“The best teachers of humanity are the lives of great men” – Charles Fowler

The man born on 25th December, 1876 changed the destinies of 10 crore Musalmaans, whose past was humiliating, present dismal and future uncertain. He soon carved a place in their hearts and went on to become their true leader, protector, founding father and architect. However, how much do we as a nation know about that remarkable man – our Quaid-e-Azam?

My first introduction with Quaid-e-Azam was probably when I read an essay about him, in 3rd or 4th grade. I learnt that he was the father of the Nation, the founder of Pakistan. At that time, those facts had no impact on me as it was just one of the ‘lessons’. Then whenever one was required to write an essay on “My favorite personality”, either in English or Urdu, teachers would always encourage writing it about him. Though what I wrote was not related to his personality as I didn’t know much, but just memorized bits of information about his life. While all the years that I studied Pakistan Studies, I only learnt that he was an astute politician having high principles and a resolute disposition, and that he without doubt was a born leader. However I was never able to catch a glimpse of who he really was as our course did not include facts such as his exceptional rhetoric skills (in public and in the courthouse), witty sense of humour, debonair smile or his impeccable sense of dressing! Furthermore his valuable legacy in form of speeches, documents and correspondences, which would make a befitting part of our curriculum, have been ignored. Students, especially those studying Law and Political Science could greatly benefit and learn immensely from his knowledge as well as rich experiences, accumulated during a span of nearly half a century.

Who then, was Muhammad Ali Jinnah? My eagerness to get to know him better, lead me onto the path of discovering him and in the past nearly two decades I have learnt a lot by reading various books about him. I found, that not only his personality but the way he lived his life is truly inspiring, and the sacrifices he made for us are beyond our imagination.

Often I have heard our youth complain that they have no contemporary role model whom they could follow. This baffled me, because with a towering personality like Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who else do we need? But after some serious contemplation I found the answer. Among many reasons, a major one is that the media has not played its role in highlighting various aspects of his life, which are so vital for us to know, to truly appreciate him as a person and as our leader. In comparison they regularly propagate every aspect of the personal lives of foreign stars and personalities, who have no national significance.

Anyone who had the honor of knowing him, held him in the greatest esteem. I on the other hand was not so fortunate yet I have come to deeply admire him because he possessed true Muslim characteristics. He had a deep rooted belief in Allah and was greatly influenced by the personality of the Hazrat Muhammad (SAW). In a commemorating speech he said “The Prophet (SAW) was the greatest man that the world had ever seen…”

He was honest and always kept his word. He once said “If ever you make a promise, think a hundred times, but once you make a promise, honor your promise.” He would never acquiesce to anything or anyone, so steadfast was he in his thoughts and actions. These, however are just to name a few of his virtues, but more importantly the lessons I have learnt from his life, have left an indelible impression on my mind. Foremost is that you can achieve anything through hard work and determination. Though the journey isn’t easy and those who look for an easy way out might achieve temporary success, however success accomplished through honest and fair means, by never letting go of your principles is long lasting. Secondly one must face life with courage whatever the circumstances may be. And lastly that one should never give up, strongly believe in one self and above all believe in Allah. He said “Failure is a word unknown to me”.

Even his strongest of opponents’, could not deny his greatness; for on his demise, Surat Chandra Bose, leader of the Forward Bloc wing of the Indian National Congress,summed up his personal and political achievements in a glowing tribute: “Mr. Jinnah, was great as a lawyer, once great as a Congressman, great as a leader of Muslims, great as a world politician and diplomat, and greatest of all as a man of action, By Mr. Jinnah’s passing away, the world has lost one of the greatest statesmen and Pakistan its life-giver, philosopher and guide.”

Though seemingly, we as a nation remember him with great reverence on the occasion of his birth, but does he really mean anything to anyone, anymore? An imperative question every single person should ask themselves. Moreover I feel greatly disappointed in my own generation who don’t seem to have an appreciation and true realization of all that he did for us! One of the major reasons why Pakistan today, is not what Quaid-e-Azam had envisioned is because we never followed his guiding principles and objectives; that would have made Pakistan a great nation.

My quest; however is not over yet, as there so much more to learn about him. And I couldn’t agree more with what Paul Shafer said “The most important single influence in the life of a person is another person … who is worthy of emulation”

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