Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Islamic Roots of Pakistan

A Nation Insufficiently Imagined? Debating Pakistan in Late Colonial North India
by Venkat Dhulipala
Indian Economic Social History Review July/September 2011 vol. 48 no. 3 377-405

This paper is a must-read.   But here is an excerpt, emphasis and {} added.  This is about how Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani put the idea of Pakistan in a Quranic/historic context, that helped the Muslim League win the 1945-46 elections

I'm told by a respected BRFer that

Jinnah & ML were able to 'recruit' such key conspirators as Usmani or the Pir of Manki Sharif (who won NWFP for the ML and also sent jihadists into J&K in October 1947) for their pet Pakistan project. Jinnah conceded space to these Islamists in order to win their support. In the previous page we saw how Jinnah promised allegorically to Mawdudi that the land he was acquiring can be used to build a mosque. But, with the Pir of Manki Sharif, who was more rustic and not sophisticated like Mawdudi, Jinnah was forced to spell out the exact details. The letter that Jinnah wrote to the Pir of Manki Sharif, in Naushera of NWFP, in which he said that Shariah will be imposed in Pakistan to manage the affairs of the Muslim Community, was produced in the Constituent Assembly in 1949 to support the Objectives Resolution.

In fact, the two Usmani brothers (Zafar Ahmed Usmani & Shabbir Ahmed Usmani) became the lynchpin during the critical phase before and after Independence. They became very close to Jinnah. Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani had already apostatized Shi'a (and Jinnah was a Shi'a !). This Usmani was asked by Jinnah himself to raise the Pakistani flag in Karachi, the then capital, on August 14, 1947. It was this same Usmani who later drafted the Objectives Resolution. He also led the janazaa prayers of Jinnah (in the Sunni way) in public after Ms. Fatima Jinnah had secretly conducted the same in a Shi'a way.  Maulana Usmani famously demanded ‘jiziya’ from non-Muslims in the Constituent Assembly and told Pakistan’s first Minister for Law and Labour, Jogendra Nath Mandal, a Hindu, that non-Muslims should not hold such key posts in an Islamic state, an advice that a disgusted Mondal took to heart and resigned.