Thank you God for giving me my father

Published: June 17, 2012

I held my father in high esteem; he was my mentor, my inspiration, my super-hero and will forever hold a special place in my heart.

A father is role model for his children. He is their first hero and their first inspiration. My father was also my role model; I always wanted to emulate him in whatever manner I could. Whether this meant adopting his dressing style, the way he ate, socialised with other people or the way he treated his children and other family members – I wanted to be exactly like him.

Ziauddin Khan left this world on February 26, 1995 at 10:05pm; he was my father.

Heartbroken and disillusioned, I stood by his bedside when his doctor informed me about his demise. My world crumbled before me as the man I deemed invincible existed no more. Reluctant to cry and reveal my feelings in front of my mother and younger siblings, I suppressed them; I had to give them strength, I had to step into my father’s shoes – shoes that were yet too big for me to fill.

But such is life; you have no option but to move on, to let go and allow life to carry you on to the next chapter. I couldn’t have done this without my mother. Her strength resonated amongst all five of us (brother and sisters) and still does today as we try and cope with an irreparable loss, and the turning wheels of everyday life.

Coming back to my father, after migrating from India, the responsibilities to earn a livelihood for the family fell upon his shoulders at a very young age. His hard work, determination and dedication were able to carry him through these tough times. He not only assisted his younger siblings with their studies but also single-handedly took up the responsibility of getting two of his sisters successfully married off.

My father got married in 1968, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to look after his parents and siblings with the same ardour. Many people find it very difficult to cope with the responsibilities of married life, a job and younger siblings to manage. My father did all of this without so much as a hint of annoyance.

The time I spent with my father was the most memorable period of my lifetime. By profession, my father was a contractor and the company he set up approximately 60 years ago still exists in the accreditation list of several government agencies. As I worked with abu (father) on various projects, I was fortunate enough and luckier than my other siblings, to have spent more time with him.

What I learnt from him about business and life are lessons I would want to pass down to my own children one day. It is wisdom that I believe deserves to be shared.

My father spoilt us, but never let us forget our values and beliefs. I was endowed with a princely childhood, filled with travel and adventures. I believe, we, my siblings and I, were amongst the very lucky few who travelled half way across the world by the age of ten. We were also fortunate enough to watch a few matches of the Cricket World Cup 1979 played in the UK, becoming the target of envy from many others our age.

Having said as much, my father made sure we lived a balanced life. There were times when we would be scolded for things done wrong, especially when it came to education.

A childhood incident, which I now look back at and reprimand myself for, was when I was told to apologise to my Qari Sahib (Quranic study teacher) for my mischievous act. My father told my Qari Sahib that I was very sorry for what I had done and had come to apologise; at that moment, of childish insolence, I told the Qari Sahib that it was not I who was apologising but my father.

I still regret the embarrassment I may have caused to my father, but being the man that he was, I know I was forgiven.

One of my father’s greatest joys was writing. To him, writing was an form of art, not just a mode of communication; his English language skills were second to none. He was my first instructor and today, what little I do know, is all that has been borrowed from my father’s great knowledge bank. For this, I cannot thank him enough.

In August 1989, my matriculation result was announced, and on the same day my father was undergoing a life-threatening bypass operation in the US. This was the first time I felt the intensity of how much I missed my father; I told him so as well. By the grace of Allah, his operation was successful. And even after such a major operation, he decided not to quit work and continued to do so until his very last breath. Till the last day of his life, he lived up to his image of being a person of strength, integrity and honour.

I held my father in high esteem; he was my mentor, my inspiration, my super-hero and will forever hold a special place in my heart. Even though he has left us, I still miss him immensely and wish I could tell him one last time how blessed I feel everyday for having had such a wonderful father.

Happy Father’s Day Abbu!

Khurram Zia Khan

Khurram Zia Khan

The writer is the media manager of Asiatic Public Relations and tweets @KhurramZiaKhan (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hassaan Naeem

    Khurram, a very fine description about your father. Every father, I think, tries to make his child’s life, as luxurious as it could be obviously within the means available to him. But keeping a balance as you have discussed is something, that needs to be kept so the children when they are grown up, live to the values. I as a kid though had a wonderful childhood because of my father but also had tough times when my father was undergoing some financial issues, yet he tried his best that we, the kids, do not suffer. At the same time, he was very mindful of the fact that we should learn what life is all about. About the respect for others, what are the values that should be adhered to, and all such things. Blessed are those who have such parents!

