Jinnah in Retrospect

by Dr. Javaid Iqbal

The following excerpts are taken from the Legacy of Quaid-i-Azam by Javid Iqbal, the son of the poet-philosopher, Muhammad Iqbal, who was a friend and close associate of Jinnah, Javid Iqbal has published two other books in English, The Ideology of Pakistan (Lahore, 1959) and Stray Reflections (Lahore, 1961). The latter is an edition of some of his father’s notebooks.
Javid Iqbal was a member of Pakistan delegation to the United Nations from 1960-62, and at present he practices law in Lahore and teachers at the Law College. An inscription on the flyleaf of The Legacy of Quaid-i-Azam says that the book is an attempt to restate “the principle and ideals which Quaid-i-Azam left behind for Pakistanis. The need for reverting to the purity of the foundational principles usually arises when a people pass through a period of ideological decay and such principles are misinterpreted, twisted or distorted.” As this comment indicates, the interpretation of Jinnah’s attitude is still a matter of lively interest in contemporary Pakistan.

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah The desire of the Muslims to order their lives in accordance with Islam had gradually led to the growth of Muslim nationalism, which, under the inspiring leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, bifurcated the Indian nationalist movement and eventually resulted in the secession of Islam from India.

Quaid-i-Azam was the architect of Pakistan and consequently on its establishment became its first Governor-General. As the Governor-General of a newly born States, he had to tackle numerous problems, the most urgent being the settlement of the refugees and the restoration of a sense of a security and confidence among the non-Muslim minorities. He worked very hard and toured the country extensively calling upon the people to have faith, unity and discipline for they were going through fire and the sunshine had yet to come. He assured them that Pakistan had come to stay and that there was no power on earth which could undo it. But unfortunately he could not continue to retain the position of directing head of the young State for long. Thirteen months after the establishment of Pakistan, he passed away, leaving behind a legacy to Pakistanis in the form of principles and ideals.

In what sense did Quaid-i-Azam desire Pakistan to be an Islamic democracy? How much importance did he attach to the fundamental rights of the citizens? Did he want the Judiciary to be subservient to the Executive or independent of it? Did he expect Pakistan to have one man’s rule or one party government? Was he in favour of the system of indirect election or direct election?

Quaid-i-Azam was a lawyer by profession and had been brought up under the discipline of Rule of Law. He believed in Rule of Law rather than the rule of individuals. Consequently democracy was a matter of conviction with him. Although he had shown no preference for either the parliamentary or the presidential form of democracy, his mind was absolutely clear on such basic issues as: the government should be constituted by the directly elected representatives of the people the fundamental rights of the citizens should be guaranteed, and the judiciary should be independent of the executive.

With the frame of mind, Quaid-i-Azam had approached Islam and discovered to his satisfaction that Islamic democracy was founded on the very same principles which he had upheld throughout his life. He was indeed not an academic expert in Islam and therefore did not care to find out as to how and why the “ideal” in Islam had been destroyed by the historical “real”. His main concern was a re-statement of the principles of Islamic democracy and not of Islam in history.

Quaid-i-Azam was aware that through Islam the Prophet had accomplished a religio-political revolution in Arabia. The tribes were united and the Arab emerged as a single community. (Umma). The Prophet was the leader (Imam) of the revolution, and in his person were combined a legislator, an administrator, a judge, and a military commander. He was the Prophet, he led the congregational prayers and was the supreme authority in matters connected with religion and law. Nevertheless in the affairs of the State he consulted the Companions (who formed an informal Senate) according to the Quranic injunctions: “And those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer, and their rule is to take counsel among themselves”: and: “Therefore, forgive and ask for pardon for them and consult them in the affairs.” (42; verse 38 and 3; verse 159.) The Prophet is reported to have said: “Difference of opinion in my community is (the manifestation of Divine) Mercy”; and that “My community would never agree on an error.”

Paying tribute to the Prophet, in his address to the Bar Association, Karachi on 25th January, 1948, Quaid-i-Azam said:

Thirteen hundred years ago he laid the foundation of democracy…The prophet was a great teacher. He was a great law giver. He was a great statesman and he was a great sovereign who ruled. No doubt, there are many people who do not quite appreciate when we talk of Islam. Islam is not only a set of rituals, traditions and spiritual doctrines. Islam is also a code for every Muslim which regulates his life and his conduct in even politics and economics and the like. It is based on the highest principles of honour, integrity, fair-play and justice for all. One God and the equality of man is one of the fundamental principles of Islam. In Islam there is no difference between man and man. The qualities of equality, liberty and fraternity are the fundamental principles of Islam.

