Quaid's Concept Of Pakistan

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was one of the greatest leaders of the modern age, who not only led his people to independence but founded a separate homeland for them, where they could mould their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Quran and traditions of Islam and cultivate their culture and civilization. This was a far greater achievement of the Quaid than any other national liberation leader. Other leaders struggled for independence within states already in existence. This he achieved almost single-handedly and constitutionally, and in the teeth of stiff opposition.

Prof. Stanly Wolpert has rightly said about the Quaid that “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three”.

Pakistan’s emergence was not just the emergence of a new state, but it was created on the basis of Islamic ideology. If Pakistan had not been created, the Muslims would have been under the militant Hindu majority in united India and lost in the Hindu majority.1

The only objective of the Pakistan movement was not to separate some provinces to save them from Hindu domination. Had it been so the Muslims of the minority provinces would never have taken the active part they did in the freedom movement. The Muslims of the minority provinces knew that if Pakistan was created they would stand to gain nothing. Indeed might lose everything. Infact, the Muslims of South Asia believed that they were not fighting for a territory only, but for the preservation of their culture and civilization, language and literature and Islamic way of life.

The Quaid-i-Azam at first devotedly worked for the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity and spent most of energies and efforts towards its attainment. His efforts were appreciated and Mr. Jinnah was acknowledged by the Hindus themselves. But the conditions soon led the Muslims of the subcontinent to change their outlook and adopt a different course.

The awareness of a separate Muslim nationhood in the subcontinent can be traced back to a millennium when it was noticed for the first time by Alberuni, who visited India in the 9th century and wrote in his famous work Kitab-al-Hind as under:

For the reader must always bear in mind that the Hindus entirely differ from us in every respect, many a subject appearing intricate and obscure which would be perfectly clear if there were more connection between us. The barriers which separate Muslims and Hindus rest on different causes. First, they differ from us in everything which other nations have in common. And here we first mention the language, although the difference of language also exists between other nations.2

He further said:

Many Hindu customs differ from those of our country and of our time to such a degree as to appear to us simply monstrous. One might almost think they had intentionally changed them into the opposite, for our customs do not resemble theirs, but are the very reverse; and if ever a custom of theirs resembles one of ours, it has certainly just the opposite meaning.3

Discussing the social structure of the two nations, Hindus and Muslims, he further wrote:

They totally differ from us in religion, as we believe in nothing in which they believe, and vice versa. On the whole, there is very little disputing about theological topics among themselves; at the utmost, they fight with words, but they will never stake their soul or body or their property on religious controversy. On the contrary, all their fanaticism is directed against those who do not belong to them – against all foreigners. They call them maleechha, i.e. impure, and forbid having any connection with them, be it by intermarriage or any other kind of relationship, or by sitting, eating and drinking with them, because thereby they think they would be polluted. They consider as impure anything which touches the fire and the water of a foreigner; and no household can exist without these two elements. Besides, they never desire that a thing which once has been polluted should be purified and thus recovered, as under ordinary circumstances, if anybody or anything has become unclear, he or it would strive to regain the state of purity. They are not allowed to receive anybody who does not belong to them, even if he wished it, or was inclined to their religion. This, too, renders any connection with them quite impossible, and constitutes the widest gulf between us and them.

This consciousness of a distinct identity was later stressed by Hazrat Mujaddid Alf-I-Sani (d. 1831) and Sir Syed Amhad Khan (d. 1898). In the beginning of his career, Sir Syed Ahmed’s concept of nationhood was vague and confusing. Sometimes he said that the entire humanity was one nation. Sometimes he believed that people living on one land comprised a nation. But after the establishment of the Indian National Congress, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan came to adopt a correct view of nation.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan later on realized that actually the Hindus constituted a separate nation having nothing common with the Muslims and that they could not live together any more with Hindus. Sir Syed had predicted this in 1857, when a few influential Hindus at Banaras, contemplated the removal of Urdu and Persian languages from courts and offices and to replace them by Hindi and Devnagari script. After this incident Sir Syed expressed his views before Mr. Shakespeare, an English Officer, and, his friend at Banaras as under:

It was now impossible for the Hindus and Muslims to progress as a single nation and anyone to work for both of them simultaneously; I am convinced that both these nations will not join whole-heartedly in anything. At present there is no open hostility between the two nations. But on account of the so called educated people it will increase in future and he who lives, will see.5

The later happenings convinced Sir Syed Ahmad Khan to plead for a two nation theory. In one of his lectures at Ludhiana he said:
Remember a nation is nothing unless it is a nation in real sense. All individuals joining the fold of Islam together constitute a nation of Muslims. As long as they follow and practice this beloved religion, they are a nation. Remember you have to live and die by Islam and it is by keeping Islam that our nation is a nation. Dear children, if someone becomes the star of the heaven and ceases to be a Muslim what is he to us? He is no longer a member of our nation.6

Allama Iqbal for the first time pleaded for a separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub continent in December 1930 from the platform of the Al-India Muslim League.

