The ideology of Pakistan is Islam

The ideology of Pakistan is Islam
The ideology of Pakistan is Islam

Meaning of an Ideology

The word “ideology” is composed of two Greek words “ideo” and “logos”. It literally means “the science or study of ideas”.

The ideology of any nation reflects the ideals and aspirations of its people, and religion and cultural shape, their thinking which binds them together. An ideology in the positive sense is a system of beliefs, values, ideas, convictions, institutions, goals and a body of knowledge which a people considers true, binding and practicable.

How Does Ideology emerge?

Ideologies tend to arise in the times of crises and social stress. Society has no ideology, when faced with a crisis, may find it difficult to decide by reacting to its ethical and practical aspects as to whether to confront it with courage or retreat from it. At such a moment, while ideology has its binding functions, it also provides a simple and sure answer, leaving no chances for subsequent regrets. This is inherent in the fight for principle. According to Reo M. Christenson (Ideologies and Modern Politics) that; “An ideology emerges when people feel strongly that they are being mistreated under an existing order when their status is threatened by fundamental changes occurring in society and when the prevailing ideology no longer satisfies them…….”

Political Ideology

A political ideology is a system of beliefs that explain and justifies a preferred political order, either existing or proposed and offers a strategy (institutions, processes programs) for its attainment Ideology of Life

When a significant purpose becomes a joint ideal of people’s life, then it is a common ideology of life.

Characteristics of an Ideology

The ideology must contain following traits;

  1. Maximum people should be united on this ideology.
  2. The ideology must be harmonised with the feelings, emotions, traditions, beliefs, and values of the nation.
  3. Enough individual /man-power is requisite in it.
  4. This can be obtained by collective efforts.
  5. An organised party of leaders to implement this ideology is imperatively required.


Importance of an Ideology

Ideology is important in following aspects;

  1. Ideology is a motivating force for a nation, which is striving hard to bring stability and homogeneity to its nationhood.
  2. It provides the cement-binding base to the scattered groups in society and brings them closer to each other on a common platform.
  3. Ideologies impel their adherents to follow a joint line of action for the accomplishment of their goal. 4. Ideologies give shape to the revolutions and give birth to new cultures and civilizations.
  4. Ideologies stress on their adherents to insist on the realization of their ideas through the total transformation of society.
  5. An ideology offers an interpretation of the past, and an explanation of the present and a vision of the future.

Thus the ideologies contain a set of proposals about human nature and society. These proposals explicitly manifest human conditions, approaches, and understanding of social and political order and provide and the basis for the accomplishment of a desired social system.

Ideology of Pakistan

The ideology of Pakistan took shape through an evolutionary process. Historical experience provided the base; Allama Iqbal gave it a philosophical explanation; Quaid-i-Azam translated it into a political reality; and the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, bypassing Objectives Resolution in March 1949, gave it legal sanction. It was due to the realization of the Muslims of South Asia that they are different from the Hindus that they demanded separate electorates. However, when they realized that their future in a „Democratic India‟ dominated by Hindu majority was not safe, they changed their demand to a separate state.

The ideology of Pakistan stemmed from the instinct of the Muslim community of South Asia to maintain their individuality in the Hindu society. The Muslims believed that Islam and Hinduism are not only two religions, but are two social orders that produced two distinct cultures. There is no compatibility between the two. A deep study of the history of this land proves that the differences between Hindus and Muslims are not confined to the struggle for political supremacy but are also manifested in the clash of two social orders. Despite living together for more than one thousand years, they continue to develop different cultures and traditions. Their eating habits, music, architecture and script, all are poles apart.

The basis of the Muslim nationhood was neither territorial nor racial or linguistic or ethnic rather they were a nation because they belonged to the same faith, Islam. They demanded that the areas where they were in the majority should be constituted into a sovereign state, wherein they could order their lives by the teachings of Holy Quran and Sunnah of Holy Prophet (PBUH).

The creation of Pakistan was unique in the sense that it was based on an ideology which sought its roots from the religion of Islam. The famous slogan was as under:-


It became the corner of the freedom movement and the basis of Pakistan.

Meaning and definitions of Pakistan Ideology are explained as under:-

  1. The ideology of Pakistan is actual implementation of Islamic teachings.
  2. To maintain and arouse the national dignity and struggles for unity among Muslim Ummah and Islamic rule is, in fact, Ideology of Pakistan.
  3. Two-Nation Theory by Islamic Philosophy in the political and cultural background of Sub-continent is called the ideology of Pakistan.
  4. The ideology of Pakistan is actually Islamic ideology.
  5. The idea of Muslims, attaining Pakistan was infected Ideology of Pakistan.

Pakistan is an Ideological state, and the ideology of Pakistan is Islamic ideology. Its basic principle being:

“The only sovereign is Allah”.

Islam acted as a nation-building force before the establishment of Pakistan. The ideology of Pakistan basically means that Pakistan should be a state where the Muslims should have an opportunity to live according to the faith and creed based on the Islamic principles. They should have all the resources at the disposal to enhance Islamic culture and civilization. Quid-e-Azam once said:

“Pakistan was created the day the first Indian national entered the field of Islam”.

From the above statement, it is clear that Ideology of Pakistan is an Islamic one.

The significance of Pakistan Ideology

The ideology of Pakistan is very important in national life and its some salient aspects are explained as under:-

  1. The protagonist of Success Ideology of Pakistan is a supporter of its success and triumph. The Muslims of Sub-continent were unified into oneness only because of the ideology of Pakistan. They ranked their differences entirely and prompted for the attainment of Pakistan. Resultantly, they succeeded to foil cunning tactics of Hindus and English. So, this ideology kept on strengthening them, and inordinate power of thinking and religious potency kept increasing in them, and it resulted in an independent state. 2. A bearer of Morality and Good Character Due to the adoption of Ideology of Pakistan such a Muslim nation can be developed which would have lofty ethical traits, honesty, good character, and velour as well.
  2. Development of New Islamic World One of the fundamental aims of Ideology of Pakistan is to unify all the Muslims world over, and thus ideology apprises the Muslims of unity and fraternity. By adopting it, we can get rid of interior and exterior worries, extortion and imperialistic, conspiracies very easily.
  3. Inevitable for Country and National Safety It is inevitable for the sublime and safety of the nation. It places the people residing in different provinces on one platform and creates unity among them. As long as it is strictly adopted the unanimity of the nation would be elevated. It will help in foiling the aims of terrorists, saboteurs, time servers and vested interests elements. Thus, the safety of Pakistan ideology is necessary for the integrity of the country.
  4. Source of Religious Power it is also a great source of religious power. This ideology forced the English and Hindus to bow down in the past too, and others can also be forced to bow down by adopting the ideology in future. So it is the need of the hour to cordially adopt this idea so that we may be prominent in living nations.
  5. The ideology of Islamic State This ideology has been founded on Islamic teachings. Therefore, by adopting this ideology, the Muslim nation would develop into staunch Muslim and righteous and good Muslims would be produced by owning this theory.

