There is a raging debate by the English media which tries to impose its opinion on the rest of us. Dawn, Sethi, Daily Times and some extent Geo News does try to overwhelm us with the same opinions which seem to portray Mohammad Ali Jinnah as a Secular, Non-religious person. Mr. Akbar’s book spread malicious lies about his character and cuisine.
The fact is that Jinnah’s parents were some of the bravest persons on the planet. Engulfed by a foreign religion, where Islam was being stamped out, and in a tribe where is not politically correct to be Muslim–Mr. and Mrs. Poonja dared to bear a son as a Muslim. Their bravery knew no bounds, because they named him Mohammad Ali–a great provocation to the majority Lohana and other tribes that he lived in the midst of.
Those early memories of prosecution and persecution must have connected to some neural network in the mind of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He dared to be Muslim, and he wanted to be successful. He joined Lincoln’s Inn because it had listed Mohammad (PBUH) as a major Law giver to the world. These small but seminal tit bits give us deep insights into the mind of the revolutionary who believed in what he called the “mussalmans” of South Asia. He represented their cause, and led them to the promised land. His ambitious nature and hard work made him one of the most successful barrister in the land, and he earned respect even in Britain.
In the late Forties, Jinnah gave up his Seville Roe suites for the Kurakuli hat (Jinnah cap now) and Islamic Sherwani, and prayed in mosques which his hands clasped in the front the Sunni fashion.
Jinnah of course was very impressed by the founding father of the Muslim League Alama Iqbal. Iqbal in his poetry and his books had alluded to and wrote about how to reform Islam to meet the needs of the modern state. Iqbal said:
- ‘Birth of Islam is the birth of inductive intellect’ (p. 101)
- ‘one indirect way of establishing connexions with the reality that confronts us is reflective observation and control of its symbols as they reveal themselves to sense-perception’ (p. 12)
- ‘This alone will add to his power over Nature and give him that vision of the total-infinite which philosophy seeks but cannot find’ (p. 73).
Iqbal’s seminal book “Reconstruction of Islamic thought” (http://www.islamicsearchcenter.com/library/Iqbal/The%20Reconstruction%20of%20Religious%20Thought%20in%20Islam.pdf) is a roadmap on reviving the religion. Iqbal’s dictat: ‘Approach modern knowledge with a respectful but independent attitude’ (p. 78). In response to Spengler’s criticism of Islam, Iqbal had said “‘That a Magian crust has grown over Islam, I do not deny’–‘Indeed, my main purpose in these lectures has been to secure a vision of the spirit of Islam as emancipated from its Magian overlayings’ (p. 114)”. Iqbal said that Islam, ‘a psychological cure for the Magian attitude of constant expectation. Iqbal does expound on this that Ibn Khaldun has ‘finally demolished the alleged revelational basis in Islam of an idea similar . . . to the original Magian idea’ (p. 115) is an implied and may be somewhat suppressed reference to his view that ‘all prophetic traditions relating to mahdâ, masihiyat and “mujaddidiyyat” are Magian in both provenance and spirit’ (Iqbal Namah, II, 231).
The Quaid created two new departments in nascent Pakistan. One was the Inter-Services Intelligence (the ISI) and he created the Department of Islamic Reconstruction. There is no doubt that Jinnah had taken Iqbal’s concrete words and asked Mohammad Asad to lead the team to create an implementation plan for the republic. Mohammad Asad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtcbukncXvA) was heading the department was entrusted with the following:
- Develop Islamic Constitution for Pakistan
- Develop the Islamic Economic system for Pakistan
- Develop the Bureaucratic Islamic system for Pakistan
- Develop the Social System based on Islamic values for Pakistan
The first recommendations of the department headed by Mohammad Asad were
a) Take the lands back from those that had been given to the landlords by the British
b) Abolish Lord Macaulay’s education system that had created a nation of slaves who looked brown but were white on the inside. A cadre of “babus” or WOGs (Westernized Oriental Gentlemen). Case in point in 1911 literacy rate in the Punjab was 97% and by 1947 it had gone down to 11%.
The works of Mohammad Asad define the profound thinking of scholars of the time. His works represent the thinking of Alama Iqbal. It was Iqbal who had asked Asad to stay behind in South Asia and work for the formation of the new Islamic republic. The day Pakistan was formed, Asad was chartered to implement Iqbals’ dreams in a concrete manner.
