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10 things we should learn from the life of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah

WRITTEN BY

Sara Riaz
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was born on 25 December, 1876 in Vazeer Mansion Karachi. In 1940s, Quaid-e-Azam emerged as an exemplary leader. He came forward as a torchbearer for the Muslims of subcontinent, who had been struggling for their rights since 1857. A lawyer by profession, Quaid-e-Azam was a man of his word. His charismatic personality and the aura of optimism that would surround him all the time, made him stand out among the other leaders.

It was Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s selfless devotion, commitment, valor and countless such unique qualities that led him to become Quaid-e-Azam from Jinnah. Raising the flag of Islam, Quaid-e-Azam gave a new dimension to the struggle of Indian Muslims for independence. Quaid-e-Azam, who was a visionary leader, led the Indian Muslims out of the gloom of slavery to the light of freedom acquiring a separate homeland for them. The name Pakistan, which means the land of pure, was coined for it. Quad-e-Azam himself took the reins as the first governor general of Pakistan. Reflecting upon Quaid-e-Azam’s life we learn a lot of lessons. Out of those lessons, many are worth learning from.

1. LEADING BY EXAMPLE

True leader is the one who doesn’t just order what to do, but shows his followers how to do it. Quaid-e-Azam himself was a practical example of what he instructed his Muslim followers. He was a living example of strength, a treasure of knowledge.

2. KNOWLEDGE IS THE REAL STRENGTH

During the freedom movement a group of Muslim students approached Quaid-e-Azam to seek his permission to arm themselves with weapons. They wanted to do so because students affiliated with Congress were arming themselves with weapons. The Muslim students wanted to do likewise for self-defense against any possible attacks. Quaid-e-Azam, replying clearly said, “No”. Instead he advised them to get education and acquire knowledge as knowledge is the strongest weapon they can get themselves equipped with.

3. THERE SHOULD BE NO COMPROMISE WHEN IT COMES TO SELF RESPECT AND DIGNITY

An interesting story about Quaid-e-Azam relates that once in a court of law Quaid-e-Azam was appearing as a pleader of client. The monocle that he was using to read the notes fell to the floor. Anticipated that Jinnah would have to bend in his court to pick up the monocle from the ground, the magistrate started grinning mischievously. To his utter disappointment Quaid-e-Azam put his hand in his pocket to take out a spare monocle. From this one small incident, we can infer that he would never compromise on self-respect and dignity.

4. YOU CANNOT BE A GOOD LEADER UNLESS YOU ARE A GOOD LISTENER

There is no doubt that Quaid-e-Azam was a man of his word but he wasn’t a dictator either. Fatima Jinnah, Quaid-e-Azam’s sister would give him suggestions and ideas regarding the freedom movement. Allama Iqbal, who was his opponent at first, had a well-documented influence on Jinnah, with regards to taking the lead in creating Pakistan. Iqbal succeeded in converting Jinnah to agree with him on the point that Muslims required a separate homeland. Quaid-e-Azam eventually accepted Iqbal as his “mentor”.

5. DISCIPLINE IS THE BASIC INGREDIENT OF SUCCESS

Reflecting upon his way of life we can infer that Quaid-e-Azam lived a highly disciplined life. In his speeches he would always emphasize upon the importance of discipline in life.

In Quaid-e-Azam’s speech at Edward’s College Peshawar 18th April, 1948 he emphasized on the need of discipline:

My message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence. Let us mobilize all our resources in a systemic and organized way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation.

6. DEDICATION, DEVOTION AND COMMITMENT TRANSFERS DREAMS INTO REALITIES

It was due to Quaid-e-Azam’s devotion that Pakistan emerged on the map of the world. Lord Pethick Lawrence, the former Secretary of State for India, wasn’t wrong when he said:

Gandhi died by the hands of an assassin; Jinnah died by his devotion to Pakistan.

Quaid-e-Azam steered the wheel of the newly built ship, Pakistan like an expert sailor. Stanely Wolpert said:

Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.

7. TOLERANCE LAYS THE FOUNDATION OF PEACE

Quaid-e-Azam preached and practiced tolerance. He was in favor of tolerance towards minorities and respected any viewpoint that was against his opinion. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, showing a higher degree of tolerance, said in his presidential address:

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.

8. RELIGION AND WORLDLY AFFAIRS SHOULD BE CARRIED SIDE BY SIDE

One can come to know, by pondering upon the following excerpt from Quaid-e-Azam’s speech, that how keen he was to implement Islamic law in Pakistan:

All that I have served the Muslims and this land Pakistan. I have served it as a personal soldier and servant of Islam. Now, to make Pakistan a great nation and a developed country on the earth, you all have to put your efforts with me. I strongly long and wish to see Pakistan emerging, as an Islamic state so that once again the world can see the beautiful picture of Hazrat Umar Farooq’s golden era. May Allah the Almighty fulfill this wish of mine.

9. SETBACKS IN LIFE SHOULDNT BLOCK YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS

The death of Quaid-e-Azam’s wife Maryam Jinnah, in 1929, had been a huge setback in Jinnah’s life. He used to miss his wife dearly. It was an irreplaceable loss for him as she had passed away at the young age of 29. Despite the great grief in his heart, Quaid-e-Azam continued fighting for the rights of Muslims and focused on his goal.

10. DONT LET THE PRESSURE OF OPPONENTS CHANGE YOUR MIND

Quaid-e-Azam, who was subject to pressure from the Hindus as well as the British Empire, remained adamant in the face of unruly opponents.

Extract from Address to Public Servants at Government House Peshawar on 14 April, 1948:

You should not be influenced by any political pressure, by any party or individual.

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah would want us all to inculcate in our selves the unique qualities, because of which he left a mark on the sand of time. It is because of his qualities that his name is written in golden letters on the pages of history.

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