Allama Iqbal and Ideology of Pakistan


Men like Allama Iqbal are born but in centuries. He was conscious of the significance of Islam in lives of the Muslims. His first public appearance was in 1899 at the annual session of Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam in Lahore when he presented the poem, Nala-i-Yatim. At initial stages, Dr Iqbal was a nationalist by ideas, and his poetry contained verses like Tarana-i- Hind. His poetry was a critique of the existing societal conditions. Being educated from Europe, he knew all weak aspects of the Western culture. He criticized capitalism, materialism, and lack of spiritualism.

IQBAL- Focus on the conditions of the Indian Muslims

Islam can salvage the Muslims

Islam has always saved Muslim

Islam is a living and dynamic ideology that can meet modern challenges

Islam to help them to overcome their internal

Discord and enable them to meet external challenges

With spiritualism based derived from Islam

Ijtihad and Reinterpretation

(Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam)

Address to the Muslim League Session, Allahabad, December 1930 The climax of Iqbal’s political career came in 1930 when at the annual session of All India Muslim League, he boldly stated the Muslim demand for creation of a separate Muslim state within India. He added:

“I would like to see the Punjab, NWFP, Sindh, and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state as a self-government within the British Empire or without the British Empire, The formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least, of North-West India.”

In short, Iqbal gave the idea of Pakistan. He inspired the Muslims of India to make the demand for a separate homeland. He infects, prepared the ground for Mr Jinnah, who finally led the Muslims to the goal of Pakistan. Mr Jinnah acknowledged his debt to Dr Iqbal in the following words:

“His views were substantially in consonance with my own and had finally led me to the same conclusions as a result of careful examination and study of the constitutional problems facing India”.

Mr Jinnah paid him a tribute two days after the Lahore Resolution that:

“If I live to see the idea of a Muslim state being achieved and I was then offered to choose between the works of Iqbal and the rulership of the Muslim state, I would prefer the former”.

Two Nation Concept

The fundamental concept of Ideology is that Muslims should get a separate identity. They should have a separate state where they could live according to Islamic rules and principles, profess their religion freely and safeguard Islamic tradition.On one occasion Quid-e-Azam said:


“The Muslims demand Pakistan where they can rule by their own system of life, their cultural development, their traditions and Islamic laws.”


Thus, this fundamental concept of Ideology led to the concept of two nations in the Sub Continent and resulted in the formation of Pakistan.




The ideology of Pakistan was created when Muslims of Indo-Pak Sub Continent developed a specific attitude of mind that they are different from Hindus. This was due to the injustices were done to the Muslims by British and Hindus.


Some of these are:


  1. Anti-Muslim Campaign


The Hindus and British joined hands to destroy the faith, belief, customs and national importance of Muslims because Muslims rebellion was creating many problems for both.


  1. In acceptance of British Rule


Muslims had been ruling the Sub Continent for ages. Therefore, they could not resist any power over them, When British came to rule the Sub Continent, Muslims were the only nation who opposed them. Thus, to gain power, British had to crush the Muslims collectivity.


  1. Hindus Betrayed Muslims


In the beginning, Hindus appeared to be on Muslim’s side, but later on, their hostility was exposed as they opposed various steps taken by British Government which purely benefited for Muslims.


  1. Refusal of Muslim identity


British wanted to implement a parliamentary system in Sub Continent in which the majority was the power and authority. Due to Hindu majority, it was probable that if British left India undivided, it would fall under the Hindus rule. Furthermore, Hindus did not accept the separate identity of Muslims, and thus, there were no chances of freedom even after the British rule.


  1. War of 1857


In 1857, Muslims and Hindus tried to expel the British out of India but failed.Later due to Hindu conspiracies; Muslims were held responsible for it and hence were crushed further by Britishers.


  1. Sir Syed’s Idea


Sir Syed for the first time put down the idea that Muslims are a separate nation. He convinced Muslims to unite themselves in order to have a separate social and political identity.

Quaid-i-Azam and Ideology of Pakistan

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a history-making leader who changed the course of history. He possessed a visionary leadership, commitment to the cause and political mobilization capacity. He was a Charismatic Leader in the real sense of the meaning.


On March 8, 1944, Quaid-i-Azam while addressing in Muslim University Aligarh, said;

“Actually Pakistan came into being when the very first Hindu converted into Muslim, it happened, when there was no rule of Muslims. The foundation of Muslims is Kalama-e- Tauheed rather than state or race. When a Hindu converted his religion, he became a member of the separate nation and new nation came into being.”

Jinnah played a decisive role in articulating the Muslim demands and pursuing this faced strong opposition from the Hindus and the British. He started his political career in 1906 by joining the Indian National Congress. He was elected to the Legislative Council in 1909, and in 1913 he also joined the All India Muslim League (AIML). Now he was a member of both the political parties. Having a disagreement with Gandhi on the issue of Swaraj (self-rule), complete freedom from the British and on using extra-constitutional means, Jinnah resigned from the Congress in 1920. His early efforts to promote Hindu-Muslim unity were materialized when THE LUCKNOW PACT (1916) was signed. The Hindus accepted the Muslim demands:

  • Separate Electorate
  • One-third Seats in Central Legislature
  • Protection of minority rights

In the Nehru Report, the accepted Muslim rights were ignored. Jinnah retaliated forcefully by presenting 14 Points in 1929. He defined Muslim identity and mobilized them concerning Islam and convinced others that Muslims are different from the Hindus and the Congress. Islamic principles, concepts, and symbols surfaced in his speeches and statements.

Jinnah used the term NATION for the Muslims of India in Feb 1935 (Legislative Assembly). He argued that the combination of religion, culture, race, arts, music and so forth make a minority a SEPARATE ENTITY. In March 1936 Bombay, he stated that the Muslims could arrive at a settlement with Hindus as TWO Nations. In 1937, he asserted that there is also a third party in India, the Muslims. In 1939, he roared that the Muslims and Hindus are two nations and they are going to live as a nation and playing a part as a nation:

“We are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral code, custom and calendar, history and tradition, aptitudes and ambitions; in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all canons of international law, we are a nation.”

Speeches and statements: 1940-47

Jinnah believed in the force of Islam as he said that Islam is a dynamic force that can unite the Muslims. It can help to overcome the present crisis. It’s a source of inspiration and guidance providing the ethical foundation, a framework, social order, and civilization.


Guidance & inspiration for constitution-making and Governance


He also talked of the modern notions of state, constitution, civil and political rights and democracy. He assured that constitution of Pakistan would be framed by the elected assembly.


Modern democratic and Islamic State


He gave assurance of equality of all citizens and rights and freedom to religious minorities in the new state.


The basis of the demand for an independent Pakistan

A western historian and a few Pakistani columnists/writers have been propagating that the Quaid wanted Pakistan to be a secular state. In support of this premise, they quote the Quaid’s speech of 11, August 1947. It is significant to note that this view was expressed only after the death of all the leaders of Pakistan independence movement in the early nineteen nineties.

