The Mausoleum is unique among all the sacred buildings
of Pakistan. It perpetuates the memory of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah,
the man of destiny who founded Pakistan. The Mausoleum reflects the forceful
personality of the Quaid-e-Azam and thus inspire the people of Pakistan.
It is considered an abode of sanctity, awakening edifying ideas and impulses. The children,
leaders of tomorrow, draw moral strength and national character from its
sheer majesty. Visiting dignitaries pay homage at the Mazar, which ensures
a respectful position for Pakistan among the nations of the world.
The Mausoleum has been constructed on a natural plateau, commanding a panoramic view
of the entire city of Karachi. The massive, masculine edifice blends with
the mountainous, character of the people of Baluchistan; on the other
hand, the feminine grace of the arches reflects the docile nature of the
Muslims of Sind. Both these provinces surround the city of Karachi in
which Mr. Jinnah was born, led his people to freedom and was finally buried.
The marble of which the Mausoleum is built, is unaffected by the heat
of summer, the cold of winter and the extremes of the Karachi climate.
The setting of the Mausoleum among natural surroundings, the grandeur of its form,
the simplicity of its Islamic architectural lines, the purity of its marble,
the spirit of sanctity which pervades the interior, all served to inspire
the newly-formed nation.
The Islamic world at its height, extended from the Iberian Peninsula to the South-Asian
sub-continent. Despite the vast geographical barriers which divide the
Islamic countries, the forms of art born and nurtured amongst the followers
of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) display an amazing unity of style and
purpose. It is the binding spirit of Islamic religion practised all over
the world that provides this cohesive factor, so that art and faith are
inseparably bound together. However, within this framework of seemingly
strict laws, there is sufficient liberty for an architect to arrive at
creative works. Thus I fell in line with the Islamic Renaissance in designing
of the Mausoleum.
Modern concepts have been applied alongside the traditional Muslim influence, and the
resulting monument retains the style and purpose of Islamic architecture
all over the world.
The general form of the Mausoleum is suggestive of Sarachenic Architecture with the
dome and the tapering walls which reflect the glory of one of the Muslim
emperors of the sub-continent, Mohammed bin-Tughlak who ruled it from
Delhi in the 16th century. Tughlak was a great patron of art and architecture
and lived a century ahead of his time. So was Mr. Jinnah, the founder
The development of the project was in keeping with the local economy. All materials used
in the construction were indigenous. While saving valuable foreign exchange,
the natural resources and skills of the country have been fully exploited
and, developed. By adopting, 'Low Technology', the construction work was
labour intensive, and constituted 33 per cent of the project cost, giving
mass employment to the local people.
Thus, the money which had come from the public in the form of contributions was
returned to them in good measure in the form of wages and the purchase
of goods and services. Full encouragement was given to development of
local skills in the civil construction industry.
In my design of the Mausoleum I have imparted images which characterized the departed
leader in his life time. The tall and slender arches remind the viewer
of the Quaid-e-Azam's tall and thin figure. The deliberate edge in height
given to the minaret of the Mosque over the dome of the Mausoleum symbolises
my natural acceptance of the fact that though a very great man the Quaid-e-Azam
was as much a humble servant of Allah as the millions of his Muslim brethren
all over the world are. Again, by keeping the minaret of the Mosque exactly
in line with the turbat in the Mausoleum away to the left, I have symbolised
the fact that though adored and lauded by his people everywhere, the Quaid
himself never lost sight of the basic fact that he was a staunch Muslim
and that all his greatness stemmed from Allah.
Further, I wished to lay stress on the fact that utter confusion and chaos prevailed
on the scene prior to the founding of Pakistan as a nation, and it was
the Quaid who took the people under his fold, instilled discipline and
unity into them, and revitalised them into a dynamic nation. The chaos
is symbolised by the rockery garden, while the majestic steps leading
up to the vast platform and the Mausoleum standing majestically over it,
serve to project the forceful character of Quaid-e-Azam, who carved a
respected position for Pakistan among the international community of nations.
Courtesy: Prof. Ahmad Hasan Dani, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad