Thursday, December 24, 2015

Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah Drew Inspiration From Prophet Mohammad's Life

An ongoing debate about the true vision of Pakistan's founder flares up every year around Quaid-e-Azam's Birthday that coincides this year with Eid Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).  This debate is centered on one key question: Did the Quaid want an Islamic state or a secular state or a pluralistic democratic one?

Islamic or Secular Pakistan?

Here are a couple of excerpts from Quaid-e-Azam's speeches given at different times which are often cited in this "Islamic vs Secular Pakistan" debate:

"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 business of the State"

“Who am I to give you a constitution? The prophet of Islam had given us a constitution 1,300 years ago. We have to simply follow and implement it, and based on it we have to establish in our state Islam’s great system of governance.”

The secularists insist that the first excerpt from the Quaid's speech of August 11, 1947 to the constituent assembly should be accepted as his true vision for a secular Pakistan. The Islamists vehemently disagree and cite the second excerpt in which the Quaid talked about the fact that "prophet of Islam had given us a constitution 1,300 years ago" and we must implement it.


The question is: Do the two speech excerpts conflict or support each other? On the surface, the Quaid's speeches appear to send conflicting messages. However, a deeper examination of Misaq-e-Madina (Charter of Medina), Islam's first constitution approved by Prophet Muhammad (SAW), suggests the Quaid's speeches are consistent with each other and conform to the original Islamic constitution.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Honored by US Supreme Court

Here's the opening line of Misaq-e-Madina:

"This is a document from Muhammad the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), governing relations between the Believers i.e. Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib and those who followed them and worked hard with them. They form one nation -- Ummah."

It clearly says that all citizens of "Yathrib" (ancient name of Madina), regardless of  their tribe or religion, are part of one nation--"Ummah". So the word "Ummah" here does not exclude non-Muslims.

Further into the "Misaq" document, it says: "No Jew will be wronged for being a Jew. The enemies of the Jews who follow us will not be helped. If anyone attacks anyone who is a party to this Pact the other must come to his help."

The Mesaq assures equal protection to all citizens of Madina, including non-Muslim tribes which agreed to it. The contents of Misaq-e-Madina, Islam's first constitution approved by Prophet Mohammad 1400 years ago, appear to have inspired Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's vision of  a pluralistic Pakistan where people of all religions and nationalities live in harmony with equal rights and protections under the law.


Some might now ask what was the need for the Two-Nation-Theory given the above vision of the Quaid? The Quaid's search for Pakistan as an independent state for Muslims was inspired to give India's minority Muslims better opportunities to grow and prosper. While it's true that Pakistan has not lived up to the Quaid's expectations, it is also true that, in spite of all their problems, Muslims in Pakistan are still much better off  than their counterparts in India.

The growing intolerance in Modi's India and the Indian government commission headed by former Indian Chief Justice Rajendar Sachar confirm that Muslims are the new untouchables in caste-ridden and communal India. Indian Muslims suffer heavy discrimination in almost every field from  education and housing to jobs.  Their incarceration rates are also much higher than their Hindu counterparts.

According to Sachar Commission report, Muslims are now worse off than the Dalit caste, or those called untouchables. Some 52% of Muslim men are unemployed, compared with 47% of Dalit men. Among Muslim women, 91% are unemployed, compared with 77% of Dalit women. Almost half of Muslims over the age of 46 ca not read or write. While making up 11% of the population, Muslims account for 40% of India’s prison population. Meanwhile, they hold less than 5% of government jobs.

Those who say that the Two-Nation-Theory died with the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 are wrong. They need to be reminded that the Lahore Resolution of March 23, 1940, in fact called for two "independent states", not "state", in Muslim majority areas of India in the north east and the north west. The other fact to remember is that Bangladesh did not choose to merge with India after separation from Pakistan.

Here are a couple of video discussions on this and other subjects:

Nawaz Sharif Govt Survival Questioned; ISIS Advances in Iraq from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Jinnah’s birthday, Bangladesh Independence, Abdul Qadir Molla hanging, Aam Aadmi Party success India from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Jaswant Lauds Jinnah

Are Muslims Better Off in Jinnah's Pakistan?