In the Presidential Address at the 21st session of the All India Muslim League at Allahabad on 29th December, 1930 Allama Iqbal announced:

Personally, I would go further than the demands embodied in it. I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single State. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India… India is the greatest Muslim country in the world. The life of Islam, as a cultural force in this living country very largely depends on its centralization in a specified territory. This centralization of the most portion of the Muslims of India, whose military and police service has, notwithstanding unfair treatment from the British, made the British rule possible in this country, will eventually solve the problem of India as well as of Asia. It will intensify their sense of responsibility and deepen their patriotic feeling. Thus, possessing full opportunity of development within the body-politic of India, the North-West Indian Muslims will prove the best defenders of India against a foreign invasion, be that invasion one of ideas or of bayonets.7

According to Allama Iqbal a separate Muslims State within the subcontinent would not be a theocracy. It would provide, on the other hand, an opportunity for Islam to rid itself of the stamp that Arabian Imperialism was forced to give it, to mobilize its law, its education, its culture and to bring them into closer contact with its own original spirit and with the spirit of modern things. This mixture of modernism and fundamentalism which he had in mind makes hardly any provision for a secular state for Muslims.

In the entire struggle of the Muslims of the subcontinent for a separate homeland, the attitude of the Hindus was one of stiff opposition. In fact, the Hindus did not reconcile to the idea of recognizing the Muslim demand for a separate state as declared in the Lahore Resolution of 23rd March, 1940. Gandhi described it as “a suicide”, “a sin” and vivisection of mother India”, which could be allowed only over his dead body.8 Two years later Gandhi wrote a letter to the Quaid-i-Azam that Muslims and Hindus were not two nations but one. He declared Jinnah’s contention “as wholly” unreal and wrote:

I find no parallel in history for a body of converts and their descendants claiming to be a nation apart from the parent stock. If India was one nation before the advent of Islam, it must remain one in spite of faith of a very large body of her children.9

To this Jinnah’s reply was:

Muslims and Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test as a nation. By all the cannon of international law, Muslims are a nation.

In his presidential address at the Special Pakistan session of the Punjab Muslim Students Federation on 2nd March 1941, the Quaid said:

I think I am correctly stating that the Muslim League, by uniting Muslims under its banner… has raised the Muslims of India to have an honourable place in the affairs of this country. It has created amongst Muslims, rank and file, a spirit of discipline. It has given the Muslims the most wanted self-respect and self-reliance. It has given Muslim India a correct picture mirrored before you, a correct perspective of the grave issues which are affecting the Muslim nation today.

He further continued:

We are a nation. And a nation must have a territory. What is the use of merely saying that we are a nation? Nation does not live in the air. It lives on the land, it must govern land, and it must have territorial state and that is what you want to get.

The Quaid further explained:

The only solution for the Muslims of India which will stand the test of trial and time, is that India should be partitioned so that both the communities can develop freely and fully according to their own genius economically, socially, culturally. The struggle is for the fullest opportunities and for the expression of the Muslim national will. The vital contest in which we are engaged is not for the material gain but also the very existence of the life and death to the Mussalmans and is not for bargaining. Muslims have become fully conscious of this. If we lose in the struggle all is lost. Let our motto be as the Dutch proverb says:

Money is lost nothing is lost;
Courage is lost much is lost;
Honour is lost most is lost;
Soul is lost all is lost.10

For the Muslims of the subcontinent the demand for Pakistan was an expression of their deepest emotions for their political and cultural identity, whose roots were embedded in the State of Madina founded by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Khulafa-e-Rashideen. In this sense the Pakistan movement was based on the Islamic ideology. Pakistan thus was created as the first Islamic State after establishment of the state of Madina in 622 AD as an ideological state on the basis of Islam.

