Sir Syed Ahmed Khan first mooted the idea of an independent Muslim nation in late nineteenth century. Subsequently Allama Sir Muhammad. Iqbal in 1930 proposed the establishment of an independent Muslim state in the northwestern part of the Asian Subcontinent. However the idea of Pakistan was first propounded by Mr Ch. Rehmat Ali in his pamphlet “Now or Never” in 1933. At that time the Muslim League leadership including Mr Jinnah did not support or even consider it. Up till that time Mr Jinnah was an ardent supporter of Hindu-Muslim unity in British India. The Manchester Guardian best describes his attitude and views of that period “Mr Jinnah’s position at the Round Table Conference was unique. The Hindus thought he was a Muslim communalist, the Muslims took him to be pro-Hindu, the princes deemed him to be too democratic, the British considered him an extreme nationalist, with the result that he was a leader without a following.”
Mr Jinnah’s interview to the AP two days after the AIML Council Meeting in New Delhi on April l and 2, 1934 clearly shows that he still hoped for Hindu-Muslim unity. However the conditions changed rapidly after the elections in 1937, when the Congress did not honour its commitment to accept Ministers nominated by Muslim League in accordance with the agreement made before the elections. The policies enforced by the Congress governments and the behaviour of their Ministers in the Muslim minority provinces proved even to the most ardent nationalist Muslim leaders the futility of expecting any fair play by the Congress.
The Muslim leadership finally adopted the demand for the partition of British India by passing the Lahore Resolution on, March 23, 1940 at the Annual Session of the Muslim League. This resolution called for establishment of independent Muslim states, however the Hindu press dubbed it as Pakistan Resolution and eventually the Muslim League also adopted the name Pakistan. History has proved the correctness of the decision of the Quaid and the leadership of the Muslim League; one has to only look at what happened to the constitutional guaranties in Cyprus and the condition of the Muslims in India.
Since the purpose of this study is to determine the Quaid’s vision of Pakistan, therefore his views prior to 1940 and particularly before 1933 are of limited relevance. In recent years some people have been propagating that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted a secular constitution for Pakistan. In support of this view they quote his speech of August 11, 1947, in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. “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. 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 one State. Now I think we should keep that in front of us as an ideal, and you will find that in course of time, Hindus will cease to be Hindus, and Muslims will cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.” This speech was made while the East Punjab had been engulfed in massive killing of Muslims, and shortly after the Quaid had been informed of the bombing near Bhutinda of the special train carrying Muslim government servants from New Delhi. He was rightly afraid of reprisals against the Sikh and Hindu minorities in Pakistan. This speech is about law and order, and assures the minorities that they have nothing to fear, that, in the administration and justice, the state shall not practice any discrimination.
This speech does not deal with the constitution, nor does it mention secularism. It gives assurance to the minorities that in Pakistan there shall be no discrimination on religious grounds, which is exactly what Islam teaches. The remarks of Mr Hector Bolitho about this speech are, “The words are Jinnah’s; the thought and belief are an inheritance from the Prophet who said thirteen centuries before, “All men are equal in the eyes of God. And your lives and your properties are all sacred: in no case should you attack each other’s life and property. Today I trample under my feet all distinctions of caste, colour and nationality”.
Regarding the treatment of minorities in his speech at lslamia College Bombay on 1, February 1943 the Quaid said,” As far as we are concerned we make this solemn declaration and give this solemn assurance that we will treat your minorities not only in a manner that a civilised government should treat them but better because it is an injunction in the Quran to treat the minorities so.” It may be argued that in Pakistan the term “Secularism” is used to only mean the separation of religion from politics and statecraft. The Quaid did not subscribe to even this limited definition.
The Quaid was a strict constitutionalist and very particular in the choice of words. He said exactly what he meant leaving no room for interpretation. In this regard the incident on 3, June 1947 in the meeting with Lord Mountbatten illustrates this aspect of the Quaid’s character. Mr Campbell-Johnson recalls the moment, “when Lord Mountbatten presented the leaders with a formidable document entitled, “The Administrative Consequences of Partition”. He suggested that they consider it first, before it was submitted to a ‘Cabinet Meeting’ — a slip of tongue, as the Viceroy had meant to say Interim Government. Jinnah remonstrated, thinking that Mountbatten was referring to the British Cabinet. When the error was explained, Jinnah so meticulous in the use of words — said, ‘A spade should be called a spade” and remarked that his mind always worked on constitutional lines’.”
The incident clearly illustrates that the Quaid called a spade a spade: therefore, his statements and speeches should be accepted as they stand. He never indulged in double talk. Some people consider Mr Jinnah to be secular because, it has been reported by Mr M. C. Chagla that he did not strictly observe the dietary requirements of Islam. It may be noted that both Mr S. S Pirzada and Mr Akbar S. Ahmed discount Mr Chagla’s assertion. This again is irrelevant for the purpose of this study because one is interested in his vision and views and not his diet!
The Quaid did not subscribe to secularism in any of his speeches or any of his writings. He never said that Pakistan shall be a secular state or that Pakistan’s constitution shall be secular. On the contrary, as far back as June 18, 1945, in his message to the Frontier Students Federation the Quaid said, that, “Pakistan not only means freedom and independence, but preservation of Muslim ideology”. In 1946, the Muslim League members were asked to sign their pledges in the name of “Allah the Beneficent the Merciful’. On October 11, 1947, in his address to the officers of the Defense Services, he said, “The idea was that we should have a state in which we could develop according to our own light and culture where principles of Islamic social justice find free play”.
