Showing posts with label Allama Iqbal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Allama Iqbal. Show all posts

23rd March 1940: What Our Youth Must Know About?

The Pakistani youth of today seem to be simply ignorant of the historical background of the creation of Pakistan. The reason is mostly to do with detest of theirs for Pakistan Studies while at schools. Based on my interaction with many of them, it is my considered opinion that there is a weakness and void out there amongst our youth vis- -vis history of Pakistan.

On this historic day of 23rd March 'also known as Pakistan Day' I therefore thought to write something for educating my youth on the significance of this day.

The youth of today must know that Pakistan owes her creation to four erstwhile outstanding Muslim leaders, namely: Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-98), Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar (1878-1931), Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948), and Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938). These leaders provided intellectual and political leadership to Indian Muslims during about ninety years (1858-1947) of the British imperial rule on the Sub-continent.

It is important for them to also know that in the beginning all of these aforementioned leaders were thorough-bred nationalists at one time or another. By being nationalist means they were the proponents of a united India. Now it should not come as a surprise for our young men and women to learn that over the passage of time our leaders got disillusioned with this concept of one united India. The reasons were many. It could have been either because of Hindu ethnocentrism in the late 19th century or Congress`s championing of unitary Hindu nationalism in the 1920s and 1930s.

Now let us focus our discussion exclusively on our great leader and founder of Pakistan 'Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah'. It is very important for the youths to understand the elements of the crest and the troughs in the political leanings and ideologies of Quaid-e-Azam over his long career from 1904 thru 1948. It is interesting to note here that for some seventeen years (1904-1920), he was pro-Congress, pleading the Congress cause and envisioning a truly nationalist destiny for India.

And, still for another sixteen years (1921-37), though he was practically out of Congress as he had joined All India Muslim League in 1920, he was still working for a nationalist destiny. During this period, he was still striving for a Hindu-Muslim settlement and he was still collaborating with the Congress and its leadership for the same. It is also very well known that in pursuit of his mission of Hindu-Muslim unity, he had devised several constitutional formulae, but all to no avail. It is also pertinent to mention here that till early 1937, Quaid-e-Azam was still in his "nationalist" self; preaching his credo eloquently and trying miserably to unite Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. For this he was widely known as the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity.

What Allama Dr. Mohammad Iqbal was for Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah?

Statements of Quaid-e-Azam about Allama Iqbal

Message of condolence on the death of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, Calcutta, April 21, 1938
The Star of India, April 22, 1938

Mr. M. A. Jinnah issued the following condolence message on the death of Allama Iqbal:

I am extremely sorry to hear the sad news of the death of Sir Muhammad Iqbal. He was a remarkable poet of world wide fame and his work will live for ever. His services to his country and the Muslims are so numerous that his record can be compared with that of the greatest Indian that ever lived. He was an ex-President of the All-India Muslim League and a President of the Provincial Muslim League of the Punjab till the very recent time when his unforeseen illness compelled him to resign. But he was the staunchest and the most loyal champion of the policy and programme of the All-India Muslim League.

To me he was a friend, guide and philosopher and during the darkest moments through which the Muslim League had to go, he stood like a rock and never flinched one single moment and as a result just only three days ago he must have read of been informed of the complete unity that was achieved in Calcutta of the Muslim leaders of the Punjab and today I can say with pride that the Muslims of Punjab are wholeheartedly with the League and have come under the flag of the All-India Muslim League, which must have been a matter of greatest satisfaction to him. In the achievement of this unity Sir Muhammad Iqbal played a most signal part. My sincerest and deepest sympathy go out to his family at this moment in their bereavement in losing him, and it is a terrible loss to India and the Muslims particularly at this juncture.

Still Heroes

Bronze statues of Quaid-e-Azam, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Allama Iqbal put on display at the Science and Technology Expo-2007 held at National Memorial Museum in Shakarparian in Islamabad.

Jinnah was not Secular

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah In the wake of frequent cultural and political exchanges between the two countries the supporters of secular Pakistan have increased their propaganda, have geared up their efforts and have created some forums to spread this notion. All those who subscribe to the secularistic view are bending backward to prove the Quaid as secular. They base their arguments on 11 August 1947 speech of the Quaid which he delivered in the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.

They quote this speech in support of their view but are guilty of misinterpreting the same. According to their perception and perhaps according to the agenda given to them, ‘they do not quote any other speech and are thus again guilty of omission and commission. Unfortunately, since its very inception, Pakistan is faced with a cultural invasion particularly from its Eastern neighbour and undoubtedly, this invasion has influenced some people and a feeling is growing that the nation’s commitment to its Islamic ideals set by our elders is getting diluted thereby eroding our ideology.

