Junaid Jamshed – An Icon Departed

By Mansoor Ali Khan.

The calamitous and tragic airplane crash on Wednesday has put everyone in a deep shock. Pakistanis are still mourning the unexpected demise of 47 innocent and valued souls. As Braynt McGill say, “Every soul is beautiful and precious; is worthy of dignity and respect, and deserving of peace, joy and love.” But there are some people who leave an everlasting impact in our lives.

The late Junaid Jamshaid was one of those unforgettable figures. He was such a God Gifted talent that everything he touched had turned to gold. My Generation grew up listening to his melodious pop Music and evergreen national songs. For years and years Junaid Jamshed and his musical group ruled our hearts and souls. For many years in my childhood, I considered ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ as the National Anthem of Pakistan. Junaid Jamshed set new standards and brought some uniqueness to everything he did in his life. He wanted to become an Air Force pilot but Almighty Allah had some other plans. JJ was created to become a role model to Pakistan youth. He could not become a fighter pilot but he joined Air Force as a mechanical engineer.

It was year 1983 when Pakistani Pop Music had already grabbed its roots in shape of stars like Alamgir, Ali Sheki and Nazia Hassan. During those days, Rohail Hayat, founder of Vital Signs, was in search of a voice for his musical band along with his group mates Shahzad Hassan and Nusrat Hussain. It was by that time when he met JJ, recognized his talent and offered him to join their band. They all met ‘Shoaib Mansoor’ and their journey to rule our hearts had begun.

Their first Music Album ‘Vital Signs 1’ went on to become a super hit. A lot of their songs including world famous ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ were even copied across the border. ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ stood 3rd in the list of a survey for worldwide national songs by BBC in 2004. Vital Signs released their 3 back to back albums and all of them were Super Hit. JJ also released his solo Albums in 1994 and 1999 which went on to become a box office success too.

Snaps from the most popular song of Junaid Jamshed ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’.

Dil Dil Pakistan was ranked 3rd in BBC Survey of worldwide National Songs Rankings.

Year 2001 brought a lot of change in Junaid Jamshed’s life when he met an internationally renowned and a much respected Islamic preacher Maulana Tariq Jamil for the first time. JJ believed that his life was gifted with everything but his heart was desperate for some spiritual satisfaction. In spite of this, he was still reluctant to join people who were regarded as ‘Conservative Mullahs’ in his class. Maulana Tariq Jamil however kept persuading him and finally in 2004, Junaid Jamshed was completely transformed into a bearded Islamic preacher from a modern Pop Star. He then decided to say Goodbye to his musical career and joined ‘Tableeghi Jamaat’. His transformation did shock many in general and his family and friends in particular. His band mates tried to stop him but JJ however stood firm on his decision. He also cancelled his millions of dollar contracts to different multi-national organizations which brought him to a severe financial crisis. In few months JJ decided to reappear on the scene but this time as a religious figure and ‘Naat Khawan’ . His first Naat Album ‘Jalwa-e-janan was well received and became a huge success.

Change in Junaid Jamshed’s life when he met respected Islamic preacher Maulana Tariq Jamil.

Junaid Jamshed with Molana Tariq Jameel.

He then decided to establish some business and launched his J. brand of clothes which went on to become no 1 brand of clothes in Pakistan. People criticized J. for being expensive and not in reach of a common man. Junaid Jamshed however did not respond to this criticism and refrained from discussing his business affairs on media.

Outlet of Junaid Jamshed.

Junaid Jamshed’s transformation had also dragged him into so many controversies. It seemed as if he was continuously being monitored by all segments of life. Each word he said was X-Raid. Even his jokes were misinterpreted. He was a conservative misogynist to most liberals and a blasphemer to a small segment of other sect. Some criticized him for wearing expensive clothes and doing luxurious Ramadan transmissions. However, it was merely a criticism for the sake of criticism as hardly anyone of them would have been able to transform themselves like Junaid Jamshed.

He spent all these years in doing social actives, business, preaching Islam, reciting Naats and giving clarification to his “Controversial Statements”. His lovers were shocked to see him being manhandled by some fanatics in the name of something they termed as blasphemy. Those were the testing times for Junaid Jamshed, but he continued his journey until December 7, 2016. The pain of his sad demise was felt worldwide.

Junaid Jamshed not only revolutionized the pop music and National Songs, but also revolutionized Shalwar Kameez for men too. He brought Glamour and eliteness to the National Dress. He also gave a new dimension to Naat reciting and modernized the earlier standards set by Qari Waheed Zafar Qasmi. His tragic death might be forgotten soon, but his invisible influence on our lives will remain there for a long time.

Rest in Peace Junaid Jamshed. You must be proud of your achievements. You will never be teased again; you will not be termed as misogynist or blasphemer anymore. You will never be attacked again. These liberal fascists and sectarian fanatics may celebrate your demise for some days, but you will remain alive in our hearts forever.  May Allah forgive your sins and elevate your ranks in Jannah. Amen. You will truly be missed.

Some Reactions on the Tragic Demise of Junaid Jamshaid.

Writer is a Current Affairs Producer with a News Channel based in Islamabad.  He can be reached at;

Twitter  @HappyMansoor 


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