Ahmed Hussain Makhdoom, 97/Ayub

Ahmed Hussain Makhdoom - 2007

By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif

Ahmed Hussain Makhdoom, kit no. 97/Ayub House joined Cadet College Petaro in 1960 in 11th Class and left the college in 1962 after completing his Intermediate. Thus, although he joined Petaro in 1960, he has the honour to have passed out with the first batch (1957-1962).

He was born on 14 October 1945 and got married to Mrs. Sultana on 15 November 1977. Later on he also married Mrs. Yasmeen. He has four children - Roomasa, Amar, Adila and Adil.

Ahmed Makhdoom joined the merchant navy after leaving Petaro. He spent 16 years sailing the high seas on general cargo and container vessels. During this period, he was the Captain for five years before his retirement.

Capt. Ahmed Makhdoom eventually decided to settle down in Singapore, where he established a management consultancy and training business related to water and transportation under the name of Makhdoom International. Later on he also obtained a PhD degree in Management Sciences from the UK.

Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom has also been a Senior Research Fellow at the University Institute of Strategic Studies in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. He is a Professor of Oceanographic Sciences and Maritime Studies at universities in Singapore and Malaysia. He has also been involved in teaching and research in Total Quality Management.

He has been a Member and Past President of Rotary International in Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Dr. Makhdoom as a strong link with Sufism and has been lecturing, researching and speaking on various aspects of life (Sindh, Sufism and Islam) at different forums. He has been actively involved in inter-faith studies and dialogue, and research on the indigenous people of the world.

During his stay in the UK, he was very active with the Petarian Association of Europe. And whenever he visits Karachi, he makes it a point to meet as many Petarians as possible.

Three of his brothers are Petarians, namely Khalid Hussain Makhdoom 72/Latif (from the second batch), Jawed Hussain Makhdoom 76108/Liaquat, and Muhammad Ali Makhdoom 80133/Liaquat. His nephew Imran Makhdoom 93152/Jinnah is also a Petarian.

Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom is now settled permanently in Singapore.

My Quintessential Quest - In Search of Truth

By Ahmed Makhdoom, kit no. 97/Ayub

ساٸين سسداٸين ڪرين مٿي سنڌ سڪار؍ دوست مٺا دلدار؍ عالم سڀ آباد ڪزين

Sindh – my motherland, my fatherland – has a remarkable culture and traditions, and is rightly called the "Gateway Of Islam," through her spiritual and illuminating Sufi traditions. I am sharing these few sentences with you on this Petarian Forums in order to provide nourishment to my frail and disturbed soul and nurture my spiritual quest.

It has been my utmost desire to be amongst those who are striving and struggling to make this world a better place, a happy place, a peaceful place and a harmonious, loving and caring place.

My dream is to know Truth, see Truth, hear Truth and find Truth. Love is what I need, love is what I give and love is what I aspire for. My journey is to seek for the knowledge of God and His beautiful Creation – seek and you will find. This journey is my quest - a perpetual quest, my pilgrimage - an everlasting pilgrimage, my search - a relentless, unending and untiring effort.

As a pilgrim for life, a traveller, a wanderer, a seafarer – continuing with my quest – I was asked, time and again, which part of the world did I come from, where was I born and why I had to leave that birthplace of mine to live somewhere else in the world.

This paper is about sharing with my friends the lessons that I have learnt and the knowledge that I have gained through my challenging journeys on board the cargo ships where I lived and worked as a an apprentice and than an Officer and a Captain.

At the onset let me indulge in seeking for your understanding through this sincere appeal for forgiveness. I am not a specialist and, certainly, I am not a Master, which I shall never be. I was a Seafarer and a wanderer, traveller and wayfarer I remain. My journey is a pilgrimage of sharing with those whom I care, respect and love. Yes, qualified I may be, but expert I am definitely not. Fragile I am, inadequate I feel. I seek your forgiveness for all the errors and silly mistakes I shall make and faults me shall commit in putting forward before you this humble and modest presentation.

My Journeys, my wanderings and my travels have always been a perpetual, relentless and quintessential quest for Knowledge and learning, because my mentor, my guru, my guide, that wonderful man from the desert, Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) had always exhorted and advised his people: "Go forth to learn – seek knowledge wherever it is found. Go, even though you may have to go to China, go ahead!"

My Quintessential Quest started when many years ago in early 1960s – sailing through oceans, seas, rivers and waterways of the Earth. As a raw Cadet, an apprentice, a student, I started acquiring right knowledge, acquiring right tools – learning all the principles of seamanship, rules of the Road, systems of Navigation and mapping Charts, world weather patterns, climatology and Meteorology and oceanographic sciences.