One concrete document that came out of Mohammad Asad’s hands was the “Objectives Resolution‘ or ‘Qarardad e Maqasid”. Liaqat Ali Khan took that mantle and gave it to the Constituent Assembly and asked them to base the constitution of Pakistan on the “Qarardad e Maqasid”. Various vested forces and foreign influences abolished the constituent assembly, and discarded the 1956 constitution which was based on the Qarardad i Maqasid. The constitution of 1962 dropped the word Islamic from the name of the country. However Bhutto the other so called “secularist” revived the 1956 constitution in the form of the 1973 constitution and made two bold statements in the glorious document “All sovereignty rests with Allah’ (as opposed to all secular constitutions where sovereignty rests with the monarch or the people), and “No law shall be made which is repugnant to Islam”.
Zia Ul Haq included the Qarardad e Maqasid in the constitution and 18th amendment in 2011 consecrated it as part and parcel of the constitution.
Jinnah’s various speeches before 1947 and his seminal speech on the inauguration of the State Bank of Pakistan clearly state that the system of government would be Islamic and the economic system would be Islamic. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto stated the objectivities of his party as “Islam is our religion, Democracy is our policy and Socialism is our polity”–later redefined as Islamic Socialism.
The populist Imran Khan now proclaims Pakistan as an Islamic Welfare state–exactly what Jinnah, Liaqat, and Bhutto had stated earlier–the same thoughts of Iqbal, Asad, Jinnah, the consituent Assembly of 1956, the constituent Assembly of 1973, and the current constitution of Pakistan.
“Reconstruction” had a seminal influence on Moudoodi, Hasan Al Banna and Syed Qutub. In fact Moudoodi’s books are used by the Ikhwan Ul Muslimeen as text for their scholars. The books are also very popular in Indonesia and Malysia. Scared of “Rivialism”, the Awami League government has banned all of Moudoodi’s books and put the Pro-Islamic and Pro-Pakistan Jamat e Islami leaders in jail. To read more about Alama Iqbals’ “Reconstruction of Islamic Thought” please click here:
Mohammad Asad’s legacy is carried on my Talal Asad, who explains the Asad family:
To read more about Mohammad Asad and his thinking read:
- 1. Jerusalem in 1923: The Impressions of a Young European (1923)
- 2. The Spirit of Islam (1934)
- 3. The Concept of Religion in the West and in Islam (1934)
- 4. The Spirit of the West (1934)
- 5. ?a??? al-Bukh?r? (1935)
- 6. Towards a Resurrection of Thought (1937)
- 7. ?a??? al-Bukh?r? (1938)
- 8. ?a??? al-Bukh?r? (1938)
- 9. ?a??? al-Bukh?r? (1938)
- 10. What Arafat? (1946)
- 11. The Outline of a Problem (September 1946)
- 12. Is Religion a Thing of the Past? (October 1946)
- 13. This Law of Ours (November 1946, December 1946, January 1947)
- 14. Construction or Destruction? (February 1947)
- 15. That Business of Imitation (April 1947)
- 16. What do we mean by Pakistan? (May 1947)
- 17. Notes and Comments (May 1947)
- 18. Towards an Islamic Constitution (July 1947)
- 19. Notes and Comments (July 1947)
- 20. Calling All Muslims (September 1947)
- 21. Arafat—Quarterly Journal of Islamic Reconstruction (March 1948)
- 22. Islamic Reconstruction (March 1948)
- 23. Islamic Constitution Making (March 1948)
- 24. The Road to Mecca (1954)
- 25. The Encounter of Islam and the West (1959)
- 26. Islam and the Spirit of our Times (1960)
- 27. The Principles of State and Government in Islam (1961)
- 28. Islam and Politics (1963)
- 29. Jerusalem: The Open City (1970s)
- 30. The Meaning and Significance of the Hijrah (1979)
- 31. The Message of the Qur’an (1980)
- 32. The Message of the Qur’an (1980)
- 33. The Principles of State and Government in Islam (1980)
- 34. Sahih al-Bukh?ri (1981)
- 35. A Vision to Jerusalem (1982)
- 36. Jerusalem: A City for all People (1982)
- 37. A Tribe That Kept Its Name (1985)
- Arafat: A Monthly Critique of Muslim Thought (1946–47)