Let us commemorate 25th December 2013 as the 137th birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Founder of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Let us implement his guidelines and legacies in letter and spirit. Quaid e Azam is best described by Professor Stanley Wolpret in his book ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’ as:
“Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876 – 1948) was an ardent supporter and a strong proponent of a separate state for Muslims of the sub-continent based on Islamic values and teachings. The able leadership and struggle of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, culminating in the creation of Pakistan on 14th August 1947 as an independent Islamic republic, brought unprecedented vitality to the Muslims of the sub-continent producing in its wake an Islamic renaissance and Islamic idealism. Muhammad Ali 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 staff and admirers into a series of volumes.
They are all permeated with the need to establish an Islamic Republic for the 100 million Muslims of British India. Muhammad Ali Jinnah firmly believed in Islam as a ‘dynamic religion and a way of life’. “The discipline of the Ramadan fasting 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. 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 Ramadan was designed by our Prophet to give us the necessary strength for action.”
Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s liberal passion for Islam had a long lasting impact on the minds and souls of the 100 million Muslims struggling for a separate Muslim state, turning their intellectual activities towards tackling traditional Islamic ideals in terms of modern standards and requirements. Religion for Muhammad Ali Jinnah implied not only as a duty towards God but also as a duty to Mankind.
At the inaugural session of Jamiat Ulema Islam in Calcutta in November, 1945, Maulana Ghulam Murshid, Imam of Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, met with Quaid e 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. In a letter to Pir Sahib of Manki Sharif in November 1945, Quaid e Azam said, “it is needless to emphasize that the Constituent Assembly which would be pre-dominantly Muslim in its composition, would be able to enact laws for Muslims, not inconsistent with the Shariah laws, and the Muslims will no longer be obliged to abide by the un Islamic laws.”
In a public meeting with Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani in June 1947, the Quaid vehemently assured that an Islamic constitution would be implemented in Pakistan. Speaking on a reform scheme at Sibbi Derbar on 4th February 1948, Quaid e Azam proclaimed that:
“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”.
Whenever Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah got an opportunity to speak on Islam, 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 not ceasing our efforts always to achieve more.”
The great Quaid Muhammad Ali Jinnah championed the cause of womanhood, advocating for women an equal share with men in social and national life as per the Islamic teachings.
“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.”
Like a true Muslim, the great Quaid was incorruptible. The Last British Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten rightfully admitted when he said:
“I tried every trick I could play to shake Jinnah’s resolve. Nothing would move him from his consuming determination to realize the dream of Pakistan.”
Jinnah’s dream for Pakistan was based on the principles of social justice, brotherhood and equality, which he aimed to achieve under his motto of “Faith, Unity, and Discipline.” Jinnah’s successors were tasked with consolidating the nation of Pakistan that Jinnah had so determinedly established.
Let us commemorate 25th December 2013 as the 137th birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Founder of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Let us implement his guidelines and legacies in letter and spirit.
The remembrance starts with changing cover photos, symbolizing regard for the statesman Jinnah.