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Lahore Ahmadiyya support for Pakistan

The Lahore Ahmadiyya Anjuman under the leadership of Maulana Muhammad Ali (d. 1951) gave full, active and vigorous support to the movement for the creation of Pakistan throughout the years preceding its creation in 1947, as shown below.

In its English organ, The Light, for 8 February 1946, on page 4, a short item appears as follows:

Lahore Ahmadis to vote for League
Maulana Muhammad Ali issues instructions

“In the course of his Friday Khutba on February 1, Maulana Muhammad Ali, Head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, has called upon the members of this Movement that throughout India in the forthcoming elections to the Provincial legislatures, they must vote for the Muslim League candidate. Muslim League, he emphasized, has at the present time become a symbol of Islamic unity and solidarity. All members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya community must therefore stand by the League in this momentous struggle which involves the very survival of Islam in this country. Anyone failing to abide by this verdict of the community will be guilty of a betrayal of the community.”

In The Light of 8 May 1946, the main item on the front page is headed:

Maulana Muhammad Ali Urges Special Prayers Every Friday

For the last three weeks Maulana Muhammad Ali, Head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, has been offering special prayers at the Friday congregational prayer for the success of Mr. Jinnah’s talks with the Cabinet Mission.
The following are some extracts from this item:
“Exhorting the congregation last Friday, May 3, to humbly beseech the Almighty to protect the Muslims of India at this critical juncture in the history of Islam in this country, the Maulana made it plain that Pakistan is a life and death issue, not only for the existence of Muslims but at the same time for the survival of Islam itself as a faith and culture. Of all the world of Islam, said the Maulana, the Indian Muslims were the only people who yet believed in the possibilities of Islam as a religion to play a role in the re-shaping of the world. In every other Muslim land, including Egypt, the cultural centre of Islam, and Turkey and Afghanistan, the politically independent States of Islam, the very idea of tabligh or the propagation of faith was extinct.

‘Pakistan or Perish was no mere political slogan, observed the Maulana. It was a real and grave danger. If the Muslims failed to survive as a free people, they perish and along with them perishes the idea of Islam as a vital force of life.”

Maulanas message at creation of Pakistan

On the day after the creation of Pakistan, a special Pakistan number of The Light was issued (15 August 1947) which carried on the front page a message of congratulations by Maulana Muhammad Ali around a central photograph of Mr. Jinnah. In his message, the Maulana said:
“I offer my felicitations, first of all, to Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, for whose trust in God, untiring efforts, unwavering resolution, far-sightedness, unbending power of resistance and breadth of vision, God Almighty has blessed the Muslims with a magnificent boon and has vouchsafed them rulership over a part of India. May God grant this soldier of Islam a long lease of life and sustain him in health and energy, and may He enable him and us all to be grateful servants of His, our heads always bowing before His will!

I offer my felicitations to the whole of the Muslim nation, especially the masses of the Muslims whose sacrifices have won Pakistan, the greatest of these sacrifices being the united front which they displayed in the struggle. It is my humble prayer that God may sustain their hearts in unity, free from all kinds of mutual jealousies and ill-will. May God grant all Muslims the sense to realize that in this unity and solidarity lies the secret of their strength, especially to those of them who are yet outside this Islamic solidarity.

I offer felicitations to those unknown Muslims whose nightly supplications before God to save the bark of Islam at this critical hour have been the cause of bringing us His blessings and mercy, and who keep the torch of this Heavenly light, which is the soul of Pakistan, aflame.

In this hour, my fervent prayers also go out towards those saintly personages who sowed the seeds of tabligh in this land of ours, the fruit of which we are enjoying today in the shape of Pakistan. In grateful memory let us recall that but for their efforts to propagate the light of Islam in India, far from achieving any sovereign status for Islam in this country today, millions of our people now constituting the Muslim nation would have themselves been wallowing in polytheism, idol-worship and darkness. May He bless their souls with His unbounded mercy and exalt their ranks in their heavenly abode! May He enable us of this age to follow in their footsteps and try in our own humble way to disseminate the light of the last message of God, the Holy Quran, not only in this subcontinent but over the length and breadth of the whole world; and, while departing from this world, may we leave behind to the coming generations the same heritage that these saintly souls left to us, so that just as we today are reaping the harvest of their sacrifices and labours in the form of Pakistan, our coming generations may be blessed with the reward of our efforts and sacrifices in the shape of converting the whole of India, nay, the whole of the world, into a Pakistan in which man may be reunited to man, in which fellow-feeling may bind man to man, irrespective of caste or creed, a Pakistan free from injustice, tyranny and oppression, in which the whole of mankind may dwell as a single family.

