Sir Zafarullah Khan, a Polymath: Introducing Islam to the West

Image (1) Zafrulla-and-JFK-e1322703390893.png for post 26889

Sir Zafarullah Khan in a meeting with President John F Kennedy

Encylopaedia Britannica states about Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, also spelled as Zafrulla:

“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).”

His books for the beginners to know about Islam:

Sir Zafrulla Khan was a polymath and a prolific writer.  However, I suggest only three of his books for a basic orientation to Islam.  A book about Islam: Islam – Its Meaning For Modern Man, one about the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him and the third one about Islam and Human Rights.

Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafarullah Khan introduced as “Thomas Jefferson of Pakistan and Bigger than life person.”

Watch 1950 on CBS radio-episode:

His translation of the Holy Quran is perhaps the most articulate for Western audience:

The Quran: The Eternal Revelation Vouchsafed to Muhammad the Seal of the Prophets [Paperback]

It is available on

Categories: Book Review, Book Reviews, ISLAM, Islam, Pakistan

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18 replies

  1. Alhamdolillah. I was so fortunate to have had close contacts with Sir Mohammad Zafrullah Khan, from July 1963, when he came to the opening ceremony of the first Mosque in Switzerland (Mahmud Moschee in Zurich) until his death. May Allah grant him the highest place in the next world…

  2. Dear Mr Shah,

    Thank you for providing information and introduction of Sir Mohammad Zaffrullah Khan in a pretty way. May Almighty Allah bless you more knowledge, wisdom and a happy, healthy and wealthy long life.amen


    Ahmadi Muslim Brother
    Munawar A. Bajwa

  3. Thank you dear brother Munawar A. Bajwa, for your kind words.

    “Every blessing is from Muhammad, on whom be peace and blessings of Allah. Blessed is He Who taught and he who was taught.” [Divine Revelation of the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani]

    Having said that with the fullest conviction, let me say, we should always be generous to each other in terms of positive feedback as the Holy Prophet Muhammad said: “A believer is a mirror for his or her fellow believer!” This is a major way of learning in the university of life.

  4. Thank you too my dear brother Shah Sahib, for your nice and quick reply.

    Let me obliged to you by providing me reading text food for peace of my mind. As you say, we should always be generous to each other. I become emotional by reading as the Holy Prophet Muhammad said: “A believer is a mirror for his or her fellow believer!” It is a Real purpose of our life.It is a feeling of my heart, In reality you are “The Muslim Mirror” for the Muslim nation and for me too. May Almighty Allah bless you a happy, healthy and wealthy long life.amen

    Whenever you travel to Europe-Germany. Request you humbly as a Muslim brotherhood to be my Guest for ever. thanks

  5. Dear Shah Sb,

    Thank you for providing information and introduction of Sir Mohammad Zaffrullah Khan Sahib. I consider my self very lucky to meet him personally in Lahore. May Allah rest his soul in peace and grant him highest place in paradise. Ameen. JazakAllah

  6. In December 1980 this humble one had the opportunity to visit Sir Zafrullah khan in his home in Lahore, as part of a Mauritian delegation.

    Sir Zafrullah Saheb also delivered a Khutba Jummah at the Martin Road Mosque in Karachi in the early 80’s, which I had the chance to attend as a young student.

    I miss the opportunity of having a picture with him.

  7. Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahamtu’Allah,

    Respected Dr. Shah,

    Jazakumu’Allah for sharing such a historical piece. His remarkable speech on “I believe” , has strengthen my believe even more. Alhamdolillah. Indeed, he was a man of firm believes in his faith and he did practice that in his daily routine life. I always share with our youth how the Queen of England commanded her office on not to hold any meeting at Zaffarullah’s prayers timings. This could only happened due to his strong believes and his firm practice on his believes. Thank you again Dr. Shah.

    Naimah Ahmad

  8. Thank you for this introduction. Hazrat Chaudhry Zafarulla Khan was a brave person.

  9. Thanks for the info for Ch. Muhammad Zafarullah Khan.
    I consider my self very lucky for having met and eat with him in Kumasi Ghana. I was workng as a Principal in ASAKARE Ahmadiyya Secondary school when he came to visit the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and delivered a brotherhood lecture at Kumsi Ahmadiyya secondary school,citing a verse ( 3:104) from the holy Quran.

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