Quaid-e-Azam vision of Pakistan: secular or religious state

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

If Jinnah is studied critically, one would easily find its vision was neither secular, nor Radicalized, but a state whose guiding principles should be Islamic based on the notion of tolerance, justice, equality (among all faiths), and honesty. He wanted the state nature of polity constitutional rather than authoritarian and theocratic.

Quaid-e-Azan Vision of the state
Quaid-e-Azan - the founder of Pakistan

Jinnah’s state was not secular:

Although Quaid's notion if is seen through the prism of liberal views, his vision assimilates with secularism, if the nuance is evaluated critically, he predominantly was not in favor of the secular system. For analysis, we must visit the past when the emperor was Akbar, and the sub-continent was in the transition phase. Akbar set out his reign trajectory based on secularism. He supported the amalgamation of Hindus and Muslim beliefs, and favored inter-faith marriages even he married a Rajput Hindu princess named “Jodha.” According to some analysts, this was the time when the practices of two different religions started to merged. Akbar named his nascent religious ideology “Din-e-Illahi.” However, he is criticized much for his ideology especially by the fundamentalist.

Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India, was inspired by the Akbar ideology and wanted the naïve states to rejuvenate in their structure polity. However, Jinnah traced out that Akbar's vision was too secular which had been altered by his own set of beliefs. Pakistan must have adopted the principle which had already been laid before thirteen centuries when Prophet (S.A.W.W) advised to Muslims during Hujjat ul Widah that all men are equal, and no white is superior to black, and no Arab is superior to Non-Arab. Jinnah wanted the state vision must follow the Prophet's vision based on tolerance, justice, and equality.

He was not satisfied with the western system of running state affairs. He argued that if the western system was an ideal in nature, why they had engaged in two worlds' most horrifying wars. He believed that only a true Islamic ideology based on tolerance can lead Pakistan toward an ideal state.

Not a theocratic State:

Once a person called Quaid-e-Azam “Maulana Jinnah”, Jinnah advised him not to call me Maulana “I am not a Maulana” just say, Mr.Jinnah. The founder desired of state to be an Islamic state based on the guiding principle of Islam, but he didn’t want a theocratic state run by Mullah because, thus, the minorities could be someday oppressed and persecuted. In a nutshell, in his view, this state should follow the principles which maintained a good structure of polity where all are equal in front of law irrespective of faiths, beliefs, creed, and cast, but the religion not to be used as a tool to promoting religious agendas.

You may belong to any religion or caste or creed –

that has nothing to do with the business of the state.

Quaid's vision can be cleared by his speech and sayings what he thought about the state polity. He never wanted the state to be run by extremist and radical Islamists because in his view the state's responsibility is to establish equality among people and safeguarding the right of every individual irrespective of religion. They must have the right to practice their religion freely. Therefore, he said that you are all are free, free to go to your temples, your mosques, or any other place of worship, in the state of Pakistan. He had a fear that if the state is gone in the hand of the extremist, the rights of minorities and other creeds would be compromised, and the suppression would be started.


Jinnah's vision of Pakistan was that a state where are the rights of every individual would be guaranteed and the minorities have equal rights as Muslims under the Islamic principle based on Justice, Tolerance, and equality. Jinnah aimed to create neither a secular, nor radical, but a true Islamic State.