Comparing Pakistan and Bangladesh

Is This a 1971 moment in Pakistan's History?

Is Pakistan Too Big to Fail?

Global Firepower

Jinnah's Pakistan Booms Amidst Doom and Gloom

Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah's Vision of Pakistan

India Wins Freedom by Maulana Azad

Ayesha Jalal Taking On Pakistan's Hero

The Poor Neighbor by William Dalrymple

Iqbal and Jinnah


Anonymous said...

Direct Action Day clearly proved that MAJ was as much a peace loving muslim as there are black santa claus. Only Pakis will glorify him. it is an apt justice that Shias are getting murdered in Pak.

Anonymous said...

What inspiration did he draw from Prophet's genocide of entire Jewish tribe of banu Qurayza.

Salman Q. said...

A valuable contribution from you Riaz. It is very brief but conclusive. I have not seen such an analysis taking into consideration the Misaq-e-Madina and trying to prove that in fact the two views are not poles apart but in fact are supportive of each other.Yes the post partition era ,specially the existing one ,has proved the validity of the two nation theory. Thanks for enlightening on all these facts.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Direct Action Day clearly proved that MAJ was as much a peace loving muslim as there are black santa claus. Only Pakis will glorify him. it is an apt justice that Shias are getting murdered in Pak."

MAJ called for peaceful protests on Direct Action Day. It was observed peacefully in India with the exception of Bengal where both Hindus and Muslims committed mass violence. Nisid Hajari, an Indian Hindu author of "Midnight's Furies" described it as follows in an interview:

"And all over the country, actually, there were - there were meetings held on this day, and there was no violence whatsoever. There were just political speeches given, and Jinnah himself very clearly said that's all he wanted. He wanted his followers to go out and make the case for Pakistan, and that's all.

But in Kolkata, which was a very turbulent city, there was - you know, it's a great industrial center. It had been bombed during World War II. People were still semi-traumatized from their experience during the war and at the famine that occurred during the war. And there were lots of leftover weapons lying around that Americans had - soldiers had left behind huge cases of ammunition, so it was a tinderbox. And on that day, the speeches that were given were fairly inflammatory. And some of the Muslim listeners to these speeches went out and started burning and looting in Hindu areas. At the same time, Hindus in different parts of the city were also sort of throwing bricks and stones at Muslim marchers, so it's unclear - it's very hard say exactly how it started or who started it."

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "What inspiration did he draw from Prophet's genocide of entire Jewish tribe of banu Qurayza. "

He understood that that "No Jew shall be killed for being Jew" as agreed in the Misaq after the Battle of the Trench in which the Jewish tribe betrayed the citizens of Madina.

He also understood that the Jews of Banu Qurayza had agreed to be be dealt with under Jewish Law in the Old Testament:

Deuteronomy 20:12-14

12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies.

Riaz Haq said...

#India, #Pakistan and #Bangladesh will reunite to form 'Akhand Bharat': #BJP Gen Sec Ram Madhav …

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will reunite to form Akhand Bharat, or "undivided India", said General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Ram Madhav in an interview to Al Jazeera.
Referring to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Madhav said, "The RSS still believes that one day these parts, which have for historical reasons separated only 60 years ago, will again, through popular goodwill, come together and Akhand Bharat will be created. As an RSS member I also hold onto that view." However, he added that it "does not mean we wage war on any country, [or that] we annex any country. Without war, through popular consent, it can happen."

Recently, the BJP has been facing the ire over allgetions of rising number of cases of intolerance in the country. Several artists and writers have returned their awards protesting over the same.
Commenting on the allegations of rising intolerance in the country, Madhav termed it as a ploy "to defame the government and in turn to defame the image of India."

Iyengar Thaligai said...

I wonder how much better Hindus, Ahmadiyya Muslims or Shia Muslims fare in Pakistan compared to Muslims in India.

Unknown said...

@Indian Haters

You don`t need to worry about us, the condition of Pakistan's minorities is far better than that of Indian`s. We don`t kill people for eating beef, in India despite the increase in Muslim population their representation in Lok Sabha has been on the decrease from the 1980s on the other hand Pakistan has a fixed quota reserved for its minorites.

