Posts Tagged With: Charter of Madina

Arm yourself with knowledge about Quaid’s August 1947 speeches

By Syed Zaid Zaman Hamid

Arm yourself with knowledge. This is the speech secularists use to make their point that Quaid wanted a secular state. Here we destroy that myth, alhamdolillah. Read it and spread it. It is your duty to fight back and reclaim your Quaid.

The Quaid’s August Speeches, Charter of Medina and the rights of minorities

Burying the myth of “secular Jinnah” and August 11 speech

Zaid Hamid

The environment and the background to the August 11 1947 speech:

Pakistan was about to be created just after 3 days. Millions of people were on the move from India to their new homeland and a horrendous slaughter was going on of the migrants. Over 5 million Muslims lost their lives in their quest to make Pakistan. Muslims had moved to their majority regions of West Pakistan and East Pakistan and a sizeable Muslim population was now a minority in India at the mercy of aggressive, angry and violent Hindu and Sikh mobs. While there was great concern in the new Pakistan government over the well being of the Muslims left behind, there was also concern that similar anti-Hindu and anti-Sikh riots may break out in West Pakistan when the horrendous tales of slaughter, rape and murder of Muslims would reach Pakistan. Muslim leadership was determined that no such slaughter of minorities should take place in the Muslim land. This was a noble yet staggering challenge. The Hindus in newly formed Pakistan was nervous and were mass migrating towards India fearing a similar backlash slaughter. It was critical that new Muslim government remove the fears and panic in the non-Muslims living in newly created Pakistan. This was one the hottest topic of discussion in those days – How would Pakistan treat its minorities?
Quaid decided to respond in a series of speeches, explaining the Muslim concept of protection of minorities. He made two simultaneous speeches to the Constituent assembly of Pakistan. First was on August 11th 1947 and the other was on August 14th, just 3 days later. Both speeches are continuation of the same thought process and explain each other and must be seen together as policy statements of Quaid. Both speeches cannot be separated from each other, nor seen in isolation nor quoted out of context to the regional environment and the challenges faced by the new Muslim government with regards to maintaining the peace in the country and protection of the minorities.

The liberal secularists have always used couple of lines from the first speech to try to prove that Quaid wanted a secular Pakistan where religion will not have anything to do with the state. This is most bizarre, illogical and sinister interpretation of the Quaid’s vision and words which have nothing to do with reality.

Quaid chose to speak on few critical topics of the time, explaining the gigantic events which were unprecedented and were now shaping the region. He made few observations in order of priority to be achieved for the new government.

Remember that this was an inaugural speech and Quaid had not come very prepared and had only wanted to make few basic remarks, NOT any future legal or constitutional framework. This is important to understand:

He clarified this point the opening remarks: “Dealing with our first function in this Assembly, I cannot make any well-considered pronouncement at this moment, but I shall say a few things as they occur to me”.

Then we opened up with his speech whose critical points are below:

1. “This mighty sub-continent with all kinds of inhabitants has been brought under a plan which is titanic, unknown, unparalleled. And what is very important with regards to it is that we have achieved it peacefully and by means of an evolution of the greatest possible character”

2. “The first observation that I would like to make is this: You will no doubt agree with me that the first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State”

3. “The second thing that occurs to me is this: One of the biggest curses from which India is suffering – I do not say that other countries are free from it, but, I think our condition is much worse – is bribery and corruption. That really is a poison. We must put that down with an iron hand and I hope that you will take adequate measures as soon as it is possible for this Assembly to do so”

4. “Black-marketing is another curse. Well, I know that blackmarketeers are frequently caught and punished. Judicial sentences are passed or sometimes fines only are imposed. Now you have to tackle this monster, which today is a colossal crime against society, in our distressed conditions, when we constantly face shortage of food and other essential commodities of life”

5. “The next thing that strikes me is this: Here again it is a legacy which has been passed on to us. Along with many other things, good and bad, has arrived this great evil, the evil of nepotism and jobbery. I want to make it quite clear that I shall never tolerate any kind of jobbery, nepotism or any any influence directly of indirectly brought to bear upon me. Whenever I will find that such a practice is in vogue or is continuing anywhere, low or high, I shall certainly not countenance it.”

It was at this point that he started to talk about the division of India and its fallouts and the fate of minorities in both Hindustan and Pakistan. He acknowledged that the challenge is “unprecedented”. He knew of the hate and anger between Muslims and Hindus and he advised them that now when the division has taken place, they will have to “bury the hatchet” and become Pakistanis. He was assuring the minorities as well as the people of all ethnicity that now they will have to be one as citizens of country. Not just between Hindus and Muslims, even within Muslims, he advised unity against divisions of sect, province or language. To Hindus he advised the same. Keep this in mind that these sentences are being said in an environment when explosive violence is taking place all over India and minorities in Pakistan are feeling extremely unsafe and vulnerable and needed strong encouragement from the leader.

6. “I know there are people who do not quite agree with the division of India and the partition of the Punjab and Bengal. Much has been said against it, but now that it has been accepted, it is the duty of every one of us to loyally abide by it and honorably act according to the agreement which is now final and binding on all. But you must remember, as I have said, that this mighty revolution that has taken place is unprecedented. One can quite understand the feeling that exists between the two communities wherever one community is in majority and the other is in minority.”

