Pakistani Hero

Nowadays, all one hears in news bulletins is how a bomber in Pakistan claims __ number of lives. Here is another Pakistani. He is from Swat as well, the region racked by violence. He has 14 lives to his name. Only, he didn’t hurt anyone, he saved them. Working in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, during the recent floods, he saved 14 strangers and died trying to save the 15th. His name is Farman Ali Khan.

5:32 …and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind…

He had a wife and three daughters. His youngest hadn’t even seen him, and yet he risked his life trying to save strangers and the 15th time round was martyred. That is courage.

Karate champ saved 14 before drowning
“JEDDAH: A Pakistani karate champion who saved the lives of 14 people in the Nov. 25 flashfloods before drowning while trying to save another is one of the many unsung heroes of that fateful morning.

“Farman’s youngest daughter Jarira has never seen her father”

He added that Farman used tire tubes, wooden planks and ropes to save 14 people. “He was trying to save the 15th person when the water swept him away,” said Rahman, adding that his brother saved people without caring what their nationalities were.

Farman is survived by his wife and three daughters — Zubaida, 7, Madeeha, 6, and Jarira, 4.”

(Article in Dar Al Hayat It’s in arabic)
Photo of martyr and family at end of first post on above thread


8 thoughts on “Pakistani Hero

  1. Asalaam o alaikum!
    Thank you for posting this brave muslim’s story!

    May Allah grant him Maghfirah and raise his levels in Jannah.

    May his family be safe and cared for.
    Do you know if they need help? and how to get it to them?
    Jazaikallah Khairun

    • و عليكم السلام

      I actually came across this story in an urdu daily here in Pakistan and came to know more details after searching on the internet. He worked in a grocery store and could not visit back home frequently, so he wasn’t from a rich family and I am sure his family can use a helping hand. There is a facebook page in his honour ( It seems to be predominantly followed by saudi citizens and arab speaking people. (The thread in my original posting apparently has the stated goals translated in english). Unfortunately, I cannot follow the discussions in arabic and as such do not know of the initiatives(or contact info) by the saudi community or any humanitarian agencies in this regard. The arab rather than pakistani community seems to be at the forefront of honoring this hero. I don’t know which organizations/individuals might be coordinating any support. From the facebook page, I did get which shows pics of the family. From one of the photos, it appears someone seemingly giving 1 lakh Rs., but there is no way of establishing authenticity (EDIT: I must admit that I find images with board hanging from the neck of one of the daughters with the text “daughters of Shaheed Farman Ali” to be rather disturbing and disrespectful. Surely a photo caption is sufficient, hanging the caption around a young girl’s neck is inappropriate). I used and copied the arabic text to get some sort of english translation. From the pic, it seems saudi based wamy (World Assembly of Muslim Youth) is the organization which paid the money, but based on wiki, google etc., I don’t know if wamy is legal/illegal. Apparently the americans have accused it of ties to alqaeda, but it may be false accusation. I have no way of knowing. Many Islamic charities have come under false accusations, so it is not easy to know the truth. There may be other organizations at work as well. Given the response from the saudi people, I think the saudi people will be pitching in. Unfortunately, most of the discussions are in arabic and as such, I do not know of what campaigns they are running and if any money has made it to the family whether through government or private initiatives. I certainly hope that the saudi outpouring translates into financial help as well (if it already has not done so).

      If one types in “Farman Ali Khan”, there are results but none that I could make out to leading to any contact info/campaigns. On the contrary, فرمان علي خان
      shows many many more results and discussions indicating the saudi/arab interest in the story.

      There is a video celebrating his sacrifice and some eyewitness account both in arabic. I used and copied text from above link to get a very flawed english translation.
      From the wamy thread google translation, “Inhabit the family of the martyr in a modest house consists of 5 rooms, square (27 * 18) square meters… It consists of the family of the martyr: his father: Sheikh Omar Rahman, a man elderly man, a shopkeeper in the village and Shahid Furman (4) brothers, and (5) Sisters”.

