Islam in Pakistan
|Schools of law|
|Schools of thought|
|Mosques in Pakistan|
|Political organisations and movements|
|Islam by country|
Islam is the largest and the state religion of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which has a population of about 190,291,129. The majority (95–97%) of the Pakistani people are Muslim while the remaining 3–5% are Christian, Ahmadiyya, Hindu, and others. Sunnis are the majority while the Shias make up between 25 %  of the total Muslim population of the country Pakistan has the second largest number of Shias after Iran, which numbers between 16.5 million to as high as 30 million according to Vali Nasr.
- 1 Arrival of Islam in modern Pakistan
- 2 Islam and the Pakistan Movement
- 3 Islam: Influence in politics
- 4 Muslim fiqhs in Pakistan
- 5 Conversions to Islam
- 6 Laws and customs
- 7 Media and pilgrimages
- 8 Islamic education
- 9 See also
- 10 Further reading
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Arrival of Islam in modern Pakistan
The arrival of the Muslims to the areas of modern day Pakistan, along with subsequent Muslim dynasties, set the stage for the religious boundaries of South Asia that would lead to the development of the modern state of Pakistan as well as forming the foundation for Islamic rule which quickly spread across much of South Asia. Following the rule of various Islamic empires, including the Ghaznavid Empire, the Ghorid kingdom, and the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughals controlled the region from 1526 until 1739. Many Sufi missionaries from Middle East and Central Asia migrated and settled in South Asia. Many natives converted to Islam due to the missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of South Asia. Sufism in Pakistan is plays important role in the country.
Many Sufi missionaries from Middle East and Central Asia migrated and settled in South Asia. Many natives converted to Islam due to the missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of South Asia. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the northern India region. During the Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire attracted Muslim refugees, nobles, technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, artisans, teachers, poets, artists, theologians and Sufis from the rest of the Muslim world and they migrated and settled in the South Asia. During the reign of Sultan Ghyasuddin Balban (1266-1286) thousands of Central Asian Muslims sought asylum including more than of 15 sovereigns and their nobles due to the Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia and Eastern Iran. At the court of Sultan Iltemish in Delhi the first wave of these Muslim refugees escaping from the Central Asian genocide perpetrated by the barbaric hordes of Genghis Khan, brought administrators from Iran, painters from China, theologians from Samarkand, Nishapur and Bukhara, nobles from Khwarezm, divines and saints from all Muslim lands, craftsmen and men and maidens from every region, doctors adept in Greek medicine, philosophers from everywhere. After the Battle of Panipat (1526) Mughal Emperor Babur defeated the Lodi dynasty with Tajik, Chagatai and Uzbek soldiers and nobility. Theses Central Asian Turk soldiers and nobles were awarded estates and they settled with their families in modern Pakistan.
Arrival of Islam and Umayyad invasion of Sindh
In 711 CE, when the Umayyad dynasty sent a Muslim Arab army led by Muhammad bin Qasim against the ruler of Sindh, Raja Dahir. Muhammad Bin Qasim's army was defeated in his first three attempts. The Muslim army conquered the northwestern part of Indus Valley from Kashmir to the Arabian Sea.
Arrival of Islam in Punjab
Following the birth of Islam in Arabia in the early 7th century, the Muslim Arabs rose to power and replaced the Zoroastrian Persian Empire as the major power west of India in the mid 7th century. In 711–713 AD, Arab armies from the Umayyad caliphate of Damascus conquered Sind and advanced into the present-day southern Punjab, occupying Multan, which was later to become a center of the Ismaili sect of Islam.
Arrival of Islam in Kyber Pukhtunkhwa
Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shamanism were the prominent religions in the region until Muslim Arabs and Turks conquered the area during 7th century AD. Over the centuries migration took place by the population consisting majorly of Hindus and Buddhists. While local Pashtuns brought in Islam, introducing some of the local traditions (albeit altered by Islam) such as Pashtunwali or the Pashtun code of honor.
Islam and the Pakistan Movement
The Muslim poet-philosopher Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal first proposed the idea of a Muslim state in northwestern South Asia in his address to the Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930. His proposal referred to the four provinces of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and the NorthWest Frontier—essentially what would became Pakistan. Iqbal's idea gave concrete form to two distinct nations in the South Asia based on religion (Islam and Hinduism) and with different historical backgrounds, social customs, cultures, and social mores.