Jinnah and Islam

by Abdul Qayyum


One of the criticisms sometimes made of Jinnah (by Louis Fisher, for example) is that Jinnah was not a religious man. In this selection, Abdul Qayyum demonstrates how the problem of Jinnah’s alleged lack of interest in religion is handled in Pakistan. We are given a brief discussion of the characteristic of the Islamic reform movement led by Sayed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) and Muhammad Iqbal (1873-1938), which helped to create some degree of consensus among “modernized” Muslims as to the significance of Islamic values for twentieth-century problems. Qayyum sees Jinnah as representatives of those who followed the reforms of Sayed Ahmad Khan and Muhammad Iqbal.


Sir Syed Ahmad Khan In 1875, Sayed Ahmad founded the Muhammadan Educational Conference, and remained the moving spirit behind it until his death. Even at the age of seventy-eight he would enthusiastically sit for six hours a day at the annual session of the Conference at Shahjahanpur, guiding its deliberations as secretary. The conference held its annual session in different parts of the country and aroused enthusiasm among the Muslim masses for western education and social reforms.


Sayed Ahmad’s efforts showed promise of success when, nearly six months after his retirement from service, Lord Lytton, Viceroy of India, performed the opening ceremony of the Muslim Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh, on 8th January 1877. The M.A.O. College, which later grew into the famous Muslim University of Aligarh, imparted, through English as the medium of instruction, knowledge of western arts and sciences, together with instructions on Islamic thought and philosophy.


Sayed Ahmad filled the big void created in the life of the Muslim community by the disappearance of the Muslim rule. But he did more. His long life, spanning almost a century, bridged the gulf between the Medieval and the Modern Islam in India. Himself, a relic of the palmy days of the Great Mughals, he ushered in a new era. He gave the Indian Muslims a new prose, a new approach to their individual and national problems, and built up an organization which could carry on his work. Before this there was all disintegration and decay. He rallied together the Indian Muslims, and became the first prophet of their new nationhood.




Dr. Allama Mohammad Iqbal Born at Sialkot, Dr. Sir Mohammad Iqbal (1873 – 1938) received his early education under Shams-ul-Ulema Mir Hasan, whose memory has been enshrined by the poet in beautiful verse. For higher education, Iqbal moved to Lahore in 1895, and after taking his M.A. Degree, joined the local Government College as Lecturer. In Lahore, he came under the influence of Sir Thomas Arnold, who had left Aligarh and had joined Government College, Lahore, as Professor of Philosophy. On Sir Thomas advice, Iqbal proceeded to Europe for higher studies in 1905.


For the next three years, Iqbal’s thought developed in the libraries of Cambridge, London and Munich. He studied philosophy at Cambridge, took his doctorate degree on the Development of Persian Metaphysics from Munich, and was called to the Bar in London. He studied the old masters of the East and the West, discussed philosophy and metaphysics with the renowned Dr. McTaggart, and conversed on literature and Islamics with Professors Nicholson and Browne.




It was Iqbal who was destined to play the historical role in the reconstruction of Islamic thought; he brought to bear upon Islamic institutions, which he respected no less than any Muslim of this time, a searching analysis of their fundamentals; he reinterpreted Islam as a dynamic rather than a static religion, and liberal rather than a reactionary force. In fact, in Iqbal’s view, Islam would cease to be Islam if its fundamentals were not living enough to allow a continuous process of fresh experiments and new adjustments to changes in society. It was the dynamic view of Islam that best fitted Iqbal for a happy synthesis of the East and the West in him.


The vision of a “new world” for the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent was projected by Iqbal when he acclaimed that the future of Muslims, with their distinct cultural and spiritual urges, lay in separate homeland. Presiding over the 1930 session of the Muslim League at Allahabad, he declared that he would “like to see the Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan, amalgamated into a single State….”


Iqbal was the first to see the vision of Pakistan. The role he played in promoting that intellectual revolution among the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, which heralded the emergence of Muslims as a separate political force, conscious of their national destiny, decidedly constituted his most valuable contribution of the Muslim cause.


Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah said about him: “To me Iqbal was friend, guide and philosopher, and during the darkest moments throughout which the Muslim League had to go, stood like a rock and never flinched for one single moment….Iqbal was the bugler of Muslim thought and culture. He was the singer of the finest poetry represents the true aspirations of the Muslims. It will remain an inspiration for us and for generations after us.”


Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) personified the liberal spirit of Islam released by Sayed Ahmad Khan and Amir Ali, as well as the dynamic philosophy of Iqbal with its emphasis on relentless action. His able leadership of their struggle for freedom, culminating in the creation of Pakistan as an independent State, brought unprecedented hope and vitality to the Muslims of the sub-continent, producing in its wake a whole cultural renaissance and youthful idealism.


