Mothers at their best, remind us of Allah: life-giving, always protecting, and sacrificing not only for our good health but the well-being of everyone around them. Indeed, there is no greater love than a mother’s love for her child. From the child’s first breath, she is always there, to hold, inspire, guide, protect and love with all that she has. So what could be more tragic than when a mother loses her child? There is no loss greater and no grief more overwhelming; it is even more so when that child is taken away by forces of terror. Hence, there is no woman who has a stronger character than a mother who embraces her son’s shahadat with pride.
One such mother, I had the privilege of meeting, was Mrs. Sadia Rehman, the valiant mother of Capt Nawabzada Jazib Rehman Shaheed — a compassionate and courageous soul. Her eyes lit up and a smile emblazoned her face as she spoke of her son's exemplary heroism and sacrifice for the love of Pakistan and its people: “Jaja Gul wanted to join the Armed Forces and serve Pakistan since he was six-years-old. Words fall short to describe Jazib’s passion for Pakistan and his obedience for his Baba and I.” She continues with the following verses dedicated to Jazib’s memory, “Hua hai tujse bicharne ke baad yeh maloom. Ke tu nahi tha tere sath aik dunya thee.” Her eyes answer the unasked. She seems lost in her search for Jaja Gul. She surrounds herself with pictures of Jazib and speaks to them for hours, as if he was sitting right next to her, listening to his Amma. Mrs. Rehman’s love for her two younger sons is unconditional, but Jazib, her first born, had a very special place in her heart and his shahadat has bruised her deeply.
It is apparent that she misses her child every day. Her grief will never lessen, and honestly, how could it? Her grief on some days is calm and quiet, on others it is a devastating storm, that makes her feel empty. On these days she is reminded that shahadat is an answer to all her prayers, because a Shaheed never dies.
Her eyes closed in grief as she recalled the event. On February 4, 2018, three terrorists attacked the Army Sports Ground of Sharifabad in Kabal, Swat. Two of the assailants were killed by Capt Jazib but the third detonated his suicide vest bringing to an end the life of the brave, young Captain along with eleven others. Capt Jazib Shaheed, 25 — nick named Cheetah by his unit officers — belonged to Tori, a remote village in Kohat district. He was born into wealth and privilege, with every luxury imaginable, but he never let splendour become his definition, and so, to date he is remembered as one of the most affectionate, humble, and giving human beings. As she recalls her son’s mission to serve Pakistan, Mrs. Rehman shares, “Jazib was responsible and aware of his duties. He was never afraid of any hurdle. He left a life of comfort and luxury to pursue his passion.”
For the longest time after Jazib’s shahadat she felt paralyzed, as if someone had taken her soul and left her paralyzed. “Guzar tou jay ge tere beghair bhe lekin, bohat udaas, bohat bekarar guzre ge,” Mrs. Rehman recites the verses which are engraved in her heart. She took a long pause as her eyes teared up. There was a sea of emotions in her eyes but not a word was spoken; I had never seen such calm in grief and a soul so content.
In her son’s memory, Mrs. Rehman has taken the responsibility to cater to the needs of families of shuhada, especially those who were martyred on February 4th. On the first anniversary of his shahdat, she organized an event in Bahria Town Rawapindi, to pay homage to shuhada and their families. She explained, “... the idea is to pave way for shuhada’s families to come together as one. We are a family knitted together by the scarifies of our sons, fathers and brothers.” She presented all the children who were present with gifts as her son used to do. She continues to spend time helping others who are unable to help themselves. She showed the strong sense of responsibility and ambition that she had passed down to her lion.
However, Mrs. Rehman recalls stories of her son’s gallantry and credits her son as her inspiration. She believes it was him who taught her the meaning of being brave. “Jazib believed that bravery could not be attained from the safety of his house, bravery requires you to move out of your comfort zone,” she recalls. She recounts her son’s words, “Amma you have given birth to a lion who has outgrown the safety net and is now on the other side. This is for Pakistan and this is for you. I will not call quits — because of threats — for that would not be me. You taught me that bravery is to pursue my dream, to wear this uniform and face the danger that comes with it, head on.
“Either I’ll come back after hoisting the Flag or I’ll come back wrapped in it. But I will be back for sure,” was Capt Jazib Shaheed’s promise to his Amma.
“My greatest satisfaction is knowing that Jazib was not only loved by his Amma but everyone, and I feel proud to be known as Capt Jazib Shaheed’s mother, knowing that he came from a loving family, with parents and friends who adored him. I feel tremendous honour to have given birth to a remarkable man, who fulfilled his promise and defended his country to the best of his abilities,” says the proud mother of the martyr.
“There are no words that could express the loss I feel. I miss, not being able to caress his hair while Jazib rested his head on my lap. His voice lingers in my ear and I can hear him say, ‘a lion’s mother does not cry.’
“It is true that the loss of a child brings with it a degree of suffering that is impossible to imagine. But now that Jaja Gul has embraced shahadat, I want the world to remember Jazib and all those who have sacrificed their lives for the country. As a mother it is an ongoing battle to balance such loss but knowing that he is a Shaheed has given me tremendous will and has given me courage to continue his mission to serve the country in whatever way possible.”
The experience to witness real-life heroes, pales in comparison to all that I have read about heroes in the past, a brave son of the soil and a braver mother are the heroes of today. The country pays tribute to the mothers of shuhada. Forever alive are those who laid their lives and gifted us a safe country, your sacrifices are immortal and will remain forever in our nation's memory and history.HH
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