Explaining the principles of Islamic democracy in his speech at Sibi Durbar on 14th February, 1948, he said:

It is my belief that our salvation lies in following the golden rules of conduct set for us by our great law-giver, the Prophet of Islam. Let us lay the foundation of our democracy on the basis of truly Islamic ideals and principles. Our Almighty has taught us that “our decisions in the affairs of the State shall be guided by discussions and consultations.”

It is unanimously held by the Muslim jurists that the elections, nomination, designation or appointment of the Khalifah by a single eminent member or a restricted number of eminent members or the community was legally validated or confirmed only when the entire community had sworn allegiance to him, and it was only then that he was considered to have held his office by the approval of God. In the early practice of Islam, undoubtedly such validation or confirmation was secured in the form of acquiescence; but in those days the eminent members who elected nominated or designated the Khalifah were the Companions of the Prophet in whom the community repose confidence and trust. However, after the abolition of the Caliphate, the principle of Islamic democracy derived from this Consensus by the contemporary Muslim thinkers was that the government should be constituted by the directly elected representatives of the people. Accordingly it was maintained by Iqbal that the formation of legislative assemblies in Muslim countries were a return to the original purity of Islam and Quaid-i-Azam was not only familiar with the view-point but upheld the same in his recorded broadcast on Pakistan to the people of the United States of America (February, 1948). He said;

The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this Constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today, thay are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 year ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair-play to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future Constitution of Pakistan.

Earlier on 25th January, 1948, while addressing the Karachi Bar Association, he had said:

What reason is there for anyone to fear democracy, equality, freedom on the highest standard of integrity and on the basis of fair-play and justice for everybody….Let us make it (the future Constitution of Pakistan). We shall make it and we will show it to the world.

Quaid-i-Azam genuinely believed that democracy was the blood of Mussalmans because they believed in fraternity, equality and liberty. (Address: Muslim League Branch in Great Britain, London 14th December 1946.) In his broadcast talk to the people of Australia recorded on 19th February, 1948, he proclaimed:

The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be on him). We are members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in rights, dignity and self-respect. Consequently, we have a special and very deep sense of unity. But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds and we welcome in closest association with us all those who, of whatever creed, are themselves willing and ready to play their part as true and loyal citizens of Pakistan.

In a Press Conference held in New Delhi on 4th July, 1947, Quaid-i-Azam answered certain questions which were put to him regarding the nature of the State of Pakistan:

Q: Will Pakistan be secular or theocratic state?

Mr. M.A.J: You are asking me a question that is absurd. I do not know what a theocratic state means.

(A correspondent suggested that a theocratic state meant a state where only people of a particular religion, for example, Muslim could be full citizens and non-Muslims would not be full citizens).

Mr. M.A.J.: Then it seems to me that what I have already said is like throwing water on duck’s back (laughter). When you talk democracy, I am afraid, you have not studied Islam. We learnt democracy thirteen centuries ago.

It is generally accepted that the Fundamental Rights of the citizens were guaranteed in written form, for the first time, under the Constitution of the United States of America. But like the contemporary Muslim thinkers, Quaid-i-Azam believed that the fundamental inalienable and residual rights of Man were guaranteed in written form, under the Quran, long before the United States Constitution was conceived, long before the American constituent was discovered; nay, even long before the modern Western civilization was born.

The Quranic Rights guaranteed to Man were the basic principles of Islamic democracy. They could not be obscured or eradicated by any mortal power because they constituted the Spoken Word of God.

The following basic rights of Man can be directly traced from the Quran and the Sunna (Practice of the Prophet).

Equality of All Citizens Before Law as well as
Equality of Status and Opportunity

O Manknid; Be careful of your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and spread from these two many men and women. (4; verse 1.) Lo! Pharaoh exalted himself in the earth and divided its people into castes. A group among them he oppressed, killing their sons and sparing their women. Lo! He was of those who work corruption. (28; verse 4).

There is no compulsion in the matter of religion. (2; verse 256).

And if thy Lord had pleased, all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them. Wilt thou then force men till they are believers? (10; verse 99.)

Had Allah willed, idolaters had not been idolatrous. We have not set thee as a keeper over them, nor art thou responsible for them. (6; verse 108.)

And argue not with the People of the Book unless it be in a way that is fair, save with such of them as do wrong; and say; We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender. (29; verse 46).

If God had not raised a group (Muslims) to ward off the others from aggression, churches, synagogues, oratories and mosques where God is worshipped most, would have been destroyed. (22; verse 40.)

The Right to Life

And slay not the life which Allah hath forbidden save for justice. (17; verse 33).

The Right to Prosperity

And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity, nor seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that ye may knowingly devour a portion of the property of others wrongfully. (2; verse 188).

No One is to Suffer for the Wrongs of Another

Each soul earneth on its own account, nor doth any laden bear another’s load. (6; verse 165.)