The speeches and writings of both the Quaid and other Muslim League leaders show that they visualized Pakistan as an Islamic State. They emphasized that in Islam there are no compartments that Islam is a complete code of life which includes every aspect of human activity both individual and collective and the Quaid himself clarified and highlighted this point in several speeches. Muslims make a distinction between ‘Deen’, which means a complete code of life and religion or ‘Muzhab’ which is the mode of worship and prayer. It is, therefore, not strange that neither the British nor the Hindus understood what the Quaid was saying because even today non-Muslims do not completely understand Islam, and consider it to be only a religion.

As far back as 1938, Jinnah spoke about Islam and statehood. When the question of revising the law of inheritance was raised, he said: “Islamic code of law about succession is most equitable, most just, most advanced and most progressive. I, therefore, say that let Muslims at least be governed by it.” (22nd November 1938, API and Star of India).

In the Quran, Islam is always referred to as Deen and not as Muzdhab, the Arabic word for religion. Deen means a complete code of life and is inclusive of religion (Muzdhab). Jinnah understood the importance of this matter, and in his famous speech at Patna on 10, January 1939 said:

“Many people misunderstand us when we talk about Islam, particularly our Hindu friends. When we say, this flag is the flag of Islam they think we are introducing religion into politics — a fact of which we are proud. Islam gives us a complete code. It is not only religion, but it contains laws, philosophy, and politics. It contains everything that matters to a man from morning to night. When we talk about Islam, we take it as an all-embracing word.” Star of India 11, January 1939.

In his own words, he said: “I am not a learned Maulana or a Maulvi. Nor do I claim to be learned in theology. But I also know a little of my faith, and I am a humble and proud follower of my faith”. (Page 1334, volume-3, Speeches, Statements & Messages of Quaid-e-Azam by K. A. K. Yusufi).

Those who have read the speeches and the statements of the Quaid and have also read and understood the Quran know that he was modest in the above speech. He had a very clear and deep understanding of the Quran which not only comes out very strongly in his speeches but also his whole life reflected it. Jinnah was extremely conscious of the polity and the social order of Islam and believed that the Muslim community had every right to live according to the precepts of Islam. Jinnah had learned a lesson – it was impossible to protect the interests of the Muslim community by mere sanctions and safeguards. Realistically a separate Muslim state was the only way that the Muslims would not have to forsake their way of life. Thus he overtly changed his position between the years 1934 -1937, by rejecting the concept of a federation and demanding a separate state for Muslims.

In the words of the British historian and civil servant, Rush brook Williams: “Jinnah began to make contact with the Muslim masses, to understand the feelings that swayed them, and to appreciate the rich fund of loyalty to Islam and to Islamic way of life which they could dedicate to the service of a Muslim leader whom they trusted. He began to realize the importance of enlisting the support of the religious leaders—–the mullahs, the peers and the ulema—–in his campaign for creating Muslim solidarity. He saw that good Muslims had become alarmed at the prospect of Hindu rule.”

He further remarked that; “from Muslim masses, it was the religious factor which counted most.” (page 22, The State of Pakistan by Rush brook Williams, 1962)

“In the first place, they were country folk, far removed from the realm of high politics and the sophistication of city life. Secondly they looked to find in Pakistan, not only a land where good Muslims would be free from the exploitation by Hindu cleverness, Hindu wealth, and Hindu weight of numbers, but also a land where the principles of Islam would prevail, where oppression of the poor by the rich would be forbidden, and the social justice which their Faith enjoins would guild their new rulers.” (Ibid page 34-35).

“The masses had rallied to Mr Jinnah because they were hoping for the creation of an Islamic state.” (Ibid page 127) This is the unbiased considered reflection of an Englishman who had over fifty (50) years of experience in British India and had a ringside view of the Partition of British India and the establishment of Pakistan. Moreover, he knew most of the leaders of the Congress and the Muslim League, including the Quaid. He had been his contemporary in the Legislative Assembly and had attended the Round Table Conference with him. Furthermore, since these observations were made in 1961-1962, they had the benefit of hindsight and were made after discussions during 1958-60, with political leaders, businessmen, and bureaucrats who took part in the establishment of Pakistan.

The actual demand for independent Muslim states was not articulated by the Muslim League until 1940. However, in the intervening years the Quaid, as the spokesman for the Muslim League, advocated Muslim separation by fulfilling the Islamic way of life. In his speech at a large meeting in Patna on 10th January 1939, which was over a year before the Lahore Resolution, the Quaid spoke about Islam and the Muslim League as being one:

“The Honor and regard which you have shown to me as Mr Jinnah you have shown them to the Muslim League and Islam. That is you are showing that you are wholehearted with the Muslim League. Today in this huge gathering you have honoured me by entrusting the duty to unfurl the flag of Muslim League the Flag of Islam, for you cannot separate the Muslim League from Islam. Many people misunderstand us when we talk about Islam, particularly our Hindu friends. When we say, this Flag is the Flag of Islam they think we are introducing religion into politics – a fact of which we are proud. Islam gives us a complete code. It is not only religion, but it contains laws, philosophy, and politics. It contains everything that matters to a man from morning to night. When we talk about Islam, we take it as an all-embracing word. We do not mean any ill will. The foundation of our Islamic code is that we stand for liberty, equality, and fraternity”. (Star of India, 11, January 1939.

The Quaid believed in a democracy based upon Islamic principles: “Democracy in the abstract was quite different from democracy as practised. Democracy was like a chameleon, changing its complexion according to the environment. Democracy was not the same in England as it was in France and America. Islam believed in equality, liberty, and fraternity, but not of the Western type”. Civil & Military Gazette 9, November 1939.

In proclaiming this, he was not only stating his own viewpoint but that of the overwhelming majority of Muslims who supported the League. Simultaneously, the Muslim League rejected the concept of Western liberal democracy for India: “Democratic systems based upon the concept of homogeneous nations such as England are very definitely not applicable to heterogeneous countries such as India, and this simple fact is the root cause of all of India’s constitutional ills…..The whole concept of democracy postulates a single people. The British people must realize that Hinduism and Islam represent two distinct and separate civilizations and, moreover, are as distinct from one another in origin, tradition, and manner as the nations of Europe.” (Jinnah’s article in Time and Tide 19, January 1940, pages 115, 116 & 117, Speeches & Writings of Mr Jinnah by Jamiluddin Ahmed).

