Much has been written about our Quaid, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, about the amazing leadership qualities that he possessed and the determination and strength with which he fought for the attainment of an independent State for the Muslims of the subcontinent. His personality and his grace won the admiration of friends and foes alike.
However, there is a section of Pakistani society that deems Jinnah irrelevant to the present day Pakistan and does not miss any opportunity to belittle the impact that this great man had on humanity. There is a reason for this charade; Jinnah is a threat to the self-proclaimed ‘democratically elected’ leaders of Pakistan who are steeped in corruption and nepotism.
In the Pakistan of today, we see political parties loyal to ‘Quaid-e-Awams’, each focusing on their own particular mantra or slogan, each waving their own flag. The one leader who united us, who taught us the meaning of dignity and courage, is missing not only from the walls of the President House, but also from the hearts and minds of the sheeple who blindly follow these so called leaders. This particular section of society seems to think that Pakistan was created for the elite. The concern that Jinnah had for the Muslim Ummah, the very community that Pakistan was created for, has been set aside and the poor and downtrodden who in the words of Allama Iqbal were encouraged by Angels to ‘shake the foundations of society’ , have been forgotten. While the Pakistani elite continue to grow stronger through political alliances and inter-marriages, common Pakistanis are struggling to break away from this stranglehold.
Some of us still remember the not-so-distant past when Quaid’s dream for Pakistan to become one of the most progressive nations on earth was within our reach. In the 1960’s, Pakistan was set to become the model for developing nations. Today however, things seem entirely different. As Pakistan faces many crises, both internal and external, the entire nation is in search for ‘Salahuddin’; someone who has the moral fibre, the courage and the dignity to restore this nation’s honour, someone who is not afraid to say ’No’ to the Imperialist forces exploiting our weaknesses, someone who stands firm in the face of adversity and leads by example, someone who is self-sacrificing in every aspect of his life, someone who is not intimidated by men of power and fortune. Today, almost six decades after his passing, Pakistan is sorely missing Jinnah. This one man has left us with a legacy unmatched by any other in the history of the Modern World.
Still, there is a side to this man that his nation is not fully aware of, an aspect of his personality that is still hidden from the majority of Pakistanis, and that is his utmost love and respect for the Holy Prophet Muhammed Peace Be Upon Him. In Jinnah’s own words:
“I thought of seeing the various Inns in London and meeting students studying there in order to make up my mind in advance. My inquiries and discussions made me decide for another Inn than Lincoln’s. But then I had seen the name of our great Prophet engraved on the main entrance of Lincoln’s Inn among the greatest law-givers of the world. So I made a sort of ‘Minnat’ or vow that I would join the Lincoln’s Inn”
This is the level of devotion that he had for Rasul Allah (Muhammed Peace Be Upon Him). How could such a man not be relevant to the present day Pakistan; a country that was created in the name of Allah and his Beloved (Muhammed Peace Be Upon Him). Jinnah, the spiritual man, was a gift to this Ummah, a gift that we need to be thankful for in every way we can, and the best way to do that is to benefit from his wisdom and incorporate in us, the principles that he strongly adhered to.
Today, as our nation struggles to understand and recapture its place among the nations of the world, Jinnah’s words are as relevant as they were all those years ago. Giving hope to the Muslims of the sub-continent in their darkest hour, he said:
‘Only one thing can save the Musalmans and energise them to regain their lost ground. They must first recapture their own soul and stand by their lofty position and principles which form the basis of their unity, and which bind them in one body-politic.’
In the above lines is the wisdom behind the creation of Pakistan which was for the Muslims to find their own selves, to envision themselves as a powerful and strong nation and then to re-group and re-emerge, in the words of Iqbal ‘to form a living family of nations’.
Pakistanis as a nation, as a collective entity know that the time is now and we have to re-organize ourselves and focus on the challenges that we face today. There was nothing co-incidental about the creation of this Land and the amazing gift that was given to the Muslim Ummah in the form of Jinnah. He is the man for this century and the man of the hour.