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By: Afshain Afzal

quaid-e-azam

 

 

Narrating anything about Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and reminding the masses about ideology of Pakistan seems delivering lecture of Pakistan Studies to junior classes as compulsory subject. No one is interested to listen to what Quaid-e-Azam said and what he wanted. The strong western and anti-Islamic propaganda against Quaid-e-Azam has in fact disappointed many of his followers about their great leader. Propaganda stricken masses believe that Quaid-e-Azam was more or less non-Muslim and agent of the west. However, there is not even a slightest proportion of truth in what has been said and published against him. I feel pity on most Pakistani historians and researchers who cheated by copying western writings against Quaid-e-Azam and published from their own names. I don’t want to identify them at this stage as it may create embarrassment for whole nation. As a matter of record, in his countless speeches, statements, and messages before and after the establishment of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam emphasized the role of Islam as an all-embracing code of life standing for non-discriminatory social justice, fair play, democracy, equality of manhood and welfare of masses as a whole. During the Allahabad session of the All-India Muslim League in 1942 he was asked as to what type of state Pakistan would be? He replied: “It will be an Islamic state on the pattern of the Medina state with human rights, liberalism, democracy and complete tolerance and freedom of conscience to all citizens without any distinction of colour, creed, language, and race as granted by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Christians, Jews, idol worshippers and all others. Justice, brotherhood, liberty, equality and fraternity will reign supreme.”

The question arises that what was the pattern of the Medina state referred to by the Quaid-e-Azam? The Medina state was run on the basis of a document known as the Constitution of Medina (Messaq-e-Medina). This document, prepared under the instruction of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), dealt with the rights and obligations of the citizens of Medina including Muslims, Jews and all others. Through this document the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made a friendly agreement especially with the Jews and established them in their religion, property and occupations and declared them as one community. The tolerance and goodwill shown by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in Medina and elsewhere became established as a basic principle of state policy in Muslim countries. Arnold in his book The Preaching of Islam gave the following Charter of Freedom given at the time of conquest of Jerusalem to Christians and others by the Hazrat Umar Bin Al-Khattab: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is the security which ‘Umar’, the servant of Allah, the commander of the faithful, grants to the people of Elia. Grants to all, whether sick or sound, security for their lives, their possessions, their churches and their crosses, and for all that concerns their religion, their churches shall not be changed into dwelling places, nor destroyed, neither shall they nor their appurtenances be in any way diminished, nor the crosses of the inhabitants nor aught of their possessions, nor shall any constraint be put upon them in the matter of their faith, nor shall any one of them be harmed.”

The non-discriminatory and humane tradition of the Constitution of Medina and Hazrat Umar’s Jerusalem Agreement was literally followed by the Quaid-e-Azam when he addressed Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947 thus: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state”. It is interesting to note that three days after this speech, the Quaid-e-Azam spoke again on the inauguration of Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly on 14 August 1947, re-emphasizing the central theme of his speech of 11 August 1947, said “The tolerance and goodwill that the great Emperors showed to all the non-Muslims is not of recent origin. It dates back 13 centuries ago when our Prophet (peace be upon him) not only by word 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”.
It is on the record that on 1 November 1941, there was an Akhand Bharatyia Conference in Jalandhar. Mr. Munshi, a well-known Hindu leader was in the chair. In his presidential address he said, “Do you know what Pakistan is? If you don’t, listen! Pakistan means that Muslims can make in one or more parts of India, their homeland, where the system of government would be based on the Al Qura’an with Urdu as their national language. In simple terms, Pakistan will be a Muslim land where the government will be Islamic.” Similarly in a meeing of the Pakistan Association of Germany on occasion of the centenary of the Quaid-e-Azam, a German scholar Professor Dr. Kanhan said, “The model before the Quaid was the Al Qura’an.” In his speech at the Frontier Muslim League Conference on 21-11-1945 Quaid-e-Azam said, “We have to fight a double-edged battle, one against the Hindu Congress and the other against British Imperialists, both of them being capitalists. The Muslims demand Pakistan where they could rule according to their own code of life and according to their own cultural growth, traditions, and Islamic Laws.” Similarly in a message to N.W.F.P Muslim Students Federation, in April 1943, he said, “You have asked me to give you a message. What message can I give you? We have got the great message in the Al Qura’an for our guidance and enlightenment.”
It is apparent that the Quaid-e-Azam’s speeches of 11 and 14 August 1947 bear close similarity, in both letter and spirit, to the Constitution of Medina. This constitution was neither secular in the prevailing sense of the term as the Islamic State of Medina was not a secular state, nor was it based on the concept of papacy, an institution which does not exist in Islam. Further, it recognized the existence of Muslims and Jews as separate entities, though bound together as citizens with mutually agreed obligations and duties. It is also pertinent to note that the Quaid-e-Azam’s speeches of 11 and 14 August, read along with his pronouncement at the Allahabad Session of All-India Muslim League in 1942, clearly point to the fact that there was remarkable consistency in his pre-independence and post-independence thoughts about the pattern of state in Pakistan. It is high time for the people of Pakistan to forget about notorious concept of secularism and strive to make Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of Pakistan a reality. The preamble of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 clearly spells out that Pakistan would be governed by the Law of Allah given in Al Qura’an and Sunnat of Holy Prophet Muhammad (May Peace be Upon Him).

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