Brief Biography of Khawaja Muhammad Rafique

Khawaja Muhammad Rafique Shaheed was born at Amritsar in December 1927. The family had to move first to Delhi and subsequently to Bhopal keeping in view the growing and expanding business. He matriculated from Delhi and returned to Amritsar due to intense aspiration of his father. At the call of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Khawaja Rafique launched a vigorous protest against unionist ministries as a result of which he was arrested and jailed. He played a historic role for the protection and evacuation of the Muslims of the sub-continent during violently tumultuous riots for the genocide of the Muslims of Amritsar. Hearing the news of the kidnapping of five Hafiz-e-Quran girls, he became furiously inflamed and singlehandedly stopped the convoy of army, jeopardized his life violating imposition of curfew. He held dialogues with British Captain, apprising him of the heinous and inhuman crime and eventually succeeded in getting all the five Muslim girls recovered. He valiantly protected the “Muhajreen” from the clutches of the blood-thirsty rioters and consequently reached Pakistan after many days of independence.

After the establishment of Pakistan, Khawaja Muhammad Rafique Shaheed vehemently resisted the illegitimate usurpation of the Muslim League by the exploitative feudals and blood-sucking capitalists. Khawaja Rafique Shaheed zealously and strongly opposed the despotic and dictatorial regime in Pakistan when it amounted to be an invitation to death but he was not afraid of death. He could never tolerate the basic freedoms of the masses being hijacked and their basic democratic rights be encroached upon. He persistently opposed despotism in such circumstances when most of the politicians were either relinquishing politics due to fear or engaged in amassing wealth by supporting despotism.

Khawaja Rafique Shaheed was indubitably a great “Mujahid” for he spoke the truth in front of a tyrant and kept the light of truth lit consistently with his unshakable iron-determination and inspiring perseverance. He undauntedly and fearlessly expressed whatever he counted against his conscience that is why he never knelt before any despot and tyrant nor could any despot intimidate and buy him. The invincibility of his spirit, incorruptibility of character were envied both by his friends and foes. He was arrested and jailed many times. Cases of treason were manufactured against Khawaja Rafique but valiantly and stoically faced all the trials and tribulations of imprisonment and did not budge an inch from the path of truth and justice.

Khawaja Muhammad Rafique Shaheed indefatigably and stoutly challenged the government at that time with saint-like prowessness and courage. Before his martyrdom, Khawaja Rafique Shaheed was repeatedly threatened of dire consequences if he did not seal his lips. Khawaja Rafique had voiced these threats in public meetings on many occasions during his lifetime.

Khawaja Muhammad Rafique Shaheed displayed intrinsic character and impregnable courage in his last speech on the occasion of his death anniversary of late Hussain Shaheed Soharwardi in such words:

“I am following in the footsteps of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A.). I cannot abandon the principles of my life because of the fear of death. I have come to know your pernicious designs through the message that you sent to me. But listen, I refuse to change my ideals and faith because of the fear of death. You will see me receiving bulled in my chest in the field and you will never see me flinching from my place.”

Time proved that the great martyr proved true to his words and principles. The assassination of Khawaja Rafique Shaheed was the second biggest political murder after the assassination of Dr Nazeer Ahmad Shaheed. According to national newspapers on 22 December, 1972, the funeral procession of Khawaja Muhammad Rafique Shaheed was the largest funeral procession after Ghazi Alam Din Shaheed in the history of Lahore.

Khawaja Muhammad Rafique Shaheed always became unspeakably furious and exasperated to see the Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal, being subverted, exploited and looted. The despotic and tyrannical rulers resorted to coercive and oppressive methods to intimidate and frighten Khawaja Rafique but no Yazeed of the time could break his iron-will. All sufferings, tormentations and economic worries could not shake him from his stance of truthfulness and righteousness.

Khawaja Muhammad Rafique was a philanthropist, a true friend of suffering humanity, who sacrificed his life for the uplift and elevation of the crestfallens and downtroddens. The ruling government of the Punjab has rightly and unanimously decided to establish a college of a very high standard in the name of Great Khawaja Rafique Shaheed to pay him a richly deserved tribute and to provide quality education to the sons of Lahore. The college maintains the motto and message of this legendary figure “we believe in the service of humanity”.