It is quite apparent that the Quaid was extremely conscious of the essence of Islam which demanded expression and could not be expressed under a secular liberal democracy that assumed homogeneity of a population, in united India. The Congress could not see, or choose not to see, how Islam penetrates every facet of a Muslim’s life and consequently made Muslims in India a separate nation from the Hindus. The Quaid found this denial of the Muslim nationhood by the Congress extremely frustrating:

“It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word. But are, in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality.” (Ibid, page 160). The Quaid in his Presidential Address at the All India Muslim League, Lahore Session, March 1940 had said:

“The problem of India is not an inter-communal one but manifestly of an international character, and it must be treated as such. So long as this basic and fundamental truth is not realized, any constitution that may be built will result in disaster and will prove destructive and harmful not only to the Musalmans but also to the British and Hindus. If the British Government are earnest and sincere to secure the peace and happiness of the people of the subcontinent, the only course open to us all is to allow the major nations separate homelands, by dividing India into ‘autonomous national states’.” (Ibid page159)

With the unanimous adoption of the Lahore Resolution on 23, March 1940, the All India Muslim League forcefully started the struggle to achieve and establish Pakistan. In the next few years, one by one Muslims of all shades of opinion came under the banner of the Muslim League. Jinnah and the other Muslim leaders like Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Zafar Ahmad Ansari, Pir Saheb of Manki Sharif, Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad and Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung in their speeches stressed the distinction of Islam, that it was a Deen and not just a religion like other religions, that it is a complete code of life and encompasses every aspect of human life including politics and economics.

Two months after the passing of the Lahore Resolution on 24, May 1940 Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad in his presidential address to the Bombay Provincial Muslim League clearly articulated the object of establishing Pakistan: “They intend to work out their own destiny unhampered and undaunted by un-Islamic influences. The creation of an Islamic state – mark my words gentlemen – I say Islamic and not Muslim, is our ideal. The greed, the lust for power, the self-seeking of those calling themselves Muslims, but not practising the commandments of their noble faith will not be allowed to have sway in the state we contemplate to bring into being. The state will conform to the laws as laid down in Islam. It will deal justly and fairly with every community and every section of its constituent members. The unchangeable laws of Islam will ipso facto be applied and enforced. There will be no fresh legislation regarding them because Islam has already legislated forever and ever.

In this speech he further said; “Then let us be clear on the point at least that the problem of Muslims being a separate nation is not only a theoretical one but on the other hand, is a living and practical problem. If the Muslims do not want to share the fate of the Muslims of Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, if the Muslims want to save their culture and political thought, if they want to revive Islam, then the establishment of an Islamic State is the only course open to them. I cannot understand how the conception of democracy is lauded to the skies in one breath and its application denied in another”. (page 46 to 57, file No: 383, National Archives of Pakistan Islamabad).

The above extracts from the speech of Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad clearly indicate that the Muslim League’s objective was to establish Pakistan as an Islamic State. Raja Sahib of Mahmoudabad had predicted that if the Muslims wanted to save their culture, political thought and wanted to revive Islam, then the establishment of an Islamic state was the only alternative.

The demand to establish Pakistan as an Islamic State was even commented upon by the Secretary of State for India in his letter to the Viceroy: “One of the anachronisms about the whole movement is that its leaders have a conception of the Islamic world outside as still thinking of Islam as the first and only object of political devotion, whereas both in Turkey and in the Arab world it has in the last twenty years become entirely secondary to racial and geographical nationalism”, (Emery to Linlithgow letter No: 6 of 14, March 1941, page 37, para-8, MSS EUR F 125/10).

The speech of Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung, the President of the All India States Muslim League, is very explicit on this subject. At the conclusion of the Thirty-first Session of All India Muslim League held at Karachi on 26, December 1943, Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung was invited to address the Session by Jinnah who was presiding over the session. He spoke in Urdu, (the English translation of this speech is given in Volume II of Foundations of Pakistan edited by Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada (1970), page 485 to 487), the relevant extracts from this speech are:-

“The Quaid told us that we were not a minority; for 100 million people cannot be called a minority. We were a nation – a separate and self-contained nation – whose ingredients and structure differed fundamentally from those of other nations of the world, and which was founded on fundamentals that transcend geographical boundaries, race, and color.

When the idea that we are not a minority but a nation earned the general support of the Muslims, the Quaid-i-Azam told us that the Parliamentary system of Government could not be suitable for a country which is inhabited by two separate nations having nothing common with each other. When this too became popular with the Muslims, the Quaid-i-Azam went further and gave practical shape to Iqbal’s dream by demanding the establishment of a sovereign and the free Muslim States in the North-West and North-East of India, which is predominantly Muslim zones. This demand is now popularly called Pakistan”.

In this speech, he further said: “The achievement of Pakistan will not be so difficult as its maintenance. Your Quaid-i-Azam has proclaimed more than once that the Muslims have no right to frame the constitution and law of any one of their States. The laws governing the constitution of a Muslim are laid down in the Holy Quran. There is no denying the fact that we want Pakistan for the establishment of the Quranic system of government”.

This speech establishes that the demand for Pakistan was for the establishment of an Islamic State based upon Quran and Sunnah and not just the protection of the economic and political interest of the Muslims. Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung stated that Quaid-i-Azam had more than once stated this. These statements by Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung were made in the presence of the Quaid as he was presiding over the Session.

The assertion that Islam is a complete code of life was again emphasized in the Quaid’s Eid message in 1945: “Everyone, except those who are ignorant, knows that the Quran is the general code of Muslims. A religious, social, commercial, military, judicial, criminal, penal code; it regulates everything from the ceremonies of religion to those of daily life; from the salvation of the soul to the health of the body; from the rights of all to those of each individual; from morality to crime, from punishment here to that in the life to come, and our Prophet (PBUH) has enjoined on us that every Musalman should possess a copy of the Quran and be his own priest. Therefore Islam is not merely confined to the spiritual tenets and doctrines or rituals and ceremonies. It is a complete code regulating the whole Muslim society, every department of life, collectively and individually.” (message on Idd September 1945, page175, Speeches and Writings of Mr Jinnah by Jamiluddin Ahmad)

In this message, Jinnah again clearly and unambiguously states that in Islam there are no compartments and that it is a complete code of life encompassing every department of life, collectively and individually. This speech when reading the speech at Patna irrefutably establishes that Jinnah did not believe in the separation of religion from statecraft, i.e. secularism.

In some of his speeches before the elections in 1945-46, he explicitly stated: “The Muslims demand Pakistan, where they could rule according to their own code of life and according to their own cultural growth, traditions and Islamic Law.” (Speech at Peshawar on 21, November 1945 page 237 Jamiluddin Ahmed).

“Our religion contains a code of life in the conduct of every department, and we want to live according to the same ideals, but the Hindu leadership is bent upon establishing ‘Ram Raj’ and treat the Muslims as a minority”. (Speech to the students of Edwards College, Peshawar, 27, November 1945, page 249, Jamiluddin Ahmad). “The League stood for carving out states in India where Muslims were in a numerical majority to rule there under Islamic law.” (Address to students of Islamia College, Peshawar page 253 Jamiluddin).

“Strengthening yourselves is, really speaking, strengthening the borders of Pakistan, a thing which will enable us to achieve our goal and thus maintain our freedom, honour, prestige, and glory of Islam for which we are now fighting. You have asked me to give you a message. What message can I give you? We have the greatest message in the Quran for our guidance and enlightenment.” (Message to NWFP Muslim Students Federation of 4, April 1943, Vol-I page 472, Jamiluddin Ahmad).

