just one thought that is going through my mind is for the person who killed him, what is he doing right now. Cleaning and keeping his gun safe? Or just going about his business and keeping another fast just to show the world his pious side. I bet he hardly cares of the religious obligations he would be somewhere wining and dinning before shooting his next Amjad Sabri.
The loss is nothing less than a tragedy for the fraternity, the public, the country and all his loved ones. However, the attackers sent the 40 years old straight to heaven and those who pass away in the holy month of Ramzan Allah without questions grants them Jannah. Whether he is lucky or that our system’s real face is in front of us. Whatever it may be today and a lot of nights Amjad Sabri will remain at the top of my playlist with tears in my eyes but the legend will live on.