Jinnah’s pre-occupation with political issues left him little time to devote himself to writing; but his speeches and sayings have been compiled by his admirers into a series of volumes, and they are all permeated with a liberal outlook.


Like Iqbal, Jinnah believed in Islam as a dynamic religion. “The discipline of the Ramzan fast and prayers will culminate today in an immortal meekness of the heart before God, “he said in a broadcast speech on Eid day, “but it shall not be the meekness of a week heart, and they who would think so are doing wrong both to God and to the Prophet, for it is the outstanding paradox of all religions that the humble shall be the strong, and it is of particular significance in the case of Islam; for Islam, as you all know, really means action. This discipline of Ramzan was designed by our Prophet to give us the necessary strength for action….”


Religion for Jinnah implied not duty to God, but to Mankind. “Man has indeed been called God’s caliph in the Quran, and if that description of man is to be of any significance, it imposes upon us a duty to follow Quran, to behave towards others as God behaves towards his mankind, in the widest sense of word, his duty is to love and to forebear. And this, believe me, is not a negative duty but a positive one. If we have any faith and love for tolerance towards God’s children, to whatever community they belong, we much act upon that faith in the daily round of our simple duties and unobtrusive pieties. It is a great ideal and it will demand effort and sacrifice. Not seldom will your minds be assailed by doubts. There will be conflicts not only material, which you perhaps will be able to resolve with courage, but spiritual also. We shall have to face them; and if today, when our hearts are humble we do not imbibe that higher courage to do so, we never shall.”


Whenever Jinnah got an opportunity to speak on religion, he advocated a rational approach. “In the pursuit of truth and the cultivation of beliefs,” he said, “we should be guided by our rational interpretation of the Quran, and if our devotion to truth is single-minded, we shall, in our own measure, achieve our goal. In the translation of this truth into practice, however, we shall be content with so much, as so much only, as we can achieve without encroaching on the rights of others, while at the same time nor ceasing our efforts always to achieve more. “In another context, he remarked: “The test of greatness is not the culture of stone and pillar and pomp but the culture of humanity, the culture of equality….and only a man who is dead to all the finer instincts of humility and civilization can call a religion based on determination and exploitation a heritage.”


Jinnah was outspoken in his condemnation of reactionary elements which generated retrograde tendencies in religion. Dealing with the contribution of the Pakistan movement to our national life, he said: “We have to a great extent to free our people from the most undesirable reactionary elements. We have in no small degree removed the unwholesome influence and fear of a certain section that used to pass off as Maulana and Maulvis. We have made efforts to make our women with us in our struggle….


He championed the cause of womanhood, advocating for women an equal share with men in social and national life. “In the great task of building the nation and maintaining its solidarity, women have a most valuable part to play. They are the prime architects of the character of the youth who constitute the backbone of the State. I know that in the long struggle for the achievement of Pakistan, Muslim women have stood solidly behind their men. In the bigger struggle for the building up of Pakistan that now lies ahead let it not be said that the women of Pakistan had lagged behind or failed in their duty.”


The liberalism of Jinnah freed the minds of the Indo-Pakistan Muslims, turning their intellectual activities towards tackling traditional Islamic ideas and ideals in terms of modern standards and requirements. Thus the final phase of the intellectual movement among the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent that was ushered in by Iqbal, began to be re-enforced by Muslim thinkers under the inspiring leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. With the growing strength of Pakistan that phase is gathering momentum and spreading in every widening concentric circles, permeated with the spirit of both the Seer and the Leader.


Source:  From Abdul Qayym, "Jinnah and Islam", in The Cultural Heritage of Pakistan, eds. S.M. Ikram and P. Spear (Karachi, 1955), pp. 186, 188, 192-193, 201-204. Copyright © 1955 by the Department of films and Publications, Government of Pakistan. Reprinted by permission of Oxford University Press for the Department of Films and Publications, Government of Pakistan.

Allama Iqbal’s Presidential Address at Allahabad 1930

Allama Mohammad Iqbal,famous poet and philosopher, gave a monumental presidental address at Allahabad on 29th of december 1930 when most of the Muslim leaders were busy in London at Round Table conference.

He stated:

“I would like to see the Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Balochistan amalgamated into a single State. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-Western Indian Muslim State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims at least of north-west India.”

“We are 70 million, and far more homogenous than any other people in India. Indeed, the Muslims of India are the only Indian people who can fitly be described as a nation in the modern sense of the word.”

He also stressed that “…the model of British democracy cannot be of any use in a land of many nations.”