“It should be our aim not only to remove want and fear of all types but secure liberty, fraternity, and equality as enjoined upon us by Islam”. Quaid’s reply to the civic address on 25, August 1947, page 2615, Speeches, Statements & Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam by K. A. K.Yusufi.

In the elections of 1945-46, the Muslims of British India voted for Muslim League because the Quaid had assured them that; “The Muslims demand Pakistan, where they could rule according to their own code of life and according to their own cultural growth, traditions and Islamic Law.” The Quaid in his letter to the Pir Sahib of Manki Sharif in November 1945 clearly stated:

“It is needless to emphasize that the Constituent Assembly which would be predominantly Muslim in its composition would be able to enact laws for Muslims, not inconsistent with Shariat laws and the Muslims will no longer be obliged to abide by the un-Islamic laws.” (page 46, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Volume V, 9, March 1949). This letter was written just before the 1945-46 elections; it conclusively establishes that the Quaid expected Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly to repeal un-Islamic laws and enact Shariat laws. This letter was quoted by Shabbir Ahmed Usmani in March 1949 when Pir Sahib of Manki Sharif was alive. He died in an automobile accident in 1960.

The five speeches quoted above irrevocably establishes that the Quaid wanted Pakistan to be established as an Islamic State where Islamic laws would be enforced, and the un-Islamic laws would be repealed. The contention that the Quaid wanted Pakistan to be a Secular state is in complete contradiction to what was stated by him, and it is difficult to equate his vision of Pakistan with anything other than an Islamic state.

Quaid-i- Azam’s Speech of 11, August 1947 The Quaid was rightly worried about the reaction in Pakistan to the bombing in the evening of 9, August of the special train carrying Pakistani government servants and the rapidly deteriorating conditions in East Punjab and its repercussions in West Punjab. These were the factors weighing heavy on his mind when he arrived at the Constituent Assembly to deliver the speech in the morning of 11, August 1947. Jinnah’s objective in this speech was to assure the minorities that they would be equal citizens and that there would be no discrimination on the basis of color, caste, creed or religion. As quoted below, Jinnah said;

“Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will 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”. Here Jinnah was talking about the personal faith of the citizens and Jinnah clarified this when he spoke of sects among the Muslims in this speech. Sequentially, the salient point points of this speech are:

“The first observation 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”. “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 it down with an iron hand and I hope that you will take adequate measures as soon as possible for this Assembly to do so”.

“Black-marketing is another curse”. “The next thing that strikes me is this: Here again is a legacy that 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. This evil must be crushed relentlessly”.

“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 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 every one of you, no matter to which community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, 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.

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 Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnvas, Khatris, also Bengalese, Madrasis, and so on – will vanish. Indeed if you ask me this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence and but for this, we would have been free peoples long ago.

Therefore we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of 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. As you know history shows that in England conditions some time ago were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and Protestants persecuted each other.

Today you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen, of Great Britain and they are all members of the Nation. Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in the 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”.

The straightforward meaning of the Quaid’s statement; “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State” is that there is complete freedom for one to belong to any religion. All he stated is that the business of the State has nothing to do as to which religion, caste or creed one belongs to, i.e. complete freedom of religion.

This is exactly in accordance with the injunctions of the Quran: “There is no compulsion in religion” (Surah Al-Baqra, Aya-256.) “To you your religion, and to me my Deen (religion)”. Surah Al-Kafirun 108-6). The secularist interpretation of the 11, August speech would be in contradiction to all the speeches where Jinnah and the other Muslim League leaders clearly stated that they wanted Pakistan to be an Islamic state. Furthermore, if one interprets that the speech of 11, August 1947 to indicate that the Quaid wanted Pakistan to be a secular State, it follows that the Quaid and his associates had been lying for the past thirteen years (1934 to 1947) to the Muslims of British India. Even his sworn detractors acknowledge the truthfulness, moral uprightness, integrity and honesty of Jinnah. No one can accuse him of hypocrisy and duplicity or using Islam to achieve a political objective. The incident of his outright rejection to use the amorous letters between Lady Edwina Mountbatten and Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, to expose their relationship demonstrates the character of Jinnah. Stanley Wolpert in his book Jinnah of Pakistan interprets the 11, August speech as being a reversal of Jinnah’s previous position:

“What a remarkable reversal it was, as though he had been transformed overnight once again into the old ‘ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity’ that Sarojini Naidu loved.” If one accepts Wolpert’s interpretation of the Quaid’s “reversal” then one would be faced to accept another reversal because one would be at a total loss to explain his speeches after 11 August 1947. Jinnah was a constitutionalist and was careful with his words and spoke in precise terms. Campbell-Johnson in his book ‘Mission with Mountbatten’ while narrating the events of 3, June 1947 states that Jinnah himself stated that “a spade should be called a spade —— I always think in constitutional terms”. He was consistently a man of principle from which he never wavered. To accept Jinnah’s reversal on 11, August 1947 and another reversal on 30 October 1947, just three months later is not only inconsistent with Jinnah’s character but is also illogical.

In his speech on 30th October 1947 at Lahore Jinnah stated: “We thank Providence for giving us courage and faith to fight these forces of evil. If we take our inspiration and guidance from the Holy Quran, the final victory I once again say will be ours. ——- You have only to develop the spirit of Mujahids. You are a nation whose history is replete with people of wonderful grit, character and heroism. Live up to your traditions and add to it another chapter of glory. —- All I require of you now is that every one of us to whom this reaches must vow to himself and be prepared to sacrifice his all, if necessary, in building up Pakistan as a bulwark of Islam and as one of the greatest nations whose ideal is peace within and peace without. —— Along with this, keep up your moral. Do not be afraid of death. Our religion teaches us to be always prepared for death. We should face it bravely to save the honour of Pakistan and Islam. There is no better salvation for a Muslim than the death of a martyr for a righteous cause.”

The above speech totally contradicts any secularist interpretation of the speech of 11 August. The importance of this speech can be judged from the fact that the same evening the full speech was broadcast by Radio Pakistan followed by the translation in Urdu, and next morning the full text was published in the newspapers. This was also the only public meeting addressed by the Quaid after independence in West Pakistan.

The Quaid in his speech to the Sindh Bar Association in Karachi on 25, January 1948 said:- “Why this feeling of nervousness that the future constitution of Pakistan is going to be in conflict with the Shariat Law. — There are people who want to create mischief and make the propaganda that we will scrap the Shariat Law. Islamic principles have no parallel. Today they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. – No doubt there are many people who do not quite appreciate when we talk of Islam. Islam is not a set of rituals, traditions and a set of spiritual doctrines, Islam is a code for every Muslim which regulates his life and his conduct in all aspects, social, political, economic, etc. It is based on the highest principles honour, integrity, fair play and justice for all”.