Before discussing in detail the ideology of Pakistan it is necessary to explain why Hindus and Muslims could not coalesce into one nation although they lived together for centuries. The answer to this question can be found in the Quaid’s speech at Aligarh, in 1944, wherein he remarked.

Pakistan started the moment the first non-Muslim was converted to Islam in India long before the Muslims established their rule. As soon as a Hindu embraced Islam he was outcast not only religiously but also socially, culturally and by Islam not to merge his identity and individuality in any alien society. Throughout the ages, Hindus had remained Hindus and Muslims had remained Muslims, and they had not merged their entities. That was the basis for Pakistan.11

Discussing the philosophical difference between Islam and Hindustan the Quaid-i-Azam declared at the All India Muslim League Lahore Session on 23rd March, 1940:

It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality, and this misconception of one Indian nation has gone far beyond the limits and is the cause of most of your troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, and literatures. They neither intermarry nor interdine together and, indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideasand conceptions. Their concepts on life and of life are different. It is quite clear the Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is foe of the other and, likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be built up for the government of such a state.12

Quaid-i-Azam was fully conscious that partition would leave minorities in both States, but in one Muslims would be dominant and in the other Hindus. He was aware that a considerable number of Muslims would be left in India, but there was no other way out. Those who would be left in India could not be helped even if all Muslims were left in India. Quaid-i-Azam at the All-India Muslim League session at Lahore on 23rd March.

1940 discussed this point further and said:

I may explain that the Musalmans, wherever they are in a minority cannot improve their position under a united India or under one Central government. Whatever happens, they would remain a minority. By coming in the way of the division of India they do not and cannot improve their position. On the other hand, they can, by their attitude of obstruction, bring the Muslim homeland and 6000000 of the Musalmans under one government, where they would remain no more a minority in perpetuity.13

During his interview on the 18th December 1943, the Quaid told Mr. Beverley Nicholas that Islam is not merely a religious doctrine but a realistic and practical code of conduct in terms of everything important in life, of our history, our heroes, our art, our architecture, our music, our laws, and our jurisprudence. In all these things our outlook is not only fundamentally different but often radically antagonistic to the Hindus. There is nothing in life which links us together. Our names, our clothes, our food, they are all different; our economic life, our educational ideas our treatment of women, our attitude of animals – we challenge each other at every point of the compass. Take one example, the eternal question of the cow, we eat the cow, the Hindus worship it.

In the light of historical facts it is clear that the Quaid’s concept of Pakistan was an ideal Islamic state with its socio-economic setup based on the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

Outlining the purpose of the creation of Pakistan the Quaid said in a speech to the officers of the Defence Services on 11th October 1947, that the establishment of Pakistan was only a means to an end and not an end in itself. The idea was that we should have a state in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principals of Islamic social justice could find free play.

In February 1948, at the Sibi Darbar the Quaid reiterated his 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.14

Discussing the aims and objects of creation of Pakistan, in a message to the Frontier Muslim Students Federation dated June 1945, the Quaid declared:

Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the Muslim ideology which has to be preserved which has come to us as precious gift treasure and which we hope others will share with us.15

In Pakistan as envisioned by the Quaid-i-Azam there was to be no room for capitalist economic system.

Similarly the Quaid-i-Azam could not accept the communistic ideology, economic theory and practice. While addressing the Punjab Muslim Students Federation at Lahore on 19th March 1944, the Quaid proclaimed:

I warn the communists to keep their hands off the Muslims… Islam is their guide and complete code for their life. They do not want any isms.16

The object of Islam is to establish a balanced economic order based on fundamental human rights in which no individual can exploit another.

Pakistan was demanded so that the poor and needy people could live an honourable life, free from exploitation. Quaid-i-Azam firmly believed in the well-being and economic prosperity of the masses. He had visited many villages and towns and had himself witnessed the miserable plight of the poor people. He felt the anguish of heart at their sufferings.

