A Tribute to Dr. Hasan Murad

By Junaid Ahmad

Director, Center for Global Dialogue

Lahore, Pakistan

Hasan Murad

A visionary has returned to his Creator, and I feel orphaned for a second time. Dr. Hasan Murad was like a father figure for me after my father, Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad, one of Dr. Murad’s dearest friends, passed away two years ago.

Dr. Hasan Murad, the Founder and Rector of the University of Management and Technology and later the Chairman of the ILM Trust. He was like a father figure for me after my father, Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad, one of Dr. Murad’s dearest friends, passed away two years ago. 

 As Muslims, these very painful moments are reminders for us to state: Inna Lilahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un, “From God do we come, and to God do we return.”

Dr. Murad exemplified exceptional leadership, a deep and meaningful religiosity that undergirded every single transformative, often revolutionary, act of his, and an unshakable resolve to strengthen institutions that have made profound contributions to Pakistan and the world. His was a brilliant mind that not only knew his own field in management, but one which engendered his deep curiosity and rich reading of the social sciences and humanities.

His impressive personal library in his home is a testament to this fact, and there would be no greater joy for both my father and me than to bring the latest interesting books for Dr. Murad whenever we’d be back from a trip to the US. My father, only half-jokingly, once said to Dr. Murad, “Will you please allow me to just camp out here in your library for a few weeks?”

Dr. Murad displayed a gentleness, generosity, etiquette, and kindness that lived up to the highest ideals of our faith traditions. He earned the respect and affection of all, whether they be of a religious or a non-religious orientation (it didn’t matter), because he was a principled human being, relentless in his passion to do what he could to improve the education and lives of the people of his society, and to collaborate with like-minded individuals throughout the world. 

I think of a person like him, and the concept of ‘prophetic religion’ makes so much sense to me: a purposeful life of transformative conduct that manifests, in concrete terms, the Divine spirit that many of our faith traditions assert to be in all of human creation.

I mentioned to my dear friend Rev. Bob Chase, with whom we initiated UPIC (the US-Pakistan Inter-religious Consortium), that in these two men, my late father and Dr. Hasan Murad – he could not have wished for more hospitable individuals and hosts in Pakistan, committed to inter-religious and cross-cultural understanding, peace, and justice. Dr. Murad enthusiastically established an entire Center for Global Dialogue precisely for these efforts, and I have been so blessed and fortunate to be associated with that Center.

Dr. Hasan Murad’s loss is an excruciatingly difficult tragedy to digest for both the world of academia, as well as the community of dedicated individuals and groups striving in different ways to make the world more humane and just. But such enormous losses remind us again that we are all, ultimately, returnees to God – and this most beautiful, indefatigable, inspirational, and extraordinarily gifted soul made the most of his time in this world.

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