The message that he gave through his poetry was that the Muslims should try to revive their past glory and strive as a nation to attain independence. Iqbal was a great friend and supporter of Mohammed Ali Jinnah because he saw in him those very qualities that were needed by the Muslims at the time to lead them to independence. The Quaid was also a great admirer of Allama Iqbal and said about him when he died on the 21th of April 1938 that:

‘He was undoubtedly one of the greatest poets, philosophers and seers of humanity of all times…to me he was a personal friend, philosopher and guide and as such the main source of my inspiration and spiritual support.’

Round Table Conferences (1930-33)

Lord Irwin took over as Viceroy in the beginning of April 1926. His efforts towards the prosperity of India were sincere. It was his integrity and earnestness because of which the Quaid soon developed a strong bond of friendship and respect with him. Lord Irwin made a monumental declaration on the 31st of October 1929, after returning from England from a four-month visit. His declaration made two major points. Firstly, that it was implicit in the declaration of 1917 that the natural issue of India’s constitutional progress, as there contemplated, was the attainment of Dominion Status.

And secondly in response to the Indians outrage over the Simon Commission, he said that the representatives of different parties would discuss any further reforms that would be introduced in the subcontinent in the Round Table conferences.

The Quaid was satisfied by the declaration made by Lord Irwin but Jawaharlal Nehru in his presidential address on the 31st of October 1929 was not as convinced. He said that he appreciated the Viceroy’s good intention but did not trust the British, as they were wary of them. Gandhi passed a resolution stating that he did not expect anything constructive to be achieved by the Round Table conferences; the Congress would therefore boycott them. The All-India Congress Committee also decided to launch a civil-disobedience movement under the leadership of Gandhi.

The King inaugurated the first Round Table conference in the Royal Gallery of the House of Lords on the 12th of November 1930. The total number of members attending this conference was eighty-nine, which included sixteen representatives of the three political parties of Britain and sixteen from the Princely States of India. The remaining fifty-seven were from the political parties of India. The conference was attended by prominent Muslim leaders like Jinnah, Shafi, Aga Khan and Muhammad Ali along with Hindu liberals such as Sastri, Sapru and Jayakar.The Sikhs, the depressed classes, the Anglo-Indians and the Christians were all represented. All except the Congress were present, but the absence of the Congress representatives created a major obstacle in the way of any substantial progress that could have been made by the conference, as it was the largest and most active party operating in the sub-continent.

The Quaid persuaded Lord Irwin to attend the conference but he was unable to do so due to his hectic schedule in India. It was confirmed in the conference that the system of government in the Center would be federal. However, the demand of the Indians to give India Dominion status as soon as possible got a somewhat luke-warm response from the British.

Ramsay MacDonald, the Prime Minister of Britain in his concluding statement said:

‘It is the duty of the communities to come to an agreement’

And also,

‘Those engaged at present in civil disobedience’ should also try and cooperate with the government. Jinnah complained about the delay being made in giving India self-rule to which the British responded saying that all the parties in India must be consulted, implying the Congress, which was not present. Jinnah was exasperated by this and said that as far as this issue was concerned the Congress was in agreement with all the other parties of India. He said:

‘Seventy million of Muslims-all, barring a few individuals here and there- have kept aloof from the non-cooperation movement. Thirty-five or forty millions of depressed classes have set their face against the non-cooperation movement. Sikhs and Christians have not joined it. Do you want every one of the parties who have still maintained that their proper place is to go to this Conference, and across the table to negotiate and come to a settlement which will satisfy the aspirations of India, to go back and join the rest?’

Before the second Round Table conference, Lord Irwin released Gandhi unconditionally from prison. Gandhi had been arrested in connection with his non-cooperation movement. Gandhi and Irwin held talks and reached the Gandhi-Irwin Agreement on the 5th of March 1931.In, which it was, decided that the civil disobedience movement would be ended, and the Congress would attend the second round Table Conference. Gandhi was chosen to represent the Congress in the Conference. The Quaid maintained that without resolving the Hindu-Muslim issue, there was nothing to be achieved by the second Round Table Conference. Lord Willingdon meanwhile succeeded Lord Irwin as the Viceroy. Gandhi claimed at the Conference that the Congress was the only party really representing the whole of India and power over India should be handed over to it. He said that the Congress would solve the minority issue after sovereignty was handed over to it. The Second Round Table Conference was productive for the Muslims for two reasons. Firstly because it was decided that Sind would be separated from Bombay if it could sustain itself financially and secondly, the NWFP was made a Governor’s Province.

The third Round Table Conference had no substantial results. The Quaid and Allama Iqbal were not invited to it. The Congress and most of the Princely States did not participate in it either. Only forty-six delegates attended this Conference.

Gandhi and Jinnah - a study in contrasts

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