On Wednesday (December 25, 2013), over 160 million Pakistanis around the world will celebrate the 137th birth anniversary of the Father of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam (Greatest Leader) Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was born in Karachi on December 25, 1876 into an Ismaili Shia Muslim family. His father was a prosperous Gujrati Muslim merchant. He was educated at Karachi, Bombay and Lincoln’s Inn, London where he received his law degree. On his return, he established a reputable law firm in Bombay (Mumbai). He joined Hindu-dominated All India National Congress and was elected its president in 1919. However, after disgusted by the anti-Muslim actions of Hindu leaders, he quit Congress and joined All India Muslim League that was campaigning for an independent Muslim state (Pakistan).
Muhammad Ali Jinnah believed in non-violent resistance to British occupation of the Indian sub-continent, ruled by Muslim minority for nearly 1,000 years. While Congress leader, Mahatma MK Gandhi, spent half of his life in British jails, Jinnah never broke the law.
British India’s world renowned Muslim poet, Sir Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (died 1938), called Muhammad Ali Jinnah, “Marde Mumin” (True Muslim). Jinnah was influence by Muhammad Iqbal’ concept of the new independent state for the Muslim India – based on Islamic Shari’ah. Quaid’s in his address at the inauguration ceremony of Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly echoed Iqbal’s dream.
“You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state. Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time, Hindus will cease to be Hindus, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State,” said the Quaid.
On July 14, 1948, Quaid, who died September 11, 1948, in his last policy statement at the opening of the State Bank of Pakistan, said: “The economic system of the West has created almost insoluble problems for humanity and to many of us it appears that only a miracle can save it from disaster that is now facing the world. It has failed to do justice between man and man. The adoption of western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contented people.” He then advised the new country’s bankers and economists: “We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on the true Islamic concept of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to the humanity a message of peace which alone can save it and seure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind“.
Pope Francis in his ‘Evangelii Gaudium aka Joy of the Gospel’, released last month, has criticized the western economic (Capitalism) system – but offered no solution to the problem – fearing a backlash from the Jewish bankers.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah told the outgoing British viceroy, Lord Mountbatten (died 1979) during power-transfer ceremony in Karachi on August 14, 1947: “Muslims didn’t need any (Emperor) Akbar for the ‘tolerance and good will’ practised by Akbar (1542-1605) dated back ‘thirteen centuries ago when our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and Christians handsomely after he had conquered them. The whole history of Muslims, wherever they ruled is replete with those humane and great principles which should be followed and practised.”
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, kept his religious activities in private all his life. He hated to be called a religious leader like Gandhi. However, he never shied away from stating his pride in Islamic principles and history, which he declared consistently all through the freedom struggle, proving that he was not a secularist like most of Pakistan’s pro-West political and military leaders – from first military dictator Gen. Ayub Khan to the current prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
In a speech at Aligarh Muslim University in March 1944, he said: “Pakistan started the moment the first non-Muslim was converted to Islam in Hindustan long before the Muslims established their rule (711 CE) inspired them.”
“It is the Great Book, Holy Qur’an, that is the sheet anchor of Muslim India,” said the Quaid in an address to the All Indian Muslim League session, Karachi, December 1943.
Muhammad Assad (1900-92) formerly Leopold Weiss, a Jewish convert, wrote an article, titled, ‘What do we mean by Pakistan’ in May 1947.
“The objective of Pakistan is the establishment of a truly Islamic polity; and that this objective can never be attained unless every fighter of Pakistan – man or woman, great or small – honestly tries to come closer to Islam at every hour and every minute of his or her life: that, in a word, only a good Muslim can be a good Pakistani,” he said.