A former pop icon who had worked with top Pakistani models and actresses, with a massive women fan base Junaid Jamshed former lead singer of Vital Signs overturned his life around 90 degrees to follow a more austere path of Islam.
Away from the glamour world of show biz, today he is an international globe trotter whose mission is to give ‘Dawah’ and invite people to Islam. His fan base has grown worldwide and he has been continually included in the list of 500 most influential Muslims in the world, which to some extent is important as it means when ‘Junaid speaks people listen’.
In an open authoritative manner he speaks about many aspects of his life, and yet the down to earth humane part of him still admits ‘I am not a saint’.
After his astonishing move to walk away from a lucrative pop career he has worked closely with Muslim Charity as its Vice President to alleviate poverty, in particular targeting problems faced by poor vulnerable women, like building hospitals for expectant mothers, and creating awareness for women suffering from conditions like Fistula.
His considerable contribution to charitable works didn’t prevent him from creating a furore amongst women rights groups after he made remarks on the importance of women as home makers and why he did not allow his wife to drive?
What does Junaid Jamshed think of women may be difficult to fathom, however we can understand the man better if we look closely at his attitude to the 4 women who are not only constant in his life but also close to his heart.
She used to say I was her special project, and the love she gave me made me feel special and secure, even though she has left this world I still feel she is with me.
My mother’s name is Nafeesa Akbar Khan and I will never forget the day she left the world on 18th May 2008, it was devastating for me as we were very close. Every mother loves their child, but the love my mother gave me was inexplicable. She used to wait until I got home so she could eat with me. She use to press my legs when I came home and if I told her it was my duty to press her instead of her pressing me, she use to say let me do this, it makes me feel good. My siblings often said that in our mother’s eyes “Junaid bhai came first and then us”.
When I first got married I told my wife that my only request was that if she didn’t mind that I ate dinner with my mother, as she still loves to sit with me and feed me even though I was a grown man. I told her that I could have married anyone, but my mother chose her to be my life partner and therefore she should allow me this request. My wife agreed to this.
“Every mother loves their child, but the love my mother gave me was inexplicable”
I don’t ever remember disobeying my mother, we had a special bond. When she died I had already left music and was on the path of dawah. I was in Toronto giving a lecture, when I was told that my mother had died just before Fajr prayers. It took me a year to recover and it was then that I realised the wisdom of Muslims burying their dead and visiting their graves as it helps the healing process. I visit her grave often and feel a sense of peace to be near her. I can never forget her face brightening up every time I went to see her and saying “kya haal heh ummah” and she would smile and hug me. Even when I was a grown- up she would make me sit on her lap like I use to when I was small and I would worry in case I hurt her with my weight, but she would continue to hold me saying I was part of her being.
My sister is called Muniza Javed Khan she is a wonderful person and sister. She is one of the most intelligent woman I know and we are very close. We were three brothers and one sister, so she grew up like a tom boy as we included her in all our games; she played cricket and other sports with us. She was always a daddy’s girl and very close to my father.
I remember when I was at university studying engineering she helped me to pass my advanced mathematics course. She is highly intelligent upright honest and has wonderful children whom she has brought up admirably. She is a renowned scholar now and we are all still very close and I am very proud of her.
My wife Ayesha is a great life partner; she holds the fort while I am away from the home. She takes care of the house and has raised the children well. She also takes great care of my dad who lives with us. She took great care of my mother especially near the end when my mother was quite ill. I always say to her I am sure Allah has forgiven her sins because of the way she looked after my mother. After my mother’s death I though the extended family would fall apart, but it didn’t happen like that as my wife made sure that everyone continued to meet and stay attached to each other, she is also very close with my sister, they both are friends. Our house is the focal point for all family gatherings. She has stood by me through life’s up and downs and is the best life partner I could have wished for. Even though I travel a lot when I am home I make sure I spend quality time with the family.
Daughters are always precious to their fathers and my daughter is one of my weak points. I remember one day one of my friends had tears in his eyes because his daughter was getting married. I asked him why he was crying, and he said something I will never forget, he said wait till Zahra grows up then you will know why I have tears in my eyes. Today Zahra is 17 years old and grown up into an intelligent lady, like her aunty. She also has inherited my mother’s good looks and personality. I have told her that when she becomes 18 she has a right to mother her old dad. I often laugh because I am sure the first thing she may end up doing when she is 18 is to curtail my activities, especially travelling.
“I have told her that when she becomes 18 she has a right to mother her old dad”