Showing posts with label Muslims. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Muslims. Show all posts

Quaid-e-Azam, Islam, and Pakistan!!

It is said that truth is stranger than fiction. Quaid-e-Azam’s life is a case in point.

Quaid-e-Azam and Fatima Jinnah
What kind of reaction would be expected from an “educated” Pakistani, if one were to ask him or her: Do you think Quaid-e-Azam was inspired by the Quran or the Prophet (PBUH) in his struggle for Pakistan? The most likely reaction will be: Quran and Quaid-e-Azam? – Are you serious? And our Prophet (PBUH) and Quaid-e-Azam? – Are you kidding? Quaid-e-Azam was more like a British and a product of their culture. How could he be inspired by the Quran or the Prophet (PBUH)? Yes, he fought for Pakistan. But his motives were political and economic, not Islamic. He wanted to improve the economic condition of Muslims who were dominated by the Hindus. He was not a good Muslim himself but he used Islam very effectively as a slogan to make a case for a separate homeland for Muslims. He proved to be a great leader. And to accomplish his goals he employed his highly skilled legal mind as a weapon in his fight with the Hindus and the British, which earned him a place in history. He had nothing to do with Islam as such. He wanted Pakistan to be a secular state, not an Islamic state.

Believe it or not, these will be the kinds of reaction one would normally get in the streets, mosques, government and business offices in Pakistan.

But why did Quaid-e-Azam still insist on having Pakistan even though Gandhi offered him the leadership of undivided India? If Islam was not an issue in his mind and if he wanted Pakistan to be a secular state, then couldn’t he have used the enormous power as the leader of the largest secular state in the world to his advantage rather than settle for a moth-eaten tiny secular state for Muslims? That would have earned him: the respect of Hindus, the blessing of Gandhi, and high accolades of the British; plus it would have given him unimaginable world popularity. Any other leader seeking fame, fortune, glory, and power would have been only too happy to accept Gandhi’s offer. However, Quiad-e-Azam didn’t. Why did Quid-e-Azam not accept Gandhi’s offer? The answer requires a deeper understanding (than the above “street” responses) of the real motive and the spirit behind Quaid-e-Azam’s struggle for Pakistan.

Quaid-e-Azam and Democracy

  • Democracy is in the blood of Muslamans who look upon complete equality of man. I give you an example. Very often when I go to a mosque, my chauffeur stands side by side with me. Muslamans believe in fraternity, equality and liberty. (Speech at Kingsway Hall, London. 14.12.1946) 

  • There are no people in the world who are more democratic even in their religion than the Muslamans. (All India Muslim League Session, Lucknow, 1916)

  • 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 (Peace Be Upon Him). Let us lay the foundation of our democracy on the basis of the 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. (Sibi, 14.02.1948)

Jinnah & Hindu - Muslim Unity

The founding of Pakistan by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah so greatly dominates his political life and career that his other roles are bound to be ignored. One important role which Jinnah played in the politics of India was for the achievement of unity between the Hindus and Muslims by bringing about some understanding between the Indian National Congress and the All India Muslim League. In fact, for more than two decades Jinnah was known more for this role than for any other. It will be recalled that Gopal Krishna Gokhale expressed the view that Jinnah “has true stuff in him and that freedom from all sectarian prejudice which will make him the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity.”1 Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, who compiled Jinnah’s speeches and writings in 1918 gave the volume the sub-title An Ambassador of Unity and wrote that Jinnah stood “approved and confirmed by his countrymen not merely as an ambassador, but as an embodied symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity.”2 Similarly, Jawahar Lal Nehru, who strongly differed from Jinnah on several political issues, wrote in 1936 that Jinnah had been “largely responsible in the past for bringing the Moslem League nearer to the Congress.”3 The fact is that Jinnah continued to work for unity between the Hindus and Muslims until he was convinced early in 1940 that the Hindu leaders were not at all prepared for any kind of understanding. The purpose of this paper is to discuss this aspect of Jinnah’s political life.

Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah: A Guardian of Minorities

 Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with representatives of minorities

The role of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the annals of Indo-Pakistan has variously been interpreted implying a variety of perspectives which have earned him a good deal of prestigious titles like the Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, as a strategist, etc. A survey of literature, however, reveals that Jinnah’s vision regarding minority rights and his struggle and strategies to safeguard their interests perhaps is the most ignored perspective. Jinnah’s vision about minority’s place in the institutional frame of the Imperial Government in British India and later in the Sovereign State of Pakistan rather becomes more important in the context of growing discontent among religious minorities of Pakistan.1 This situation has earned a scientific inquiry of Jinnah’s vision in this regard since his whole political career seems to be a struggle for minority rights, especially the Muslims.

The Muslim community in the Indian subcontinent during the colonial era constituted the largest minority. About 25% of the total population, the Muslim community, had spread throughout the country. However, their population was distributed as such that they formed majority in five provinces, whereas the Hindus commanded clear majority in seven out of twelve provinces.2 The Muslims being a religious and political minority had distinct interests, which were not shared by the dominant community of the Hindus. Thus, it had necessitated additional constitutional and legal protection of the Muslims against the Hindus.

The first set of demands of the Muslim community for its constitutional and legal safeguards was manifested in the Simla Deputation of 1906. The address presented by them before the Governor General of India stated explicit terms: it cannot be denied that we Mohammadans are a distinct community with additional interests of our own which are not shared by other communities, and these have hitherto suffered from the fact that they have not been adequately represented…they have often been treated as though they were inappreciably small political factors…..3

Rajgopalacharya has no mind

C Rajgopalacharya with the Quaid-e-Azam

In the course of his statement on the Pakistan Resolution Mr. Rajgopalacharya said “Indeed not even Tipu Sultan or Hyder Ali or Aurangzeb or Akbar, all of whom lived during the days when difference seemed more deep rooted than now, imagined that India was anything but one and indivisible.”

On his Quaid-i-Azam observed: “Yes, naturally they did so as conquerors and paternal rulers. Is this the kind of government Mr. Rajagopalachrya does still envisage? And did the Hindus of those days willingly accept the rule of these ‘great men?’ I may or may not be suffering from a diseased mentality, but the statement of Mr. Rajagopalcharya and his criticism of the Lahore Resolution indicate that in him there is no mind left at all.”

Jinnah's Vision of Pakistan

By Sharif al Mujahid

For some years now, Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah's vision of Pakistan has been a source of controversy and conflict. Much of this has however tried to cut Jinnah to fit a predetermined image. A close look at Jinnah's long and chequered public life, encompassing some forty-four years (1904-48), helps determine the core values he was committed to throughout his political career.

This paper examines how Jinnah’s politics evolved through main phases, which, though distinct, yet merged into the next, without sudden shifts. It analyses how his liberalism underwent an apparent paradigmatic shift from 1937 onwards, and led to him advocating the charismatic goal of Pakistan, and to elucidate it primarily in Islamic terms. Finally, the Islamic strain in his post independence pronouncements and his 11 August 1947 address is discussed, and an attempt made to reconcile it with his other pronouncements.

Jinnah as Liberal

In the first phase of his public life (1904-20) three main influences shaped Jinnah's personality and politics:
  • Nineteenth century British liberalism, first absorbed during his four-years' (1892-96) stay in England as a student of law,
  • The cosmopolitan atmosphere and mercantile background of metropolitan Bombay where he had established himself as an extremely successful barrister since the turn of the century, and
  • His close professional and personal contact with the Parsis, who, though only a tiny community provided an example of how initiative, enterprise and hard work could overcome numerical inferiority, racial prejudice and communal barriers.
These formative influences seem to have prompted Jinnah to join the Indian National Congress. Fashioned after liberal principles and cast in their mould, the Congress was at that time pledged to take India on the road to self-government through constitutional means. Soon enough, he rose high in its echelons, high enough to be its 'spokesman' for its representation to the Secretary of State on the reform of the India Council in May 1914. Jinnah believed in moderation, gradualism, ordered progress, evolutionary politics, democratic norms, and above all, in constitutionalism. When the Congress sought to abandon these liberal principles in 1920 and opted for revolution and extra constitutional methods, he walked out of the Congress for good.

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.

