Politicians, journalists, prominent names from Bollywood and India’s corporate world have paid rich tributes to journalist Rifat Jawaid’s father Alhaj Shabbir Ahmad, who passed away due to a heart attack on Tuesday evening in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district. Alhaj Shabbir Ahmad was 77. Meanwhile, Rifat’s mother Abeda Khatoon continues to grapple with the complications related to the current pandemic. The veteran journalist has desperately asked his well-wishers to pray for the speedy recovery of his mother.
Taking to his social media pages, Rifat shared photos of his father with his children as he wrote, “My pride, strong pillar of my life, my hero, my Abbujan, Alhaj Shabbir Ahmed, has left all of us in this blessed month of Ramadan. This is a photo with Rushayd during our last visit to Muzaffarpur in November. He simply could not see Ammi battle with corona. Ya Allah!”
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Reacting to Rifat’s bereavement, Bollywood filmmaker Anubhav Sinha wrote, “Condolences Rifat. So sorry for your loss.” Renowned music composer and Indian Idol judge Vishal Dadlani wrote, “Condolences to you and the family, Rifat Jawaid.” JSPL Chairman Naveen Jindal tweeted, “My deepest condolences Rifat. May almighty bless the departed soul and give you strength, prayers for the speedy recovery of your mother.”
Activist Tehseen Poonawalla wrote, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un (إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ) My deepest condolences @RifatJawaid bhai. Please take care of your family and yourself. If you need anything please reach out.”
Sweden-based scholar Ashok Swain wrote, “So sorry for your loss, Rifat. My heartfelt condolences. Take care and stay strong.” Psephologist and founder of C-Voter, Yashwant Deshmukh, tweeted, “Our deepest condolences Rifat bhai. May God give you strength to deal with this irreparable loss . Om Shanti.”
Congress leader Salman Anees Soz tweeted, “Extremely sorry for your loss. May Allah grant your father a place in jannat. Prayers for your mother.” Congress spokesperson Nivedith Alva wrote, “Deepest condolences my friend. May he Rest in Peace. Prayers for you and the entire family in your hour of grief.” Former Congress MP Shakeel Ahmed wrote, “Very sorry Rifat Saheb. This is a terrible loss. May Allaah grant him peace. Plz take care of yourself and all near & dear ones.”
Sports journalist Ayaz Memon tweeted, “Very sorry to hear this Rifat. May the almighty bless his soul. Deepest condolences to you and the family.” “I’m so sorry for your loss, @RifatJawaid,” wrote journalist Faye Dsouza.”
Born in the Chandauli village of Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, Alhaj Shabbir Ahmed completed his education in BA (political science) from RDS College of Bihar University. An ace footballer of his time, he also represented his college in several inter-state football competitions before migrating to Kolkata with his family. All his children including Rifat Jawaid were born in Kolkata.
He performed the Hajj pilgrimage with his wife in 2008. Soon after his Hajj pilgrimage, Alhaj Shabbir Ahmad left Kolkata for good and returned to his native city of Muzaffarpur.
Alhaj Shabbir Ahmad is survived by his wife Abeda Khatoon, four sons and one daughter and 13 grandchildren.