QAIDE AZAM MOHAMEDALI JINNAH

 

<<I read "Five Minutes To Mid Night"  ....... it made me wonder why Jinnah did not speak Urdu  ..... or any of the major Indian Languages.   Now I know.>>  

Was it 'Five Minutes to Mid Night' or 'Freedom at Mid Night'? I remember to have read 'Freedom at Midnight' in which Qaide Azam Mohamedali Jinnah is portrayed somewhat as a villain. It also states that during the partition Jinnah was more concerned about his 'dinner set' that he had forgotten in Bombay than thousands of human beings who were being massacred and displaced at the border. This obviously creates a negative impact on a reader's mind, for it is an adversarial version. Likewise Jinnah is a hero to millions of his admirers.  

Jinnah may not have been a saint but what we make of him is that he was a smart leader who commanded the respect and following of majority of the Muslims, and that he brought them on a common platform to safeguard their interest. From hearsay on the 10th of Muharram on 'Ashura' day he would stand in a queue at Palagalli (while in Bombay) to receive his share of 'nyaaz'. Was this not common for all Khojas, whether Ismaili or Ithnashri? It is said that prior to shifting to his house at Malbar Hill (recently taken over by the Indian Govt.) he resided at Palagalli, Dongri, in the Khoja vicinity of Bombay. This also reminds of the controversy surrounding over the Muslim sect to which he belonged. In all probability Jinnah was a Khoja Ithnashri. His wife is buried in Khoja Ithnashri cemetery ('Aram Baag') on Ray Road along Mazgaon in Bombay. It is also understood that portion of his belongings as well as his sister Fatma's were donated to Khoja Ithnashri charities. Fatma Jinnah was buried according to the Khoja Ithnashri rites and rituals. Mihir Bose in his biography of H.H. The Agakhan states that the emergence of Jinnah in the Muslim League had startling effect on the Agakhan   (who generously funded the party ),  for Jinnah belonged to the dissident Khoja sect.    

<<As to his community, Stanley Wolpert goes into some length about his Ismaili Khoja background and Hector Bolitho also refers to it. His own relations acknowledge it. It's of no consequence whether he became Ithna'ashari or Sunni. Suffice it to say, he was of Khoja background and essentially non practising in any particular school of ecclesiastical thought - more an ecumenical, liberal minded Muslim.>> 

What a commentary! 

Yet i must say of Jinnah's relations that they are several, and to be found in the subcontinent as well as elsewhere....great grand son, daughter, nephew etc, and everyone comes up with his/her version. Even among Parsees, for his only daughter (or grand daughter) is married to a Parsee, from her mother's clan. There is no denying the fact that Jinnah's background was Ismaili, and so were our forefathers who should also be termed Ismailis. The conversion was a gradual process (1880-1930) and we are the product of this sectarianism. Definitely somewhere in the line a distant nephew or cousin exists. 

Yes, irrespective of the faith he practiced and whatever others may say of him, Mohamedali Jinnah was the force behind the destiny of millions; and he withstood the gravity of the situation.  

<<It is fair to say that he saw his own spiritual salvation in the creation of Pakistan, though how a self-professed secularist could have reconciled that to the concept of a state based on a religious foundation will forever remain a paradox of history.>> 

With all due respect, we often get misled by scribblers into things that are not true.  It could be that Jinnah had enough of Vallabbhai Patel and sensed the gravity of the situation, and the likes of Advani and Modi who play on the feelings of a mob. 

I've this friend of mine, a Muslim, who is Jinnah's worst critic. You mention Jinnah to him and he hurls abuses. He always maintains that had there been no Pakistan the subcontinent would have vied with super powers and ruled the world. He could be right. 

  

                                                                                                                                                                                


Last updated March 2008 Copyright Abdulrazak Fazal 2007 - All Rights Reserved