Roshan Thomas – Acting in the Path of God By Jalal Jaffer

ACTING IN THE PATH OF GOD

Roshan Thomas was among those who were killed in a terrorist incident in Kabul while she was celebrating the commencement of the Persian New Year, Navruz. She was buried earlier this week in Vancouver, where almost 2000 people from all walks of life attended her funeral at the North Vancouver Ismaili Jamatkhana.

Roshan Thomas was among those who were killed by terrorists in an incident in Kabul while she was celebrating the commencement of the Persian New Year, Navruz. She was buried earlier this week in Vancouver, where almost 2000 people from all walks of life attended her funeral at the North Vancouver Ismaili Jamatkhana.

By Jalal Jaffer

Acting in the path of God
Eliminates limitations, restrictions, conceptions
In pursuit of noble actions
To sustain, promote, achieve
Enhancement, progress, understanding
Amongst God’s most beautiful creation
The human being.

With clarity of mind
Determination against any odds
It was but natural
That Roshan picked a far-away geography
Hoping and pursuing and working towards
A change, some progress, any improvement
In a country, amongst a people
Engulfed in reactionary, ideological, meaningless
Battles and wars and human carnage
To what end, what purpose
Nobody could understand, far less explain
Where pre-historic level of crass ignorance
Animalistic behaviour, un-knowledge…prevailed.

Her commitment to her cause
To act in the path of God
Open the minds and hearts
Of the young and the old
Especially free the girls and women
From the yoke of servitude and worse
Through schooling, through learning, through education
A cause as noble as difficult
A place as harsh as promising
An activity as demanding as fulfilling.
Was solid and uncompromising.

Threats of violence and physical harm
Were ever present
Wise counsel to resist and desist
Came from all corners
None of this held her back
None of this affected her resolve
None of this dampened her spirits

Alas, the heartless ignoramus
A curse on human kind
Targeted her physical form…
Never realizing, never understanding
The spirit, earnestness, commitment
Residing in and within her
That would inspire, empower
Hundreds of new Roshans
More motivated, with greater commitment
To  rise, fight and complete
Her cause, her belief, her vision
For the whole world to watch and celebrate.

Copyright: Jalal Jaffer.

_____________________

About the author: Jalal Jaffer is a practising lawyer in Vancouver.

Related: To the Memory of Roshan Thomas and Zeenab Kassam by Navyn Naran

2 thoughts on “Roshan Thomas – Acting in the Path of God By Jalal Jaffer

  1. Dear Rahim Thomas and Family,

    Although no word can help ease the loss you all bear, just know that you are very close in every thought and prayer. Roshan was a remarkable woman of substance; she was multidimensional, creative and strategic, driven and motivated. She achieved a higher purpose in her lifetime, a true human spirit which no terrorist act can diminish.

    My admiration for the family goes back to the days when the Thomas family came forward to assist the Afghan refugees in the Transit Centers set up by the Council for Pakistan through FOCUS Pakistan, and as a Chairman for FOCUS Pakistan, I can never forget their volunteer contribution. Only someone without the blessing of sight can appreciate the impact of their work, a person who could not afford to go see an ophthalmologist can only value the selfless service provided by the family. The Afghan families repatriated back to Afghanistan and the Thomas family decided to assist them in Kabul as well.

    The most significant contribution made by your family was when Karim shared with me the thought that the family wanted to set up an NGO by the name of ‘Spark’ and establish a school to impart English language teaching. In the war torn post conflict scenario this was a bold step. The value of education and the importance of English language cannot be underestimated, as education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the quality of life of generations of Afghan families.

    Roshan gave her life to fulfill the dream to ignite the spark of education, to illuminate Afghan children, to give them direction to lead a full life, to understand the process of peace and tolerance, to promote pluralism and brotherhood. The seeds have been sown for the mind to be treated not as a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled. Although it is difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, but the beautiful memories and the remarkable work achieved help comfort your tomorrow.

    “I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.” — Leo Buscaglia

    With deep admiration and prayers for Roshan’s soul, may Allah rest her soul in eternal peace and give you all strength to bear this loss, Amen.

    Irshad Kassim

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