Quaid-i-Azam in this speech has explicitly stated that the future constitution of Pakistan would not be in conflict with Shariat Law. In addition, he referred to the Shariat Law as opposed to the ‘Quran and Sunnah’. This is of particular importance because he was addressing lawyers and judges.

In a broadcast to the people of USA and Australia in February 1948, Jinnah reaffirmed:

“I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case, Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state —- to be ruled by priests with a divine mission”. ( page 44, Speeches by Quaid-i-Azam Mohamed Ali Jinnah, Governor-General of Pakistan, published by Government of Pakistan, printed at Sind Observer Press Ltd, 1948.)

in his speech at the Sibi Durbar, he said: “In proposing this scheme I have had one underlying principle in mind, the principle of Muslim democracy. It is my belief that our salvation lies in following the golden rules of conduct set for us by our great lawgiver, the Prophet of Islam. Let us lay the foundation of our democracy on the basis of truly Islamic Ideals and principles. Our Almighty has taught us that; “our decisions in the affairs of the State shall be guided by discussion and consultation”. Speech at Sibi Durbar on 14, February 1948.

In this speech, he quoted the Quranic injunction in his own words. The actual translation of Quranic injunction is:- “Conduct their affairs with mutual consultation” Surah As-Shura 42, 36-39. In his address to the Officers and men of the 5th Heavy Ack Ack and 6th Light Ack Ack Regiments at Malir on 21, February 1948 he stated: “Now you have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and equality of manhood in your own native soil”.

And in the broadcast people of Australia 19, February 1948 he pointed out that: “But make no mistake Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds and we welcome in closest association with us all those who, of whatever creed are themselves willing and ready to play their part as true and loyal citizens of Pakistan”.


In addressing the first session of the Pakistan Muslim League Council on 20th February 1949, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan said:

“The only reason why we and the Quaid-i-Azam demanded Pakistan was to secure, in this sub-continent, a homeland where the Muslims could live in their own way. We wished Pakistan to be a laboratory where we could practice the Islamic principles-the best in the world—and thus demonstrate to the world what Islam had taught thirteen centuries ago was needed as much now as it was then.” ((page 207, Speeches & Statements of Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan, 1967).

Liaquat Ali during the debate on the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly stated:

“I would like to remind the House that the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam, gave expression to his feelings on this matter on many an occasion, and his views were endorsed by the nation in unmistakable terms. Pakistan was founded because the Muslims of the subcontinent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam.”

He further stated: “You would also notice, Sir, that the State is not to play the part of a neutral observer, wherein the Muslims may be merely free to profess and practice their religion, because such an attitude on the part of the State would be the very negation of the ideals which prompted the demand of Pakistan, and it is these ideals which should be the corner-stone of the State which we want to build. The State will create such conditions as are conducive to the building up of a truly Islamic society, which means the State will have to play a positive part in this effort. You will remember, Sir, that the Quaid-i-Azam and other leaders of the Muslim League always made unequivocal declarations that the Muslim demand for Pakistan was based on the fact that the Muslims had a way of life and a code of conduct. They also reiterated the fact that Islam is not merely a relationship between the individual and his God, which should not in any way, affect the working of the State. Indeed Islam lays down specific directions for social behaviour and seeks to guide society in its attitude towards the problems which confront it from day to day. Islam is not just a matter of private beliefs and conduct.” (Ibid, page 229-232)

Both these speeches were made in early 1949 when all the Muslim League leaders, Congress and Hindu leaders in Pakistan and people who had seen the Pakistan Movement were still alive. No one in Pakistan or in India challenged Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, no one in the Constituent Assembly or outside contradicted him. No one said that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his speech of 11, August 1947 had wanted Pakistan to be a secular State.

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah made several thousand speeches and statements spread over a period of about forty years (1908 to 1948), and there is not a single speech or statement in which he has said anything in favour of secularism. On the contrary, there are over two hundred (200) speeches expressing his Islamic orientation out of which only a few have been quoted above. The speeches contradicting Secularism quoted above were made both before and after 11th August 1947 therefore, it would be unreasonable and illogical to give an interpretation in favour of secularism to his speech of 11, August 1947.

How Jinnah’s ideology shapes Pakistan’s identity

In 1940 in Lahore Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the man who founded Pakistan, gave a seminal speech setting out the need for a separate state for Muslims on the subcontinent.

Before the division of India in 1947, Hindus and Muslims had lived together across the country. But Jinnah described them as two separate nations.

“It is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality,” he said.

“Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, and literary traditions. They neither intermarry nor eat together, and indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions.”

This “Two Nation Theory”, as it came to be known, has become the official Pakistani narrative for the creation of the state and key to how Pakistan defines itself.

Pakistan was perhaps the first country to be formed on the basis not of a common ethnicity or language, but religion. Yet at the same time, it is not, and never has been a theocracy.

This dichotomy is behind much of the debate around Pakistan’s national identity and issues such as its treatment of minorities.

‘Nothing in common.’

Before partition, there was a real concern among Muslims living in British India at the prospect of becoming a minority in a Hindu-dominated independent India. About one-quarter of the population was Muslim.

Despite the Congress Party’s assertions of its secular values, many Muslims were skeptical and feared that the Hindu majority would seek to marginalize them. Jinnah himself was an advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity before becoming disillusioned with the attitude of Congress.

But did, for example, a Malayalam-speaking Sunni Muslim from southern India really have more in common with a Punjabi Shia from the North than with his Hindu neighbour? There existed vast differences in language, culture and religious interpretations among Indian Muslims, even if they were united by a common faith.

Jinnah was not the first to articulate the Two Nation Theory, but with the creation of Pakistan, he transformed it into a political reality.

The theory is now taught to all school children in Pakistan. It is why many see independence as liberation from India, as opposed to independence from British colonial rule.

At a tutoring centre in Islamabad, I asked teenagers why Pakistan was created.

“Hindus and Muslims had nothing in common other than the fact that they shared a land,” one said. “Their religion, their values, and their culture were all different. So that was why a new country was needed to get their rights.”

But when Pakistan was created, more Muslims stayed on in India than left. And then in 1971 Pakistan itself split in two, with the creation of an independent Bangladesh.

“If the Muslims are supposed to be one nation – then how come they are living in three different states?” asks historian and author Ayesha Jalal.

She says the official Pakistani narrative favour teaching ideology over history.

‘Not wrong.’

But Atta-ur Rahman, a former head of the Higher Education Commission in Pakistan, points to growing levels of intolerance in India towards Muslims as proof that the Two Nation Theory is correct. He claims Muslims who moved to Pakistan have done “far, far better” in terms of literacy levels and economic opportunities than those who stayed in India.

He rejects the suggestion that the independence of Bangladesh following a bloody civil war undermines the idea all Muslims in the subcontinent could be categorized as “one nation”.

“It was political interests which led to the division; it doesn’t mean the Two Nation Theory was wrong,” he said.

