Few individuals significantly alter the course of history, few still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone credited with creating a nation state. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three. (Stanley Wolpret).
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a lawyer, statesman, constitutionalist and the creator of Pakistan. He was born on 25th December 1876 at Wazir Mansion Kharadhar, in Karachi to the family of Poonja Jinnahbhai and Mithibhai. Quad e Azam’s first wife was Emibhai whom Jinnah had married out of the wish of his mother. She died when Jinnah was still in London. In 1918 Jinnah married second time with Rathanbhai Petit, daughter of his friend, Sir Dinsha Petit; he was part of an elite Parsi family in Bombay.
There was great opposition from the Parsi community on this marriage. The nikah of Jinnah marriage with Rathanbhai (Ruttie) was read by Sheikh Abul Hassan Najafi while Raja of Mahmoodabad acted wakeel for Jinnah and Ghulam Ali was wakeel of Rathanbhai. Ruttie had accepted Islam and named her Maryam. The couple gave birth to a child Dina in 1919. Ruttie died in 1929 A.D.
In Karachi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had attended the Sindh Madrassatul Islam and Christian Missionary Society High Schools. Jinnah had an unquenched soul for higher education which could only be realized in the UK. Thus luck showered on him its blessings what he aspired as in 1892 Sir Frederick Croft Leigh, a friend f Poonja Jinnah Bhai offered the young Jinnah an apprenticeship at his firm in London.
The aspiring barrister got admission at the Lincoln’s Inn, stating latter that he chose Lincoln over other Inns was because to the entrance of the Lincoln’s Inn was inscribed the name of great law makers of the world including Muhammad (pbuh). In UK, Jinnah was inspired with ideas of liberalism with whom many latter great Indian political leaders like Dada Naourji and Sir Ferozeshah Mehta were associated. This exposure also strengthened his beliefs in democratic nation and progressive politics. After completing his law education in London Jinnah returned to India and began his profession as lawyer. Jinnah was a talented lawyer and that is where his talent lay and he was a clever thinker. Soon he became one of the leading lawyers of the subcontinent and won many important cases.
Jinnah began his political career joining the All India Congress. He devoted much of his time practicing as lawyer but also remained politically active and motivated. He was a member of moderate group inside Congress advocating Hindu-Muslim unity in achieving self government. Jinnah remained member of Congress till 1920 when he said good bye when the congress started the Satyagarh movement, as Jinnah as against any unconstitutional activity.
When Muslim delegation in 1906 met viceroy lord Minto in Shimla under Aga Khan 111 and demanded separate electorates for the Muslims of India, Jinnah opposed this. The Aga Khan later wrote, that it was freakishly ironic that Jinnah who would lead the Muslims to independence, came out in bitter hostility towards all that I and my friends had done. He said that our principle of separate electorate was dividing the nation against itself.
Jinnah joined the Muslim League in 1913 and then devoted his all energies to achieve the objectives of the League. During the war Jinnah fully supported British war efforts in hoping that after the war British government will reward the Indian with political freedoms. Jinnah also played an important role in the founding of All India Home Rule League formed in 1916. Along with Annie Besant and other political leaders Jinnah demanded home rule for India, the status of self-governing dominion in the empire similar to New Zealand, Australia and Canada. As the war was progressing and British politicians were not interested with Indian constitutional reforms.British cabinet minister recalled Jinnah in his memoirs, young, perfectly mannered, impressive looking, armed to the teeth with dialectics and insistent on the whole of his scheme.
Jinnah is also considered as the Ambassador of Hindu Muslims unity because due to his efforts a joint session of Congress and Muslim League was held in Lucknow in 1916.In this session congress for the first time had accepted separate electorates for the Muslims of India. When the Nehru report was released in 1928, Jinnah, in 1929, announced his famous Fourteen Points in reaction to Nehru Report calling for mandatory representation for the Muslims in legislatures and cabinet. Jinnah also sailed for England to attend the Round Table Conferences called by the British government to solve the constitutional issues of the sub continent.
Dissatisfied with the political situations in India, Jinnah decided to remain in England forever. It was the period of Muslim League low ebb and the departure of Jinnah also gave it a severe blow. But the sharp mind and deep insight of Allama Iqbal soon realized that without Jinnah the future of Muslims is not visible in near future. So Iqbal wrote several letters to Jinnah requesting him to come back to India and retake the responsibility of Muslim League. He realized Iqbal, s requests and returned to India in 1937.
Although the provincial elections of 1937 were not good for the League due to its poor performance even in the Muslims provinces, but Jinnah did not lose courage and worked hard to mobilize and strengthen the League. He toured the far flung of the country and established Muslim League branches. He also established Muslim League Women and Students Associations.
The remarkable event in the history f Indian Muslims was the adoption of the Lahore Resolution on 23rd March 1940 at Lahore. In his presidential address Jinnah explicitly mentioned that Hindu and Muslims are two separate nations in any way of life. They have different ideologies, cultural values and thoughts. Most importantly Muslims worship one God, while the Hindus worship many gods. Therefore, they will never remain as unified nation and for the integrity of the sub continent they should have separate states. The resolution passed in 1940 was a wake-up call for the Muslims of India and this determined their future destiny. Hence afterwards, the Muslims were not ready to accept anything less than Pakistan.
Jinnah untiring efforts brought fruits when the Muslim League won all the seats reserved for the Muslims of India in the general elections of 1946. This provided an eye opening for the British government to realize the importance of the league as it was the sole political representative organization of the Muslims of India. At last the British government realized that the only political solution for India is partitioning it into two Dominions, India and Pakistan.
When Pakistan emerged as independent Islamic state on the map of the earth on 14th August 1947, Jinnah became its first governor general. As the new state had to start from scratch, because the Indian government had created every malicious effort to impede the smooth functioning of the new state of Pakistan. But the towering personality of the Quaid was there to guide the Muslims in such harsh times. His words were like a command to all .He shrewdly handled the crucial issues of emigrants from India and put up the issue of Kashmir etc.in a more diplomatic manner.
His struggle for Pakistan had badly affected his health and he cared very little about it. Consequently his health began to deteriorate and he departed from us on 11th September 1948 .He was buried in Karachi.
Jinnah left a deep and respected legacy in Pakistan. He is remembered as the father of the nation. Innumerable roads, streets and localities in the world are named in the name of Jinnah, the Founder Pakistan. Several universities and building in Pakistan bear Jinnah’s name. According to Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah biographer, he remains Pakistan greatest leader. As Muhyuddin says, he was and continues to be as highly honored in Pakistan as (George Washington in the United State). Pakistan owes its very existence to his drive, tenacity and judgement.Jinnah importance in the creation of Pakistan was monumental and immeasurable. Pakistan has great respect for the Father of the Nation. The Civil Awards includes a Order of Quaid-e-Azam. The Jinnah Society also confers the Jinnah Award annually to a person that renders meritorious and outstanding services to Pakistan and its people. Jinnah is depicted on all Pakistani rupee currency and is the namesake of many Pakistani Public institutions. Jinnah International Airport Karachi is the busiest airport of the country. One of the largest streets in Turkey Ankara, Cinnah Cddesi, is named after him. There is the Muhammad Ali Jinnah Expressway in Tehran, Iran. The government of Iran also issued a stamp commemorating the centennial of Jinnah’s birth in 1976. In Chicago a portion of Devon Avenue was named,, Muhammad Ali Jinnah Way.