Quaid-e-Azam meeting the Viceroy Lord Wavell in 1946

Quaid-e-Azam meeting the Viceroy Lord Wavell in 1946

Quaid-e-Azam arriving to inaugurate the State Bank of Pakistan: July 1, 1948

Quaid-e-Azam arriving to inaugurate the State Bank of Pakistan

Quaid-e-Azam listening to Law Minister Joginder Nath Mandal

Quaid-e-Azam listening to Law Minister Joginder Nath Mandal

Quaid-e-Azam's rare uninhibited laughter

Quaid-e-Azam's rare uninhibited laughter

Quaid-e-Azam with the Khan of Kalat

Quaid-e-Azam  with the Khan of Kalat

Quaid-e-Azam with A K Fazlul Haq

Quaid-e-Azam  with A K Fazlul Haq

A K Fazlul Haq popularly known as the lion of Bengal, Haq proposed the Pakistan Resolution on 23 March 1940

Quaid-e-Azam with the Editorial Staff of DAWN

Quaid-e-Azam with the Editorial Staff of Dawn

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: A Great Protagonist of Islamic System of Government

by Prof. Sher Muhammad Garewal


Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) was one of the most striking fascinating and remarkable personalities of modern world history. Possessed of excellent qualities of pen, mind and heart, he played a very significant role in changing the course of history and destinies of men in South Asia, having immense impact on the world history which scholars and historians have not yet full realised. The American writer Stanley Wolpert’s most quoted remarks1 do not fully convey the real significance of the Quaid’s role in modern history. The fact is that the Quaid’s role was more significant than that has been described by Wolpert. He did not only create a nation state on the basis of Muslim separatism in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, he also struggled hard to build it on strong footings as is evident from his dynamic role as the first Governor-General of Pakistan. Despite his rapidly declining health he assiduously worked and endeavoured his best for introducing basic reforms and giving guide-lines in each sector of Pakistan’s polity and society.2


The Quaid, in fact, was very optimistic about the brilliant future of Pakistan. He did want to make Pakistan an exemplary Islamic welfare state. He did stand for introducing Islamic system of government in Pakistan. But it is matter of great regret that some Pakistani scholars and critics still maintain that the Quaid was least concerned with the Islamic system of government. Instead, he stood, in their opinion, for a secular system of government in Pakistan. For example late Justice Muhammad Munir, while writing his book on Pakistan toward the end of 1970’s asserted that “there can be no doubt that Jinnah was a secularist”3 and “The pattern of government which the Quaid had in mind was a secular democratic government.”4 Similarly, Rahat Saadul Kairi, while writing his book on Quaid-i-Azam in the mid ninties also claimed that Jinnah never wanted to make Pakistan an Islamic state.5 “His idea of Pakistan” says he “was of a modern, liberal, secular and democratic state.”6 This is fundamentally a wrong conception. This is rather an attempt to besmear and tarnish the Quaid’s fair image by distorting facts.


The assertions made by M. Munir and S.R. Khari are merely based on speculations and not on solid grounds. The Quaid’s speeches and statements given in support of these assertions have been generally misconstrued. Particular the Quaid’s well-known speech in the newly established Pakistan Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947 on which these critics mainly base their arguments,7 has been absolutely misinterpreted by them. The speech in question was a policy statement, emphasising some basic issues faced by the newly born state of Pakistan. The Quaid made the Constituent Assembly to realise its new position, status and responsibilities. Secondly, he laid emphasis on the eradiction of social evils such as bribery and corruption, jobbery and nepotism, hoarding and black-marketing then prevailing in the country. Thirdly, he put stress on forging equality, fraternity and unity among all sections of Pakistani society, by ending all racial and religious differences, without which Pakistan’s progress was not possible.8


A careful and deep study of this speech shows that the Quaid was not propounding any sort of secularism by advising particularly the religious sections of the people to bury their past in order to live together peacefully as good citizens of the newly-born state of Pakistan.


In fact, the situation in which the speech was made must be borne in mind. No doubt, Pakistan had been established. But the anti-Pakistan forces were fully at work to destroy it at the shage of its very inception. The communal feelings were tense, emotions ran high, resulting in horrible communal riots and massacres at a very large scale. The most parts of the subcontinent were in the grip of civil war. The Muslim villages, mohallas, towns and cities were burning: the people were passing through rivers of blood and fire. The Sikh, Hindu and British Neroes were rejoicing.9


In the midst of such grave and horrendous circumstances the Quaid’s speech was definitely a message of hope and peace. Its contents and tenor clearly indicate that it was mostly meant to cool down the exasperated communal feelings on both sides of the border, which was certainly statesman-like performance on the part of the Quaid.10 He was not discarding the two nation theory by saying that “the Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims.” These remarks did not mean that both the Hindus and the Muslims would lose their separate identities. Simply both were urged upon to work together for Pakistan as its equal citizens. If these remarks meant otherwise even then it makes no differences as the marks seem purely of a temporary nature and were never repeated by the Quaid in his subsequent speeches and statements. Likewise, the Quaid was not negating any ideological basis of Pakistan by saying: “If you (Hindus and Muslims etc.) will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed; is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.”11 Again, the Quaid was not deviating from any basic principle of Islamic ideology while assuring religious freedom to all Pakistanis, remarking: “You are free. You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan.”12


The fact is that speaking in such terms, the Quaid was not violating any tradition or norm or principle of Islam. He was actually acting according to the injunctions of the Holy Quran.


The Holy Quran is not in favour of using force in converting peoples to Islam. It categorically says, “There is no compulsion in Islam.”13 The Holy Quran has equal consideration for the places of worship of the peoples of different faiths. In the course of discourse, it clearly remarks: “For had it not been for Allah’s repelling some men by means of other, cloisters and churches and oratories and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft mentioned would assuredly have been pulled down. Verilly Allah helpeth one who helpth Him.”14 Granting freedom of worship to the peoples of different faiths in Pakistan, the Quaid, in fact, was serving the purpose of the Holy Quran.


Besides, the Quaid was following in letter and spirit the Hoy Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) commands such as “Beware! Whosoever is cruel and hard on such people (i.e. contractees) or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can endure, or realises any thing from them against their free will. I shall myself be a complainant against him on the day of judgement.”15


Further more, the Quaid was really following the principle and traditions set up through treaties by the Holy Prophet and the Pious Caliphs regarding the equal treatment with the non-Muslims. Some relevant lines particularly of the famous treaty made by Hazrat Umar (15 A.H.) with the non-Muslims of Jerusalem may be noted here:


The protection is for their lives and properties, their churches and crosses, their sick and healthy and for all their co-religionists. Their churches shall not be used for habitation, nor shall they be demolished, nor shall any injury be done to them or to their compounds, or to their crosses, nor shall their properties be injured in anyway. There shall be no compulsion on them in the matter of religion, or shall any of them suffer any injury on account of religion.16


The non-Muslims really enjoyed equal rights and status with Muslims in the Islamic state. Their lives, properties and places of worship were considered as sacred as those of the Muslims.17 And the Quaid was fully aware of the spirit of all these and such other Islamic teachings, principles and traditions: he could not be expected to injure the feelings of the non-Muslims in his very inaugural speech. Of course, as a just and benevolent ruler and founder of a new nation, he spoke and spoke masterly using the idiom and expression of civilized founders of dynasties or nations or empires in history.


Like his inaugural speech in the Constituent Assembly, some of his interviews with foreign correspondents, broadcast talks to the world nations and official address in the formal meeting occasionally arranged by certain foreign embassies have also been misunderstood and mis-interpreted. No doubt, in such interviews, talks and addresses, the Quad had to speak but delicately, formally and diplomatically, even some time admiring some foreign system of government.


For example replying to the speech of the first ambassador of the Republic of France to Pakistan on April 9, 1948, the Quaid formally remarked, “In common with other nations, we in Pakistan have admired the high principles of democracy that form the basis of your great State.”18 But this and such other formal and diplomatic statements do not present him as a “secularist” or as a supporter of the establishment of any Western system of government in Pakistan. The Quaid preferred Islamic democracy to Western democracy, as is evident from his pronouncement. Addressing some naval officials at Malir on February 21, 1948, he observed:


You have fought many a battle on the far-flung battlefields 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 manhood in your own native soil.19


Anyhow, before going further, we must understand these questions. What is a secularist? What is secularism? What is western or modern democracy, after all?


In the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, a secularist has been described as “an adherent of secularism”20 while about secularism the same dictionary records, “The doctorine that morality should be based solely on regard to well-being of mankind in the present life, to the exclusion of all considerations drawn from belief in God or in future state.”21 It means that a secularist is a person who does not believe in God and the world hereafter. Commonly such a person is called atheist.


The fact is that the Quaid was not a secularist. On the contrary, he was a staunch Muslim, a great believer in God, a true lover of the Holy Propher (peace be upon him), an enthusiastic supporter and exponent of Shariat laws as is evident from his whole historic background.


We know it well that he joined Lincoln’s Inn because there, on the main entrance, the name of the Prophet was included in the list of the great Law-givers of the world.”22 He spoke of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), as a great statesman and a great sovereign.23 “His appreciation of the Prophet” (peace be upon him) writer Hector Bolitho, “was realistic perhaps his political conscience, as a Muslim, had already begun to stir, while he was in England.”24 So much so that at a very early stage he had started his public career by attending the meetings of Anjum-i-Islam of Bombay which definitely stood for the promotion and protection of Muslim rights.25 And later on as a lawyer and legislator, he took great interest in safeguarding and promoting the Sharia laws. His role in piloting the well-known “Mussalman Wakf Validating Bill” on March 17, 1911, in the Imperial Legislative Council, and then constantly and single-handedly working for its ultimate enactment in March, 1913, was really one of the most glaring achievements in the very beginning of Quaid’s public career.26 Similarly in the subsequent years he continued to serve the cause of Islam.27 The Quaid, in fact believed in oneness of God, Prophet and Muslim millat. He repeatedly expressed it in the course of his speeches and statements. On one occasion he said: “We Mussalmans believe in one God, one Book – the Holy Quran – and one Prophet. So we must stand united as one Nation.”28 Likewise on another occasions he spoke thus, “It is the Great Book, Quran that is the sheet-anchor of Muslim India. I am sure that as we get on and on there will be more and more oneness – One God, one Book, one Prophet, and one Nation.”29 The fact is that the Quaid was a great admirer of Islam, its tenets as well as its government system while on the contrary, he was a great critic particularly of the Western parliamentary system of government.