It is clear that the theory is key to Pakistan’s national identity. Islam is the principal bond between its ethnically diverse inhabitants. The national language, Urdu, is native to a small minority only.

Partition of India in August 1947

  • Perhaps the biggest movement of people in history, outside of war and famine
  • Two newly-independent states were created – India and Pakistan
  • About 12 million people became refugees. Between half a million and a million people were killed in religious violence
  • Tens of thousands of women were abducted

To disavow the theory would be to question the strength of the bond holding Pakistan together.

Yet some ethnic groups in Pakistan feel they are treated differently from others. This is particularly the case for people in the western province of Baluchistan, where there has been a long-running nationalist insurgency.

Jehanzeb Jamaldini of the Baluchistan National Party, which campaigns for greater autonomy, says it would have been better for Pakistan to have recognized different ethnic groups as “four or five different nations” within a federation.

Instead, there is a feeling among many in Pakistan that one ethnic group, Punjabis, dominate the rest of the country.

Islamic state?

The Two Nation Theory has also led to debate over whether Pakistan was intended as a secular homeland for Indian Muslims or an Islamic state, and what role religious minorities should play.

Most Hindus left Pakistan at the time of partition, but there are about two million who stayed.

Ramesh Vankwani, a Hindu member of parliament, says he believes in the theory, yet he also says Hindus and Muslims are living in Pakistan “are one nation – Pakistani”.

For Mr Vankwani, Jinnah’s statements in the lead up to independence are more important.

Just days before Pakistan was created, Jinnah said: “You are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of 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.”

For Mr Vankwani this is proof that Jinnah wanted equal rights for all and that Pakistan was not just for Muslims.

But others in Pakistan ask what the point of creating a homeland for Muslims as if it wasn’t to be an Islamic state?

Historian Ayesha Jalal is clear that Jinnah envisaged Pakistan as a “homeland for India’s Muslims”, as opposed to an Islamic state.

But she says that his theory has been used by Islamists “as an ideological device” to justify claims for Pakistan to be a theocratic state.

And as a result, she says, “clarity has gone of how a homeland is distinct from a country run by the guardians of the faith”.

‘What was the point?’

These nuanced distinctions are lost on many ordinary Pakistanis. I spoke to the father of a university student accused of inciting a mob to beat to death one of their classmates for having committed blasphemy with his allegedly “atheist” views.

Sharafatullah asked me: “We are told Pakistan was created on the basis of the Two Nation Theory. If people are free to be atheists and spread atheist views, then what was the point of creating Pakistan?”

Yet at the same time, Islamist parties have never been able to garner significant support in elections.

After Bangladesh was declared independent in 1971, then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared the Two Nation Theory “dead”.

In Pakistan, it certainly is not, but it continues to feed into debates about the country’s identity. At the same time in India, Ms Jalal notes that the rise of right-wing Hindu ideology seems to be a surreptitious endorsement of the idea from a country that has long rejected it.

Constitutions of Pakistan based on Islam

It declares the country, The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and clearly mentions that Pakistan is basically a democracy, guided by the Islamic principles and values—no law would be made contrary to Quran and Sunnah—the government will make efforts to implement Islamic system (Shariah) in future.


Islamic introduction

Many key ideas on regarding the role of Islam in the State that was mentioned in 1956 Articles were made part of the Constitution:

  • The official name “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” as selected for the state of Pakistan.
  • Islam is declared as the state religionof Pakistan.
  • Enabling of living life, culture, and customs of Muslims, individually or collectively, in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam.
  • Teachings on ArabicQur’an, and Islamiyatto be compulsory in country’s institutions and to secure correct and exact printing and publishing of the Qur’an.
  • Proper organizations of ZakatWaqf, and mosques is ensured.
  • Prevent prostitution, gambling, and consumption of alcohol, printing, publication, circulation, pornography, and display of obsceneliterature and advertisements.
  • Required to be a Muslim to run for a bid of becoming the President(male or female) and/or Prime Minister (male or female). No restriction as to religion or gender on any other post, up to and including a provincial governor and Chief Minister.
  • All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Qur’an and Sunnah and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such injunctions.[39]
  • Council of Islamic Ideologyshall be constituted referred to as the Islamic advisory council.[40]
  • The Constitution of Pakistan defined a Muslimas a person who believes in the unity and oneness of Allah, in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of the Islamic prophetMuhammad, and does not believe in, or recognize as a prophet or religious reformer, any person who claimed or claims to be a prophet, in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after Muhammad.
  • In keeping with this definition, the SecondAmendment to the Constitution (1974) declared for the first time the Ahmadiyya Community and/or the Lahori Group as non-Muslims, since their leader, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, claimed to be the prophet of God.
  • However, the Fourth Amendment(1975) set aside six seats in the National Assembly for non-Muslim representatives to protect minority rights.
  • The state shall endeavor to strengthen the bonds of unity among Muslim countries.

Islamic revisions were introduced into the Pakistan Penal Code.


The following Act of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) received the assent of the President on the 5th June 1991 and is hereby published for general information:-

Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone, and authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan through their chosen representatives with the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust. And whereas the Objectives Resolution has been incorporated in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as a substantive part thereof;

And whereas Islam has been declared to be the State religion of Pakistan and it is obligatory for all Muslims to follow the Injunctions of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah to regulate and order their lives in complete submission to the Divine law;

And whereas it is one of the fundamental obligations of the Islamic State to protect the honour, life, liberty and the fundamental right an of the citizens as guaranteed under the constitution and to ensure peace and provide inexpensive and speedy justice to people through an independent Islamic system of justice without any discrimination.

And whereas Islam enjoins establishment of a social order based on the Islamic values of bidding what is right and forbidding what is wrong (Amr Bil Ma’ roof was nahi anil Munkar);

And whereas in order to achieve the aforesaid objectives and goals, it is necessary to give to these measures constitutional and legal backing,

It is hereby enacted as follows:

  1. Short title, extent, and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Enforcement of Shari’ah Act, 1991.

(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan.

(3) It shall come into force at once.

(4) Nothing contained in this Act shall affect the personal laws, religious freedom traditions, customs and way of life of the non-Muslims.

  1. Definition.
    In this Act “Shari’ah” means the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah.

Explanation:– While interpreting and explaining the Shari’ah the recognized principles of interpretation and explanation of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah shall be followed, and the expositions and opinions of recognized jurists of Islam belonging to prevalent Islamic schools of jurisprudence may be taken into consideration.

  1. Supremacy of Shari’ah.

(l) The Shari’ah that is to say the Injunctions of Islam as laid in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah shall be the supreme law of Pakistan.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the judgment of any Court or any other law for the time being in force, the present political system, including the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and Provincial Assemblies and the existing system of  Government, shall not be challenged in any Court, including Supreme Court, the Federal Shariat Court or any authority or tribunal:

Provided that nothing contained herein shall affect the right of the non-Muslims guaranteed by or under the Constitution.

