It isn’t so easy writing about someone you have grown up listening to, called an inspiration, or have had great memories with/of.
There’s just too much that cannot be put into words, and that’s exactly how it feels when we lose someone we love, someone that has affected us, someone that has instilled something in you so deeply that it is difficult to get over them; they’ve become a part of you.
I have those kind of memories with Junaid Jamshed, and not just with his music. His whole movement towards the betterment of the Muslim ummah, his struggle for Pakistan, and his love for the nation despite so many wrongs & so many negativities.
For every child who grew up in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the love for Vital Signs comes naturally. Junaid was the vocalist for this popular rock band of the 80’s, and might I add, he was as handsome as a Pakistani man could get.
In the league of most handsome Pakistani men with the likes of Imran Khan at that time, you just couldn’t take your eyes off of him in his music videos, and this is hardly an exaggeration.
Later on, Junaid Jamshed’s struggle was real.
He was lurking between religion & music for a fairly long time, having read a lot of books and heard a lot of sermons during this period of transition.
I cannot imagine what the struggle could’ve been like, for someone who is an icon, a legend in the music industry and at the peak of his career, to turn to religion and completely leave the superficiality and materialism of this world (not to mention the kind of money being made) and leave everything to succumb to Allah, to be a follower of Holy Prophet (pbuh) and follow his Sunnah, to become a religious, pious man only living to serve humanity and spread peace & love as a message of Islam.
Junaid Jamshed was a highly intelligent man. He was a recording artist, a famous television personality, a fashion designer (having launched his own brand of itar (non-alchoholic perfume), clothes and the likes), a lead vocalist in his band, a song-writer, & a preacher of Islam. He was, all in all, a legend.
Junaid Jamshed had a degree in Engineering from the University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore. He worked as a civilian contractor and engineer for the Pakistan Air Force before he became a musical sensation. Little did he know about his journey and where it would take him.
In 1987, Junaid attained international & nationwide prominence as a vocalist for ‘Vital Signs’.
Dil Dil Pakistan became a nationwide favourite, and even foreigners would sing it along with him at international concerts.
How He Started His Musical Journey:
The first time he started performing music was in 1983 when he was live at Peshawar University and Islamabad University campuses, while still a student at UET in Lahore. Rohail Hyat was searching for a new singer for the newly formed band ‘Vital Signs’ at that time. Jamshed sang ‘Careless Whispers’ on university campus that night! Later on, he joined Nuts and Bolts, his university rock band, as a lead vocalist and performed at Flashman’s Hotel in Rawalpindi.
With the help of Rohail Hyat and Nusrat Hussain, the band’s guitarist, Jamshed was able to become the lead singer for Vital Signs and signed a record deal with Shoaib Mansoor for his PTV Music Studio. His career had just begun.
His first album helped develop Pakistan’s rock music industry.
Junaid had two brothers: Omar and Humayun Jamshed. Junaid’s first wife, Ayesha Junaid, was safe at home with their kids when the news of the plane crash hit them.
He had a sister, Nafeesa Jamshed. Junaid’s father was a retired Colonel in the Pakistan Air Force (Jamshed Akbar).
It has been said that Junaid Jamshed had 3 wives, however the details are not available for all to see. Junaid preferred to keep his life private after his transition. He has left behind 3 sons, and 1 daughter.
His Immensely Popular Music:
Junaid Jamshed produced some of the most popular rock music in Pakistan in his time, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to claim that he helped revive the Pakistani music industry immensely with his powerful music.
Owing solely to his angelic voice & enthralling, good looks, he was an instant favourite in the entertainment industry:
He rose to fame not only nationally but internationally, and people from all ethnic backgrounds loved his music, especially his ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ which received more love internationally than nationally.
His love for PAKISTAN:
As evident in this song video, Junaid Jamshed and his love for Pakistan was the one thing that remained constant throughout his life.
He made millions feel enthusiastic with his tunes & they were played during times of cricket matches especially. Take a look at ‘Hum Hain Pakistani’:
His song ‘Aitebaar’ is still heard by millions across the world:
His Patriotic Songs For The Armed Forces, Pakistan:
Junaid Jamshed sang patriotic songs following his transition, to keep a foot into the music industry as well, in the very beginning. His patriotism and passion for Pakistan had always had an effect on people, and it did more after his religious transition.
Although he had sang songs before such as ‘Kasam us waqt ki’ and ‘Hum hain Pakistani’, which were acclaimed favourites throughout his career as a musician, his patriotic song which was a collaboration with ‘Soch-The Band’ became an instant favourite.