7. “Any idea of a united India could never have worked and in my judgment it would have led us to terrific disaster. Maybe that view is correct; maybe it is not; that remains to be seen. All the same, in this division it was impossible to avoid the question of minorities being in one Dominion or the other. Now that was unavoidable. There is no other solution. Now what shall we do? Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his color, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges, and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.”

8. “I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish.”

9. “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. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State. Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”

How can this last point 9 be taken as a declaration that Quaid wanted to make a secular Pakistan? All his life he never used the word “secular” for Pakistan. In fact, in over a hundred speeches he called for Islamic laws, Quran and Sunnah and Sharia to be the law of Pakistan.

Just 3 days later, Quaid again addressed the same assembly in the presence of Lord Mountbatten and further explained the concept of protection of minorities in a Muslim state. Mountbatten had asked Quaid to follow the footsteps of King Akbar in tolerance and inter faith harmony.

Quaid responded with a stunning reply, making the sunnat of Rasul Allah (sm) and its manifestation in Muslim history as his benchmark of tolerance:

“I wish to emphasize that we appreciate the spirit in which those in the Government service at present and in the Armed Forces and others have so willingly and ungrudgingly volunteered themselves provisionally to serve Pakistan. As servants of Pakistan we shall make them happy and they will be treated equally with our nationals. The tolerance and goodwill that great Emperor Akbar showed to all the non-Muslim is not of recent origin. It dates back thirteen centuries ago when our Prophet not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and Christians, after he had conquered them, with the utmost tolerance and regard and respect for their faith and beliefs. The whole history of Muslims, wherever they ruled, is replete with those humane and great principles which should be followed and practiced”

How can Quaid be secular when he is drawing his ideals from the Sunnah of the Rasul Allah and the Islamic sharia which came “1300 centuries ago”?

To explain the above point 9, we would like to refer to the Charter of Medina signed by the Rasul Allah (sm) and the Jews of Medina and the non-Muslim Arab tribes around Medina. An Islamic state had been formed in Medina with Rasul Allah (sm) as its leader. In order to strengthen its military, political and economic situation, a Constituion or Charter was drawn up and signed by all Muslims, Jews and Non-Muslims where they were given rights as the citizens of the state and were allowed to practice their respective faiths and beliefs without fear or threat.

This incredible document was the first written constitution of the Islamic state forms the basis of rights of the citizens in an Islamic state where non-Muslims live under the protection of Muslims.
Here we produce few relevant points of the charter where Jews and minorities were treated as equal citizens of the state, not in religious matters but as citizens of the state of Medina.

1. This is a document from Muhammad the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), governing relations between the Believers i.e. Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib and those who followed them and worked hard with them. They form one nation — Ummah.

2. Those Jews who follow the Believers will be helped and will be treated with equality. (Social, legal and economic equality is promised to all loyal citizens of the State).

3. No Jew will be wronged for being a Jew.

4. The enemies of the Jews who follow us will not be helped.

5. The peace of the Believers (of the State of Madinah) cannot be divided. (it is either peace or war for all. It cannot be that a part of the population is at war with the outsiders and a part is at peace).

6. No separate peace will be made by anyone in Madinah when Believers are fighting in the Path of Allah.

7. Conditions of peace and war and the accompanying ease or hardships must be fair and equitable to all citizens alike.

8. When you differ on anything (regarding this Document) the matter shall be referred to Allah and Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

9. The Jews will contribute towards the war when fighting alongside the Believers.

10. The Jews of Bani Awf will be treated as one community with the Believers. The Jews have their religion. This will also apply to their freedmen. The exception will be those who act unjustly and sinfully. By so doing they wrong themselves and their families.

11. The same applies to Jews of Bani Al-Najjar, Bani Al Harith, Bani Saeeda, Bani Jusham, Bani Al Aws, Thaalba, and the Jaffna, (a clan of the Bani Thaalba) and the Bani Al Shutayba.

12. Those in alliance with the Jews will be given the same treatment as the Jews.

13. Yathrib will be Sanctuary for the people of this Pact.

14. The parties to this Pact are bound to help each other in the event of an attack on Yathrib.

15. The Jews of al-Aws, including their freedmen, have the same standing, as other parties to the Pact, as long as they are loyal to the Pact. Loyalty is a protection against treachery.

16. Allah approves this Document.

This incredible charter drawn 1300 years ago was one of the reference Quaid was making in his speech when it comes to treatment of the minorities or non-Muslims in an Islamic state. Jews were given equal rights, despite having their separate faith, under the protection of Islamic state. They were citizens of the Islamic state when called for duty and at that time, they would cease to be Jews or Muslims, not in the religious sense, but as patriotic citizens of the Islamic state. Isn’t this exactly what the Quaid had said which the liberal secularists try to twist as his desire to create a secular state?

Here, we bury the myth of our Quaid’s August 11th speech which the secularists use as reference to “prove” that he wanted a secular Pakistan, quoting it out of context, without knowledge of Islamic history or of the wisdom of Islamic sharia and sunnah.

The case is decisively closed now. Let the secularists say what they want. As Quaid himself had said that he wanted to make Pakistan as the “bulwark” of Islam and called Pakistan as the premier Islamic state and categorically made it clear that only Islamic socialism would be practiced here and no other “ism” like secularism, communism, capitalism etc.

The real Quaid is now known to the nation. For the last 63 years, the bigoted Mullahs and secular fascists have been lying about this greatest Muslim leader of the 20th century. The time has come to reclaim our beloved Quaid.

Zaid Hamid.

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