When Jinnah’s mother heard of his plans of going to London for at least two years, she objected strongly to such a move. For her, the separation for six months while her dear son had been in Bombay was testing, she said that she could not bear this long never ending stretch of two to three years. Maybe the intuition told her that separation would be permanent for her and that she would never see her son again.
After much persuasion by adamant Jinnah, she consented, but with the condition that Jinnah would marry before he went to England. ‘England’, she said ‘was a dangerous country to send an unmarried and handsome young man like her son. Some English girl might lure him into marriage and that would be a tragedy for the Jinnah Poonja family.’ Realizing the importance of his mother’s demand, Jinnah conceded to it.
Mithibai arranged his marriage with a fourteen-year-old girl named Emibai from the Paneli village. The parents made all wedding arrangements. The young couple quietly accepted the arranged marriage including all other decisions regarding the wedding like most youngsters in India at that time.
‘Mohammad was hardly sixteen and had never seen the girl he was to marry.’ Jinnah’s sister Fatima reports. ‘Decked from head to foot in long flowing garlands of flowers, he walked in a procession from his grand-father’s house to that of his father-in-law, where his fourteen year old bride, Emi Bai, sat in an expensive bridal dress, wearing glittering ornaments, her hands spotted with henna, her face spotted with gold dust and redolent with the fragrance of attar.’
The ceremony took place in February 1892; it was a grand affair celebrated by the whole village. Huge lunch and dinner parties were arranged and all were invited. It was the wedding of Jinnahbhai Poonja and Mithibai’s first son and the entire village was lured into the festivity.
During their prolonged stay in Paneli, Jinnahbhai’s business began to suffer. It was needed for him to return but he wished to take his family and his son’s new bride along with him. The bride’s father however, was adamant that Jinnah should stay for the customary period of one and a half month after marriage. The two families, newly bonded in marriage, were about to break into a quarrel until the intervention of young Jinnah. He spoke to his father-in-law in privacy and informed him that it was necessary for his father to return immediately along with his family. He gave the option of either sending the young bride back with him or sending her later when he would go to England for two or three years. Jinnah’s persuasive power, coupled with extreme politeness was evident even at that age. Emi Bai’s father consented to send his daughter, and the wedding party returned to Karachi.
How Jinnah felt about that marriage and his new bride was uncertain, he had little time to adjust since he sailed off to England soon after his return. Upon their return to Karachi, his young bride observed the custom of covering her face with her headscarf in front of her father-in-law. But the progressive Jinnah soon encouraged her to discard this practice.
He studied in the Christian Mission School until the end of October in order to improve his English before his voyage that was planned by November 1892, though some argue that he sailed in January 1893. He was not to see his young bride ever again as she died soon after he sailed from India.