Whosoever goeth right, it is only for the good of his own soul that he goeth right, and whosoever erreth, erreth only to its hurt. No laden soul can bear another’s load. (17; verse 15.)

That no laden one shall bear the burden of another (53; verse 38.)

Freedom of Person

Inferred from the Sunna by Imam Khattabi and Imam Abu Yusuf. A tradition is reported by Abu Daud to the effect that some persons were arrested on suspicion in Madina in the times of the Prophet. Subsequently, while the Prophet was delivering the Friday sermon (Khutba), a Companion enquired of him as to why and on what grounds had these persons been arrested. The Prophet maintained silence while the question was repeated twice, thus giving an opportunity to the prosecutor, who was present there, to explain the position. When the question was put for the third time and it again failed to elicit a reply from the prosecutor, the Prophet ordered that those persons should be released. On the basis of this tradition, Imam Khattabi argues in his M’alim-al-Sunnan that Islam recognizes only two kinds of detention: (a) Under the orders of the Court, and (b) For the purposes of investigation.

There is no other ground on which a person could be deprived of his freedom. Imam Abu Yusuf maintains in his Kitab-al-Kharaj, on the authority of the same Tradition, that no one can be imprisoned on false or unproved charges. Caliph Umar is reported to have said: “In Islam no one can be imprisoned without due course of Justice.” (Imam Malik’s Muwatta.)

Freedom of Opinion

Allah loveth not the utterance of harsh speech save by one who hath been wronged. (4; verse 148.)

Those of the children of Israel who went astray were cursed by the tongue of David, and the Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they rebelled and used to transgress.

They restrained not one another from the wickedness they did. Verily evil was that they used to do (5; verse 78-79).

And when they forgot that whereof they has been reminded. We rescued those who forbade wrong, and visited those who did wrong with dreadful punishment because they were evil-livers (7; verse 165.)

Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right and forbid wrong. (3; verse 110).

Freedom of Movement

It is He who has made the earth manageable for you, so travel ye through its tracts and enjoy of the sustenance which He furnishes; but unto Him is the Resurrection. (67; verse 15.)

Freedom of Association

And let there be formed of you a community inviting to good, urging what is reputable and restraining from what is disreputable. (3; verse 104).

The Right to Privacy

O ye who believe! Enter not house other than your own without first announcing your presence and invoking peace upon the folk thereof. That is better for you, that ye may be heedful.

And if ye find no one therein, still enter not until permission hath been given. And if it be said unto you: Go away again, then go away, for it is purer for you. Allah knoweth what ye do. (24; verse 27-28).

Any spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of your love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Ye abhor that so abhor the other! (49; verse 12.)

The Rights to Secure Basic Necessities of Life

And let not those who hoard up that which God has bestowed upon them of His bounty think that it is better for them. Nay, it is worst for them. That which they hoard will be their halter on the Day of Resurrection (3; verse 180).

And in the wealth of the haves there is due share of the have-nots. (51; verse 19.)

The Right to Reputation

Neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. But is the name of lewdness after faith.

O ye who believe! Shun much suspicion; for lo! Some suspicion is a crime. (49; verse11-12).

And those who malign believing men and believing women undeservedly, they bear the guilt of slander and manifest sin. (33; verse 58).

The Right to a Hearing

Inferred from the Sunna. The Prophet sent Ali to Yeman and grave him the following direction: “You are not to take decision unless you have heard the second party in the same way as you have heart the first.”

The Right to Decision in Accordance with Proper Judicial Procedure

O ye who believe! If an evil-liver bring you news, verify it, lest you smite some folk in ignorance and afterward repent of what ye did. (49; verse 6).

O man, follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. (17; verse 36).

Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye restore deposits to their owners, and, if ye judge between mankind, that ye judge justly. (4; verse 58).

Quaid-i-Azam was aware of these Quranic Rights although he attached more importance to the rights of equality and liberty, and the freedom of religion. In respect of the right of equality, he was obviously aware of the Quranic verse: “O Mankind; Be careful of your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and spread from these two many men and women.” (4; verse 1.) Regarding the freedom of religion, he was acquainted with such Quranic verses as:

“There is no compulsion in the matter of religion”; and: “And if thy Lord had pleased, all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them. Wilt thou then force men till they are believers?” (2; verse 156. 10; verse 99.) About tolerance and protection of the non-Muslims religious communities, he was familiar with the Quranic injunction; “If God had not raised a group (Muslims) to ward off the others from aggression, churches, synagogues, oratories and mosques where God is worshipped most, would have been destroyed.” (222; verse 40.) Therefore, he knew that the God of Islam enjoined not only tolerance of all the religions other than Islam but the Muslims were obliged to defend the places of worship of the non-Muslims under their protection.

