A lot has already been written about the demise of Abdul Sattar Edhi and yet no amount of remorse will be enough. It is true what they say about treasuring what has been lost. We, as a nation, wait until the water is above our head. We wait until it’s too late. And then, we wake up for just a few moment before we go back to sleep again.

Everyone is talking about Edhi and less about Edhism. This predicament is as painful as us talking less about what Islam is and more about reincarnating the times of the Islamic Arabia. Ofcourse we mourn the loss of the person but we need to understand the philosophy which he stood for. For a man of his stature, the only way to respect his legacy is to embrace what he stood for. That said, not many amongst us will do that. It’s easy changing profile pictures on social media. It’s easy to talk about him. Becoming him is another story.

Edhi’s altruism was the senseless sort. Or, maybe, it is our over-consumption inclinations that are senseless. The man single handedly did the job of the Muslim ummah. He took the responsibility off of the government’s hands, he allowed the common people to be lazy and run away from their societal duties. In many ways, Edhi was represented our shameless guilt. He was what we should have been. Now that he’s not there, we don’t know who to throw our duties on to. Maybe his son will carry the torch, maybe his wife will. Lucky us.

He was given a state funeral. The army took responsibility of the funeral. Apparently, an army Imam lead the funeral prayer. Many have thanked Raheel Shareef for this yet, the reality is, the whole drama of the funeral was one more time that we betrayed him. He would have not wanted this sort of a funeral. He would not have been impressed by this. The preference would have been with the people he loved and cared for. Not those who made an absolute mockery of what Edhism was all about.

We stand silent today on how the funeral was administered due to our biases. If the first three rows were only of politicians, the country would have erupted in anger and ridicule. Because it included the military brass this time, the reaction has been mellow, if at all. Security personal stood in between the 3rd and the 4th row. If this is not an insult to the ethics of prayers, I don’t know what is. Since as a child, we’ve been taught to stand shoulder to shoulder, foot to foot, for two reasons: a) the spiritual reason: to stop any shaitan from taking the vacant place and more importantly, b) to emphasise that there exists no distinction infront of God. Apparently, God’s rules fall short when it comes to our VVIPs.

Our creative graphic designers have been at work merging Jinnah into Edhi. How unfortunate. If there was any person Edhi could be related to, it is Gandhi. While our history books paint Gandhi as sly opportunist politician, they forcefully ignore the practice of humanism and socialism the man followed. In all honesty though, it doesn’t matter what we decide to ignore. The world at large does not ignore and Gandhi’s gandhism remains one of the finest examples of humanism in history.

So what do we do now that we’ve lost and eventually insulted the enigma that Edhi was? Maybe we can start by shaming the PM for his grand return. Maybe we can have the layman understand that taking care of his is not the responsibility of Edhi but the government. Maybe we can actually start understanding what haqooq ul ibaad are and what’s the philosophy behind Zakat. Maybe we can even be brave enough to replicate Edhi. A friend of mine has just emptied her wardrobe and left only two clothes behind. She’s called this the easiest of steps towards Edhism. Maybe others too can follow suit.

According to almost all of the beards in our country, Edhi was a sinful man. Many amongst the laymen though don’t care what the beards have to say. Edhi was by far the most Muslim that anyone of us could have been. No one followed the principles of Islam as good as him. All those who disagree don’t deserve a moment of attention. Unfortunately this is too much to ask afterall the beards, as bizarre as they are, continue to form the backbone of our society. Maybe we, as a society, are a lost cause afterall.

Edhi is now Edhi sb. The sb follows his name almost as a surname now. The man deserves so much more then what we have mustered up to respect him. The philosophy of Edhism deserves so much more. Everyone agrees that Pakistan did not deserve him. Let’s see if the country deserves his legacy.