Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan – A Pakistani Martyr for Peace

This is a very sad night for me. I have just received news that a good friend in Pakistan, Dr.Muhammad Farooq Khan, has been killed today in the Swat Valley. He was for a long time on the Taliban hit list, because of his moderate views. He was a good man and a man of peace. The world will be poorer without him. May Allah rest him in peace!

I have met Dr. Farooq a few years ago in Istanbul, at a Channels of Hope training. Channels of Hope is a World Vision programme training Christian and Muslim leaders on alleviation of stygma related to HIV & AIDS.

After this training, Dr. Farooq, a well known psychiatrist and a public personality of national stature in Pakistan, has been involved in training Muslim leaders in his country for using this effective methodology.

Two years ago, when I visited Pakistan, I had the privilege of meeting again Dr. Farooq, in Islamabad. It was during the Taliban offensive in the Swat Valley, where he resided. He was already aware that the Taliban intend to assassinate him, but he continued courageously his campaign of presenting a moderate view of Islam and of teaching democratic values in the Pakistani society, through radio, television, books, articles and many other means.

During this visit, I became aware that such moderate voices in Islamic societies need to be heard in the West. Unfortunately, what we hear most of the time are the voices of the Islamic integrists on the one side and those of the Islamofobs on the other.

A few months after my visit, I have received news from him that his life is seriously in danger and that he needs help to be resided for a while outside of Pakistan. I tried to convince my World Vision colleagues that we need to do something about this, but I was unsuccessful. I was rarely more discontent with my chronic lack of persuasive skills.

Now, over a year after that, the inevitable happened. Dr Farooq was assassinated today, Saturday, 2 October 2010, in his clinic in Swat Valley.

A colleague of mine in World Vision Pakistan told me that he invited Dr. Farooq to speak to our staff on 1 October, the World Vision Day of Prayer, but he declined and apologised, explaining that he dedicates every Friday to the deindoctrination of the talibans who were captured by the army. This dedication has just cost him his life. We have lost in Dr. Farook an advocate for peace in this world which is full of hatred between East and West, between Christians and Muslims. This could have not happened at a worst time.

You may find below a few details about the life and mission of this man of faith.

* * *
Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan is recognized as a writer, columnist, and intellectual throughout the country. He is also known as a religious scholar and competent TV compare. He was born at a village, in the district of Swabi. He obtained his elementary education at his hometown. Then he joined Cadet College, Hasanabdal, and later on the Cadet College, Kohat. After having acquired the degree in medicine, he decided to specialize in psychiatry. He established his private practice in Mardan. Some of his works include “Pakistan and the Twenty First Century (Urdu)”, “The Struggle for Islamic Revolution”, and “What is Islam”. God has bestowed upon him the quality of presenting his propositions in simple language and clarity of style.
(Dr. Farooq Khan’s mission in his own words)

My Vision and Mission

I am humanist, Muslim, Pakistani and a Pakhtun. To strive for the well being of the whole humanity, to uphold the cause of Muslim Ummah and to exalt the dignity of Pakistan and Pukhtoons is my mission. There is no contradiction between their interests, provided every issue is seen with justice and fair play.

In my opinion there are ten basic values which should be honored by every individual, community, country and the whole mankind. These essential and fundamental values are:

  • Human equality and democratic culture
  • Justice
  • Honesty
  • Merit
  • Hard work and thorough struggle
  • Law abiding mentality
  • Wisdom and patience
  • Education
  • Health
  • Strong and well-coordinated welfare institutions for the down trodden classes.
It is not possible for me to address the whole humanity so I address Muslim Ummah, Pakistan and Pukhtoons. In my opinion the degraded and helpless position of all the above three communities is because of the lack of the above ten fundamental values. We lagged behind in fulfilling and abiding all these values. Without honoring these values, we will not be able to survive as prestigious communities and nations.

The Muslims usually blame others for their plight, but in my view the internal factors are much more important than the external factors and once we overcome our weaknesses and shortcomings then the external world will become favorable slowly and steadily.

Development and dignity of Pakistan and the Ummah is based on the efforts to achieve these ideals and standards. It is very clear that a thorough struggle is needed in this regard. This struggle should be totally free from any kind of violence, sentimentalism and provocative rhetoric.

I always strictly follow the teachings of Quran, Sunnah, and my conscience in pondering over all the collective issues and problems facing us. In my opinion, the Muslim Ummah needs a comprehensive discussion and consensus on the following issues:

  • Status of Women in Islamic Society
  • The real instructions of Islam regarding Jihad and Qital
  • The true perspective of Islamic teachings in crimes and punishment
  • Islamic instructions regarding relations between Muslims and Non-Muslims
I have written a few books on these Issues e.g.:
  • Jihad, Qital aur Aalam-e-Islam (Urdu)
  • Islam Kya hai?(Urdu)
  • Islam and Women (Urdu & English)
  • Dialogue with the West (English)
  • Kashmir Issue (Urdu & English)
  • Ikkisween Saddi aur Pakistan (Urdu)
  • Jadeed Zehan Kay Shubhat Aur Islam Ka Jawab (Urdu)
  • Hudood aur Qisas wa Diyat Ordinance Ka Tanqeedi Jaiza (Urdu)
In my opinion Muslim states must proceed according to the following four important points.
  • To bring democratic culture in Muslim states.
  • To resolve all the disputes and conflicts through peaceful means.
  • To dominate and inculcate the above mentioned ten basic collective values in their states.
  • To make a serious and conscious advance in the field of science and technology.
  • I have written extensively on the above issues.
This is my vision and the struggle for this purpose is the mission of my life.
(Source, HERE)
* * *
You may find HERE the personal web site of Dr. Farooq. On this web site, you may find some of his writings in English translation (look HERE).
* * *
A colleague of mine from WV Pakistan office sent me the following message:
Dear Danut
On Monday morning, we will meet for a few minutes in Islamabad office to reflect on Dr. Farooq’s humanitarian services in Pakistan. We will also read out a condolence letter to the staff which has been drafted for his family. This letter will be delivered to the family by a WV represented based in KPK.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

3 thoughts on “Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan – A Pakistani Martyr for Peace”

  1. E dureros. Imi pare rau de degradarea situatiei din Pakistan si de expansiunea talibanilor in toata zona de nord vest.
    Am fost de mai multe ori in Swat incepand cu 1998 mergeam pentru relaxare acolo. Acum e doar teroare.
    Lista mea de prieteni ucisi in Pakistan si Afganistan are cateva nume adaugate in vara asta.
    Pretuiesc mai mult acum momentele petrecute impreuna, mi-au ramas amintirea discutilor, caldura umana, ceaiul, idealurile comune, speranta ca moartea lor n-a fost in zadar. …Si cimitirul britanic din Kabul, pentru mine poate cel mai sacru loc de pe pamant

    Sincere condoleante.


    1. Multumesc. Am avut si eu experiente nemaipomenite in Pakistan, ca si in Afghanistan. Din pacate, citiva dintre cei pe care i-am intilnit in Oghi, Manserah, acum doi ani, au fost omoriti de talibani acum citeva luni, intr-un atac impotriva biroului World Vision din regiune. 7 colegi au fost ucisi. Dumnezeu sa aiba mila de sufletele lor.


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