According to the Quaid-i-Azam, the demand and struggle for Pakistan had ensured mainly because there was a danger of denied of these fundamental human rights in the Indian sub-continent. In his speech at Chittagong on 26th March, 1948, he stated clearly.

You are only voicing my sentiments and the sentiments of millions of Mussalmans when you say that Pakistan should be based on sure foundations of social justice and Islamic socialism which emphasize equality and brotherhood of man. Similarly you are voicing my thoughts in asking and in aspiring for equal opportunities for all. These targets of progress are not controversial in Pakistan, we struggled for it, we achieved it so that physically as wel as spiritually we are free to conduct our affairs according to our traditions and genius. Brotherhood, equality and fraternity of man – these are all the basic points of our religion, culture and civilisation. And we fought for Pakistan because there was a danger of denial of these human rights in this sub-continent.

In a speech at the University Stadium, Lahore on 30th October, 1947, he said:

The tenets of Islam enjoin on every Musalman to give protection to his neighbours and to the minorities regardless of castle and creed…. And I require of you now is that everyone of us to whom this message reaches must vow to himself and be prepared to sacrifice his all, if necessary, in building up Pakistan as a bulwark of Islam and as one of the greatest nations whose ideal is peace within peace without.

Earlier on 11th August, 1947, in his Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, he had proclaimed:

You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State….We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.

….Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.

Although in his Presidential Address. Quaid-i-Azam had illustrated two fundamental principles of Islamic democracy, namely, equality and freedom of personal faith, a campaign was started against him by his enemies to the effect that he was a nationalist and that he would make Pakistan a secular state. He was very distressed as it appears from the following interview reported in the Press on 25th January, 1948:

M.A. Jinnah said that “he could not understand a section of the people who deliberately wanted to create mischief and made propaganda that the Constitution of Pakistan would not be made on the basis of Shariat….” The Governor-General of Pakistan said that he would like to tell those who are misled – “Some are misled by propaganda” – that not only the Muslims but also the non-Muslims having nothing to fear.

Quaid-i-Azam obviously stood for a strong, independent and irreproachable judiciary because human rights could not be protected and enforced without such a judiciary. In this respect also he followed one of the basis principles of Islamic democracy, namely, the traditional independence of the Qaza (judiciary). The Qaza had existed as an independent institution in Islamic polity since the times of the Prophet. In the later centuries, the Qazis (Judges) came to be regarded as the “Successors of the Prophet” because they interpreted and enforced the Law of God. Once a Qazi was appointed, he became entirely independent from the executive, so much so that even the Head of the State could be summoned and tried in his Court. Everyone came under the Rule of God’s Law, including the Head of the State. And in case the Executive Head issued an ordinance was declared null and void by the Qazi. Undoubtedly many Qazis suffered for their integrity and independence at the hands of autocratic and tyrannical rulers, but the principle of supremacy of God’s Law was upheld at all costs.

Throughout his life, Quaid-i-Azam believed that the law courts alone should decide the question of a citizen’s rights. He always found against any move the object of which was to make the judiciary subservient to the executive, or to grant arbitrary powers regarding the liberty of a citizen to the executive.

On 19th September, 1948, attacking the Press Act, 1910, he said:

Sir, this Act has the defeat of all measures which do not come under the purview of judicial supervision, because it is a measure which has got to be administered by the Executive…The Act has been administered in a most arbitrary manner, and you cannot prevent it, you cannot avoid it, because you must remember that we are all human beings and when such arbitrary powers are given to Heads of Departments and Executive Officers, it must be remembered that they are human, they have got likes and dislikes and they have their prejudices.

Opposing the Rowlatt Bill in the Legislative Council on 6th February, 1919, he demanded:

I am a firm believer – I do not care how many Rowlatt Committees will decide and recommend – I am a firm believer that no man’s liberty should be taken away for a single minute without a proper judicial inquiry.

In the same speech he further observed:

It is obvious that his measures is of a most serious character. It is dangerous. It imperils the liberty of a citizens and, my Lord, standing here as I do, I say that no man who love fair-play, who loves justice and who believes in the freedom and liberty of the people can possibly give his consent to a measure of his character.

On 23rd March, 1925, opposing the Bengal Criminal Law Amendment Supplementary Bill, he declared:

What is your ground? Your ground is a petty ground that a few lives are in danger of being shot at…a few lives of officials are endangered; they may be shot at or shot down. Now I ask a simple question, Sir, of myself and my answer is that If I were an official and if I felt that my life was in danger and I was going to be shot down, even like a dog, I should never be a party to a measure which will endanger the life and liberty of the innocent population as this measure undoubtedly does…. But rather I would stand to be shot down by the wicked gang, than give power to the Executive and the Police which can be abused and has been abused in the past.

