Rizwan Ahmed: A Prolific Scholar and Biographer of Quaid-i-Azam
By Dr A. Khan
Chicago, IL


September 11, 2012 marked the 64 th anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam’s death. On the same day, one of Quaid-i-Azam’s most prolific and prominent biographers, Rizwan Ahmed passed away quietly in Karachi. Rizwan Ahmed was 88 years old. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Allahabad. After migrating to Pakistan he wrote prolifically on Quad-i-Azam and the Pakistan Movement.

Rizwan Ahmed has written the most readable and vivid accounts of the character and career of the Quaid-i-Azam. In his writings, he practiced triangulation of facts; he took great care to check the facts and validate the accounts of Quaid-i-Azam’s contemporaries.He wrote more than 1000 columns on Quaid-i-Azam in English, Urdu, Guajarati and Sindhi newspapers. His articles on Quaid-i-Azam and Pakistan Movement were also published in a number of national and international publications. He authored/edited twenty-five books on Quaid-i-Azam, which include:

  • Teachings of Quaid-i-Azam (1968)
  • Early Thirty Years (also published in Urdu as Ibtedai Tees Saal, 1976-77)
  • Quaid-i-Azam and the Islamic World – 1981 ( published on the occasion of Islamic Summit, Makkah)
  • Quaid-i-Azam’s Life: Facts and Fictions (1975) [serialized in DAWN 1976]
  • Jinnah Poonjah (Father of Quaid-i-Azam) [Urdu]
  • Quaid-i-Azam Papers 1940 (Volume I, 1976)
  • Quaid-i-Azam Papers 1941-42 (Volume II, 1977)
  • Quaid kay Saathi (Urdu, Associates of Quaid-i-Azam)
  • Jung-e-Azadi Key Jhalkian (Urdu, collection of columns published in daily Jang)
  • Meray Quaid (Urdu)
  • My Quaid
  • Moohnjo Quaid (Sindhi)
  • Maro Quaid (Guajarati)
  • Quaid-i-Azam Papers 1928-39, 1943-48 (Volume III)
  • Rare Papers of Quaid-i-Azam
  • Pakistan Key Kahaney (Urdu)
  • Tributes to Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan)
  • Muslim India and the Islamic World
  • Young Jinnah (Volume I)
  • Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah (Volume II)
  • Quaid-i-Azam and the Islamic World (Arabic)
  • Gandhiji – Facts and Fictions
  • Gandhiji – Jinnah, an Appraisal

Rizwan Ahmed conducted most of his scholarly activities through Pakistan Movement Research Center. Commenting on the need for establishing such as center, in the preface of his book “Sayings of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” he observed: “The need for an organization or a center to conduct studies and research into the Pakistan Movement and disseminate knowledge about its motivating factors and ideals has been felt for a long time. We have made a humble beginning in this direction by establishing a Pakistan Movement Research Center…The Pakistan Movement is a continuing process. The shackles of foreign rule have been broken, but the effort to evolve in Pakistan a social order based on ‘Islamic Social Justice’ continues. It is a demanding but rewarding task. It calls for sincere, dedicated and sustained efforts. As time passes the ranks of the generation which was directly involved in the historic struggle for Pakistan is getting depleted. The surviving workers of the Pakistan Movement owe it to the present and future generations to spread the message of the Quaid-i-Azam and correct knowledge about the facts and motivations of the Movement.”

Commenting on the importance of scholarship on Quaid-i-Azam and Pakistan Movement, and reflecting on the scholarly efforts of Mr Rizwan Ahmed in this regard, Mr M.H. Saiyid, secretary of Quaid-i-Azam, has observed: “As current events pass into history, the responsibility of their placement in their proper perspective devolves upon those who have lived through the times. This is a matter of duty towards the future generations which must be discharged as studiously and faithfully as the gravity of the subject demands. Students of history know that as time passes, these events begin to cast their shadows or throw light on the future pattern of life. Mr Rizwan Ahmed and other friends including Mr Jamiluddin Ahmed of the Pakistan Movement Research Center have collaborated to collect some of the more important quotations from the speeches and statements of Quaid-i-Azam…his views and the ideals and values he stood for are of perennial interest to the present and future generations of Pakistan. Most of them represent the principles and aphorisms propounded by him from time to time. But they will have a bearing on the current events, and as such. I hope they will have a stimulating effect in encouraging the study of our current history” (Foreword, Sayings of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, edited by Rizwan Ahmed, Karachi, 1970).

Rizwan Ahmed had the utmost respect and ardor for Quaid-iAzam; he dedicated his whole life for promoting and propagating many facets of Quaid-e-Azam’s personality, career and accomplishments. Indeed, he was rightly called the Aashiq-Quaid-i-Azam. It was his lifelong desire to depart this world on September 11, the date the Quaid-i-Azam left this world. Indeed, God granted his wish and he passed away on September 11, 2012 – the 64 th death anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam. Rizwan Ahmed’s scholarship will continue to educate the present and future generations about Quaid-i-Azam and the Pakistan Movement. Au revoir, Rizwan Ahmed, indeed you were a prolific scholar; may God bless your soul.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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