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful note.Recommend

  • Khurram Zia Khan

    I am thankful to tribune for providing me this platform to express the feelings about my father.I hope I am able to express myself well.I can keep writing about my dear father but space constraints prompt me to shorten my write up.I vigorously want to reiterate that my father was one of the greatest father.I was lucky to have him as a father and miss him a lot.Hassan thanks for your analysis on this piece.Recommend

  • Shahzad Ganatra

    Mr. Khurram, you have shared such a wonderful note regarding your father, and this is a clear message for those whose parents are alive.I would say that be with them as they were with you when you were a child, hold their hands as they use to do it when you were unable to walk, protect them as they have protected you from everything and take special care of them as they are the precious gift from ALMIGHTY ALLAH.Recommend

  • Mubashra

    Thank you so much for this .. I just loved it <3Recommend

  • aisha rehan

    He was a great man indeed. I can’t talk about him for more than two minutes before breaking down into tears. I don’t want to go back and even think about the day when he left us. He was the best dad ever. I love him and miss him sooo much:((((((( Please Allah do let abbu know that we love him and our lives will never be the same without him.Recommend

  • Kiran Ashraf

    Bravo Mr. Khurram for sharing such memorable incidences of your life. I could relate to it as well as I myself am very close to my father who spoilt us but never compromised transmitting the basic values and norms to us.Recommend

  • Ashraf Chaudhry

    Bravo! What a piece of great memories.Recommend

  • Hammad siddiqui

    Excellent post written from your heart. My father died in 1992, the Vacuum can never be filled! Recommend

  • Sabih Hasan

    A quite impressive essay Khurram Zia Khan, and the way you described your father was awesome. :)Recommend

  • khizer hasan

    Very good written and while reading it i was very impressed and loved it!!!!!!!!!:]Recommend

  • Muttahir Ahmed Khan

    It,s very nice to see a son paying tribute to his deceased father in such words. Of course they teach us everything from dressing to walking, eating to sitting, reading to writing……..However long the time period may be, their memories are always fresh and green in our minds and souls. May their souls rest in eternal peace!Recommend

  • Muhammad Azfar Ahsan

    This is a classic piece you wrote for your father. Recommend

  • Sahibzada Shabir

    Heartbroken and disillusioned, I stood by his bedside when his doctor informed me about his demise. My world crumbled before me as the man I deemed invincible existed no more. Reluctant to cry and reveal my feelings in front of my mother and younger siblings, I suppressed them; I had to give them strength, I had to step into my father’s shoes – shoes that were yet too big for me to fill.

    reminds me of my father death back in 2003, when I was a 21 year old kid.
    nice writings thanks for sharing Recommend

  • Irum Mashood

    Very well expressed! ……so good to read it …Thanks for writing u took me 17years back….Recommend

  • Naveed Pirzada

    Beautifully written Khurram…i see your gift growing with each and every new piece…

    Best of luck and keep expressing all that you need to…Recommend

  • Mehfooz Aleem

    A very well written article full of expressions.Really enjoyed reading it.Recommend

  • Azam Khan

    This is an excellent peace.While reading the post,one can clearly feel about your feelings.Keep writing & sharing itRecommend

  • Tj

    A glowing tribute to a man who surely deserved nothing less. I thank you for reminding me I still have my father around. I am truly blessed :-)
    May Almighty Allah rest your father’s soul in peace. Ameen!Recommend

  • Zia Ul Islam Zuberi

    A soul stirring article that investigates the loving relationship between father and son. Few are so lucky as to get an understanding father and a peaceful household that represents our eastern family values. I pray for your father and may he be rewarded for his good deeds in this world including bringing up fine clear thinking children like you.Recommend

  • Shakeel Mapara

    I read your article and found it to be very well writtenRecommend

  • khola buttar

    @Khurram Zia Khan:
    ” A heart touching post indeed… true reflective of your feelings.Your father must have been really blessed to have you as his son as well. keep up the great work !!!! ”Recommend

  • Mohammad ali Gaad

    Parents are great and unfounded gift,heads off to them. They scarifies their whole life in our nourishment. @ Khurram Zia Khan your artical is nicely written gud artRecommend