Christian family comes in the fold of Islam in Lahore. By Aamer Waqas


LAHORE. November 19, 2005 A Christian family comprising five members, embraced Islam on Friday at village Jhugian, near Bund Road. Father of three daughters and one son, Bashir Masih, now Muhammad Bashir, is the head of a middle class family, and is working with the Lahore Municipal Corporation. He said his family had not gone to church for the last one year, but during this Ramazan, he felt a huge change in him. "In Ramazan, my friends asked me to embrace Islam, but before that I was already thinking on the same lines. It is all due to Allah's blessings only, who has given my family and me the biggest pleasure of our lives, and we are feeling elated after embracing Islam," he added smilingly. When asked of any pressure on his family, Bashir declined any such assertion maintaining that he did it as per his will.
While talking about his family, he told that about a year ago, his daughter Amina Shafique (then Sophia) embraced Islam. "Then my son Muhammad Naseer (Naseer Masih earlier) started reciting Naats in mosques and religious gatherings, who has been involved in this activity for over two years," he said.
Not an articulate fellow, Bashir let his 14-year-old only son Naseer say the rest. A visibly happy fellow, surrounded by his friends Mobashir, Naveed and Waqas, popularly known as the Lala Group in the village, said a few objected to his reciting of Naats while the other appreciated for his good voice. "Quite a few encouraged me, and my friends were always there to support me. We have been together since our childhood.
Gorgeously clad Naseer's mother Perveen Bashir, a domestic lady, and his sisters were very happy and were accompanied by over a dozen females of the village. "All my children are together again and I hope they will stay like this. I am thankful to Allah, who has shown us the right path," she said. Her eldest daughter 25-year-old Amna had married a Muslim man last year and embraced Islam. "I have been in contact with my family through out this time, but now they are again with me from their heart and soul," she said.
A self-taught beautician 23-year-old Mussarat Bashir, now Aqsa Bashir and her youngest sister class 5 student 10-year-old Ayesha Bashir, did not say anything, but remained there punctuating their family's chat with their giggling.
Haji Muhammad Ashraf has taken the responsibility of teaching them the Holy Quran, religious rituals and books.
One of the two brothers of Bashir, Hadayat Masih solves people's problems by writing 'taveez' and is said to be running his 'business' well.
Jhugian is a village of about 1200 households; out of which about 50 percent are Christians for whom there is also a church as well. "We are living peacefully, and we make it certain that no poor is treated badly by any one.
There exists no segregation among the residents and all enjoy equal rights," said Malik Asghar Ali, popularly known as Malik Billoo, who also arranged the function on his dera. Accompanied by his son Malik Qurban Ali, who is a General Councillor, told that they did not allow cable service in the village because it would have adversely affected the morals of the villagers.
Mufti Muhammad Haseeb Qadri of Tanzeem-ul-Madaris recited the Kalima for the Bashir family, while the Nazim Ravi Town Yusuf Ahed Malik was the chief guest.

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