      • (Arabic) arabic to english translation,
        “Saudi Arabia is considering honoring the martyr Pakistani Furman Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

        Follow-up – Jeddah: The Ambassador to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia Abdulaziz Al-Ghadeer to the Minister of Pakistani expatriates and the family of martyr Seoul Jeddah Pakistani Farman Ali Khan, who enter the magnanimity and generosity and manliness to rescue 14 people from the torrent rumbling before hijacking the torrent that the Saudi government is considering a file martyr and hero to take appropriate action to honor him.

        According to the story prepared by our colleague Ahmed Al-Othman, published by the “life”, sources said that Saudi officials have seen the article in the number of «life» of 13 January 1430 entitled: «Accounting and curb corruption, the solution», which he called to honor the martyr and the granting of Pakistani children Nationality Saudi Arabia. She added: «uploaded relevant to officials, the directive was a request to benefit from the competent authorities and inform you that the topic of interest». And informed the family of the martyr «life» that the Pakistani government sent a minister of expatriates into the family home for the transfer of condolences and to inform his family that it had decided to allocate a plot of land in the capital Islamabad to his family, and awarded $ 500 thousand rupees (22 thousand Saudi Riyals), reflecting the appreciation of the Islamabad-final of the deceased. The Minister met the Pakistani father of the martyr and his mother and brother of his widow.

        It is noteworthy that more than 15 thousand people in a campaign calling on the «Internet» release the name of the martyr on one of the streets of Jeddah.”

  2. Currently this post seems to be getting a few views, so an addendum to the original post by way of this comment. Also, visitors with interest in the story might try different search engines to see what other blogs, forums or news sites in English might have covered the story. Bing results vary a lot from Google, so try to find other sites who may have more current or detailed coverage. Of course, if you can understand arabic, then there is a lot of coverage available; as I mentioned earlier that the arabic script search results are a lot more than the english keywords.

    As I have said before, the dominant coverage of this incident is in Arabic, and as such any news in this regards is not easily available to those who can’t understand arabic. The facebook page seems like a good start as it keeps getting updated with new photos, so even non-arabs might be able to get info out of the page.

    EDIT: The Global Voices Online post by Ayesha Saldanha has some excerpts from proper English translations. The post can be found at

    Copied text into and from the confusing machine arabic to english translation, here is what I gather of some eyewitness accounts. Given the problems with machine translation, my understanding may well have many mistakes.

    From (Arabic)
    Thursday, 10 December, 2009
    Jeddah – Ahmed Al-Othman

    … A citizen by the name of Abdullah credits Farman with saving him from certain death after his car was swept away in the flood. He was stuck on the roof of his car for an hour and a half before Farman rescued him using a rope. Abdullah was hurt by debris and had to be transferred to the nearest clinic. He is “calling for honoring the family of the martyr who will remain stuck in his mind throughout his life.”
    An Egyptian resident Mahmoud Hanafi “says he was awaiting death at any moment” …”but Farman saw me from the front of the building did not hesitate to enter the water and use a long wooden board extended to me to grab him, and then pulled me up until I got out of the midst of the waters that were too high, and was surprised by the news of his death after I woke up…”
    Hamada Abdullah, a neighbour resident (sic?) felt that Farman would not be coming back 45 minutes before his death as Farman left his wallet, keys and mobile phone with Abdullah. (? machine translation is confusing and garbled, so that is the best I could make out of it, could be wrong). He goes on to say that Farman tied ropes together and through tireless efforts rescued one, then the second, then the third… Later, “someone came up to tell us about his death in the torrent, so we went on the spot and we pulled the martyr, and that we have tried CPR to no avail, took him to the hospital, tell us about his death.”