Islam was thus the basis for the creation and the unification of a separate state. Allama Muhammad Iqbal in 1937, in a letter to Jinnah wrote, "After a long and careful study of Islamic Law I have come to the conclusion that if this system of Law is properly understood and applied, at last the right to subsistence is secured to every body. But the enforcement and development of the Shariat of Islam is impossible in this country without a free Muslim state or states. This has been my honest conviction for many years and I still believe this to be the only way to solve the problem of bread for Muslims as well as to secure a peaceful India." But just three days before the creation of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah made a different commitment, a commitment to secularism in Pakistan. In his inaugural address he said, "You will find that in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State." This statement of Jinnah is an object of great controversy since then and this vision of a Pakistan in which Islamic law would not be applied, contrary to Iqbal's perception, was questioned shortly after independence.
Islam: Influence in politics
Politicization and Constitutionalism
Since the 1930s, the Muslim League had been lobbying and pushing its politics for a separate homeland for the Muslims of India, known as Pakistan. After Jinnah passed away in 1948, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan's constitutional policies were directed to work on constitution. On 12 March 1949, Prime Minister Ali Khan had the State parliament passing and promulgating the Objectives Resolution, which ultimately declared Islam as state religion of the country. The main objective of Resolution was the "declaration of State's submitting to the democratic faith of Islam and to the sovereignty of God". Such resolution was met with great resistance in the state parliament when Law minister J.N. Mandal resigned from his ministry and gave great criticism to Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan. Politicization of Islam in the country further tighten its support when ultra-conservative Clerics passed a "demand draft", called 'Twenty Two Points' which called for the preparation of constitution according to Objectives Resolution, in 1950.
In 1977, the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto outlawed alcohol and drugs and changed the weekend from Sunday to Friday, but no substantive Islamic reform program was implemented prior to General Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization program. Starting in February 1979, new penal measures based on Islamic principles of justice went into effect. These carried considerably greater implications for women than for men. A welfare and taxation system based on Zakat and a profit-and-loss banking system were also established in accordance with Islamic prohibitions against usury but were inadequate.
Conservatism and right-wing politics
1947–50s: Power struggle
Conservatism in Pakistan (or the Right in Pakistan), generally relates to the traditional, social, and religious identities. After the death of Jinnah, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan successfully authored and passed the Objectives Resolution from the state parliament, roughly declaring Islam as state religion. The idea of Conservatism in Pakistan identifies several constants including the "respect for tradition, the rule of law and the Islamic religion." Proponents of right-wing conservatism and nationalist agenda was supported by Prime Minister Ali Khan as part of his internal policies. His conservative policies were met with resistance from the left-wing which was accused of hatching the conspiracy against Ali Khan. In 1979, the religious conservatism and the state-sponsored Islamization became a primary policy of military government of President General Zia-ul-Haq.
As an aftermath of 1954 general elections, the conservatism lost its edge in East-Pakistan when communism deeply asserted itself following the victory of Communist Party. The military dictatorships of Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan further limited the conservative platform. During the 1970 general elections, the religious conservative and right-wing conservative parties participated in the election with a direct competition with left-oriented PPP. The right-wing mass made its notable comeback in a response to nationalization program of Bhutto, and called for right-wing alliance, PNA, against PPP.
1960s–70s: Religious Right
During the presidential election held in 1965, President Ayub Khan used the hard-line Islamic conservative groups to get Fatima Jinnah disqualified from the elections; nonetheless, this scheme failed when the huge public voted for Fatima Jinnah's bid for presidency. It is noted by historians that without the usage of state machinery, President Ayub Khan had almost lost the elections.
1980s–1990s: Conservative ascent
With the successful coup d'état against the left wing government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the modern conservatism movement took over the control of state's affairs under President Zia-ul-Haq. The conservative principles dominated Zia's economic and foreign policies, including the interest-free system and strict opposition to Soviet Communism defining the military administration's philosophy.
Conservative and right-wing sphere
|Listing Right-wing Political parties||Political views||Abbreviation||Faction(s)||Stand||Color|
|Pakistan Muslim League(N)||One-nation, Fiscal, Economic, Environmental and Social conservatism||PML(N)||AML
|Pakistan Muslim League(Q)||Liberal conservatism||PML(Q)||APML||Centre|
|Milli Awami Party||nationalism||MAP||Right|
|Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf||Communitarianism and Progressive||PTI||Right|
|Balochistan National Party||Nationalism||BNP||Right|
|Pakistan Awami Tehreek||One-nation and Libertarian||PAT||Right|
|Jamaat-e-Islami||Social conservative, Islamic, Traditionalist||JeI||JAH
|Sunni Tehreek||Radical Islamism||ST||SIC||Far-right|
|Tehreek Nizam-e-Mustafa||Radical Islamism, Sharia law||TNeM||Far-right|
Muslim fiqhs in Pakistan
Global Security estimates that 50% of Pakistani Muslims are Barelvi, 20% Deobandi, 18% Shi'a, 4% Ahl al-Hadith, 2% Ismaili, and other 2%. The International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore estimates that 60% of Pakistani Muslims are Barelvi Sufi, 15% Deobandi; 20% Shi'a, 4% Ahl al-Hadith; and 1% other.