Addressing at the Delhi session of the All-India Muslim League on 24th April 1943, the Quaid declared:

Here I should like to give a warning to the landlords and capitalists who have flourished at our expense by a system which is so vicious, which is so wicked and which makes them so selfish, that it is difficult to reason with them. The exploitation of the masses has gone into their blood. They have forgotten the lesson of Islam. Greed and selfishness have made these people subordinate to the interests of others in order to fatten themselves. It is true we are not in power today. You go anywhere in the countryside. I visited some villages. There are millions and millions of our people who hardly get one meal a day. Is this civilization or the aim of Pakistan? (Cries of “No No”.) Do you visualize that millions have been exploited and cannot get one meal a day? If that is the idea of Pakistan, I would not have it. If they are wise they will have to adjust themselves to the new modern conditions of life. If they do not. God help them: we shall not help them, (Shouts of Hear, and applause).17

Talking to the Muslim League workers at Calcutta on March 1, 1946, the Quaid further elaborated:

I am an old man, God has given me enough to live comfortably at this age. Why would I turn my blood into water, run about and take so much trouble? Not for the capitalists surely, but for you, the poor people. In 1936, I have seen abject poverty of the people. Some of them did not get food, even once a day. I have not seen them recently, but my heart goes out for them. I feel it and, in Pakistan, we will do all in our power to see that everybody can get decent living.18

Discussing the economic system based on the Islamic concepts, the Quaid said:

The economic system of the West has created almost insolvable problems for humanity and to many of us it happens that only a miracle can save it from that is now facing the world. It has failed to do justice between man and man 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, inspite of its advantages 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 concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby by fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of happiness and prosperity of mankind.19

Speaking to groups of public officials on various occasions, the Quaid-i-Azam observed that the attainment of independence amounted to a revolutionary change that called for a new outlook and a new mentality.

The Quaid-i-Azam said that it had been customary for ministers and politicians to bring pressure to bear upon civil servants for obtaining advantages outside the law or even against it. Public officials must resist such pressure. They were not to be the partisans of any particular politician or party; they must do their duty honestly and fearlessly.

Addressing the gazetted officers of Chittagong on 25 March, 1948, the Quaid said:
I know we are saddled with old legacy, old mentality, old psychology and it haunts our footsteps, but it is up to you now to act as true servants of the people even at the risk of any minister or ministry trying to interfere with you in the discharge of your duties as civil servants.

In a broadcast to the people of the United States of America of February, 1948 the Quaid declared:

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 a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam… Islam and its idealism has taught us Democracy; it has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. We are inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan.20

Infact the Quaid’s concept of Pakistan was that it would be an Islamic Welfare State where no one would be exploited. Also in the Islamic Welfare State it is the duty of the state to see that there is no one without food and clothes and every individual is at least provided with basic necessities of life.

Unfortunately the present Pakistan does not resemble with the ideal Islamic Welfare State which the Quaid had envisioned and would have tried to exercise had he lived longer.

Notes and References
  1. Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan, Oxford University Press, Oxford, Preface, VII.
  2. Alberuni’s India, An Accurate Description of all Categories of Hindu Thought, ed. By Sachau, Dr Edward C. Vol I (S. Chand & Co. Delhi, 1964), p.17.
  3. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 179.
  4. Ibid., pp. 19-20.
  5. Altaf Hussain Hali, Hayat-I-Javid (Urdu), (Hijrah International Publishers, Lahore, 1984), p. 140, and Ashfaque Ali Khan, Two Nation Theory, (Royal Book Company Karachi, 1985), p. 179.
  6. Quoted in Times, Lahore, dated June, 1964, p.1.
  7. S Sharifuddin Pirzada, (ed) Foundations of Pakistan, Vol. II, p. 159; A.R. Tariq, Speeches an Statements of Iqbal, pp.11-12.
  8. Ibid., p. 169.
  9. Maulana Abud Kalam Azad, India Wins Freedom, Calucutta, 1959, p. 186.
  10. Jamiluddin Ahmad, (ed.), Speeches and Writings of Mr. Jinnah Vol. II, p.97 (Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Lahore, 19768, 7th edition).
  11. Ibid., Vol I, pp.246-7.
  12. Ibid., Vol. II,p. 2.
  13. Ibid., Vol. I, p.169.
  14. Jamiluddin Ahmad, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 445.
  15. Ibid., p. 175.
  16. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 124.
  17. Foundations of Pakistan, op. cit, Vol. II, pp. 424-5.
  18. Rizwan Ahmad. Sayings of Quaid-I-Azam, Karachi, 4th edition, 1980,p. 463.
  19. Jamiluddin Ahmad, op. cit., Vol II, p.567.
  20. Ibid., Vol II, p.463.

Source: M. Yakub Mughali, Pakistani Scholars on Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah

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