But what is the spirit and meaning of the Western democracy? Theoretically, the Western democracy has been generally considered as the government of the people by the people for the people. But in words of the Quaid western democracy did not exist anywhere in the world in the strict sense of the word.”30 On the contrary, it widespread use and application to every sort of government and institution has confused its initial spirit and meanings. No wonder if the western intellectualism has failed to properly define the term modern democracy. “Discussion about democracy”, records the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, are intellectually worthless because we do not know what we are talking about.”31 Hence democracy, the same source records” is harder to pin down.”32 Even the British parliamentarian of the calibre of Winston Churchill (1875 – 1965) bitterly criticised democracy. He remarks, “Democracy is the worst possible form of government except all others that have been tried.” 33


Whatever the case may be, the Quaid was a great critic of western democracy, even though he himself worked under this system in undivided India. He often criticised it in the course of his speeches in the Legislative Assembly debates.34 He bitterly spoke against it during the proceedings of the Round Table Conferences (1930-32).35 Besides, in his well known article on “The Constitutional Maladies in India” published in the Time and Tide (London) in January 1940 he strongly criticised the ills of the western democracy and rightly considered it as most unsuitable to united India.36 Speaking in a meeting of the Muslim University Union Aligarh, on March 10, 1941, he observed,“ I have asserted on numerous occasions that democratic parliamentary system of government they have in England and other western countries is entirely unsuited to India.”37 Because western democracy means majority rule and in undivided India it meant a Hindu rule as the Hindus were in a perpetual majority which was surely not in the interest of the Muslims who were in a perpetual minority. Speaking on the occasion of the historic session of All-India Muslim League held at Lahore in March, 1940, when the Lahore resolution was passed, the Quaid “exposed the barren and absolutist character of democracy which the Congress High Command wished to impose on the whole of India. This, in his opinion, would “only mean Hindu Raj” and “the complete destruction of what is most precious of Islam.”38


Not to speak of the Quaid, no sensible Muslim leader could favour the introduction or application of any western system of democracy in India. Otherwise, it would have been a complete negation of Muslim separatism on the basis of which a separate, independent and sovereign Muslim state was demanded.


The Quaid wanted to establish a free Muslim state in order “to develop to the fullest our spiritual, cultural, economic, social and political life in a way that we think best and in consonance with our ideal and according to the genius of our people.”39 While addressing the Muslim University Union, Aligarh in March 1941, the Quaid stressed that Pakistan was the only solution of the Indian problem “if you want to save Islam from complete annihilation in this country.”40 The Quaid quite clear in his mind. “Let me live”, he said to Hindus in November 1942, “according to my history in the light of Islam, my tradition, culture and language, and do the same in your zones.”41


The Quaid indeed wanted to introduce Islamic system of democracy in Pakistan. Speaking in the meeting of the All-India Muslim League Working Committee held in Delhi in March 1943, the Quaid, while replying to a controversial point with regard to “the future system of government, maintained that “We want a Muslim homeland wherein the Muslims will be free to choose their own government and conduct their affairs according to their tradition and genius, driving inspirations from the fundamental principles of Islam, based on brotherhood, equality and fraternity of man.”42


The point under discussion can be further elaborated by referring to one Maulvi Muhammad Munawarruddin’s meeting with the Quaid in March 1943, years before independence Maulvi Sahib discussed with the Quaid the system of government to be introduced in Pakistan after its birth. After the meeting M.S. Toosy, a close associate of the Quaid inquired from Manuwaruddin about the discussion. “His conclusion”, says Toosy, “was that when Pakistan would be established, the Quaid-i-Azam would enforce the laws of Shariat and the Constitution would be framed according to the Islamic principles based on the Quran.”43


Explaining the creed of Pakistan to Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan early in 1943, the Quaid said that Pakistan would be based where we will be able to train and bring up Muslim intellectuals, educationsits, economists, scientists, doctors, engineers, technicians etc. who will work to bring about Islamic renaissance.”44 After necessary training, they would spread to other parts of the Islamic world “to serve their co-religionists and create awakening among them eventually resulting in the creation of a solid, cohesive bloc – a third bloc – which will be neither communistic nor capitalistic but truly socialistic based on the principles which characterized Caliph Umar’s regime.”45 In a message of to the NWFP Students Federation on April 4, 1943 he said: “You have asked me to give you a message. What message can I give you? We have got the greatest message in the Quran for our guidance and enlightenment.”46


Again in April 1943, Abdul Waheed Khan, a member of the All-India Muslim League, addressed a letter to the Quaid and requested him to clarify the object of Pakistan in his presidential address at the session of the Muslim League which was due to be held in the next few days. In his own view this object was not only to free the Mussalmans of certain parts of India but to liberate Islam, its traditions, its systems of law and above all, its social and economic order. Islamic rule means the Kingdom and sovereignty of God, and not of Mussalmans over the non-Muslims.47 The Quaid in his speech on April 24, at Delhi said: “Please substitute love for Islam and your nation, in place of sectional interest.”48 He held out a firm assurances that the government of the proposed state of Pakistan would be democratic and people’s government” and its constitution will be framed by the Millat. He believed that “democracy is in our blood. It is in our marrows. Only centuries of adverse circumstances have made the circulation of that blood cold.”49 As regards the social and economic order in an Islamic state, he was clear and forthright, “Here I should like to give a warning to the landlords and capitalists who have flourished at our expense. They have forgotten the lessons of Islam…There are millions and millions of our people who hardly get one meal a day. Is this civilization? Is the aim of Pakistan….If that is the idea of Pakistan, I would not have it.”50 Touching upon the question of minorities he ruled out all “intentions of domination”. ”Minorities”, he said, “must be protected and safeguarded to the fullest extent….Our Prophet has given the clearest proof that non-Muslims have been treated not only justly and fairly but generously.”51


At the Karachi session of the Muslim League in December, 1943, Nawab Bahadur Yar Jang, whom the Quaid-i-Azam held in highest esteem, said: “There is no denying the fact that we want Pakistan for the establishment of the Quranic system of government. It will bring about a revolution in our life, a renaissance, a new Islamic purity and glory.”52 In his concluding remarks he said that Islam was the bedrock of the community. “It is the Great Book, the Quran, that is the sheet-anchor of Muslim India”. He said, “I am sure that as we go on, there will be more and more oneness – one God, one Book, one Qibla, one Prophet and one nation.”53


The Holy Quran was the Quaid’s source of inspiration and his guidance. It sustained him in the darkest moments of his life. “Why should we worry or be dejected,” he once told Mian Bashir Ahmad, “When we have got this great Book to guide us”54. “Its teachings”, he added, “are not restricted to religious and moral issues, it is a comprehensive code of life. A religious, social, civil, commercial, military, judicial, criminal, penal code”, he said on later occasion, “it regulates everything from the ceremonies of religion to those of daily life; from the rights of all to those of each individuals; from morality to crime, from punishment here to that in the life to come.”55


Addressing the students of Islamia College, Peshawar, he categorically announced: “The League stood for carving out stages in India where Muslims are in numerical majority to rule here under Islamic law.”56


On the eve of the inaugural session of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Islam at Calcutta in November, 1945, Maulana Ghulam Murshed, the Imam of Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, met Quaid-i-Azam and received a definite assurance from him that the injunctions of the Holy Quran alone would be the basis of law in the Muslim state.57 In a letter to the Pir Sahib of Manki Sharif in November 1945, the Quaid said, “it is needless to emphasise that the Constituent Assembly which would be predominantly Muslim in its composition, would be able to enact laws for Muslims, not inconsistent with the Shariat laws, and the Muslims will no longer be obliged to abide by the unIslamic laws.”58 In a meeting with Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani in June 1947, the Quaid assured him that an Islamic constitution would be implemented in Pakistan.59


It may perhaps be said that all these assurances or pronouncements of the Quaid belong to a period before the emergence of Pakistan. It may, therefore, be argued that it was scarcely anything more than a familiar device, on the part of a politician who used Islamic vocabulary to bring the maximum number of Muslims in the fold of the Muslim League.60 This line of reasoning is supported by assertion that the Quaid dropped all references to Islam and Islamic state in his post Independence speeches. Sir Parkas, the first Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, tried to strengthen this view by reporting a conversation between himself and the Quaid-i-Azam soon independence. “I know”, he reportedly said to the Quaid, “that Partition has been effected on the basis of differing religions. Now that this has taken place, I see no reason why stress should be laid on Pakistan being Islamic State…At this he (Quaid-i-Azam) said that he had never used the word ‘Islamic’.61 This fanciful story stands clearly discredited in the face of numerous post-independence speeches of the Quad. Indeed, he was even more forthright on the subject of loyalty to Islam and its principles.62