  1. Laws to be interpreted in the light of Shari’ah.
    For the purpose of this Act—

(a) While interpreting the statute-law, if more than one interpretation is possible, the one consistent with the Islamic principles and jurisprudence shall be adopted by the Court ; and

(b) where two or more interpretations are equally possible the interpretation which advances the Principles of Policy and Islamic provisions in the Constitution shall be adopted by the Court.

  1. Observance of Shari’ah by Muslim citizens.All Muslim citizens of Pakistan shall observe Shari’ah and act accordingly, and in this regard, the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) shall formulate a code of conduct for Government functionaries.
  2. The teaching of, and training in, Shari’ah etc.
    The State shall make effective arrangements,–

(a) For the teaching of, and training in the Shari’ah, Islamic jurisprudence and all other branches of Islamic law at appropriate levels of education and professional training.

(b) To include courses on the Shari’ah in the syllabi of the law colleges;

(c) For the teaching of the Arabic language; and

(d) To avail the services of persons duly qualified in Shari’ah, Islamic jurisprudence and Ifta in a judicial system.


  1. Islamization of education.

(l) The State shall take necessary steps to ensure that the educational system of Pakistan is based on Islamic values of learning, teaching and character building.

(2) The Federal Government shall within thirty days from the commencement of this Act appoint a Commission consisting of educationists, jurists, experts, ulema and elected representatives as it may deem fit and appoint one of them to be its Chairman.

(3) The functions of the Commission shall be to examine the educational system of Pakistan to achieve the objectives referred to in subsection (1) and make recommendations in this behalf.

(4) A report containing the recommendations of the Commission shall be submitted to the Federal Government which shall cause it to be placed before both the Houses of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).

(5) The Commission shall have the power to conduct its proceedings and regulate its procedure in all respects as it may deem fit.

(6) All executive authorities, institutions and local authorities shall act in aid of the Commission.

(7) The Ministry of Education in the Government of Pakistan shall be responsible for the administrative matters relating to the Commission.


  1. Islamization of economy.

(l) The State shall take steps to ensure that the economic system of Pakistan is constructed on the basis of Islamic economic objectives, principles, and priorities.

(2) The Federal Government shall, within thirty days from the commencement of this Act, appoint a Commission consisting of economists, bankers, jurists, ulema, elected representatives and such other persons as it may deem fit and appoint one of them to be its Chairman.

(3) The functions of the commission shall be–


to recommend measures and steps, including suitable alternatives, by which the economic system enunciated by Islam could be established ;


to recommend the ways, means and strategy for such changes in the economic system of Pakistan so as to achieve the social and economic well-being of the people as envisaged by Article 38 of the Constitution;


to undertake the examination of any fiscal law or any law relating to the levy and collection of taxes and fees or banking or insurance law or practice and procedure to determine whether or not these are repugnant to the Shari’ah and to make recommendations to bring such laws, practices and procedure in conformity with the Shari’ah and


to monitor progress in respect of the Islamization of economy, identifying lapses and bottlenecks, if any, and suggest alternatives to remove any difficulty.

(4) The Commission shall oversee the process of elimination of Riba form every sphere of economic activity in the shortest possible time and also recommend such measures to the Government as would ensure the total elimination of Riba from the economy.

(5) The Commission shall submit its reports on a regular basis and at suitable intervals to the Federal Government which shall place the same before both the Houses of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and shall also respond to any queries sent to it by the Federal Government in respect of the establishment of the Islamic economic order.

(6) The Commission shall have the power to conduct its proceedings and regulate its procedure in all respects as it may deem fit.

(7) All executive authorities, institutions and local authorities shall act in aid of the Commission.

(8) The Ministry of Finance in the Government of Pakistan shall be responsible for the administrative matter relating to the Commission.


  1. Mass media to promote Islamic values.

(l) The State shall take steps to promote Islamic values through the mass media.

(2) The publication and promotion of programs against or in derogation to the Shari’ah, including obscene material shall be forbidden.


  1. Protection of life, liberty, property, etc.In order to protect the life, honour, liberty, property and the rights of the citizens, the State shall take legislative and administrative measures to—


introduce administrative and police reforms;


prevent acts of terrorism and sabotage and disruptive activities; and


Prevent the possession and display of illicit arms.

  1. Elimination of bribery and corruption.The State shall take legislative and administrative measures, to eliminate bribery, corruption, and malpractices and provide for exemplary punishment for such offences.


  1. Eradication of obscenity, vulgarity, etc.—Effective legal and administrative measures shall be taken by the State to eradicate obscenity, vulgarity, and other moral vices.


  1. Eradication of social evils. The State shall take effective measures for the enactment of law eradicating social evils and promoting Islamic virtues on the principles of amr bil ma’roof wa nahi’ anil Munkaras laid down in the Holy Qur’an.


  1. Nizami-i-adl.The State shall take adequate measures for the Islamization of the judicial system by eliminating laws delays, a multiplicity of proceedings in different Courts, litigation expenses and ensuring the quest for truth by the Court.


  1. Bait-ul-Mal (Welfare Fund).
    The State shall take steps to set up a Bait-ul-Mal for providing assistance to the poor, needy, helpless, handicapped, invalids, widows, orphans and the destitute.


  1. Protection of the ideology of Pakistan, etc.The State shall enact laws to protect the ideology, solidarity, and integrity of Pakistan as an Islamic State.


  1. Safeguard against false imputations, etc.The State shall take legislative and administrative measures to protect the honor and reputation of the citizens against false imputations, character assassination and violation of privacy.
  2. International financial obligations, etc.
    Notwithstanding anything contained in this act or any decision of any Court, till an alternative economic system is introduced, financial obligations incurred and contracts made between a National Institution and a Foreign Agency shall continue to remain and be valid, binding and operative.

Explanation:— In this section, the expression “National Institution” shall include the Federal Government or a Provincial Government, a statutory corporation, company, institution, body, enterprise or any person in Pakistan and the expression “Foreign Agency” shall include a foreign government, a foreign financial institution, foreign capital market, including a bank and any foreign lending agency, including an individual and a supplier of goods, and services.


  1. Fulfilment of existing obligations.
    Nothing contained in this Act or any decision made thereunder shall affect the validity of any financial obligations incurred, including under any instruments, whether contractual or otherwise, promises to pay or any other financial commitments made by or on behalf of the Federal Government or a Provincial Government or a financial or statutory corporation or other institution to make payments envisaged therein, and all such obligations, promises and commitments shall be valid, binding and operative till an alternative economic system is evolved.


  1. Rights of women not to be affected.
    Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the rights of women as guaranteed by the Constitution shall not be affected.


  1. Laws to be enacted by Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and Provincial Assemblies only.
    Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or the judgment or any Court, including the Supreme Court, all laws shall be enacted exclusively by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and the Provincial Assembly, as the case may be, and no law shall be made or be deemed to have been made unless it is made in the manner laid down in the Constitution.
  2. Rules.The Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.



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