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Muharram 12, 1440

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Origin of the title 'Quaid-e-Azam'

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with Quaid-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan (right)Tracing out the history of the origin of the title 'Quaid-e-Azam', The Eastern Times wrote on September 11, 1949:

"Sharing in Lahore's homage to the memory of the Father of the Nation is the family of the late Mian Ferozuddin Ahmad which recalls with legitimate pride the little known fact that it was this battler in the cause of Muslim emancipation, who first gave to the nation the immortal words 'Quaid-e-Azam', which prosperity is bound to echo and re-echo symbolising the esteem and affection of tens of millions all over the globe for the architect of the world's biggest Islamic State".

The meaning of Quaid-e-Azam

Mr. J. N. Mandal pointed out that Mr. K. S. Roy, desired Mr. Jinnah not only as a great leader of the Muslim community but as a great leader of Pakistan and one of the greatest leaders of the country.

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with Quaid-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan (seated right)

'Quaid-e-Azam' meant a great leader. Mr. Jinnah was better described as 'Quaid-e-Azam' and was known so throughout the world. He said it was the desire of the whole House that Mr. Jinnah should always be addressed as 'Quaid-e-Azam'. Mr. Mandal explained that it was a matter of great importance to the House and said, 'Quaid-e-Azam' is not a title, it is a token of love and affection. The sole object of the motion is to introduce some form of formality Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru is described as Pandit Nehru, and Mr. Gandhi as Mahatama Gandhi. If the Constituent Assembly of India abolished titles and accepted Mr. Gandhi as Mr. Gandhi only and Mr. Nehru as Mr. Nehru only, I would move the Assembly that Mr. Jinnah should be called Mr. Jinnah.

Mian Iftikhar-ud-Din pointed out that liberty should be given to the people and the Government to use another form of address. Instead of saying Mr. Jinnah, the nation wanted to call him 'Quaid-e-Azam'. It was a title for the people to give to their leader. In the heart of every Muslim Mr. Jinnah was 'Quaid-e-Azam' purely on democratic ground alone.

Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan tried to clarify the position. The opposition was based on misunderstanding. Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan said, even by throwing out the resolution they could not take away the title from his name. He hoped that opposition would reconsider the position.

The resolution was put to vote and adopted.

Mr. Jinnah to be addressed as 'Quaid-e-Azam'

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with Quaid-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan (seated right)On August 11, 1947, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan moved a resolution that Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, President of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan and Governor-General designate of Pakistan, be addressed as 'Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah' in all official acts, documents, letters and correspondence from August 15, 1947.

Moving the resolution on the form of address for Mr. Jinnah as 'Quaid-e-Azam' in all official acts, documents and correspondence, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan explained that it was to obtain the formal approval of the Constituent Assembly to the form of address by which Mr. Jinnah was already known throughout the country and the world. *Quaid-e-Azam' which means a great leader and he did not think there was any doubt in the minds of anybody that today Mr. Jinnah was the great leader of Pakistan. It was considered necessary that there should be one definite form of address by which the head of Pakistan should be addressed and should referred to in all official correspondence and letters. He did not think that there would be any member who would not give support to the motion.



Islam gave the Muslims of India a sense of identity; dynasties like the Mughals gave them territory; poets like Allama Iqbal gave them a sense of destiny. Jinnah's towering stature derives from the fact that, by leading the Pakistan movement and creating the state of Pakistan, he gave them all three. For the Pakistanis he is simply the Quaid-e-Azam or the Great Leader. Whatever their political affiliation, they believe there is no one quite like him.

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