    From (Arabic) 13 Dec, google machine translation,

    Farman’s cousin Riaz Ahmed said, “good-hearted tolerance and civility to all people in the neighborhood, and was modest to a large degree, and lived a very simple through the grocery store, which employs a few hours ago early morning until late at night,”

    His cousin Asghar Khan said, “Farman married for seven years and fathered three daughters (Zubaida 7 years, Madiha 6 years, and Juwayriya 4 years) and the last one did not see her because he did not come down to leave his small village (Swat Valley) since a long time, and was intending to travel to their only that was much faster”

    Trying “to save the detainee, who had tried to stop him getting, but his insistence on this humanitarian work exceeded the all attempts to discourage him from risking his life.” (Arabic)
    “Although we recognize that at the core of our country and the whole Arab Gulf has built wings Asian workers and still is, those who work under the scorching sun for long hours, and often live in overcrowded and poorly ventilated rooms, and waiting months before they are allowed their salaries, it has been always appear among us those who say they came here out of greed .. And they did not give us anything for free .. They are the source of all evils that took place in our societies and get angelic .. Some did not even ashamed to require that publicly taking them out of the two Holy Mosques countries as if they were invaders or terrorists!
    I can say that the media, especially reading has contributed in circulating this negative picture, by focusing on the crimes and mistakes extensively. While talking about Iijayatem, or the great services they provide to our country is almost non-existent. Therefore, even when he was one of those ordinary workers is the victim of greed, exploitation, or insulting the citizen and institution it was not difficult for our conscience to justify these crimes, and are shown as an exception is not worth the uproar.
    Then comes the sale on Wednesday and show metal people, and recorded some of their heroism letters of gold, and others write their actions in the annals of infamy and shame. I will speak today in the first category for a hero great-grandfather, and martyr – God willing – the famous .. I speak today for man in lights shine as shown by the image .. Thirty-two age only a year .. Could the grace of God to save the fourteen man in that day before the difficult drifted Torrent angry when he stepped into the water to save the person’s number fifteen! Our battle was named Farman Ali Khan .. The hero of Pakistan .. Dominated by a single idea when he saw people crying around him .. Is what can be done to help them? I did not say I would not strange to them, did not stop as a stop some of our young people portrayed luxury mobile phones and they are disputing with their ability to help, but it did not justify to himself that he has the right to hesitate – as do many of us to justify their neutrality – because behind it, “com” meat of women and that the only breadwinner!
    Vfaraman university paid the need to travel and work in a grocery store to support his family of small, he wife and three flowers are Zubaydah (7 years), Madiha (6 years) and guilt (4 years), which is not able to see them for years to the extent that Sgerth do not remember it. For this reason, insisted his brother to fly him home to his family could take a look at him farewell after serving a martyr drowned in a distant country which saves brothers religion and humanity.
    In contrast to the other side and just days after the disaster, pick us the video clip on YouTube to make the snapshot any Saudi dripping brow shame, when a man issuing orders for the masses of young volunteers from Jeddah and they are distributing aid to affected areas, saying: “Saudi Arabia .. I give him an alien does not give !. ”
    And the return of our hero Aziz Farman, the people of Jeddah agree that this man must be able to honor the memory of the city, and are demanding street or square in his name, and they are also demanding to take charge under the auspices of his family financially for life, but other than that required to granting Saudi nationality, and thus benefit including his wife and daughters, in recognition of Bjamilh Is there a national Tvdi more than to your country and its people, your soul?
    Heroes should not pass unnoticed, and they are often born from the womb of calamities, and in a nation mired in a century until it became heroes in the memory of emerging and young people often from those who are shedding blood, it is useful to know the younger generations that the tournament also be by those who others are given – by God – a new life.
    Let our heroes from the sample of a man with a heart KFAREMAN Assad Khan, let this sad occasion, an opportunity for us to restore our look at how we deal with foreign workers, both at the individual level in our daily, or at the state level with regard to their rights and sponsorship laws, etc., to not appreciate the sacrifice Furman through our issue “decree” against discrimination and against social stigma .. God made you, your warehouse Paradise Furman.”

  3. Asalam O Alaikum
    I am prouded on my pakistani brother farman ali khan. Pray for him and his family. and pray for umma for such deeds.also for umma good life and good ending.

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