Again on 28th January, 1925, speaking in the Central Legislative, he said:

My liberty should not be taken away without a judicial trial in a proper court where I have all the rights to defend myself. Under this Ordinance, if I were a citizen of Calcutta, I should have to transfer my allegiance to Mr. Tegart, the Commissioner, because he is the only man who can give me protection and not His Majesty’s High Court or His Majesty’s Courts.

It was with this mental background that in the course of clarifying various aspects of Pakistan, he explained in an interview to the representative of Associated Press of America on 8th November, 1945.

The theory of Pakistan guarantees that federated units of the National Government would have all the autonomy that you will find in the Constitution of the United States of America, Canada and Australia. But certain vital powers will remain vested in the Central Government such as the monetary system, national defence and other federal responsibilities. Each federal state or province would have its own legislative, executive and judicial systems, each of the three branches of Government being constitutionally separate.

Quaid-i-Azam was indeed a firm believer in a strong Centre. But he was, at the time, aware of the lesson of Islamic history that the Centre which gained its strength through the force of a strong man was doomed to collapse and perish on the removal of the strong man. Therefore, he firmly believed that the source of the strength of the Centre should be the will of the people. Accordingly he was opposed to one man’s rule or one party government in Pakistan, as it is clear from the reports of his interview to the representative of Associated Press of America dated 8th November, 1945: “Mr. Jinnah said that he did not expect that Pakistan would have one party government and that he would oppose one party rule. ‘An opposition party or parties are good correctives for any party which is in power, ‘he said.”

According to Quaid-i-Azam, the will of the people could be ascertained only through the system of direct election. In other words, it was only through direct election that right and proper men could be taken as the representatives of the people.

In 1931, Lord Peel had maintained that the “natives” of India was illiterate and they were incapable of electing proper representatives for the Central Legislature. He regarded the system of direct election as unsuitable and dangerous for India, and instead, recommended the adoption of the system of indirect election for the election of the representatives of the Lower House. Lord Lothian, approving the scheme, argued that the election of the representatives of the Lower House by indirect election did not mean that they would not be the representative of the people. Lord Reading, however, suggested that the matter should be referred to a Commission. But Quaid-i-Azam vehemently opposed the adoption of indirect system of election. The following discussion ensued on 2nd January, 1931, in the subcommittee which was considering this question:

Mr. Jinnah: I have all along understood the point which Lord Lothian has just put before us. I quite appreciate that the election of the representatives to the Lower House by indirect election does not mean that they will not be the representatives of the people or the nation. We have had that system in India. As a matter of fact, we had that system for our provincial bodies in the old days, and so we have tried it and had experience of it; and it is not my opinion only, but the general opinion that it has been found wanting.

Lord Lothian: What was the size of the electorate, may I ask?

Mr. Jinnah: We had electoral colleges.

Lord Lothian: Yes, but what was the number of the electorate?

Mr. Jinnah: I could not give you that.

Lord Lothian: But that is the point, surely?

Mr. Jinnah: It did not give us satisfaction; we did not get the right men as our representatives. It was found wanting, and therefore, we had to change that system, even with regard to our local legislatures… The representatives must be elected, in our judgment, by direct election. As it is, the franchise is very high and the number of electors very limited, and therefore, Sir, I am not satisfied that any useful purpose would be served by adopting the suggestion of Lord Reading to refer the matter to a Commission, and I agree entirely with Lord Peel that this is a question of principle, or at any rate a question which much be determined by this sub-Committee and by Plenary Conference; I agree with him there. But while I agree with Lord Peel on that point, I totally disagree with him as to his other conclusions. After listening very carefully to his forcible arguments, I am not satisfied at all that he has made out a case that there will be any such danger as he apprehends in a system of direct election. I think that is more the fear of a conservative mind, which naturally dreads democracy.

Yes, indeed, Quaid-i-Azam definitely differed from such conservative minds which dreaded democracy. It was precisely for this reason that he upheld the principles of Islamic democracy.

It has already been pointed out that according to Quaid-i-Azam, the basic principles of Islamic democracy are equality of man, freedom of private faith, and justice and fair-play to every one without distinction and discrimination. God had command the Muslims to be just and equitable. He says in the quran: “O you who believe: be maintainer of justice, bearers of witness for God’s sake, though it may be against your own selves, or (your) parents or near relatives; if he be rich or poor, God is most competent (to deal) with them both; therefore do not follow (your) low desires, lest you deviate; and if you swerve or turn aside, then surely God is aware of what you do.” (4; verse 135).

Islamic state can obviously not be a theocracy because there is no priesthood in Islam. Muslims are forbidden to renounce the world and Islam lays down principles as to how they should conduct themselves in their worldly life. Therefore, in the words of Quaid-i-Azam, Islam is not only a set of spiritual doctrines but a code which regulates the life and conduct of a Muslim even in politics and economics and the like.

