Jihad fi sabilillah, Quaid-e-Azam and our present leaders

By Suleman Hassan

Quaid edited pic

Our beloved Quaid-e-Azam

There is a controversial statement attributed to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah that “Pakistan was established with the first Muslim stepping on the coastal lands of Sind.” The controversy in this statement is due to the disputed claims of whether or not it was ever articulated by the Founding Father of the Pakistan. Without going into the details of the controversy, the statement indeed is reflective of the ideology of Pakistan. In this article, we are discussing the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah with regard to one of the most prominent aspect of Islamic Ideology, i.e. Jihad fi Sabeel Allah. It will also help ease our over-ambitious secularists who spend their time and wealth to symbolize Quaid-e-Azam as someone who stood for an independent homeland for Muslims of sub-continent (as this can’t be denied), in order to live in the similar manner as they used to live in the pre-partition India under the British Raj by following a refined version of Anglo-Saxon constitution enabling Western Democracy. Similarly, the so-called Rightists who are despicable towards the idea of Pakistan since its inception and strongly believe that the person we know as Quaid-e-Azam was actually a Kaafir, would hopefully realize it one more time that the way they are tuned to look at this world needs to be refined, to be on the right side of history, or remain on the losing side, as always.

After the conclusion of World War 1, when the whole West conspired to establish the illegitimate state of Israel on the soil of Palestine which used to be under Islamic rule for centuries, the only notable Muslim voice that opposed the British led Western alliance raised from British India. Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam led the Muslims of India to one of the most distinguished effort against the creation of Israel [1]. This incontestable fact illustrates the vision, these two most prominent personalities had, i.e., the Ummah beyond the concept of modern Nation State and the singularity of Muslims as global entity.

Jinnah with grand mufti of Palestine

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with Grand Mufti of Palestine in Cairo – 1946

It was this very vision which was at work during Indonesia’s war of independence in early 1940s too. Indonesia, the most populated Muslim nation, formally known as Republic of Indonesia announced its independence on 17th August 1945, just few days after the surrender of Japan in World War 2 in the wake of horrendous nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The newly born Republic instantly confronted military threats to its very existence from British troops that arrived on its soil as a contingent of the Allied Forces to disarm the Japanese. Dutch troops also seized this opportunity to regain control of the former East Indies. The British troops that were officially assigned to the task of repatriating Allied prisoners of war, assisted the Dutch troops indirectly in their neo-colonial agenda.

first Indonesian flag is raised in 1945

Bendera Pusaka Sang Saka Merah Putih(The Sacred Red and White Heirloom Flag), the first Indonesian flag, is raised on 17 August 1945.

The war between Indonesian and British troops started in November 1945 and in the heat of fighting, British Commander felt the need of reinforcement from regional base. At that historical juncture, Indian Subcontinent was still part of British monarchy while final negotiations were underway for Indian freedom. Being most significant and closest British colony from Indonesia, the Indian army was used by British command as reinforcement for Indonesia. However, in India, emotions were high, political settlement for the Indo-Pak freedom was in the final stage, leaders from Indian National Congress and All India Muslim League were striving their best to gain as much geographical ground as they could. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah could have tolerated the move of British Raj to send Army personnel as reinforcement in Indonesia, after all he was more than 65 years of age with terminal tuberculosis, had passed an extraordinary time of decades old struggle for the rights and freedom of Muslims of India and was very close to achieving his objective of gaining independence of the first ever ideological state for the Muslims after the creation of State of Madina-e-Munawarra 1300 years ago by Sayyedi RasoolAllah (S.A.W). But he preferred otherwise; instead of only focusing on his mission, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed All Jinnah raised his thundering voice of protest against the colonial atrocities in Indonesia and gave a clarion call for support to the Indonesian struggle for independence.

It is not clear as to how many armed personnel joined British contingent in Indonesia from British India and also, what the ethnic and religious divide of the reinforcement was. But it is very apparent that from among them, a group of 600 Muslim soldiers of British Indian Army played a very crucial role, they rebelled from the British command and joined the armed struggle against colonial designs of European powers. They fought shoulder to shoulder with their Indonesian brothers in faith and almost 500 out of 600 Mujahideen achieved martyrdom [2]. The question here is who motivated these British soldiers to turn into Mujahideens and encouraged them to die with dignity in the way of Allah instead of committing the grave sin of oppressing fellow Muslims as part of the colonial army?

