Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan - Profile Page & Archives
In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
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Muslims who believe in the Messiah,
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (as)

Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan

Politician, Diplomat & International Jurist

“Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan was a Pakistani politician, diplomat, and international jurist, known particularly for his representation of Pakistan at the United Nations (UN).

The son of the leading attorney of his native city, Zafrulla Khan studied at Government College in Lahore and received his LL.B. from King’s College, London University, in 1914. He practiced law in Sialkot and Lahore, became a member of the Punjab Legislative Council in 1926, and was a delegate in 1930, 1931, and 1932 to the Round Table Conferences on Indian reforms in London. In 1931-32 he was president of the All-India Muslim League (later the Muslim League), and he sat on the British viceroy’s executive council as its Muslim member from 1935 to 1941. He led the Indian delegation to the League of Nations in 1939, and from 1941 to 1947 he served as a judge of the Federal Court of India.

Prior to the partition of India in 1947, Zafrulla Khan presented the Muslim League’s view of the future boundaries of Pakistan to Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the man designated to decide the boundaries between India and Pakistan. Upon the independence of Pakistan, Zafrulla Khan became the new country’s minister of foreign affairs and served concurrently as leader of Pakistan’s delegation to the UN (1947-54). From 1954 to 1961 he served as a member of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He again represented Pakistan at the UN in 1961-64 and served as president of the UN General Assembly in 1962-63. Returning to the International Court of Justice in 1964, he served as the court’s president from 1970 to 1973.

He was knighted in 1935. He is the author of Islam: Its Meaning for Modern Man (1962) and wrote a translation of the Qur’an (1970).” [ Encylopaedia Britannica ]

Following is brief life sketch of Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, prepared originally in Urdu by the renowned Ahmadi historian Maulana Dost Muhammad Shahid Sahib.