There exists a unanimity among the Muslim jurists of the past regarding the distinction between a secular state and an Islamic State. According to this Consensus, the secular state is founded on principles derived through human reasoning, and therefore, it promotes the material advancement and welfare of its citizens only in this world. On the other hand, the Islamic state is based on principles derived through Revealed Law, and therefore, it promotes the material advancement and welfare of its citizens not only in this world, but also prepares its Muslim citizens for the Hereafter through promoting their spiritual advancement and welfare. In other words, the Islamic state embraces the qualities of an ideal secular state, but in addition to it, endeavours to promote the spiritual advancement and welfare of its Muslim citizens. It was precisely in this sense that Quaid-i-Azam desired Pakistan to be an Islamic democracy – a democracy embracing the qualities of an ideal secular democratic state and at the same time endeavouring to promote the spiritual advancement and welfare of its Muslim citizens.

What were Quaid-i-Azam’s views regarding the development of commerce and industry? Was he a supporter of the Western economic theory and practice or did he advocate the adoption of socialization based on the Islamic concepts of equality and social justice?

Quaid-i-Azam was the first to proclaim that Pakistan would be based on the foundations of social justice and Islamic socialism which emphasized equality and brotherhood of man. (Chittagong speech, 26th March, 1948.) Therefore, he had aspired to do away with the obvious manifestations of gross inequality through making Pakistan a Welfare state. He was indeed aware that Islam regarded private ownership as a sacred trust. However, he was also conscious that according to Islam the social rank of an individual was not determined by the amount of wealth he owned, but by the kind of life he lived. Islam recognized the worth of the individual, but at the same time, it disciplined him to give away his all to the service of God and man. It was precisely for this reason that he had rejected the Western economic theory and practice. In his speech at the opening ceremony of the State Bank of Pakistan on 1st July, 1948, he declared:

The economic system of the West has created almost insoluble problems for humanity and to many of us it appears that only a miracle can save it from disaster that is now facing the world. It has failed to do justice between man and man, and to eradicate friction from the international field. On the contrary, it was largely responsible for the two world wars in the last half century. The Western world, in spite of its advantage of mechanization and industrial efficiency is today in a worse mess than ever before in history. The adoption of Western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contented people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concepts of equality of man and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind.

According to him, Pakistan must develop industrial potential side by side with its agriculture and give its economy an industrial bias. In respect of commerce and trade, he preached that the traders of Pakistan must maintain the Islamic standards of honesty and integrity while dealing with others. In his address to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, on 27th April, 1948, he said:

Commerce and trade are the very life-blood of the nation. I can no more visualize a Pakistan without traders than I can one without cultivators or civil servants…

Commerce….is more international than culture and it behoves you to behave in such a way that the power and prestige of Pakistan gain added strength from every act of yours.

In the same speech, he declared:

I would like to call your particular attention to the keen desire of the Government of Pakistan to associate individual initiative and private enterprise at every stage of industrialization. The number of industries Government have reserved for management by themselves consists of Arms and Munitions of War, generation of Hydro Power and manufacture of Railway Wagons, Telephones, Telegraph and Wireless apparatus. All other industrial activity is left open to private enterprise which would be given every facility a Government can give for the establishment and development of industry. Government will seek to create conditions in which industry and trade may develop and prosper by undertaking surveys of Pakistan’s considerable sources of minerals, schemes for the development of country’s water and power sources, plans for the improvements of transport services and the establishment of the ports and an Industrial Finance Corporation. Just as Pakistan is agriculturally the most advanced country in the continent of Asia…I am confident that if it makes the fullest and the best use of its considerable agricultural wealth in the building up of her industries, it will, with the traditions of craftsmanship for which her people are so well known as with their ability to adjust themselves to new techniques, soon make its mark in the industrial field.

He always insisted on the industrialists to provide for residential accommodation and other amenities for the workers when planning their factories. On the occasion of laying the foundation-stone of the buildings of textile mill on 26th September, 1947, he said:

By industrializing our State, we shall decrease our dependence on the outside world for necessities of life, we will give more employment to our people and will also increase the resources of the State…I hope in planning your factory, you have provided for proper residential accommodation and other amenities for the workers, for no industry can thrive without contented labour.

But in spite of the above statements, Quaid-i-Azam was for the socialization of certain industries and public utilities. Clarifying various aspects of Pakistan in an interview to the representative of Associated Press of America on 8th November, 1945, he had said:

You are asking me to interpret what the Government will do. But personally I believe that in these modern days essential key industries ought to be controlled and managed by the State. That applies also to certain public utilities. But what is a key industry and what is a utility service are matters for the law-makers to say, not for me.