In the end, it is my humble prayer to God Almighty that now that He has blessed us with rulership, He may also fill our hearts with the passion to serve fellow-men and enable us to walk in the footsteps of those who, while wielding regal sceptre, lived the lives of darweshes, those who looked upon themselves, not as rulers, but as servants of the people. O Almighty Allah! Make this Islamic state an ideal State which may serve other nations of the world as an object lesson in equity and justice, in mutual goodwill and toleration, in honesty and integrity and above all in a passion for the service of fellowmen. O God, grant that the heads of the officials of this State may ever remain bowed before Thy commandments and their hearts filled with compassion for Thy creatures!”

Incident related by Mr N.A. Faruqui about the British Cabinet Mission’s rejection of Pakistan and Maulana Muhammad Ali’s prayers and his revelation

Behind at least some of the prayers of Maulana Muhammad Ali mentioned above “for the success of Mr. Jinnah’s talks with the Cabinet Mission” lies a story which was recounted by Mr N.A. Faruqui, a leading Lahore Ahmadi and a high officer first in the British Indian Civil Service and then in the Pakistan Civil Service. He first gave a brief account which was published in 1962 in the biography of Maulana Muhammad Ali in Urdu, Mujahid-i Kabir. Later he related a more detailed version in our Urdu organ Paigham Sulh, dated 6–13 October 1982. His earlier account may have been brief because it was too close to the time when the events had taken place. When the English translation of Mujahid-i Kabir, was published under the name A Mighty Striving, the details found in Mr Faruqui’s Paigham Sulh article were added to it. His statement is as below.

In 1946 I was Deputy Commissioner of Karachi. The Governor of the Sindh was Sir Francis Mudie, one of the few British who, being fully aware of the machinations of the Hindus, was a great sympathiser of the Muslims and supporter of the Pakistan cause. As I had previously served as his secretary, he used to tell me his inner feelings, especially as he found me to agree with his views. Even after I became Deputy Commissioner of Karachi, he used to have discussions with me in favour of the creation of Pakistan. His support of the Muslims being no secret, the Hindu press used to refer to his name sarcastically, from his initials F.M., as “Fateh Muhammad”, and send telegrams against him to the Viceroy Lord Wavell and the Secretary of State for India Lord Pethick-Lawrence. But Sir Francis Mudie, instead of being overawed or intimidated, was undeterred and used to fight these complaints.

A British cabinet mission came to India in 1946, headed by Lord Pethick-Lawrence, to discuss the question of Indian independence, and on their way from London to New Delhi they stayed in Karachi for one night as guests of the Governor of the Sindh. The following morning it was my official duty, as District Magistrate, to be present at Karachi airport for their departure. After they left, the Governor beckoned me to accompany him in his car. As soon as the car moved off, he said to me: “Faruqui, they are not going to give us Pakistan”. This appeared to be the final, irrevocable decision of the British government. Naturally, I was filled with sadness and gloom, but due to the confidential nature of this news I could not mention it to anyone. Prayer to God was needed, but I myself was far from having closeness to the Almighty. Maulana Muhammad Ali was in Dalhousie at the time, and I knew full well how much his prayers were accepted by God. The matter being confidential, I wrote to him only these lines:

“The cabinet mission stayed the night in Karachi and proceeded to New Delhi: ‘What the eye can see, cannot be brought to the lips; I am in bewilderment as to what the world will become’.[Note 1] Sir, please pray specially for the future and welfare of the Muslims.”

The Hazrat Amir replied by return post as follows:

“I am always praying for the welfare and the religious and worldly success of the Muslims. But on receiving your letter I was praying specially during the night when I heard the voice: Pakistan Zindabad.[Note 2] Although there appears to be despondency everywhere, it seems that it has been decided in heaven that Pakistan will come into being. I will continue to pray to God in this matter.”

I became satisfied upon hearing this prophecy but my tranquillity soon vanished when the cabinet mission proposed a kind of united India and the Muslim League accepted it and joined the future government to be headed by Nehru. Not only did the dream of Pakistan appeared to come to an end with that, but I became uncertain about the fulfilment of Hazrat Amir’s prophecy. However, events changed their course when that plan failed because of the obstacles placed by the Congress party. At last Pakistan came into existence the following year, and towns and cities echoed with the chant Pakistan Zindabad, fulfilling the Divine revelation received by that man of faith.


1. This is a poetic verse by Iqbal quoted by Mr. Faruqui.

2. This is the very well-known slogan meaning ‘Long live Pakistan’.