The fact is that even after the creation of Pakistan, the Quaid became more vocal and persistent for adopting Islamic way of life and system of government in Pakistan. Outlining the purpose of the creation of Pakistan, the Quaid-i-Azam said in a speech to the officers of the Defence Service on October 11, 1947 that the establishment of Pakistan was only a “means to an end and not the 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 principles of Islamic social justice could find freeplay”.63 Addressing a public meeting in Lahore a few days later, he described the circumstances in which Pakistan came into existence. Consoling those who had been subjected to inhuman brutalities as a result “of a deeply laid and well-planned conspiracy” on the part of the enemies of Pakistan, he gave them the hope that this was but a temporary setback. He assured them that “if we take inspiration and guidance from the Holy Quran, the final victory, I once again say, will be ours.” He advised that everyone “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. Do not be afraid of death…Save the honour of Pakistan and Islam.”64


In January, 1948, at a reception on the occasion of the Holy Prophet’s birth anniversary, he declared 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”. He reminded his audience that “Islamic principles today are as applicable to life as they were 1,300 year ago”.65 Paying his humble tributes to the Holy Prophet he said: “not only has he reverence of millions but also commands the respect of all the great men of the world… The Prophet was 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.66 “Islam is not a set of rituals, traditions and spiritual doctrines. Islam is also a code for every Muslim which regulated his life and his conduct in even politics and economics and the like….In Islam there is no difference between man and man. The qualities of equality, liberty and fraternity are the fundamental principles of Islam.”67


Speaking on a reform scheme at Sibi Darbar on February 4, 1948 remarked:


In proposing this scheme, I have had one underlying principle in mind, the principle of Muslim democracy. It is my belief that our salvation lies in following the golden rule of conduct set for us by our great law-giver the Prophet of Islam. Let us lay the foundations of our democracy on the basis of truly Islamic ideals and principles.68


In a broadcast talk to the people of Australia, on February 19, the Quaid spoke of the Islamic characteristics of Pakistani society in these words:


The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We are the members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in rights, dignity and self-respect. Not only are most of us Muslims but we have our own history, customs and traditions and those ways of thought, outlook and instinct who go to make up a sense of nationality.”69


In a similar talk to the people of the United States of America in February 1948, he spoke of Islamic system of government to be adopted in Pakistan.


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 of a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today they are as applicable in actual life s they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to every body. 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.70


Now we can certainly say that the Quaid was neither a secularist nor a socialist nor an admirer and up-holder of western or modern democratic system of government. Instead, he was a great Muslim. He believed in Islam and its democratic system of government.


But what is Islamic democracy or Islamic system of government, after all? Islamic democracy is actually a system of government in which sovereignty belongs to Allah the affairs are conducted by elected Caliph or a Head of the Islamic state according to Shariah with the help of an advisory Council (Majlis-i-Shura). The Public opinion is respected and honoured but Shariah prevails in each and every matter of Islamic state. It can be further elaborated in the words of the Quaid.


Fundamentally, in an Islamic state, all authority rests with Allah, the Almighty. The government business is conducted according to the entire Quranic principle and injunctions. Neither a head, nor a parliament, nor an individual, nor an institution can act absolutely in any matter. Only the Quranic injunction control our behaviour in society and politics. In other words the rule of Islamic democracy is indeed the rule of Shariat laws.71


The Quaid did believe in Islamic democracy, and not in theocracy which had no concern with Islamic democracy. While introducing Pakistan to the people of Australia he had categorically remarked, “But make no mistake, Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it."72


Theocracy indeed both as a concept or a system is purely a western product.73 Not to speak of Quaid’s views in this respect, even the scholar of the calibre of Maulana Maududi does criticize the concept of theocracy and denies its existence in Islamic system of government.74


Furthermore the Quaid launched the Pakistan movement simply and purely on the basis of Islamic ideology. But some of the critics also maintain that Quaid never used the term Pakistan ideology in his speeches and statements. On the contrary, the fact is that the Quaid was very much the exponent of Pakistan movement days, he maintained: “Our religion, our culture, and Islamic ideals are our driving force to achieve independence.”75 Addressing the All-India Muslim League session at Madras in 1941, the Quaid said: “The ideology of the League is based on fundamental principle that Muslim India is an independent nationality.”76 Similarly in a message to the Frontier Muslim Students Federation (June 15, 1945) the Quaid spoke thus: “Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the Muslim ideology which has to be preserved.”77


The fact is that whenever he happened to define and explain Pakistan’s aim and objective, he often used the terms “Muslim Ideology”, “Muslim League” which later came to be known as Pakistan ideology which is simply the result of evolutionary historical process in which things, words and terms may adopt different forms with different meanings, when in any historical process of events, episodes and revolutions mostly take their name after their actual occurrences in history. The terms of the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution came into use only after the revolutions, actually took place (respectively in 1798 and 1918), and not before that. So the term “Pakistan Ideology” is definitely the product of history and not the handiwork of any particular group or party as is maintained by the critics.”78


Nevertheless, the Quaid was a great exponent of Pakistan ideology which he equated to Islamic ideology. He fully understood Islam and its teachings, traditions and principles of toleration, social justices, democracy, equality, fraternity and polity. He believed in its utility and practicability in modern age. But he maintained that the Islamic principles could not be fully realised without a state. So during the Pakistan movement days he often spoke on such lines: “We want a Muslim homeland wherein the Muslims will be free to chose their own government and conduct their affairs according to their own tradition and genius, deriving inspiration from the fundamental principles of Islam based on brotherhood, equality and fraternity of man.”79


And that Muslim homeland – Pakistan – was achieved on the basis of Islamic ideology. The Quaid was happy and proud of that most brilliant achievement which he always saw in terms of Islam. In his speeches and statements, he often proudly pronounced Pakistan as the “biggest Islamic state,”80 He wanted to build it up as a “bulwark of Islam.”81


Now in the light of above discussions we can safely conclude that the Quaid really wanted to establish Islamic democratic system in Pakistan. His vision was very clear in this respect.82 Unfortunately, his untimely death in September, 1948 hardly a year after the establishment of Pakistan, did not allow him to achieve his cherished aims. Otherwise, he was definitely determined to make Pakistan purely an Islamic welfare state. His bonafides could not be suspected. He was a man of character and integrity. Throughout his life, what he said he meant it – a fact which could not be denied even by his greatest opponent, M.K. Gandhi (1869-1948), who had certainly the highest regard for Quaid’s single-mindedness, his great ability and integrity.”83


But it is matter of great regret, that critics like Justice Munir and S.R. Khairi could neither understand Quaid-i-Azam nor they could comprehend Islam, otherwise their approach to the subject under discussion would have been certainly positive one.