In short, the principle laid down by Quaid-i-Azam was that Pakistan must achieve a balance between private enterprise and State control industries and public utilities, but he left it to the National Assembly to decide as to which industries and public utilities ought to be controlled and managed by the State and which by private enterprise.

According to him, what were the requisites of national consolidation? Was he for or against the emancipation of Muslim women?

Islam has acted as a nation-building force in the Indian sub-continent, and its was on the basis of “Two nation” theory that Quaid-i-Azam had demanded, struggled for and achieved Pakistan as the homeland of the Muslims. The basis of nationalism in Pakistan, therefore, could only be Islam – particularly when the Muslims of Pakistan descended from different racial stock, spoke different languages and were geographically non-contiguous. Hence, in order to secure national consolidation, Quaid-i-Azam felt that the barriers of regionalism, provincialism, sectarianism and tribalism must be demolished. At a public meeting in Dacca, held on 21st March, 1948, be warned:

As long as you do not know off this poison (provincialism) in our body politic, you will never be able to wield yourself, mould yourself, galvanise yourself into a real true nation. What we want is not to talk about Bengali, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Pathan and so on. They are of course units. But I ask you: have you forgotten the lesson that was taught to us thirteen hundred years ago? If I may point you, you are all outsiders here. Who were the original inhabitants of Bengal – not those who are now living. So what is the use of saying “we are Bengalis, or Sindhis, or Pathans, or Punjabis.” No, we are Muslims. Islam has taught us this, and I think you will agree with me that whatever else you may be and whatever you are, you are a Muslim. You belong to a Nation now; you have now carved out a territory, vast territory, it is all yours; it does not belong to a Punjabi, or a Sindhi, or a Pathan, or a Bengali; it is yours; you have got your Central Government where several units are represented. Therefore, if you want to build up yourself into a Nation, for God’s sake give up this provincialism. Provincialism has been one of the curses and so in sectionalism Shia, Sunni etc.

Quaid-i-Azam obviously desired that the Pakistanis should demolish the barriers which hindered their development as a single nation. It was with this object in view that he wanted Pakistan to have Urdu as its State language. At the same public meeting in Dacca he declared:

Ultimately it is for you, the people of this province, to decide what shall be the language of your province. But let me make it clear to you that the State language of Pakistan is going to be Urdu and no other language. Anyone who tries to mislead you is really the enemy of Pakistan. Without one State language no nation can remain tied up solidly together and function.

He was aware that there were countries in the world which had two State language; but all such countries were geographically contiguous. Therefore, is spite of two State languages, they remained tied up solidly and functioned. Pakistan, however, was geographically non-contiguous, and in addition to it, was an ideological State. It had to have, according to him, only one State language. On 24th March, 1948, at the Dacca University Convocation, he again proclaimed: “There can be only one State language, if the component parts of this State are to march forward in unison, and the language, in my opinion, can only be Urdu.”

It was also necessary for national consolidation that the Muslim women should work side by side with men. In a speech at the Jinnah Islamia College for Girls, Lahore. On 22nd November 1942, he said: “If Muslim women support their men, as they did in the days of the Prophet of Islam, we should soon realize our goal.”

He preached to the Muslims to emancipate their women. Addressing the Muslim University Muslim League meeting at Aligarh on 10th March, 1944, he said:

Another very important matter which I wish to impress on you is that no nation can rise to the heights of glory unless your women are side by side with you. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. I do not mean that we should imitate the evils of Western life. But let us try to raise the status of our women according to our own Islamic ideas and standards. There is no saction anywhere for the deplorable conditions in which our women have to live. You should take your women along with you as comrades in every sphere of live avoiding the corrupt practices of Western society. You cannot expect a woman who is herself ignorant to bring up your children properly. The woman has the power to bring up children on right lines. Let us not throw away this asset.

What changes did he want to see in the system of education?

Quaid-i-Azam was aware that under the political subjugation and servitude of the British, the character of the Muslims as a nation had been completely destroyed. They had lost respect for piety, for character, for knowledge or even for wealth, and were taught to respect nothing but power. A people with slavish mentality naturally respect power because they dread it. But a free nation can only achieve greatness if it possesses the strength of character.

Hence Quaid-i-Azam desired that the educational policy of Pakistan should be brought on the lines suited to the genius of the nation, consonant with its history and culture, and having regard to the modern needs and requirements, and vast developments that had taken place over the world. He told the students at Dacca University Convocation on 24th March, 1948 that there was no shame in doing manual work and labour for the building up of Pakistan.