  • Born on February 6, 1893, in Sialkot.
  • Acquired primary education at the American Mission School, Sialkot.
  • Saw the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Movement on September 3, 1904 in Lahore. (since that day Sir Zafarullah Khan considered himself to be an Ahmadi).
  • Visited Qadian for the first time in September, 1905.
  • Personally offered allegiance to the Promised Messiah on September 16, 1907.
  • Graduated from the Government College, Lahore, in 1911.
  • Went to England in August, 1911 and remained there uptil November, 1914. During this period he studied at Kings’ College, London, and was called to the Bar having studied at Lincoln’s Inn. During this period Chaudhry Sahib also had the occasion to visit various places in England, Switzerland and Germany, where he zealously propagated articles of his faith.
  • Practised as a lawyer in Sialkot, during the period January 1915 to July 1916.
  • In March 1915, lectured before the Jama’at in Delhi on the topic “The need for religion”.
  • Practised in Lahore during the period August 1916 to 1935.
  • Pleaded the case of the Jamaat of Monghir in the Bihar High Court, successfully in December, 1916.
  • Remained the Amir of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat Lahore during the period 1919 to 1935.
  • Served as a lecturer in the Law College, Lahore, during the period 1919 to 1924.
  • Delivered a laudatory Address before the Viceroy of India, on behalf of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, in June 1921.
  • Presented the Book “Tuhfa Shehzada Wales” (A Gift for the Prince of Wales) to H.R.H the Prince of Wales, in February 1922.
  • In December 1923, delivered a lecture for the first time in the Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Movement on the topic “The Onslaught of the Movement on Christianity and its Effects”.
  • Read an exhaustive paper at the Conference of Religions held in the Habibiya Hall, Lahore, in January 1924.
  • Served as Secretary to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, the second successor of the Promised Messiah (as) at the occasion of Shura (Advisory Council) in 1924. (Sir Zafarullah Khan had the privilege of serving in this capacity seventeen times).
  • Was member of the delegation which represented the Ahmadiyya Muslim Movement at the All Parties Conference held in 1924.
  • Read the paper of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II at the Conference of the World’s Religions held in Wembley Hall, London, in 1924 (Sir Zafarullah Khan also acted as Secretary to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II during his first tour to Europe).
  • Was elected a member of the Punjab Legislative Council in 1926.
  • On September 2, 1926, the father of Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Ch. Nasrullah Khan who was a companion of the Promised Messiah, breathed his last.
  • In 1927, acted successfully as representative counsel for the Muslims of the Punjab in the contempt of court case against the ‘Muslim Outlook’.
  • Presided at the Delhi Meeting of the All India Muslim League in 1931 and advocated the cause of the Indian Muslims through his presidential address.
  • Participated in the Round Table Conferences held in the years 1930, 1931, and 1932.
  • Visited Chicago for the first time and participated in the World Faith Congress held in the year 1933.
  • Presented a Complimentary Memorandum to the Viceroy of India (Earl of Wellingdon) on behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, in March 1934.
  • Remained a member of the Executive Council of the Viceroy of India, during the years 1935 to 1941.
  • Delivered a lecture on the topic ‘The Message of Ahmadiyyat’, in the year 1935.
  • Became the Minister of Railways in May, 1935.
  • On May 16, 1938, the mother of Sir Zafarullah Khan died.
  • Wrote a book ‘Meri Walda’ (My Mother) in the year 1938.
  • At the initiation of Sir Zafarullah Khan the Jubilee of the Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II was organised in the year 1939.
  • In 1939, represented India in the League of Nations.
  • In 1941, delivered a speech on the topic “Foundation for a New World” which was broadcasted on All India Radio.
  • Was appointed Judge of the Federal Court of India in September 1941, which post he held until June 1947.
  • Was appointed the Agent General of India in China in the year 1942.
  • Laid the foundation stone of a place of worship in Lagos in March 1943.
  • In 1944, at the instance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, dedicated his entire property for the cause of Ahmadiyyat.
  • Again in 1944, at the instance of Hazrat Kahlifatul Masih II, joined in the noble work of translation of the Holy Quran into various languages.
  • In 1945, represented India as the Indian Government’s nominee in the Commonwealth Relations Conference, where courageously spoke for the cause of India’s freedom.
  • At the request of the Quaid-e-Azam, represented the Muslim League in July 1947 before Radcliffe Boundary Commission and presented the case of the Muslims in highly commendable manner.
  • Was the Advisor on Constitutional and Legal Affairs to H.H. the Nawab of Bhopal, from June to December 1947.
  • In December 1947, represented Pakistan in United Nations’ General Assembly as the head of the Pakistan delegation and advocated the stand of the Muslim world on the Palestinian issue.
  • Was appointed by the Quaid-e-Azam as Pakistan’s (first) Foreign Minister which post he held from December 25, 1947 till 1954.
  • During 1948 to 1954, represented Pakistan at the Security Council (UN) and admirably advocated the case of liberation of the occupied Kashmir, Libya, North Ireland, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, and Indonesia.
  • Presented to the US president the second edition of the English Translation of the Holy Quran, in January 1951.
  • Met with a major railway accident at Jhimper, in January 1953, from which he was miraculously saved from even the slightest injury.
  • Represented Pakistan at the CENTO Conference held in Manila, in September 1954.
  • In 1954, became Judge of the International Court of Justice, The Hague, which post he held till 1961.
  • Laid the foundation of a place of worship in the Hague, in June 1955.
  • From July to September 1955, accompanied Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, during his second trip to Europe and served his as his interpreter.
  • Inaugurated a place of worship in Hamburg, in March 1957.
  • In March, 1958, performed Umra and visited the shrine of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in Medina to pay homage; also met Sultan Abdul Aziz Ibne Saud and stayed in the royal palace as the Sultan’s personal guest.
  • Became the Vice President of the International Court of Justice, the Hague, in the year 1958, which post he held till 1961.
  • In 1958, had a place of worship constructed in Daska, Sialkot and got the translation of the Tafsir-Saghir done of which all costs were borne by him.
  • In December 1958, inaugurated a Convention in Rabwah, in which speeches in 52 languages were delivered.
  • In 1960, at the request of an organisation of the US, wrote a book called: “Islam – its Meaning for Modern Man”.
  • From 1961 to 1964, remained Pakistan’s Permanent Representative at the UN.
  • In 1962, met President Kennedy and discussed the Kashmir issue with him.
  • From 1962 to 1963, was President of the UN General Assembly.
  • In 1963, inaugurated a place of worship in Zurich.
  • In 1963, visited USSR and met its leaders as well as some notable Russian Muslims.
  • In November 1965, visited the Fiji Island and delivered a lecture.
  • Performed Hajj in the year 1967.
  • Translated the Holy Quran in English in the year 1970.
  • In 1970, was elected President of the International Court of Justice, The Hague, which post he held uptil 1973.
  • Stayed in England during the period 1973 to 1983.
  • Came back to Pakistan in 1983 till his death in Lahore, on September 1, 1985, after a protracted illness.
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