Notes and References

  1. The remarks read, “Few individuals after the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three. Jinnah of Pakistan (New Delhi, Vikas Publications, 1985, p. vii). But strangely enough, Wolpert, speaking in the same breath, mars the value of these remarks by remarking the Quaid as an enigmatic personality like Gandhi (Ibid.), which is absolutely a wrong thesis. Weigh him by any standard of historical criticism, the Quaid will stand as a just, straightforward and far-sighted statesman and not a complicated and enigmatic politician as Wolpert maintains. “Jinnah was not as complex a character as it is made out” S.R.Khairi; p. xv (Full reference under Foot Note No. 5).
  2. Sher Muhammad Garewal, “Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah” Urdu Encyclopedia of Islam. Vol. 19, pp. 461-92, Gul-e-Rana, “Quaid-i-Azam’s Role as Governor-General” unpublished M.A. thesis submitted to the University of the Punjab in 1979.
  3. From Jinnah to Zia (Lahore, Vanguard Books, 1979), p. vii.
  4. Ibid., p. 29.
  5. Saad R. Khairi, Jinnah Reinterpreted: The Journey from Nationalism to Muslim Statehood (Karachi, Oxford University Press, 1995) pp. Vi-xx.
  6. Ibid., p. 459.
  7. Muhammad Munir, op. cit., pp. Vii, 29-30, Saad R. Khairi, op. cit, pp. Xviii-xix.
  8. Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah; Speeches as Governor-General 1947-48. (Karachi, Pakistan Publication, n-d) pp. 7-9.
  9. See, Ch. Muhammad Ali, The Emergence of Pakistan, (Lahore, Researc Societh of Pakistan, 1973): Leonard Mosley, The Last Days of the British Raj (Lahore, Urdu Digest Publications, 1973): Jamiluddin Rizvi, Pakistan Story (Lahore, 1973): Khushwant Singh, Train to Pakistan (London, 1954), Khawaja Iftikhar, Jab Amritsar Jal Raha Tha, (Lahore, 1981)
  10. Fateh Naseeb Chaudhri, Quaid-i-Azam Ka Taswwar-i-Mumlukat-e-Pakistan (Lahore, Pakistan Study Centre, Punjab University, 1985) pp. 13-14; Also see Prof. Waheed uz-Zaman, “The Quaid-i-Azam’s vision of Pakistan”, The Pakistan Times, August 14, 1979, p, iii: “The Quaid’s speech”, remarks Prof. Waheed-uz-Zaman also, needs…to be read in the context of the prevailing political situation which vitally affected not only the security but even the continued existence of the nascent state of Pakistan. Since a climate of total insecurity prevailed on both sides of the border and one of the greatest mass migrations in the history of mankind had had already started, such an assurance to the non-Muslims of Pakistan was urgently called for. It would, the Quaid hoped, not only stop the exodus of Hindus from Pakistan but would also have salutary effect on Indian leaders and persuade them to extend similar treatment to the Muslim minority in India.
  11. Speeches as Governor-General, op cit.. p. 8.
  12. Ibid., pp. 8-9.
  13. Al-Quran, II, 256.
  14. Al-Quran, XXII-40.
  15. Abu-Daud, the Book of Jihad cited by Abdul Ala Maududi, in his books, Islamic Law and Constitution (Lahore, Islamic Publications, 1960), p. 300.
  16. Zafar Ali (Trs), Omar the Great by Maulana Shibli Nomani, Vol. II. (Lahore, Muhammad Ashraf, 1976) p. 165.
  17. Ibid., pp. 184-86; Abul Ala Maududi, The Islaic Law and Constitution (Lahore, Islamic Publications, 1960), pp. 292-321; The Encyclopedia of Islam. Vol. II Leiden, 1961) pp. 227-30.
  18. Speeches as Governor-General 1947-48, op cit, P. 108.
  19. Ibid., p. 61.
  20. Ibid., Vol. II, ed. 1973, p. 1926.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Cited by Hector Bolitho, Jinnah: Creator of Pakistan. (London, Co-Wyman, Reprint, 1960), p. 9.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Riaz Ahmad, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: Formative Years 1892-1920 (Islamabad, National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, 1986) p. 62.
  26. Ibid., p. 89, The Works of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: The Formative Years 1892-1920 (Islamabad, Chair on Quaid-i-Azam, Quaid-i-Azam University 1996) pp. 297-302.
  27. And during the Pakistan Movement days, he had developed a special interest in the historical literature of Islam. According to M.S. Toosy, he had in his library book on Islamic history, life of the Holy Prophet, and other great men of Islam, and translations of the Holy Quran. He had studied English translations of Al-Farooq (Life of Caliph Umar), which was written by Maulana Shibli Normani and translated by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan. He wanted to read the second part of this book dealing with administration and reforms of the Caliph Umar but its English translation was not available.
  28. Quaid-i-Azam as Governor General, op. cit., p. 126.
  29. Jamiluddin Ahmad, Speeches and Writings of Mr. Jinnah, Vol. I. (Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, 1968), p. 597.
  30. Ibid., p. 226.
  31. Vol. 4. ed. 1968, pp. 112-20.
  32. Ibid.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Jamiluddin Ahmed, Vol 3, I &II.
  35. See, The Proceedings of the Round Table Conferences 1930-32. Riaz Ahmad, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: Second Phase of his Freedom Struggle 1924-1934 (Islamabad, Chair on Quaid-i-Azam and Freedom Movement, Quaid-i-Azam University 1994) p. 124-50.
  36. Jamiluddin Ahmad, Vol. I, op. cit., pp. 122-133.
  37. Ibid., p. 248.
  38. Waheed-uz-Zaman, “The Quaid-i-Azam’s Vision of Pakistan. The Pakistan Times, August 14, 1979, p. III: Jamiluddin Ahmad, op. cit. p. 170.
  39. Jamiluddin Ahmad, op. cit., P. 171.
  40. Ibid., p. 253.
  41. Ibid., pp. 458-59.
  42. M.S. Toosy, My Reminiscences of Quaid-i-Azam (Islamabad, Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan, 1976) p. 48.
  43. Ibid., p. 53.
  44. Waheed-uz-Zaman, op. cit. p. iii.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Jamiluddin Ahmad, Vol. I, op.cit., p. 490.
  47. Waheeduzzamman, op. cit., p. III.
  48. Jamiluddin, Vol. I, op. cit., p. 494.
  49. Ibid., pp. 526-27.
  50. Ibid.
  51. Ibid., p. 527.
  52. Waheed-uz-Zaman, op. cit., p. iii.
  53. Ibid.
  54. Ibid.
  55. Ibid., Jamiluddin Ahmad, Vol. I, op. cit., p. 209.
  56. Dawn, December 4, 1945.
  57. Waheed-uz-Zaman, op. cit.
  58. Ibid.
  59. Ibid.
  60. Ibid.
  61. Ibid.
  62. Ibid.
  63. Speeches as Governor-General, op. cit., p. 22.
  64. Ibid., p. 29-31.
  65. Speeches and Statements as Governor-General, (edition, 1989), p. 125.
  66. Ibid., p. 127.
  67. Ibid.
  68. Ibid., p. 56
  69. Ibid., p. 58
  70. Ibid., p. 65
  71. Rahbar-Daccan, August 19, 1941: Ahamd Saeed, Guftar-i-Quaid-i-Azam, (Islamabad, Historical and Cultural Research, 1976), pp. 261-62.
  72. Speeches as Governor-General, op. cit., p. 58
  73. Khurshid Ahmad, Western Fundamentalism, Khurshid Ahmad has critically examined the concepts of theocracy and fundamentalism. To him these concepts are the product of the West. Such concepts have no place in Islam.
  74. Abul Ala Maududi, (Lahore, Islamic Publications, 1969), p. 129: Khurshid Ahmed (Trs.): Islamic Law & Constitution (Lahore, Islamic Publications, ed 1960) pp. 147-49.
  75. Jamiluddin Ahmad, Vol. II, op.cit. p. 242.
  76. Jamiluddin Ahmad, Vol. I, op. cit. p. 265.
  77. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 175.
  78. Muhammad Munir, op.cit., p. 29, S.R. Khairi, op. cit., pp. 463-78.
  79. Jamiluddin Ahmad, op. cit., pp. 171, 174.
  80. Speeches s Governor General, op. cit., pp. 29, 33.
  81. Ibid., p. 30.
  82. Waheeduzzaman, op. cit., p. iii.
  83. See Jamiluddin, Quaid-i-Azam as seen by Contemporaries, (Lahore, Publishers United, 1966) p. 243.

Quaid-e-Azam & Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

by Prof. Ahmed Saeed

Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, though brought up in two different environment, yet both of them, greatly influenced the Muslim nation. The Quaid fought on the political front to safeguard the Muslims from the British and Bania hegemony. Maulan Thanvi dedicated his life to reform the Muslim society. It is interesting to note that both of them never met each other yet they had so much in common in their personal traits, political ideals and thinking.1


Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi was born in 1863 in Thana Bhawan (U.P.). He was educated at Darul Uloom, Deoband. He did not participate in the Khilafat Movement. He also opposed the Non-Cooperation Movement. He even asked the Muslims not to join Indian National Congress. An erudite scholar, he wrote a number of books on Islam. He died on 20 July 1943.


Before discussing their identical political ideals let us have a look at some of their personality traits which they shared. When we go through the Malfuzat of Maulana Thanvi it becomes evident that he laid great stress on obligations towards humanity (). He asked his followers, time and again, to pay more attention to the rights of the people. Maulana Thanvi was of the view that a prompt reply to anyone’s letter was a part of good human behaviour. It is quite interesting to observe that both the Quaid and Maulana Thanvi remained awfully busy from dawn to dust yet they considered it their religious and moral obligation to send a prompt reply to the letters addressed to them.


During the Pakistan Movement the Quaid received hundreds of letter from all over the subcontinent written by various persons ranging from leaders like M.K. Gandhi, S.C. Bose, Rajendra Prasad,, Motilal Nehru, A.K. Fazlul Haq, Allama Raghib Ahsan, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal to ordinary students and political workers discussing important national issues of the movement and seeking his expert advice and guidance even in personal matters.


The Quaid, like Maulana Thanvi, considered it his moral obligation to send a prompt reply. Once while talking to Altaf Husain, Editor, Dawn, Delhi, he said, “When I receive a letter from anyone it becomes my moral obligation to open it and reply.”2


The Quaid has no spare time to write long replies so he was always brief and to the point. Like Maulana Thanvi, the Quaid was very prompt in replying the letters. He did not keep others waiting. Once Mrs. Ayesha Ahsan wrote to him from Patna on 28 May 1942. To this the Quaid replied on 4 June. The distance between Patna and Delhi must be kept in mind.


Similarly Maulana Thanvi used to check his dak daily after Zuhr prayers and would spend his time in replying the letters. He was of the opinion that a certain Hadees which contains the words included the meaning of promptly replying to letters.3 It was his practice to send a reply the same day. Usually he would not use a separate paper but would reply on the sides of the same letter thus saving his time as well as his papers. He received a large number of letters but he never put off the reply to the other day.


Once he said: “I try to pen down the reply the same day, whatever the number of letters might be. Yesterday I replied to fifty-one letters.”4


He wrote brief, simple and to the point. It is no exaggeration to tell that Maulana Thanvi replied to thousands of letters.


The political adversaries of the Quaid have maliciously dubbed him as cold, emotionless and what not. But strangely enough if one peeps into his life one finds the Quaid an entirely a different person. The Quaid possessed a great sense of humour and he displayed it wherever he may be; on the dining table, in the courts, in the imperial Legislative Assembly, in the company of the friends, students and colleagues. It was not confined to any place or with any person. Here are few examples. There was an ill-mannered judge who was notorious for his bitter remarks. Once during the hearing, he ironically remarked, “Mr Jinnah you should at least respect me for my grey hair.” Outcome the reply: “Allow me to say, My Lord, I have not been taught to respect grey hair if there is no wisdom beneath them.”


