Jinnahbhai Poonja and his wife Mithibai belonged to village Paneli in princely state of Gondal in Kathiawar, Gujrat. They moved to Karachi in 1875 where a son was born to them in a rented apartment on the second floor of Wazir Mansion who was named Mahomedali. The boy lived for sometime in Bombay with an aunt where he studied at the Cathedral and John Connon School. Later he attended the Sindh-Madrasatul-Islam and the Christian Missionary Society High School in Karachi. In 1892, before leaving for London, he had an arranged marriage with his cousin, Emibai Jinnah, from the ancestral village of Paneli. Jinnah's mother and wife both died during his absence in England.
Mahomedali Jinnahbhai was sent to London by his father to be trained as a businessman, but the young man joined Lincoln’s Inn to do his bar as soon as he realised that to be an England-returned barrister assured him a position in Indian upper class as against being a mere box walla.
He also was clever enough to learn to speak, dress and acquire the manners of an Englishman by becoming a part time Shakespearian actor on the London stage, and changed his name to Muhammad Ali Jinnah. According to Ms. Jinnah he used to act and recite from Shakespeare to keep himself and her amused.
He went to House of Commons to listen to Dadabhai Naoroji (4 September 1825 – 30 June 1917), a Liberal Party member, and the first Indian to become a British MP.
In 1895, at age 19, he became the youngest Indian to be called to the bar in England. At the age of 20, Jinnah began his practice in Bombay, the only Muslim barrister in the city. Jinnah attended the twentieth annual meeting of the Congress in Bombay in December 1904.
Dadabhai Nauroji (1825-1917) was elected President of Congress thrice, and made Jinnah his secretary assuring him a place in the All India Congress hierarchy.
When leaders of the All India Muhammadan Educational conference founded by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in Aligarh formed a delegation in 1906, to call on the new Viceroy of India, Lord Minto, to seek safeguards for the Muslim minority, Jinnah wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper Gujarati, asking what right the members of the delegation had to speak for Indian Muslims, as they were unelected and self-appointed. When they met in Dacca in December of that year to form the All-India Muslim League, Jinnah did not attend.
Although Jinnah opposed separate electorates for Muslims, he used it to gain his elective office in 1909, as Bombay's Muslim representative on the Imperial Legislative Council.
In December 1912, Jinnah addressed the annual meeting of the Muslim League although he was not a member. He joined it in the following year but remained a member of the Congress. In April 1913, he again went to Britain, with Gokhale, to meet with officials on behalf of the Congress. Jinnah led another delegation of the Congress to London in 1914, where he attended a reception for Gandhi who had come from South Africa, and returned home to India in January 1915.
Jinnah joined the All India Home Rule League in 1916 of Annie Besant and Tilak, to demand "home rule" for India — the status of a self-governing dominion in the Empire similar to Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
In 1916, Jinnah who was a member of the Congress, became president of the Muslim League, and the two organisations signed the Lucknow Pact, setting quotas for Muslims and Hindu representation in the various provinces.
The All India Congress was founded by the British Allan Octavian Hume and Anglicized Parsis like Dadabhai Nauroji and Dinshaw Wacha in 1885, and had as its President non-Indian Britishers, George Yula (1888 Allahabad), William Wedderburn (1889 Bombay and 1910 Allahabad)), Alfred Webb (1894 Madras), Henry Cotton (1904 Bombay) and Annie Besant (1917 Calcutta), and Parsis Dadabhai Naoroji (1889 Calcutta, 1893 Lahore, 1906 Calcutta), Mehta (1890 Calcutta) and Dinshaw (1901 Calcutta). Therefore the Quaid-i-Azam also mingled with the highly Anglicized Parsi community and married a Parsi girl, Rattanbai Petit ("Ruttie"). As a result he was considered the rising star of Congress. But clever Jinnah, a Musla in Parsi language, had wooed at age of 38 a Parsi girl of 16, which was neither liked by her father nor by the influential Parsi community. The couple's only child, daughter Dina, was born on 15 August 1919. Ruttie's died in 1929, and Jinnah's sister Fatima looked after him and his child.
And then Gandhi arrived with an international reputation for his struggle against racialism in South Africa with satyagaraha (truth-force), and the title of Mahatma (Great Soul). Gandhi attended Congress meetings in India by sitting on the floor rather than on the dais with leaders and cleaned toilets with the untouchables. He also encouraged villagers in Bihar to observe civil disobedience against the government by holding protests and strikes against their British masters.
Gandhi also joined the Khilafat movement in support of the Ottoman caliphate against the British. Jinnah criticised Gandhi's Khilafat advocacy, which he saw as an endorsement of religious zealotry. Jinnah regarded Gandhi's proposed satyagraha campaign as political anarchy, and believed that self-government should be secured through constitutional means. At the 1920 session of the Congress in Nagpur, Jinnah was shouted down by the delegates, who passed Gandhi's proposal, pledging satyagraha until India was independent. Jinnah did not attend the subsequent League meeting, held in the same city, which passed a similar resolution.
The Indian National Congress invested Gandhi in December 1921 with executive authority. Mahatama Gandhi reorganized the Congress with a new constitution, goal of Swaraj (independence) and the swadeshi manifesto, i.e. the boycott of the British-made goods He advocated khadi (homespun cloth) to be worn by all Indians instead of British-made textiles. Gandhi exhorted Indian men and women, rich or poor, to spend some time each day spinning khadi in support of the independence movement.
At the time of introducing the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms in 1919, the British Government had declared that a commission would be sent to India after ten years to examine the effects and operations of the constitutional reforms and to suggest more reforms for India. Therefore in November 1927, the British government appointed a commission to report on India's constitutional progress for introducing constitutional reforms, as promised. The commission, led by Liberal MP John Simon, arrived in India in March 1928. They were met with a boycott by India's leaders, Muslim and Hindu alike, who were angery at the British refusal to include their representatives on the commission.
After Baldwin was defeated at the 1929 British parliamentary election, Ramsay MacDonald of the Labour Party became prime minister. MacDonald desired a conference of Indian and British leaders in London to discuss India's future, a course of action supported by Jinnah. Three Round Table Conferences followed over as many years, none of which resulted in a settlement. Jinnah was a delegate to the first two conferences, but was not invited to the last. He remained in Britain for most of the period from 1930 to 1934, practising as a barrister before the Privy Council.
The Quaid-i-Azam was again clever when he attracted leaders of Muslim majority provinces by promising them an autonomous, sovereign and independent states of their own vide the Lahore Resolution, 1940. Further, as a lawyer he held that 565 princely states which comprised 45.3% of the surface of India, inhabited by 103 million people would in terms of their treaty with British Crown would become independent after the British left, and in a position to form a separate independent state of 103 million, as compared to 110 million in Muslim majority provinces and 226 million in Hindu majority provinces. India would be thus divided into three or more independent units and Hindu India would not be in a position to dominate the Muslim group of states plus princely states, following the departure of the British. He also thought of a corridor between East and West Muslim majority states. This had the support of Conservative party prime minister, Winston Churchill, who was in favour of many partitions of India, in order to create ‘Pakistan, Hindustan, Princestan, etc.’a severe headache’.