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Hilal Kids English

Chaudhry Rahmat Ali the Creator of Word “Pakistan”

November 2023

Chaudhry Rahmat Ali has the credit of creating word “Pakistan”. This makes his name famous in history. The detail of this coining is very interesting. In fact, Chaudhry Rahmat Ali had coined word “Pakstan” without alphabet “i” in between. It is reported that he presented this name to a committee that was later headed by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The Quaid liked this name but said: “…it is a very good name, but if you please add letter “i” after “k” as “I want “i” in between, that stands for Islam”. 
This stunning disclosure was made by Professor Dr Anis Ahmad, the younger brother of renowned political figure, late Professor Ghafoor Ahmed, in his recent video that is available on internet. “This is a fact that is ignored by the historians”, says Dr Anis who tells us in detail how much the Quaid had love for the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and how he regarded Islam as complete code of life, “which has the panacea of all ills.”     
    The actual name Chaudhry Rahmat Ali proposed was “Pakstan”. It was the acronym for five northern provinces of Indian subcontinent with Muslim majority – Punjab, Afghania (North-West Frontier Province or NWFP, now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Kashmir, Sind (now Sindh) and Baluchistan (now Balochistan). But, according to Dr Anis, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah himself got added the letter “i” that stands for “Islam”.
     Let us know about Chaudhry Rahmat Ali, who has his birth anniversary on November 16.  His journey to become a popular Muslim leader of Pakistan Movement is inspiring. His name is a synonym of boldness. His contribution towards the creation of a separate homeland made him respectable in the eyes of Muslims.
     Born on 16 November 1897, Chaudhry Rahmat Ali got early education from Balachaur, a small district of Hoshiarpur. He studied law at the University of Cambridge where he became involved in the independence movement. He became the first from the subcontinent to have proposed the name for the separate homeland “Pakistan”. 
    In 1933, Chaudhry Rahmat Ali published a pamphlet titled "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?” In this pamphlet, he used his own coined name “Pakstan”. Interestingly, the alphabet “I” was not part of his coined word “Pakistan”. “I” became its part later. Proposing “I” by the Quaid himself shows Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s love for the Prophet (PBUH) Muhammad’s Islam whom he loved the most. The Quaid wanted a state where people would practice the golden principles of Islam freely.
     Therefore, the credit of creating word “Pakistan” goes to Chaudhry Rahmat Ali, which has in itself a bold and farsighted vision. It came at a time when the idea of a separate Muslim homeland in South Asia was still in its early stages. Chaurdhry Rahmat Ali’s various pamphlets greatly helped in popularizing the idea of Pakistan, particularly it echoed in the corridors of power in England where Chaudhry Rahmat Ali had been a student for some years.


Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?
– Chaudhry Rahmat Ali


The word “Pakistan” was significant because it reflected a vision for the new Muslim state. Quaid-i-Azam and leaders like Chaudhry Rahmat Ali wanted Pakistan to be a land where Muslims could live freely and practice their religion without fear of discrimination. They also wanted Pakistan to be a modern and progressive state that would contribute to the advancement of the Muslim world.
    Differences and controversies apart, Chaudhry Rahmat was an outstanding leader who had a clear understanding of the need for a separate Muslim homeland in South Asia. Atleast, he was on one page, the demand for an independent state, unlike many others who were opposed to the idea of independence after the British withdrawal from Indian subcontinent.
    In addition to his role in Pakistan Movement, he was a prolific writer and thinker. He wrote extensively on a variety of topics, including Islam, politics, and philosophy. His writings are still relevant and offer valuable insights into the challenges facing Muslims in the 21st century.
Chaudhry Rahmat Ali's vision for Pakistan was ultimately realized with the creation of new Muslim state in 1947. Although he was unable to return to his homeland due to his poor health, his role is undeniable. He died in Cambridge in 1951 at the age of 53.



 

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