In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful




[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]


Pope John Paul II breathed his last on Saturday at 9:37 PM [April 1] and was laid to rest in St. Peter Basilica, Vatican City on Friday, April 8, 2005. His mortal frame no longer exists but the remnants of his charismatic life, his love for children and youth, his concern for human sufferings and down-trodden people of the world, his incessant fight against communism and freedom fighters throughout the world will ever remain engraved and fresh in the pages of history that he wrote by his sweet and toil. He was selected to lead the Roman Catholic Church in 1979. He carried out this onerous task of looking after the fate of 1.1 billion Catholics and guiding their destiny for 26 years in spite of many difficult situation, failing health and unbearable circumstances that he had to encounter every now and then. He was their spiritual head. He had an indomitable soul within his mortal frame to fight different odds within his faithful followers and in the global perspective that was dominated by his adversaries that were beyond the jurisdiction of his Vatican “Empire.” Not only he ruled his people’s hearts and minds through inspiration that his words and prayers inculcated but was equally revered by his contemporary world in all the five continents and by people of all faiths.


The cause of Palestinians was very dear to him. Late Yasir Arafat had good respectful personal relation with Pope. He was always a welcome guest at Vatican. Though late Pope pardoned the Christian world’s “accepted” historical “crime” of Jews to crucify Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) on cross [Whereas, in fact, Jesus was never crucified and Allah confirms it in the Qur’an.  (Ref: Verses 157-158 of Surah Al-Nisa) but He raised him to heaven and we are now waiting for his Second Coming], he could not succeed in getting Jerusalem to be recognized and declared as the International City for all the three Abrahamic faiths. It will remain as a bone of contention for time immemorial. On account of this magnanimity on the part of Pope, Jews as a community owe him a lot. However, Pope Paul II never apologized for the “holocaust” which has become an eternal bleeding wound of grief and torment for the Jews on earth and they use it always to present themselves to the world forum as the most “oppressed” people of human history.


His magnanimity was superb when he pardoned the deranged Turk who shot him and he went to prison to see the “criminal” in person. The late Pope Paul II was especially attached to youth and they adored him like their hero. His last words for youth are quite significant when he said: you have come to see me and I love you always. He was a constant source of inspiration to youth. He was a poet, a philosopher, a sportsman, a writer, a linguist and a world-troder. He visited about 129 countries across the world and wherever he went he spoke about human rights and the rights of the oppressed. He loved children very much. He used to kiss them out of compassion for kids and children used to fonder with his robes and caps and he loved it.      


Pope John Paul II was a Polish by birth and his services to his home land were great and enormous. He fought for them to come out of the tutelage of communism. He inspired his countrymen with his love and devotion to their cause and getting them consolidated as a democratic free people. Equally his contribution in tumbling down the “cold war” and the dissolution of communism in Russia was great. Both President Regan and Pope John Paul II worked for it in their respective domain and ultimately succeeded. By virtue of that, communism lost its attraction as an “Ism” and now it has reincarnated itself as “socialistic-capitalism” in China, Russia and elsewhere in the world.


In spite of these marvelous achievements to his credit, Pope Paul II could not keep his own world of Catholicism in an order and remove its shortcomings. The sadistic stories of sex scandals about priests with innocent children are a bad stigma on his papal dynasty. He could not do any thing to get the church purified. If he could get the clergymen married, there would have been no case of sex scandals out side marriage or wedlock. He failed to exert his total influence in getting President Bush restrained from his naked aggression in the name of preemptive attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. It was against the Christian faith. He could not stop the atrocities that are committed by Israel and India over Muslims and Christians. Equally, human rights violations are rampant in all the five continents including the USA, China, Russia, India, Africa and Latin America. He could not do anything to get them mitigated.


However, leaving aside these few “lapses” that were perhaps beyond his jurisdiction, the legacies of the deceased Pope are numerous and the human history will always remember them with grateful attitude to his memory. He has now proceeded to His Creator and Sustainer where he is accountable, like all of us, for all his actions and deeds on earth. How he is going to face God, the Almighty, whom the always remembered as “Father” in heaven who abhors making partners with Him either in His person or in His attributes. Was Jesus (pbuh) the son of God or a Prophet of God only? That would be the greatest question that would be put to him, especially when Jesus will deny that he never claimed to be called as the son of God. Simultaneously, he will be questioned for all the atrocities that are being committed and perpetuated in the Catholic world by his followers day in and day out and in the underdeveloped world through conspiracies that are being hatched through providing support to the despotic rulers of Asia, Africa, Central and Latin America. Let his soul be rested as we have no idea how he will face the situation, in the life Hereafter, the inevitable for all of us.



Shamim A Siddiqi

April 8, 2005