The Transition & Maulana Tariq Jamil’s Sermons:
It began in early 2004, when Junaid Jamshed left both his engineering career and music career to focus on his religious activities for Islam, and recited naats, nasheeds on Television.
He had been deeply influenced by Maulana Tariq Jamil & his sermons, and started reading more about Islam to understand it to the fullest. Junaid was known for passionately doing things that he loved, and just like his music career, he rose to the top as a religious man too.
Later on, he began releasing them on CD’s, and people flocked to stores to buy them.
The Struggle In Going Back To Engineering:
After the 9/11 attacks in USA, Jamshed’s tours in the West struggled with alot of questions about Pakistan’s culture, terrorism & music. Jamshed filed for bankruptcy in court after coming back from this tour and applied at various companies for a career in engineering, but to no avail. It was frequently reported that Junaid Jamshed has left music and is seen praying five times a day at a local mosque.
The Fashion-Designing Company Announcement:
After being out of practice from engineering in about 20 years, Jamshed announced that he would be opening a fashion company with a close friend of his. He officially renounced music in 2004, when he said that he had devoted his life to the cause of Islam.
Jamshed then left engineering and to supplement his income, opened ‘J.’, selling clothes and itar; for kids, men & women.
His Own Brand, J.:
Junaid Jamshed, as a popular icon in Pakistan, took his career further and formed his own brand once he left the entertainment industry. He went from clothing and perfumes to food later on.
J. (pronounced as J Dot), became an instant favourite amongst JJ lovers.
His Tragic Death, & Last Message To People:
On 7th December, 2016, Junaid Jamshed died along with his second wife, Nahya, in a plane crash in Havelian. PIA Flight 661 was enroute to Islamabad from Chitral.
He had been there for a Tablighi Jamaat mission, and was on his way back to Islamabad.
What Destiny Had In Store For Him:
Junaid Jamshed had wanted to become a fighter pilot. It has been said that his weak eyesight had prevented him from becoming one. He was a major in Mechanical Engineering, and was employed by the PAF as a civilian contractor in a short-lived aeronautical engineering career.
In Islam’s Embrace:
After 2001, Jamshed disappeared from the public eye completely. He avoided media attention, and his former band mates were seeing his struggle to negotiate the transition from one world to another. Jamshed had become distant from Hyatt, who was continuing to produce music. He also struggled alot financially after leaving the band, but it did not stop his aspiration to become a proper Muslimah.
Junaid Jamshed (may Allah grant him Heavens) has been listed by ‘The Muslim 500’ as one of the ‘World’s Most Influential Muslims’, for his involvement in charity work, especially with the NGO ‘Muslim Charity’ from 2003, until his death in 2016.
The Muslim Charity achieved a great deal under his leadership and expanded it’s operations to 16 countries, it was stated.
The Way He Was An Example For All Of Us:
Junaid Jamshed was an inspiration for the youth, as he was an inspiration for the old. He showed the world how, once you are devoted to something, you should be passionate enough to endure every kind of pain and should not hesitate to grasp onto it regardless of the struggles. Junaid Jamshed was not only an inspiration to kids & adults who have heard his music, he was an inspiration as a follower of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, because the way his life changed from one extreme to another is exemplary.
He will always be a reminder of peace, how to let go peacefully, how to embrace the good, how to do good in this life and sow a reward in the Hereafter. Personally, life is too short to not live to the fullest.
For me, Junaid Jamshed told me that there is good, extreme good in everyone in life. And that all those who wander are not lost, as says the popular quote. Jamshed thought his journey was about music, because that’s where he started. However, his journey had been about Islam & peace, & about re-discovering himself through the step into engineering & then music. He, by his own example, inspired millions across the world to always follow the heart & never to regret.
He will be remembered as a youth icon, as a lover, as a peaceful man, as someone who was a philanthropist and a humanitarian. He was an intelligent man, someone who would argue with facts and who was polite in his speech. He will be remembered as a friend, as a legend, as a great friend who shall be missed through and through.
Junaid Jamshed will forever live in the hearts of those who have heard Dil Dil Pakistan, and it is safe to say that there aren’t many who haven’t. He will live on to be an inspiration for Pakistan, for Muslims, for humanitarians, and for those struggling to find themselves and who they really are.
I bid you farewell, JJ. I hope they give you a warm welcome up in the heavens, since you were a God sent. Everyone has a way to live and everyone has a way to die, and I’m not sure if yours was the way you had imagined it to be (heck, who wants to die in a crash) but I hope that you are safe and sound in the Heavens now, and back to where you belonged; closer to God.