If Jinnah was an infidel Ismaili, then how is he the founder of Pakistan?

Mudassir Ali
Dec 26, 2019 12:02 PM 0 Answers
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If Jinnah was an infidel Ismaili, then how is he the founder of Pakistan?

Mudassir Ali
- Dec 26, 2019 12:03 PM

Highly disappointed by the answers which are clarifying Jinnah’s sect to invalidate claims surrounding his alleged infidelity.

A better answer would shun this train of thought and make a point about Jinnah’s contributions towards the independence movement.

Those answers make it appear as if Jinnah would not have been the founder of Pakistan if he’d been, let’s say, an ex-Muslim atheist in the place of a Twelver-Shia-turned-Sunni.

I strongly disagree with this line of thinking.

All that matters is the contribution of the individual to the movement and Jinnah had plenty of that to say the least.

Allow me to quickly tackle the issue of excommunication from Islam before heading to the latter part of the question.

Anyone who identifies as being a Muslim is a Muslim. Period.

Muslims need to stop picking and choosing who’s Muslim and who isn’t and must get their heads down to introspect instead of pointing fingers at others. If it was Ahmadis yesterday and it is Ismailis today according to the questioner, it’s only a matter of time that you find yourself to be on the wrong side. Don’t become a part of the holier-than-thou crowd. You never know who’s next. Pakistanis, of all people, must know better about this.

Speaking of founders, let us take a step back and adopt a different approach to the question.

Pakistan doesn’t have a lone founding father either, so to speak. Naturally, being a country with an overwhelming Muslim majority, most of our founding fathers were mainstream Muslims, but that’s still far from all. The efforts of the Christians, Parsis, Ahmadis, Hindus, etc. must never be undermined.

Let’s consider three examples; one of an Ahmadi, one of a Christian, and one of a Hindu.

There was Zafarullah Khan, the man behind Lahore Resolution and the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan. His services to the Pakistan movement are widely known and don’t require anybody to elaborate on them. He became a constitutionally declared ‘non-Muslim’ in post-1974 Pakistan.

Of the many Christians that stood on the frontline of Pakistan’s creation, there was one named Diwan S.P. Singha. As the speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Diwan S.P. Singha became one of the stronger voices to campaign for the Pakistan movement. He vehemently opposed the partition of Punjab during 1947. When voting was to decide Punjab’s fate, Singha, along with three other Christian members of the Punjab Assembly, broke the deadlock in the favour of Pakistan in a heavily contested vote. More on the contributions of Christians in this wonderfully written article on Friday Times: How four Christian votes made Pakistan possible

Now here’s the one that hurts the most:

Jogendra Nath Mandal, a Hindu, was a staunch democrat like Jinnah himself and served as a key figure in the independence movement. Mandal believed that Pakistan would go on to become an exemplary democratic state governed with progressive principles. Campaigning for the All-India Muslim League in eastern India to counter misconceptions, his Hindu identity delivered heavy blows to pre-partition suspicions of Pakistan being exclusively established for Muslims, or of being bigoted towards Hindus. Mandal became one of the five League members nominated by Jinnah during the Cabinet Mission in 1946. Post partition, Jogendra Math Mandal served as Pakistan’s very first Minister of Law and Labour.

In spite of me looking to focus on the pre-partition aspect of these figures, there’s more about this man that needs to be said to serve justice to his life’s tragedies. In an unparalleled show of optimism, Jogendra Nath Mandal supported the 1949 Objectives Resolution while most non-Muslim parliamentarians opposed it. This event estranged many non-Muslims including the East Pakistani politician Bhupendrakumar Dutta. Dutta’s immediate reaction was that Jinnah would have never have allowed this to happen as he unequivocally stated that he wanted a secular state. Mandal still stood firm. After putting up against as much as he could possibly bear with his sole pillar of strength being present in Jinnah’s vision, eventually with a heavy heart, Jogendra Nath Mandal resigned from his position while noticing biases against minority groups. He soon moved back to India. When Mandal attempted to partake in Indian politics upon returning, he was heckled by the locals and fellow politicians. The pain struck him so deep that he died the following year.

As for Ismailis not being considered worthy of being our founding fathers, here’s an important piece of information:

Another important figure particularly during the early stages of Pakistan’s independence movement was Sultan Muhammad Shah. This was the third Aga Khan & the Imam of Ismailis.

The third Aga Khan was among the founding members of the All-India Muslim League itself and served as the party’s president for the first 6 years of the its existence. He, along with Zafarullah Khan, was one of the few members of the All-India Muslim League who attended all three Round Table Conferences during the early 1930s—something that even Jinnah couldn’t do due of lack of progress. The Aga Khan led the Muslim League delegation on all three occasions as the team served a fierce opposition on two separate fronts simulataneously. One against Indian Congressmen, who were claiming to represent the interests of all Indians irrespective of caste and religion. And on the other end, they were actively pushing further the demands of the All-India Muslim League.

Fast forward to 2018, and there have been countless Ismailis, Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, irreligious individuals, etc. who have contributed to Pakistan’s progress in fields varying from performing arts & science, to economics and military—any field, you name it.

So, while there were thousands of Muslims in British India who were busy calling Jinnah Kaafir-e-Azam while saying that creating Pakistan was like “cooking and eating pork” (the said Muslims have been since been welcomed into Pakistani politics), the people above, the true founding fathers and freedom fighters of Pakistan—irrespective of their faith or sub-sect—united under the banner of Pakistan and brought the country into being.

To sum up: being a founding father of Pakistan does not bind you by any sub-sect or faith.

One must always remember that Diwan S.P. Singha, Zafarullah Khan, and Jogendra Nath Mandal reserve a greater right on Pakistan than any privileged Pakistani Muslim who believes otherwise while residing in the country today.

Respect the members of each religious community as equal citizens of the state. No one’s more Pakistani than the other. Everyone is and must remain equal.

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