While speaking on the Indian budget in the Imperial Legislative Council the Quaid said: “This budge is merely an eyewash.” The English Finance Member replied: “An eyewash is good for sore eye”. The Quaid retorted: “But what about those who have no eyes at all.”


While on a visit to his “Muslim Arsenal”, the Aligarh Muslim University, the Quaid was told that a student Mohammad Nouman was a very fine artist of mimicry who could impersonate and talk or make a speech with all the mannerism of his subject. The Quaid was told that he could also impersonate him to such a degree that if he had spoken behind a screen without being seen, the audience would have taken him to the Quaid. The Quaid sent for the boy who took ten minutes to prepare himself. He tuned up, dressed in Sherwani, a Jinnah cap and a monocles. The voice, the words, the gesture, the look on his face everything, appeared like the Quaid-i-Azam. The Quaid was very much pleased with the performance. When it was finished the Quaid took off his own cap and monocle and presented it to the student saying, “Now this will make it absolutely authentic”.


At his Press Conference at Delhi in July, 1947 a correspondent asked him: “will Pakistan be a theocratic state?” The Quaid inquired “What is a theocratic state?” Another correspondent replied. “A state run by the Maulvis.” The Quaid reported: “What will you call a state run by the Pundits”, referring to Pundit Nehru who claimed to be the head of the Executive Council of the Governor-General.


One day M.K. Gandhi was busy in his Prarthana in his Shivgram Ashram when a snake entered the Ashram. M.K. Gandhi kept himself busy with his Prarthana. The snake took a round of the hut and quietly went away. The Hindu newspapers unduly publicized the event attributing it to Mr. Gandhi’s miracle. A correspondent came to Quaid and asked his comments over the incident. He very seriously heard the whole story and remarked “yes professional etiquette.”5


Once the Quaid was travelling from Mysore to Otacomand. On his way he decided to take tea at a certain railway station. When he came out of the saloon a large number of people gathered around him. When his secretary drew his attention to the pushing and shoving at the platform he smiled and said; “Don’t worry it is a storm in tea cup. It will end soon.”


Some of the above mentioned examples belie the callous claims of those who called the Quaid “cold and emotionless.”


Similarly Maulana Thanvi was known to be very strict. Actually, he had laid down certain rules according to which he conducted his daily life. He not only himself practiced these rules but expected others to follow. Because of his strict observance of such rules a general impression was created among the general public that he was cold, haughty and .


Maulana Mohammad Ali was a great expert at nicknaming persons. Once he wrote about MAO College Aligarh that “these days our principal is Archbold and our Secretary is Archweak” referring to Nawab Mohsinul Mulk. Likewise he had some quarrel with Mr. Shephered, the Editor of the Times of India. He, is an article, wrote that there are many sheep without any Shepherd but he is Shepherd without a sheep. Keeping in view the general impression about Maulana Thanvi, Mohammad Ali Jauhar once asked Maulana Daryabadi: “how is our .6 One can enjoy this brief sentence if one keeps in mind that Ashraf Ali was born at Thana Bhawan.


Strongly enough if we have a glance at Maulana Thanvi’s Malfuzat we come across hundred of example to prove that he was not what he has been portrayed. Like the Quaid, he was full of humour and wit. Maulana Abdul Jabbar once asked him whether Huqqa would be available in paradise. He promptly replies yes but you will have to go to hell to bring fire from there.


Once in a meeting Maulana Thanvi was told that in a certain locality and feud over a mosque was going on between the Hindus and the Muslims. When he was informed that a Muslim by the name of Jamaluddin was taking sides with the Hindus he abruptly said, “he is not Jamaluddin rather .”


His Khadim Niaz informed him about the birth of his son and asked him to suggest a name. Maulana Thanvi proposed the name Ayyaz for the boy. After two or three years he again requested Maulana Thanvi to suggest some name of his second son properly rhymed with Niaz & Ayyaz. He said only one is left and that is Payaz (onion).


Once Khawaja Azizul Hasan Majzoob came to Thana Bhawan for a brief stay. On his departure he wanted to present some nazrana to Maulana Thanvi. But as the upper pocket of his Achkan was somewhat tight he took some time to pull out the money. Maulana Thanvi who was closely watching this said: “Just pull off your Achkan and give it to me. I myself will take out the money from it.”


Another personality trait which they shared was their abhorrence of use of big titles and honorifics. It is reported that once among big crowd someone raised a slogan “King of Pakistan”, the Quaid at once asked that gentleman to refrain from raising such slogans. The Aligarh Muslim University decided to confer an honorary degree of Doctor of Law on the Quaid. When Dr. Ziauddin conveyed this decision to him, he wrote:


I have most reluctantly to say that I have lived as plain Mr. Jinnah and I hope to die as plain Mr. Jinnah. I am very much averse to any title and I will be more happy if there was no prefix to my name.”7


Like the Quaid, Maulana Thanvi was also averse to use big titles prefixed with his name. He also disliked such titles as Shaikhul Hadees, Shaikhul Tafseer and Imamul Hind. Once he said that although our teachers were the embodiment of but for them no such titles were used. At the most they were called Maulana otherwise Maulvi was the most common word to address them.”8


On another occasion he opined that just to gain cheap popularity many novel titles are being used such as Tutee-e-Hind, Sher-e-Punab and Bulbul-e-Hind. The Almighty has made them human beings but they feel proud in being called animals. It looks after sometimes they would like to be called a Khar-e-Hind, Feel-i-Punjab or Asp-e-Hind.9


Both of them were very careful about financial matters. They knew that the Indian leaders were often accused of misappropriation of funds. They were very careful regarding chanda collection. The Quaid used to receive himself a money-order of rupees two.


As mentioned earlier, the Quaid and Maulana Thanvi did not have any face to face meeting. But it is on record that they exchanged letters. On 15 September 1938 Maulana Thanvi said: “That during the League-Congress negotiation I wrote a letter to the President of the Muslim League, Mr. Jinnah, stressing upon him that the final settlement must include the religious rights of the Muslims. I also asked him to consult the Ulema about religious matters. He very politely assured me to follow my suggestion.”10


The Quaid was much pleased with Maulana Thanvi for his support to the AIML. In a letter to Maulana, the Quaid informed him that he had “noted down all the suggestions very carefully and assured him to consult him at the proper time.”


A letter of Maulana Thanvi is preserved with the National Archives of Pakistan11 which is testimony to the fact that Maulana Thanvi, had a great regard for the Quaid. Maulana Thanvi keeping in view Quaid’s other pre-occupations, very frankly asked him not to reply his letter. He prayed to Almighty to make Jinnah a source of strength for the Deen-e-Islam. He asked Quaid’s permission to convey to him any useful suggestion which might come to his mind and finally he wrote.



The words themselves speak of the love and affection which Maulana Thanvi had for the Quaid.


As mentioned earlier Maulana Thanvi disliked students’ and teachers’ involvement in politics. He was of the view that both the teachers and the students should only devote themselves to their studies. From his Malfuzat one gets the impression that there were very few political discussions in his Khanqah. Even newspapers entry was banned there. Strangely enough, his political ideas and his general view of the political situation in India so much resemble with that of the Quaid. Starting from the Khilafat Movement down to 1943 Maulana Thanvi had amazing political like-mindedness with the Quaid.


As is well-known the Quaid did not participate in the Khilafat Movement so did the Maulana Thanvi. Maulana Thanvi did not like Gandhi’s participation in the Khilafat Movement so he issued many Fatwa asking the Muslims to keep away from the Movement. For this he was abused, threatened with dire consequences but he never faltered. When the Non-Cooperation Movement was in full swing many people asked Maulana Thanvi about the government service. He advised the Muslims first to arrange some alternative job then forsake the government service. He was of the view that by resigning the government service the Muslims would plunge themselves more in financial troubles.


Amazingly the same suggestion was given by the Quaid as late as January 1943. When a Khaksar attacked the Quaid, Ehsan Ghani, a former I.G. (Prisons) whote to the Quaid offering his services by giving up his job. The Quaid appreciated his spirit but advised him to continue his job.


With the passage of time Maulana Thanvi came closer to the AIML. He sent many deputations to attend the AIML sessions. In 1938, a four-member delegation including Maulana Zafar Ahmad Thanvi and Shabbir Ali, was sent to attend the Patna Session. The delegation met the Quaid and conveyed to him Maulana Thanvi’s message. In the open session Maulana Zafar Ahmad read out Maulana Thanvi’s seven page message to the League which was also published in daily Asr-e-Jadeed of Calcutta on 4 January, 1939.


It was Congress rule (1937-1939) which brought the Quaid and Maulana Thanvi closer mentally than ever before. The Congress after coming into power made Urdu language its main target. Both the Quaid and Maulana Thanvi condemned the Congress for its anti-Urdu move. Maulana Thanvi issued a fatwa declaring the protection of Urdu equivalent to that of the protection of Deen.