The answer to the above question might come as surprise to our fellow seculars and to the section of clergy which never acknowledged the sincerity behind the life long struggle of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah. On 17th August 1995, the Government of Indonesia awarded the highest honor Adipura to the Founding Father of Pakistan, Mohammad All Jinnah and the Government of Pakistan [3] for inspiring the Muslim soldiers of the British Indian Army to support the freedom struggle of the fellow Indonesian Muslims against their own command. On the other hand Indonesia’s support towards Pakistan in the 1965 war against India never forgotten by Pakistan. Until now, Indonesia’s support still considered one of the most valuable contributions and noted in the history of Pakistan. This historical journey has helped to shape an emotional relationship between the two countries, which can be enhanced into a more substantial relationship.

The interesting fact is that Pakistan was not even an entity on the map when these brave 600 Muslim Mujahideen showed their loyalty to their Creator; then why were these soldiers considered Pakistanis and why was the Government of Pakistan awarded the highest honour of Indonesia along with Quaid-e-Azam? This fact would resolve another point which is fundamental to the foundation of Pakistan and as highlighted earlier at the start of this article, i.e., the basis for Quaid’s resolve to struggle for an independent homeland of Muslims in South Asia. For Quaid-e-Azam, Pakistan existed even before 14th August 1947. He acted and lived his tenure as a true pluralistic leader of the Muslims of South Asia without any discrimination of ethnicity, sect, tribe and locality. The Muslim soldiers of British Army considered Quaid as their Supreme Commander and complied with his wishes and desires by treating them as orders. The day of 14th August 1947 was just a formal initiation of a romantic journey of the Islamic spirit, which we call Pakistan.

The most profound point declared from this above historical fact is the understanding of the concept of Jihad by Quaid-e-Azam and the tactical measures he directed to perform this role. In essence, he utilized a group of Mujahideen, capable of performing the obligation of armed struggle to support the oppressed fellow Muslims. This answers another current issue about the use of Mujahideen groups in areas where Muslims are fighting the freedom struggles.

Pakistan has been the fore-runner in reviving the spirit of Jihad globally since its formal establishment in August 1947 as per the vision of Quaid-e-Azam. Be it Arab-Israel wars, Russian-Chechen war, Bosnia-Serbia conflict, Afghan Jihad or the Kashmir cause.

Pakistan has tried to execute its role in helping the oppressed Muslims where ever it could, with its limited resources and frail leadership, it has always unfortunately had. The present ruling elite, the opposition and those aspiring to take the leadership of Pakistan in the name of justice, change and religion are now openly calling it a historical mistake of the country to govern the obligation of Jihad [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]. No one can deny that some serious miscalculations and errors occurred in running this obligation of Jihad by those who were in authority at those respective times. The effects of these mistakes are evident till date on our socio-political fabric. But instead of rectifying those mistakes and prioritizing Jihad-fi-Sabeel-Allah as the main driver of Pakistan’s foreign policy, our elites from all walks of life, specially politicians and bureaucrats are openly advocating to disband Jihad to support oppressed Muslims on national and international media.

We warn these rulers, leaders and people of authority not to betray the sacrifices of Ummat of Sayyedi Rasool Allah (S.A.W) and the struggles of Quaid-e-Azam. The time is not far when the traitors of the precious Muslim blood would be held accountable. On the Day of Judgment, Allah will not forgive those who call for the cease of Jihad and they will be in the deepest shame in front of the Pakistani martyrs in Indonesia, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia and in other parts of the world.


[1] – http://www.allamaiqbal.com/publications/journals/review/oct91/5.htm > Iqbal and Jinnah on Palestine by Dr. Ghulam Ali Chaudhry from Iqbal Academy

[2], [3] – http://www.kemlu.go.id/karachi/Pages/AboutUs.aspx?IDP=1&l=en > A brief available on the website of Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Karachi about the historical relationship between the two brotherly countries.

[4] – http://www.arabnews.com/node/217636 > Musharraf banned organizations for Jihad in Kashmir

[5] – http://tribune.com.pk/story/231877/nawaz-sharif-gets-it-right-on-india/ > Nawaz Sharif speaking at SAFMA conference in support of friendship with India by declaring that we have same culture and eating habits and heavily criticised the Afghan policy of strategic depth as obsession.

[6] – http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta3/tft/article.php?issue=20121012&page=4.1 > Harkatul Mujahideen’s statement on Zardari’s Kashmir policy: “Musharraf betrayed the Kashmiris,” he said, adding that “President Asif Zardari’s policies had been even worse for jihad in Kashmir. He played Holi with the blood of the Kashmiris by granting India the Most Favored Nation status and forging trade ties with our eternal enemy,” Fazlur Rahman Khalil of Harkatul Mujahideen.

[7] – http://www.zemtv.com/2012/12/08/imran-khan-full-interview-and-qa-in-india-agenda-aaj-tak-dec-7-2012/ > A full Imran Khan interview in Indian channel Agenda Aaj Tak

[8] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St97E6XIwAE > Imran Khan’s proposed solution on Kashmir