The Quaid being a barrister never left unchallenged a statement contrary to fact or likely to be misinterpreted. On 14, August 1947 Lord Mountbatten in his speech in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan said,” May I remind you that at the time when the East India Company received its Charter nearly four centuries ago, your great Emperor Akbar was on the throne, whose reign was marked by perhaps as great a degree of political and religious tolerance as has been known before or since.
It was an example by which I believe generations of our public men and administrators have been influenced. Akbar’s tradition has not always been consistently followed by British or Indians but I pray, for the world’s sake that we will hold fast in the years to come, to the principles the great ruler taught us.” In order to ensure that these remarks were not misinterpreted in the future the Quaid in his speech, which was delivered immediately after Mountbatten’s said, “The tolerance and goodwill that great Emperor Akbar showed to all the non-Muslims is not of recent origin. It dates back thirteen centuries ago when our Prophet not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and Christians after he had conquered them, with the utmost tolerance and regard and respect for their faith and beliefs. The whole history of Muslims, wherever they ruled, is replete with those humane and great principles which should be followed and practiced.” Here the Quaid has again pointed out that in his vision Pakistan will be guided by the words and deeds of the Prophet.
The Quaid in his speech broadcast on 13, November 1939 said, “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 the Quran, to behave towards others as God behaves towards his mankind.” In the same speech he further said, “All social regeneration and political freedom must finally depend on something that has deeper meaning in life. And that, if you allow me to say so, is Islam and Islamic spirit.” The Quaid when asked by the students to give a message 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.” On January 25, 1948 the Quaid addressed the Sindh Bar Association. For some reason this speech has not been included in the compilation of his speeches as Governor General of Pakistan. However it was reported in the Dawn of January 26, 1948, and other English and Urdu newspapers. The speech as reported in the Dawn is enclosed and the first part, which is regarding the constitution, is under noted:
Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah asks Muslims to get rid of their “disease of provincialism”. “Why this feeling of nervousness that the future constitution of Pakistan is going to be in conflict with Shariat laws?” said Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. addressing a Prophet Day meeting of the Sindh Bar Association on Sunday evening. Mr Justice Hassanally G. Agha presided.
The Quaid-i-Azam said he could not understand the section of people who kept on impressing upon everybody that the future constitution of Pakistan should be based on Shariat. “There are people who deliberately want to create mischief and make the propaganda that we will scrap it (the Shariat law),” he added. “Islamic principles have no parallel. Today they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism has taught democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody.”
The Quaid was a lawyer and he was addressing lawyers and judges. in this speech he has used the expression Shariat Law after this there should be no argument. In this speech he further said, “No doubt there are many people who do not quite appreciate when we talk of Islam. Some of our non-Muslim friends who do not quite appreciate when we talk of Islam. Islam is not only a set of rituals, traditions, and spiritual doctrines. Islam is a code for every Muslim, which regulates his life and his conduct in all aspects, social, political economic, etc. It is based on highest principles of honour, integrity, fairplay and justice for all.”
In the above speech he has clearly in unambiguous words said that Islam is a complete code of life including politics and economics. With regard to economics, his speech at the opening ceremony of the State Bank of Pakistan on July 1, 1948 clearly shows his views – “I shall watch with keenness the work of your Research Organisation in evolving banking practices compatible with Islamic ideals of social and economic life”.
On February 21, 1948, while addressing the men and officers of the 5th Heavy Ack Ack and 6th” Light Ack Ack Regiments at Malir the Quaid said, “Now you have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and equality of manhood in your own native soil.”
In his speech at a rally at the University Stadium, Lahore on October 30, 1947 he said, “We thank Providence for giving us courage and faith to fight these forces of evil. If we take our inspiration and guidance from the Holy Quran, the final victory I once again say will be ours”. He then said, “You have only to develop the spirit of the mujahids. You are a nation whose history is replete with people of wonderful grit, character and heroism.
Live up to your traditions and add to it another chapter of glory”. In the same speech he further said, “All I require of you now is that everyone of us 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 and as one of the greatest nations whose ideal is peace within peace without.” He further said, “Do not be afraid of death. Our religion teaches us to be always prepared for death. We should face it bravely to save the honour of Pakistan and Islam. There is no better salvation for a Muslim than the death of a martyr for a righteous cause”. On March 22, 1940 in the presidential address on the opening of the All India Muslim League 27th Session at Lahore, he said, “ Come forward as servants of Islam organise the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power accepted by everybody”. There is not even the slightest hint of secularism, ‘Islamic Socialism’ or ‘Progressive Islam’ in any of his other speeches. In none of his speeches or writings he has used a prefix or suffix with Islam. The above quotations clearly show that he was opposed to secularism and wanted Pakistan to be the bulwark of Islam, which is possible only as an Islamic State.
The speech of January 25. 1948 are his final views regarding the Constitution of Pakistan. It is significant that while the Quaid addressed the Sind Bar Association in Karachi, the Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan addressed a large gathering in the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore on the same day, in which he said. “Let us resolve ourselves that we shall gather light and guidance only from the life and teachings of the great Prophet and not from any leader of political and economic thought like Karl Marx, Stalin or Churchill.”
He further said, “Pakistan nation had no other message to give to the world except that of the great Prophet. The ideology of Pakistan nation should be to demonstrate to the world that the principles of Islam, over 1300 years old, still hold good and furnish the only effective panacea for the numberless woes and miseries of mankind”. It is significant that, both the head of the State and the head of the government in their speeches on 25 January 1948 clearly stated the Ideology of Pakistan.
Source: The Nation