(The above picture shows Quaid e Azam presiding over the annual session of All India Muslim League, March 22-24, 1940, while Chaudhry Khaliq uz Zaman delivers his speech. Iqbal’s couplet graces the stage)
جہاں میں اہل ایماں صورت خورشید جیتے ہیں
ادھر ڈوبے ادھر نکلے، ادھر ڈوجے ادھر نکلے
The believers in this world exist like the sun,
Setting here, and rising there, setting there, and rising here! (Iqbal – Tulu e Islam)
22nd March 1940. The 27th annual session of all India Muslim League took place in Minto Park, Lahore (Now called Allama Iqbal Park). Around 100,000 people attended the public meeting of the session. The special thing about this particular session was that it was about to change the course of history, at least for the Muslim Nation of the Indo Pak subcontinent. The day would be remembered by the “Indian Mussalmans” for centuries to come; the Quaid e Azam told the media on his arrival in Lahore that All India Muslim League was about to make a historic decision.
The resolution was called Lahore resolution by the Muslim Leaders. Ironically, however, Hindu newspapers chose to call it ‘Pakistan Resolution’, a term most willingly and happily accepted by Muslim masses! The resolution was presented on 23rd March and passed unanimously on 24th March. It declared the following,
“… the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North Western and Eastern Zones of India should be grouped to constitute ‘independent states’ in which the constituent units should be autonomous and sovereign.”
Another significant thing about this historic session was that it took place beside the Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort, a symbol of past greatness and glory – a reminiscence of the Muslim rule of the Indian subcontinent that spanned over a millennium.
The idea of an independent Muslim State was firstly and foremostly presented by Allama Iqbal in his famous “Allahabad address,” in 1930. Iqbal deemed it as the ‘final destiny’ of the Muslims Nation – a course which providence had chosen for them.
Iqbal passed away in 1938, before he saw the realization and materialization of his dream – before he was able to witness his planted seed grow into a tree. His death had deprived the Muslim Nation of a great leader, and a great visionary …
However, God had been merciful enough to bless the Muslims of India with another great mind, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Together, Jinnah and Iqbal may well be considered two of the greatest leaders ever to be born amongst the Muslim Nation. One had been the dreamer, the other would be the fighter. One had shown the way, the other would be the one to lead his nation to their destination.
Although Iqbal was not present to witness the Pakistan Resolution taking place, his memory was honoured by the other Muslim leaders, and his aforementioned couplet graced the stage during the three-day annual session.
In Iqbal’s mind, the believers, the Muslim Nation, resembled the Sun in their rise and fall. Just as the sun sets in one place and rises on the other side, the Muslim Nation may suffer a demise in one place but will rise in another place, in the form of another state, another idea, another ideology …
In the recent past, the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate had led to a general sentiment of depression and dejection amongst the Muslims of India, but now within a few decades the world witnessed a new ideology being formed – a new idea was in the making, and a new world soon to be created in the form of Pakistan.
A message that the formation of Pakistan conveys to us is that the Muslim Nation can never be wiped off from the face of the earth. If it sinks somewhere, it will rise elsewhere. The destiny of the Muslim Nation is similar in nature to the rise and fall of the tide. The destiny of the entire Muslim Nation is intricately connected and the formation of Pakistan is a revival and proof of the fact that Islam as a working and functioning ideal continues to exist. As the Quaid said in his presidential address on 22nd March 1940:
“Mussalmans are a nation according to any definition of a nationhood. We wish our people to develop to the fullest spiritual, cultural, economic, social and political life in a way that we think best and in consonance with our own ideals …”
Iqbal saw Pakistan as our final destiny. It is both our destiny and our destination. A ‘fact’ we need to understand ourselves and also convey to our children: We are if Pakistan is!