The Legacy of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah


The Man Who Epitomised The True Proponent of An Islamic State

On the occasion of 14th August 2014, it is fitting to take a retrospective look at the life, works, and message of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Founder of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. 

Quaid-e-Azam is best described by Professor Stanley Wolpret in his book ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’: “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.”

Quaid-e-Azam 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 preoccupation 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. 

The vast majority of his speeches and reflections are 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 weak 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 Ramadan was designed by our Prophet to give us the necessary strength for action.”

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s 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.

“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.

If we have any faith and love for tolerance towards God’s creations, to whatever community they belong, we much act upon that faith in 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.”

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 emphasise 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 Darbar on 4th February 1948, Quaid-e-Azam proclaimed:

“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”.

In a broadcast talk to the people of Australia, in February 1948, 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 (SAW). We are 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 which go to make up a sense of nationality.”

In a radio broadcast 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 as 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 fair play 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”.

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.

“In another context, the great Quaid remarked: “The test of greatness is not the culture of stone and pillar and pomp but the culture of humanity, the culture of equality. Only a man who is dead to all the finer instincts of humility and civilization can call a religion based on exploitation a heritage.”

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was out spoken in his condemnation of reactionary elements which generate negative tendencies.

Dealing with the contribution of Pakistan movement towards eradication of fundamentalism, the great Quaid said: “We have to, a great extent, 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 Islamic fundamentalists”.

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 prime architects of the character of the youth who constitute the backbone of the state. I know that in the long struggle for 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.”

Quad-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is considered by many to be a true proponent of an Islamic Republic.

The study of his message and work inspires many Pakistani Muslims to further modern Pakistan’s progress and solidarity as an Islamic Republic.


By Rohail Khan, Chairman, Enterprise Pakistan­­­


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