In a message of All-Pakistan Educational Conference held at Karachi on 27th November, 1947, he worte [sic]:

Education does not merely mean academic education, and even that appears to be of a very poor type. What we have to do is to mobilze our people and build up the character of our future generations. There is immediate and urgent need for training our people in the scientific and technical education in order to build up our future economic life, and we should see that our people undertake scientific commerce, trade and particularly, well-planned industries. But we do not forget that we have to compete with the world which is moving very fast in this direction. Also I must emphasize that greater attention should be paid to technical and vocational education. In short, we have to build up the character of our future [sic] generations which means highest sense of honour, integrity, selfless service to the nation, and sense of responsibility, and we have to see that they are fully qualified and equipped to play their part in the various branches of economic life in a manner which will do honour to Pakistan.

What ideals did he set before the services?


The British had organised the administrative and Police services in accordance with the colonial services’ principle, i.e., the officers should regard themselves [sic] as belonging to the ruling class and therefore they should remain detached and aloof from the common people, with the result that they developed a sense of social superiority bordering on arrogance. They constituted a bureaucracy that ruled and was feared and respected.

Quaid-i-Azam wanted to change this mentality. Accordingly he set three ideals before the officers: First, that they should regard themselves as servants of the people and believe in “service” as their ideal; second, that they should be just and impartial in dealing with the people; and third, that they should not accept political pressure under any circumstances because it eventually led to corruption, bribery, favouritism and nepotism.

Addressing the Gazetted Offices at Chittagong on 25th March, 1948, he declared:

Those days have gone when the country was ruled by the bureaucracy. It is the people’s Government, responsible to the people…. Now that freezing atmosphere must go; that impression of arrogance must go; that impression that you are rulers must go and you must do your best with all courtesy and kindness to try to understand the people.

In the same speech he said:

Wipe off the past reputation; you are not rulers. You do not belong to the ruling class; you belong to the servants. Make the people feel that you are their servants and friends maintain the highest standard of honour, integrity, justice and fair-play.

He again emphasized in the saem speech:

You must do your duty as servants; you are not concerned with this political or that political party; that is not your business…You are civil servants, Whichever get the majority will form the Government and your duty is to serve that Government for the time being as servants not as politicians. How will you do that? The Government in power for the time being must also realize and understand their responsibilities that you are not to be used for this party or that. I know we are saddled with old legacy, old mentality, old psychology and it haunts our foot-steps, but it is up to you now to act as true servant of the people.

He told the Civil Officers at Government House, Peshawar on 14th April ,1948.

You may even be put to trouble not because you are doing anything wrong but because you are doing right. Sacrifices have to be made and I appeal to you, if need be, to come forward and make the sacrifice and face the position of being put on the blacklist or being otherwise worried or troubled.

….It is you who can give us the opportunity to create a powerful machinery which will give you a complete sense of security.


Quaid-i-Azam also addressed the Military Officers frequently and set before them the ideals of faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty. Addressing the Officers and Men of the 5th Heavy Ack Ack and 6th Light Ack Ack Regiments in Malir on 21st February, 1948, he said:

Nature’s inexorable law is “the survival [sic] of the fittest” and we have to prove ourselves fit for our newly won freedom. You have fought many a battle on the far flung battlefield of the globe to rid the world of the Fascist menace and make it safe for democracy. Now you have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. You will have to be alert, very alert, for the time for relaxation is not yet there. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.

According to him, the Defence Forces’ responsibilities included the study of the Constitution and obedience to the commands and orders which had the sanction of the Executive Head. In his address to the Officers of the Staff College, Quetta on 14th June, 1948, he pointed out:

One thing more, I am persuaded to say this because during my talks with one or two very high-ranking officers I discovered that they did not know the Implication of the Oath taken by the troops of Pakistan. Of course, an oath is only a matter of form; what is more important is the true spirit and the heart. But it is important form and I would like to take the opportunity of refreshing your memory by reading the prescribed oath to you: “I solemnly affirm, in the presence of Almighty God, that I owe allegiance to the Constitution and the Dominion of Pakistan (mark the words Constitution and the Government of the Dominion of Pakistan) and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully serve in the Dominion of Pakistan forces and go within the terms of my enrolment wherever I may be ordered by air, land or sea and that I will observe and obey all commands of my officer set over me….”

As I have said just now the spirit is what really matters. I should like you to study the Constitution which is in force in Pakistan at present and understand its true constitutional and legal implication when you say that you will be faithful to the Constitution of the Dominion. I want you to remember and if you have time enough you should study the Government of India Act, as adopted for use in Pakistan, which is our present Constitution, that the executive authority flows from the Head of the Government of Pakistan, who is the Governor-General and therefore, any command or orders that may come to you cannot come without the sanction of the Executive Head. This is the legal position.


The legacy of Quaid-i-Azam is undoubtedly precious. But is depends upon the legatees to make the best use of this treasure of principles and ideals.

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