Secular or Religious; What Quaid Wanted?


“Two Nation Theory” may be buzzing in your ears since childhood. Which states that Muslims and Hindus of subcontinent are two totally separate nations from every aspect; therefore Muslims should have a separate homeland in the Muslim majority areas of British-India, where they can spend their lives according to the glorious teachings of Islam.

But, gradually I started encountering people having different opinions. For me, it was surprising at first because these notions go against my text books in elementary school. There are two major school of thoughts which say 1) Pakistan was created with the Islamic Ideology 2) Pakistan was created with Secular Ideology. Both ideologies have the backing of M A Jinnah’s sayings.

The group favoring the secular state quote the speech of M A Jinnah on 11th  August 1948

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or 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.”

At one occasion Quaid said that

“he does not want Pakistan to be a theocracy “

These secular groups also believe that Quaid-e-Azam M A Jinnah was religiously corrupt. Their supporting arguments include; he was married to a Parsi lady, his attire was non-Islamic and he belong to the non-Islamic group/sect i.e. Islmaili.

On the other hand Quaid is again rightly quoted as

“Pakistan will be a laboratory for Islam where we can experiment Islam in its true sense”

In the historic speech of Quaid at the inauguration ceremony of Sate Bank of Pakistan, he once again expressed his ideology of Pakistan in following words

We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. (July 1, 1948)
Quaid at another ocassion addressing to lawyers said that Islam is code of life, it tells how one should conduct his life. Islam regulates all aspects of the human life.

Now few  questions may strike to the mind, What Quaid wanted then?? Religious theocracy or secular state?? What is the panacea to all this problem i.e. tete-a-tete ?? Why Quaid favored Religious ideology at one time and secular at another??

In my humble opinion, Quaid neither wanted a secular nor a religious state. He wanted a true democratic state. When he said “everyone will ceases to be a Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Sindhi, Balochi, Punjabi or Pathan” he meant that, the citizens of new state will be entitled to equal rights regardless of their creed, color or language. And when he said “No theocracy”  or “laboratory of Islam” he actually fore-sought that when 97-98% of Muslims will elect and send their representatives to its constituent assembly; no legislation can go against the Qura’n and Sunnah. hence a laboratory for Islam.

Panacea, to all the Islamists and secularists quarrel is; what Quaid wanted was a true “DEMOCRATIC State” (Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Islami Jamhooriya-e-Pakistan). Long Live Pakistan

P.S Cross posted at mideastyouth

Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani
Author is an MS scholar of Management Science
Member Youth Parliament Pakistan (Sargodha Youth Assembly).

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5 thoughts on “Secular or Religious; What Quaid Wanted?

  1. Quaid was a great man, what he percieved about Islam was actually the true Islam, the libral Islam, not that preched by Molvees of that tym………i think Islam is a religion for all mankind,it is a “hadayat for all” so when we talk about secular and democratic stuff, we should not forget that Islam has all the good ingredients of state management!!Although he was married to a parsi lady,but dnt forget that Jinnah first converted her and then got married,i think this is another plus point for him that he converted a non muslim to a muslim, this is the charismatic leadership and the religious quality.. so what i think is that Quaid wanted a liberal Pakistan, a plateform for muslims of all over the world to get united and rise as a developed nation.

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  2. A brilliant work by you and what I deem about yours blogs till now that you really have the powers to entail the reader in the thought process and help them in building up a view point is adorable on your part.
    What Quaid-e-Azam wants??? Whether Pakistan a religious or a secular state!! has remained a very controversial issue still now what kind of set up he really wished to have for this state, a lot of debates has been done on this but what I think according to my very little knowledge and meek opinion, He wanted a state where no one trample the rights of others, rule of justice, in case of minorities no restriction on performing of their religious activities regardless of creed, caste and religion. As about religious state point; he wanted a state where Islamic way of life should be applicable (Which is no doubt a complete and perfect way of life followed) as it was in 1300 years ago.
    As you said that Quid-e-Azam wanted Pakistan a true democratic state to highlight your point I am mentioning an address of him which held on February 21, 1948, Karachi, where he said:
    “You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil”.
    Why he wanted Pakistan an Islamic democratic state because in true sense Islam is a secular religion, as we all know that Islam is the modern religion that God has bestowed to the mankind inorder to adopt Islam as their way of life. Muslims are to respect other people’s religion and beliefs and are not suppose to force others; because Allah says: [2;256] “There should be no compulsion in religion.” What my point here is that as being a very pragmatic leader of this Great nation he really wanted a true Islamic way of life for this nation where it should make its name as a “Role Model” not only in Islamic world but also in commit of others nations.

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    • As ever well researched comment from you esp for the part

      February 21, 1948, Karachi, where he said:
      “You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil”.

      and

      Allah says: [2;256] “There should be no compulsion in religion.”

      But I will humbly disagree with your point that Islam is a secular religion. Islam is wants itself to be a dominant religion among all. It give rights to all other religions but under certain conditions not in all e.g. Protection for minority only when they pay minority tax (Jaz’ziya).

      I’m not convinced yet about “Islam is secular religion”.

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  3. By secularism I mean here “The right to freedom from governmental imposition of religion upon the people within a state that is neutral on matters of belief.” The whole history of Islamic rule there is no such example that Muslim Rulers have ever insisted non-Muslims to follow their religion and jaz’ziya is concern it was a tax for their(minorities) welfare.

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