Mine was a quest for knowledge of great Oceans, Seas and International waterways. Sailing through the Oceans, I worked, I strived, I struggled, I laboured and I learnt and learnt. I felt sea sick and homesick and finally became a hardy, salted seafarer. I sailed on ships of various shapes and sizes and, of course, of various uses as well as cargo and goods intakes.

After going through years of training and education in Naval Academies, schools and colleges, they gave me a Certificate of Competency and told me that I was now a Captain. "You will be known as Master of the Ship,” they announced. But, I was not sure.

“Am I really the one that they are telling me what I am?” I sarcastically asked myself as I stood proud, powerful, larger-than-life Captain on the Bridge of the ship, with his equally proud and polished Officers.

Suddenly, when the Nature became angry, as the weather deteriorated with hurricane-force winds, stormy seas and turbulent waters, I found myself to be such a tiny person – a mortal human being, after all. I could not do much to save my ship, millions of dollars worth of cargo on board and the precious lives of innocent crew members, despite my years of training, learning, experience, expertise and skills. I felt doomed and shattered.

My proud uniform in tatters, my pride humbled. I did my best trying to save my ship from the certain death, destruction and drowning. Did all I could – still nature got angrier and angrier. Until, I fell on my knees and begged: “I am so tiny and fragile, You are so Mighty and Powerful….Oh, Great Lord, wherever You are, whoever You are; You are the Real Master, the Extraordinary Captain of the Universe, Help me! Help me, Oh Dear Lord, Help me.”

And, lo and behold! Help did surely come. And it came over and over again for many years as long as I lived and worked at sea. The ‘tiny’ ships survived, they did not become Titanics or like any other wreck under the bottom of the sea or on the shore of the beach. Yes, the tiny beings on board lived to thank that Great Captain of the Oceans, that Merciful Master of the Universe.

Yes, not just this bearded ‘goat’ who prayed, fell down on his knees and beseeched God - all other shipmates as well – Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, others - yes, all prayed to One and Only Almighty Lord for deliverance from the calamities we were in our prayers were answered and granted again and again – for many years, on many ships.

Should I take credit for “My God” alone? Not at all – God is ONE, One for ALL. Oceans and seas taught me some great lessons of life. Yes, when nature became angry - those humbling moments taught me that - there is more to life than just my own Faith. There are other Religions, Faiths and Beliefs equally as powerful and meaningful as mine. There has to be One Supreme Lord, One God Who answers the call of all His Creatures, irrespective of the way we pray to Him, ask Him. Yes, I learnt a great lesson from the Seas - lesson in Humility, Humbleness and Harmony, lesson that Humanity is just One Big Rainbow, although all of us prayed to Him in our own way.

It is at sea that I soon realised the reality of life and God’s wholesome universe. I soon understood the reality of existence - ours is beautiful life as beautiful human beings - realization that humanity is so beautiful, humanity is in so many colours and hues. Yes, human beings of varied races, cultures, different religions and faiths and beliefs are decorating our world, our Earth everywhere like rainbow decorating sky in so many beautiful colours all shining, all brightening. This is the Reality, this is the Beauty of God.

This beautiful guidance is given in all God’s scriptures. My own Holy Scripture, the Qur’an (49:13), teaches me: “O Mankind! We Created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into many nations and tribes (races) that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And (remember) God has full Knowledge and is well acquainted (with all thing, affairs and matters).”

Yes, my Beloved! Thou art everywhere and in every place with everyone. I beg you, Oh Lord! Come and sit inside my heart, mind and souls as well. This is my Quest, my quintessential quest to Love Thee and Thee Alone! This is my quest to strive to seek and to find Thee! And, as my murshid, my guru, my teacher, my guide Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Saaeen says:

صاحب تنھنجي صاحبي؍ عجب ڏٺي سون؍
پن ٻوڑين پاتال ۾؍ پاھڻُ تارين تون؍
جيڪر اچين مون؍ ت؎ ميريانٸي مانَ لھان

“Sahaba tunhjee sahibee, ajabu dditthee suun,

Panu bmorreen paataala mein, pahannu taareen tuun,

Jeikara acheen muun, ta meiriyaaee maana lahaan.”

Lord! Thy Lordship and Thy Majesty so supreme!

Creation all everywhere saw with awe sublime;

Sometimes a tiny slim leaf Thee drown so low,

Heavy bergs at times higher above Thee flow,

Lord! If ever in my heart Thee come and reside,

Honour and respect shall forever be by my side.

.......................Humbly translated by Ahmed Makhdoom

With lots of love, respects and affections, I am your brother,

Ahmed Makhdoom

ڌڻين شاد ۽ آباد رکيوَ

دعاءن ۾ ياد ڪندا

احمد مخدوم