“You will have to make up for the smallness of your size by your courage and selfless devotion to duty, for it is not life that matters, but the courage, fortitude and determination you bring to it.”
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
You might know enough about the struggle for the creation of Pakistan but do you know enough about the early life of the man who changed the course of history? Read on!
Quaid Day is marked by a public holiday in Pakistan, observed annually on 25th. December across the country to celebrate the birthday of the great Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. It’s the birth date of a memorable personality who strived to create a separate Muslim state and end the suffering of Muslims in the subcontinent.
We bring you 8 things about Muhammad Ali Jinnah you might not know and that bring an intangibly humane quality to the man behind the man – the Jinnah we might not know!
1. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was born in Wazir Mansion, located in Karachi.
On December 25, 1876, Mithibai (Jinnah’s mother) gave birth to him, the first of seven children. The fragile infant who appeared so weak that it weighed a few pounds less than normal. However, Mithibai was fond of her little boy, insisting he would grow up to be an achiever. Founder of the nation, and one of the greatest leaders of all times was born within the walls of Wazir Mansion. It was later rebuilt and made into a national museum. One can also visit the Quaid e Azam museum in Karachi which he is known to have purchased in 1943 and which houses many possessions and furniture from the time that Jinnah, and later his sister, Fatima Jinnah stayed there.
2. Jinnah preferred playing outdoors rather than studying arithmetic!
Jinnah’s father enrolled him in school when he was six— Sindh Madrasatul-Islam; Jinnah was not fond of studying, especially arithmetic. He preferred to play outdoors with his friends (or ride his father’s horses, which he was quite obsessive about). His father was especially keen towards his studying arithmetic as it was vital in his business. He later handled the trading business of his father which included cotton, wool, hides, oil-seeds etc.
3. Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s mother was not in favour of her son going to London.
Jinnah’s mother never wanted him to go to London since she had never been apart from for an extended period. Her intuition told her that separation would be permanent for her and that she would never see her son again.
She believed London was a dangerous country to send an unmarried and handsome young man like her son. She thought that an English girl might lure him into marriage. So she only permitted him to leave if he agreed to marry first.
4. Jinnah was 16 years old when he married for the first time.
Mithibai arranged his marriage with a fourteen-year-old girl named Emibai from the Paneli village. Jinnah had little time to adjust in the marriage since he departed for England soon after. Upon their return to Karachi, his young bride observed the custom of covering her face with her headscarf in front of her father-in-law. However, Jinnah, true to his liberal sentiments, encouraged her to discard this practice.
5. Jinnah’s daughter Dina was born shortly after midnight on 15th. August 1919
Jinnah married again to a Parsi girl named Ratti. They had a daughter who was born – yes, incredibly, on the same date (between 14th and 15th. August) as the creation of 2 separate and independent states of Pakistan and India!
Jinnah married Ruttie on Friday, April 19, 1918. She had converted to Islam. None of Ruttie’s relatives attended her wedding since they never wanted her to get close to him.
6. Jinnah’s stay in a hotel in Kensington still has a display made of ceramic.
When he arrived in London he moved into the house of Mrs. F. E. Page-Drake as a houseguest at 35 Russell Road in Kensington. This house now displays a blue and white ceramic oval saying that the ‘founder of Pakistan stayed here in 1895′
7. Jinnah held a special place in his heart for theatre & Shakespeare. He would often read a Shakespeare play in bed!
It was his dream was to ‘play the role of Romeo at the Old Victoria Theatre in London’. Jinnah had even landed himself a job in the theatre business in London, but unfortunately for him, his father opposed the idea and persuaded him to continue the study of law to become a lawyer.
8. Jinnah was a philanthropist & donated money to the needy!
Jinnah settled in Bombay after returning from London. Even when his career was not flourishing, he never stopped helping the poor and needy. He donated a handsome amount to a Muslim orphanage in Bombay.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah became an inspiration for all of us, as even now the nation whole-heartedly treasures his leadership and we turn repeatedly to his words of utmost wisdom, strength and unfathomable foresightedness.
Pakistanis pay tribute to him on Twitter this 25th. December, as always!
#JinnahWasRight Trends on Twitter as ‘Quaid Day’ is celebrated across the Nation!
Listen in To 4 Life Lessons From Muhammad Ali Jinnah – A Tribute To the Quaid!
Please note: Information for the article has been sourced from the govt. of Pakistan website on Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Zoha loves to talk about entertainment. “I’m a writing fanatic, who seeks opportunities to connect myself to the world in a way to make people believe that to bring change in a society is to be real, no matter from where you belong”. Connect with her on Instagram!