The Congress, through the Wardha Scheme tried to liquidate the Two Nation theory. The scheme aimed at the creation of a nation of believers of joint Nationalism. The Working Committee of the AIML met at Bombay on 2 July 1939 under the chairmanship of the Quaid to review the scheme. The Working Committee adopted a resolution totally rejecting the scheme. According to the League the ultimate object of the scheme was to gradually destroy the Muslim Culture.


Maulana Thanvi also strongly criticised the Wardha Scheme and termed it as “poisonous for Muslims” religious life. He condemned the basic philosophy of the scheme such as Ahimsa.


Both the Quaid and Maulana Thanvi vehemently condemned the Congress for forcing the Muslims to recite the Bande-Matram.12


The Quaid over and again tried to remove the misconception that Muslims were an independent nation having their separate religion, culture and way of life. This is very interesting to note that Maulana Thanvi fully endorsed Quaid’s view about the Muslim Nationhood.


Recently Maulana Vakil Ahmad Sherwani, in his journal As Sayana has reproduced some unpublished Mulfuztat of Maulana Thanvi. In one of the Malfuzat Maulana is reported to have said that “Mr. Mohammed Ali Jinnah has very rightly said that as the Hindus and Muslims are not one nation, so the question of rights of minority and majority does not arise. The Hindus and Muslims are two nations so both of them should be given equal rights. It is true that both the nations have been living side by side for centuries, which does not mean that they are one nation. The reason, which did not come to my mind earlier, is that Ahlesabt (the Pherohian) and the Qibti (Capt) the Bani Israel lived in the same country but the Almighty did not call them as one nation instead it said meaning truly that the Qibti were the, a different nation. So the Quran testifies that by residing in one country the Two Nations do no loose their identities and separateness.”13


About Pakistan once he remarked that



It is very important while most of the Ulama of Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Hind supported one nation theory of the Congress and opposed Quaid’s theory that Muslims are a nation according to any definition of term, it is very pertinent to see Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi advocating the cause of Muslims as a nation. Thus both the leaders agreed on the issue of Two-Nation Theory in the Indo-Pak subcontinent.


Notes and References

  1. Zafar Ali Khan, Chamanistan, (Lahore, 1969), pp. 143-144.
  2. Mahe-Nour, December 1948.
  3. Makateeb-e-Ashraf Ali Thanvi.
  4. Al-Ifazatul Yumiyya, Vol. I. p. 163.
  5. Ghulam Ahmed Pervaiz, Hindu Keya Hai, (Lahore, n.d.), p. 13.
  6. Rais Ahmed Pervaiz, Seerat-e-Mohammad Al, (Lahore, 1950), p. 117.
  7. Shamsul Hasan, Plain Mr. Jinnah, (Karachi, 1976), pp. 76-77.
  8. Al-Ifazutul Yumiyya, Vol. VI, p. 63.
  9. Ahmed Saeed, Ashraf Ali Thanvi Aur Tehurike Azadi, (Lahore, 1984).
  10. Mohammad Shafi, Majalis-e-Hakeemul Ummat (Karachi, 1974), p. 187.
  11. NAP. File No. 1906, p. 294.
  12. Asre-Jadeed, Calcutta, 26 December, 1938, p. 1.
  13. As Siyani (Lahore, monthly), February 1992, pp. 28-29.

The Pakistan Concept: Its Background

by P.H.L. Eggermont
Pakistan Flag
In 1936 Pandit Nehru wrote in his Autobiography :
“The Muslim nation in India- a nation within a nation, and not even compact, but vague, spread out, indeterminate. Politically the idea is absurd. Economically it is fantastic; it is hardly worth considering….”
At the time not only Nehru and his followers but also the greater part of the Western authors, journalists, and political reporters were sceptic, or even opposite to the Pakistan-concept. However, in spite of all these ominous prediction Pakistan became a fact on the 14th August 1947, and, at present, nearly thirty years after, it is manifest that this state has energetically survived wars and calamities, has courageously resisted economic reverse, and has developed into an esteemed member of the United Nations.

Which mysterious forces may have caused the blind spot in the eyes of Nehru, and in the eyes of so many prominent Western intellectuals so that they failed to discern the strength of the Pakistan-concept?

The answer to that question lies hidden within a complexity of factors among which the most important one is the wide gap separating the Islamic and Hindu views regarding social, cultural and religious aspects of life.

As a matter of fact only the British have realized the unity of the sub-continent, and were able to guard it for over a century. In this respect Queen Victoria (1837-1904) was historically the first geographic Chakravartin. As, therefore, in the recent period the political unity of India happened to coincide with the traditional Hindu claim upon its ruling over the entire sub-continent, I am inclined to consider this mere coincidence to represent one among the factors which caused men like Nehru and Gandhi to close their eyes to the lesson of history teaching that partition and division had been the usual feature of the sub-continent for ages and ages.

Another mythical factor is the so-called “Absorption-theory”. In his book “Discovery of India” Nehru writes:-

“India’s peculiar feature is absorption, synthesis”. It is true, in antiquity this theory fitted in well with the facts: invaders like the Greeks in the 3rd century B.C., the Scythian in the 1st century B.C., the White Huns in the 5th century A.D., have been absorbed all of them.

The Muslims, however, are the exception to the rule. They have never been absorbed, though a great range of forms of peaceful co-existence can be noticed during the Muslim period.

How unacquainted the early Muslims were with the Indian culture is shown in the next lines written by Al-Beruni, the contemporary of Mahmud of Ghazni, who conquered the Punjab between A.D 1000 and 1026:-

“We believe in nothing in which they believe and vice-versa…. If ever a custom of theirs resembles one of ours, it has certainly just the opposite meaning”

Al-Beruni’s words seem to have remained valid until our days, for Mohammad Ali Jinnah, whose Centenary is celebrated at present, has explained during an interview in 1942 :-

“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, our jurisprudence. In all these things our outlook is not only fundamentally different, but often radically antagonistic to the Hindus.”

In between Al-Beruni’s first notes on Indian creed and customs and the interview of Mohammad Ali Jinnah extends the gap of time filled by the autumn-time of the Indian Middle Ages, the preponderance of the Turco-Afghan states, the Empire of the Moghuls, and since A.D 1757 the power of the British Empire.

At first the British continued making use of the feudal structure of the Muslim and Hindu states they had conquered, ruling by means of the administrative Hindu middle class, and maintaining Persian as the language used in the courts of justice. The great change started only in the frame of the rise of liberalism and the big industries in England. Lord William Bentinck the first Governor-General of the entire sub-continent (A.D.1828-1835) replaced Persian by English, a reform of which he himself did not realize the importance, but which in the long run appear to have accelerated the modern development of the sub-continent a great deal. At first this reform was disadvantageous to the Muslims. The Hindus were quick to learn the new language, but they kept sticking to the use of charming Persian and useful Urdu so that they came to lag behind compared with the Hindus. Of 240 Indian pleaders admitted to the Calcutta bar between 1852 and 1868 only one was Muslim. The “Mutiny” of 1857 turned out to be disadvantageous to the Muslims as well. For a long time they were not permitted to follow a glorious career in the Indian army.

However, only thirty years later, in 1888, Lord Dufferin addressed the members the Mohammedan National League at Calcutta as follows:-

“In any event, be assured, Gentlemen, that I highly value those remarks of sympathy and approbation which you have been pleased to express in regard to the general administration of the country. Descended as you are from those who formerly occupied such a commanding position in India, you are exceptionally able to under-stand the responsibility attaching to those who rule.”

The scholar: Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan This Muslim renaissance, this recovery of Muslim political influence was almost entirely due to one Muslim whose indefatigable energy pointed his co-religionists the way to modern times. He was Sir Syed Ahmad (1817-1898). Starting his career as a clerk in the service of the East India Company in 1837 he finished as a member of the Governor General’s Legislative Council from 1878-1883. He had earned the confidence of the British by his saving many Europeans during the “Mutiny “, so that he was able to make the new rulers acquainted with the Muslim points of view they had been unaware of formerly. His activities comprised three fields, Islam, reconciliation with the British, and relation with the Hindus. As to Islam, after a visit to England in 1869 he became aware that Islamic theology should recover the dynamism it had possessed in the glorious past. In the same way as Islamic philosophy has amalgamated the scientific discoveries of the ancient Greek science during the middle Ages, it should react upon the new data provided by the recent Western science. There is no contradiction between the Word of Allah and the Work of Allah, he said. He spent much time to justify his effort by writing in two journals he had founded. His greatest contribution however was the establishment of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh where besides the study of Islam young Muslims could obtain English education. Many later political leaders as capable as the Hindus have studied there. Politically he preached firm loyalty to the British Crown so that he extricated the Muslims from their isolated position. His policy towards the Hindus was characterized by some distrust. When Lord Ripon created local self-government institutions he insisted that the Muslim communities should receive separate nomination.