@Mr Riaz why do you even allow their bigoted comments to be published?

Anonymous said...

@Ibrahim Munir
"We don`t kill people for eating beef" - yeah sure! but you don't even recognize hindus marrying! In Pakistan it is impossible for a hindu to get a marriage certificate.
In India we have a separate law for recognizing Muslim marriages.

You certainly kill people who support women's education as you tried killing Malala. (

"in India despite the increase in Muslim population their representation in Lok Sabha has been on the decrease from the 1980s on the other hand Pakistan has a fixed quota reserved for its minorites."

Sure! Sure! Come back and awaken me when you have a non muslim President/Prime minister/Army General/Cabinet Ministers. In india we had many non hindu/minority prime ministers, presidents and cabinet level ministers.

Lets face it! No country which bases itself on religious grounds can ever be conducive for minorities. Till this date no country had ever been no one is going to be in the future. All the civilized world have long separated their church and state. It is high time Pakistan also does that.

Riaz Haq said...

Muhammad Sculpture Inside Supreme Court a Gesture of Goodwill

Perched above the press seating area inside the U.S. Supreme Court chamber is a marble image of Prophet Muhammad.

Sculpted in a frieze, the Muhammad statue carries a sword and the Quran and stands in the company of more than a dozen other “great lawgivers of history.” They range from Moses to Confucius to Napoleon to John Marshall, some of whom appear in an accompanying frieze along the south side of the room.

In a week in which the right to mock – or even depict the Prophet Muhammad – became the focus of world-wide debate, the Supreme Court sculpture of the prophet of Islam has drawn little notice. That wasn’t always the case. Back in the 1990s, a controversy erupted that culminated with calls by some Islamic leaders to sandblast the statue’s face off the chamber wall.

Islam strongly discourages depictions of Muhammad. And in 1997, some Muslim leaders called on the Supreme Court to remove the image inside the chamber.

According to a Washington Post article at the time, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim groups wrote to the court urging that the statue’s face be sandblasted. Then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist refused, issuing a letter that said it would be “unlawful to remove or in any way injure an architectural feature in the Supreme Court building.”

The “controversy was generally laid to rest, in part through a fatwa” authored by Sheikh Taha Jaber al-Alwani, an influential Islamic scholar, according to a 2009 article in Hamline University’s Journal of Law and Religion.

The Islamic legal opinion written by Mr. al-Alwani concludes:

What I have seen in the Supreme Courtroom deserves nothing but appreciation and gratitude from American Muslims. This is a positive gesture toward Islam made by the architect and other architectural decision-makers of the highest Court in America. God willing, it will help ameliorate some of the unfortunate misinformation that has surrounded Islam and Muslims in this country.

In a culture whose literary heritage is replete with disdainful images of the Prophet Muhammad . . . it is comforting to note that those in the highest Court in the United States were able to surmount these prejudices, and display his image among those of the greatest lawgivers in human history. Isn’t that effort a noble gesture that deserves from us, who believe in him as the Prophet and Messenger, every encouragement, esteem, and gratitude instead of disapproval, condemnation, and outrage?

An information sheet published by the Supreme Court’s curator office said the 80-year-old statue is “a well-intentioned attempt by the sculptor, Adolph Weinman, to honor Muhammad and it bears no resemblance to Muhammad.”

Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told Law Blog on Wednesday that he now considers the matter closed.

While his group’s demands weren’t met back then, he said he gives the late chief justice credit for agreeing to correct a Supreme Court brochure that had misidentified Muhammad as the “founder of Islam” rather than a prophet.

“We appreciate the Supreme Court’s effort to acknowledge the contribution of Prophet Muhammad in law-giving in history,” Mr. Awad said. “To us, it’s behind us.”

Riaz Haq said...

How Pakistan was envisaged -

Quaid e Azam M.A Jinnah quotes:

These are gems plz Circulate widely, folks!

1. “No nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with the men... It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live.”

2. “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, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

3. “Do not forget that the armed forces are the servants of the people. You do not make national policy; it is we, the civilians, who decide these issues and it is your duty to carry out these tasks with which you are entrusted.”

4.“ Corruption and bribery are like poison and a horrible disease which need to be put down with an iron hand “