Pakistani nation of 160 million just celebrated the birthdays of both country’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, affectionately known as Quaid-e-Azam (The Great Leader), and prophet Jesus (as) on the same day, 25th December, which is a national holiday since 1947.
“I am not yet sure what ultimately the constitution of Pakistan will look like, but it will have the essentials of the basic Islamic principles” Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Radio Broadcast interview to people of USA, 1948.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah began his political career with All India Congress Party. In 1906 G. K. Gokhale, a distinguished Hindu Brahmin leader, called Jinnah ‘the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity‘. He was correct. When Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Hindu nationalist, was being tried by the British Raj on sedition charges in 1908 he asked Jinnah to represent him.
”Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the greatest benefactor of Hindus in modern times, if he was not a Hindu in disguise,”Girilal Jain, in The Hindu Phenomenon (1994).
In 1919 Muhammad Ali was elected president of the party. However, disgusted by anti-Muslim racism of Congress leaders, he left the party, and later joined All India Muslim League, established by Bengali Muslim leaders.
”One of the most extraordinary men in history” said Jawaharlal Nehru, first prime minister of India.
”Gandhi died by the hands of an assassin; Jinnah died by his devotion to Pakistan,” said Lord Pethick-Lawrence (d. 1961) British Labour Party leader.
“Although without Gandhi, Hindustan would still have gained independence and without Lenin and Mao, Russia and China would still have endured Communist revolution, without Jinnah there would have been no Pakistan in 1947,”said UK’s Tory MP Sir John Biggs-Davison (d. 1988).
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, though born into a Shia family, his community which makes nearly 15% of country’s total population, is the top victim of Wahabbi/Salaafi terrorism. Pakistan is home to third largest Shia population after Iran and India.
Although a grateful nation bestowed the title of Quaid-e-Azam on him – Muhammad Ali Jinnah never courted titles. He had refused a knighthood from British Raj and even a doctorate from his favourite university:
In 1942, when the Muslim University, Aligarh, had wished to award him an honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws, he refused saying: ‘I have lived as plain Mr. Jinnah and I hope to die as plain Mr. Jinnah. I am very much averse to any title or honours and I will be more happy if there was no prefix to my name.’ (Zaidi 1993: volume I, part I, xlv)
Christian minority makes less than 5% of Pakistan’s total population, but is far less persecuted than Muslim Shia minority.