This distrust sprang notably from anti-Islamic currents among the Hindus, as e.g. it appeared from the popular novel Anandamath written by the Bengali author Bankim Chandra Chartterjee in 1882. The contents of this novel represented an affront to good taste in general and an insult to the Muslim community in particular. These anti-Islamic currents were not universal at the time. At the first session of the Indian National Congress held in 1886 the President said:

“For long our fathers lived and we have lived as individuals only or as families, but henceforward I hope that we shall be living as a nation, united one and all to promote our welfare, and the welfare of our mother-country”.
Sir Syed however did not agree to that, and called the members of the Congress back to reality by saying in one of his speeches on the subject:-

“The proposals of the Congress are exceedingly inexpedient for a country which is inhabited by two different nations….Now suppose that all the English …were to leave India….then who would be rulers of India? Is it possible that under these circumstances two nations---the Mohammedan and Hindu—could sit on the same throne and remain equal in power? Most certainly not. It is necessary that one of them should conquer the other and thrust it down. To hope that both could remain equal is to desire the impossible and the inconceivable.”

In fact it is this antithesis between the idealistic Hindu One-Nation theory and the realistic Muslim Two-Nation theory which contained the seed of the separation realized more than 60 years later.

The Poet: Mohammad Iqbal

Chaudhry Rehmat - Dr. Iqbal
Sir Syed had rendered the Indian Muslims their prestige, but the 20th century needed someone who gave them a sense of separate destiny. The Hindus were so fortunate as to obtain at an early time, in 1918, a charismatic leader, Mahatma Gandhi. In their turn the Muslims acquired a gifted and inspiring poet. They had to wait until 1936 before a leader turned up who was acknowledged by all of them. The poet was Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938). As a student in Europe (1905-1907) he had discerned the portents of the approaching World-war I. He returned to India, filled with dislike for the selfish policy of the European national sates, but also with admiration for the active, and dynamic life of the Europeans themselves. During the war he published his vision on the relation between individual man, the world and God (1915 and 1918). Some people, he says, regard the development of the individual as supreme end, and the state as an instrument to that. Others exalt the state and regard it as far more important than the rights of the individual. Between these extremes Iqbal shows the middle way, viz. the development of the spiritual person in close connection with the communal group to which one belongs. Such an ideal society however, is only possible if it is based on Monotheism, Tawhid, for the idea of one God emphasises the essential unity of all mankind. The human society is one indivisible unit and man is related to man as brother, irrespective of colour, creed or race or geographical environment. Therefore he says:-

“That which leads to unison in a hundred individuals is but a secret from the secrets of Tawhid. Religion, wisdom and law are all the effects; power, strength and supremacy originate from it. Its influence exalts the slaves, and virtually creates a new species out of them. Within it fear and doubt depart, spirit of action revives, and the eye sees the very secret of the Universe.”

It is with a view to the creation of a Muslim Home-land meant to representing a spiritual centre in support of the other Muslims scattered over the remaining portion of the Indian sub-continent, that Iqbal said at the Session of the Muslim League in 1930 :-

“I would like to see the Punjab, North West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan 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 appear to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North West India… The Muslim demand actuated by a genuine desire for free development which is practically impossible under the type of unitary government contemplated by the nationalist Hindu politicians with a view to secure permanent communal dominance in the whole of India. Nor should the Hindus fear that the creation of autonomous Muslim states will mean the introduction of a kind of religious rule in such states. For India it means security and peace resulting from an internal balance of power, for Islam an opportunity 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 times.”

In 1933 a Muslim student at Cambridge, Chaudhari Rahmat Ali, proposed to give Iqbal’s project the name of Pakistan. The name struck the imagination of the masses, and was in general use as late as 1940.

The Leader: Muhammad Ali Jinnah

 Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah
Iqbal was a poet, but no real politician. In fact the Muslims had at their disposal a qualified politician, Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948), but he followed for a very long period the unitary point of view adhered to by Nehru and Gandhi until, at last , he was converted to the Pakistan concept in 1937. The reason may be sought for in his character on the one hand, and in the political situation on the other.

Jinnah was known as an incorruptible and very strict lawyer. A glimpse of his character appears perhaps from the next words he said in a speech held at Lucknow in 1937:-

“Think one hundred times before you take a decision, but once a decision is taken, stand by it as one man. “

When Muhammad Ali Jinnah started his political career, the Muslim League had got involved in the Khilafat Movement which dominated the political field from 1912 until 1924. In general the Indian Muslims tended to regard the Sultan of Turkey as the leader of the Islamic faith, though formerly, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had said:

“You are the subjects of the British authority, and not those of Abdul Hamid.”

World-war I had turned the British Empire into the adversary of Turkey, and the harsh condition of its peace settlement had, for once, brought the Indian Muslims into line with Gandhi’s opposition against the British. It is why Mohammad Ali Jinnah as the then president of the Muslim League, and the National Congress signed the famous Lucknow Pact in 1916/1917. It was an agreement between the parties on the future Constitution of India according to which the Muslims were to have one third elective seats in the All Indian Legislature, and very reasonable percentages of the elective seats in the various provinces. In this respect one should realize that the strict and incorruptible lawyer Jinnah regarded the Lucknow Pact as a legal act, as a valid cheque on the future, and certainly not as a playing ball created by the political parties to play with of their own accord.

It is from the same point of view why he opposed Gandhi’s resolution of starting a peaceful non-co operation movement at the Nagpur session of the Indian National Congress in 1920. At the Conference there were 1050 Muslims among the 14582 delegates, but Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the only dissentient.

In a letter to Gandhi he wrote:-

“Your methods have already caused split and division in almost every institution that you have approached hitherto …people generally are desperate all over the country and your extreme programme has for the moment struck the imagination mostly of the inexperienced youth and the ignorant and the illiterate. All this means complete disorganization and chaos.”

The events of august 1921 proved how accurately Jinnah had judged the situation. The Islamic Moplahs of Malabar rose in revolt, murdered a few British administrative officers, finally turned against the Hindu landowners and money-lenders. Gandhi called off his peaceful non-co-operation movement, but preaching peace the had introduced the sword. Between 1920 and 1940 continued the series of the actions and counteractions between Muslims and Hindus which contemporaries like I myself used to read in the journals all over the world at the time.

Jinnah lost his influence in the National Congress, and, disgusted, he left India to establish himself as a lawyer in London between 1930-1940. There he was favoured by participation in the Round Table Conference of 1930-1931, where he met his famous co-religionist Muhammad Iqbal.

The result of this Round Table Conference was the 1935 Government of India Act, an impressive, but very intricate piece of work the most notable feature of which was the introduction of elections for 11 new Provincial Assemblies provided with their own responsible ministers.

In this connection Liaqat Ali Khan urged Jinnah to leave England in order to prepare the elections of 1937. Reminding his Muslim electorate of the Lucknow Pact 1916-17 he brought forward a moderate election programme. However, as the Muslim League was still a middle-class organization without a firm grip on the masses the elections became a brilliant success of the Congress party, which won the majority in 5 Provinces, and turned out to become the largest party in 2 others. Without any regard to Jinnah’s co-operation programme Nehru formed Congress ministries in the Hindu-Majority provinces where the Muslim League had captured a substantial number of the Muslim seats. In Uttar Pradesh the Congress went even so far as to propose that Leaguers would be taken into the Cabinet only if the League dissolved its parliamentary organization and if all its representatives became members of the Congress. This was what later on Sir Percival Griffiths called “a serious tactical blunder of Nehru”. It was even worse than that. Jinnah regarded it as treason to the Lucknow Pact, and he declared:-

“On the very threshold of what little power and responsibility is given, the Majority community have shown their hand, that Hinduism is for the Hindus. Only the Congress masquerades under the names of nationalism.”

On Iqbal’s advice Jinnah started to turn the League into a party of the masses. He reduced the annual membership to two annas. In the same way as Nehru and Gandhi he travelled all over the country conducting a fiery campaign. The number of his followers rose quickly and between 1938 and 1942 the League won 46 out of 56 by-elections in the Muslim constituencies throughout the provinces. He became the Quaid-i-Azam, the Great Leader, and against the Congress’s point of view that only the Congress represented the people of All-India, he was now able to put his counter-claim that the League, and only the League, could represent the Indian Muslims.

On 23rd March 1940 he took the final step leading to autonomy and separation. At the annual session of the League at Lahore the next resolution was accepted:-

“No constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principles, viz. that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial adjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority, as in the north-western and eastern zones of India, should be grouped to constitute Independent States in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.”

The political correspondents of the press were quick to grasp the significance of this intricate long phrase, and they called it the “Pakistan resolution.”

When the long valley of World-War II was passed the political strife, or better the civil war, between Hindus and Muslims exploded, together with its horrible consequences. It ended in the replacement of Lord Wavell by Lord Mountbatten, the shock therapy by Mr. Attlee, who established the month of June 1947, and later on the 15th of August 1947 as the date of the transfer of power. It ended in the dramatic migration of 14,000,000 people, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs as well, perhaps the most massive simultaneous migration known in the history of the world. On 7th of August Jinnah flew to his native town Karachi. He was 71 years of age by now. On 11th of August he opened in his capacity of Governor General the first session of the Constituent Assembly of the recently created autonomous and independent State of Pakistan, and spoke:-

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any place of worship in the State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of our State…Now, I think we should keep that in front of us and as ideal…”

P.H.L. Eggermont is the Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.

Source:    World Scholars on Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
                  Edited by: Ahmad Hasan Dani, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan 1979.

Nations are born in the hearts of poets!!!

The poetry of Allama Iqbal was a breath of fresh air throughout Pakistan Movement... ...This is the historical and extremely memorable pic o...