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

· Book Review, Book Reviews, Islam, Pakistan

Encylopaedia Britannica states about Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan:

“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, one about the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him and the third one about Islam and Human Rights:

Sir Zafrulla Khan and President John F Kennedy

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


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  1. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    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. Munawar Ahmad Bajwa

    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. Zia H. Shah

    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. Munawar Ahmad Bajwa

    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

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