According to the CIA World Factbook and Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, 95-97% of the total population of Pakistan is Muslim. The majority of the Pakistani Muslims belong to the Sunni Hanafi Madhhab (school of jurisprudence).
The two subsects of Sunnis in Pakistan, the Barelvis and Deobandis, have their own Masjids. According to the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation the majority of Sunni in Pakistan follows Barelvi traditions. The Salafi school is represented by the Ahle Hadith movement in Pakistan.
The Shi'a Ithna 'ashariyah school has its own Masjids and Hussainias (Imambargahs). Mustaali Dawoodi Bohra and Sulaimani Bohra also have their own Masjids, while the Nizari Ismailis have Jama'at Khanas. Although the vast majority of Pakistani Shi'a Muslims belong to Ithna 'ashariyah school, there are significant minorities: Nizari Ismailis (Agha Khanis) and the smaller Mustaali Dawoodi Bohra and Sulaimani Bohra branches.
Many people on the Makran coast of Balochistan follow the heterodox Zikri sect of Islam. Zikri sect developed within Sunni Hanafis during the 18th century Mahdi movement as a reaction to decline of the Muslim rule and encroaching British colonialism in South Asia. Zikris are now gravitating back towards orthodox Sunni Hanafi beliefs.
Sufism has a strong tradition in Pakistan. The Muslim Sufi missionaries played a pivotal role in converting the millions of native people to Islam. As in other areas where Sufis introduced it, Islam to some extent syncretized with pre-Islamic influences, resulting in a religion with some traditions distinct from other parts of the Muslim world. The Naqshbandiya, Qadiriya, Chishtiya and Suhrawardiyya silsas (Muslim Orders) have a large following in Pakistan. Sufis whose shrines receive much national attention are Data Ganj Baksh (Ali Hajweri) in Lahore (ca. 11th century), Baha-ud-din Zakariya in Multan and Shahbaz Qalander in Sehwan (ca. 12th century) and Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai in Bhit, Sindh and Rehman Baba in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Popular Sufi culture is centered on Thursday night gatherings at shrines and annual festivals which feature Sufi music and dance. Contemporary Islamic fundamentalists criticize its popular character, which in their view, does not accurately reflect the teachings and practice of the Prophet and his companions. There have been terrorist attacks directed at Sufi shrines and festivals, 5 in 2010 that killed 64 people.
Shadhilyya was founded by Imam Nooruddeen Abu Al Hasan Ali Ash Sadhili Razi. Fassiya branch of Shadhiliyya was brought to South Asia by Sheikh Aboobakkar Miskeen sahib Radiyallah of Kayalpatnam and Sheikh Mir Ahmad Ibrahim Raziyallah of Madurai. Mir Ahmad Ibrahim is the first of the three Sufi saints revered at the Madurai Maqbara in Tamil Nadu. There are more than 70 branches of Shadhiliyya and in South Asia. Of these, the Fassiyatush Shadhiliyya is the most widely practised order.
The Chishtiyya order emerged from Central Asia and Persia. The first saint was Abu Ishaq Shami (d.940–41 A.D.) establishing the Chishti order in Chisht-i-Sharif within Afghanistan Furthermore, Chishtiyya took root with the notable saint Moinuddin Chishti (d. 1236 A.D.) who championed the order within Delhi Sultanate, making it one of the largest orders in South Asia today. Scholars also mentioned that he had been a part-time disciple of Abu Najib Suhrawardi. Khwaja Moiuddin Chishti was originally from Sistan (eastern Iran, southwest Afghanistan) and grew up as a well traveled scholar to Central Asia, Middle East, and South Asia. He reached Delhi in 1193 A.D. during the end of Ghurid reign, then shortly settled in Ajmer-Rajasthan when the Delhi Sultanate formed. Moinuddin Chishti's Sufi and social welfare activities dubbed Ajmer the "nucleus for the Islamization of central and southern South Asia." The Chishti order formed khanqah to reach the local communities, thus helping Islam spread with charity work. Islam in South Asia grew with the efforts of dervishes, not with violent bloodshed or forced conversion. Chishtis were famous establishing khanqahs and for their simple teachings of humanity, peace, and generosity. This group drew an unprecedented amount of Hindus of lower and higher castes within vicinity. Until this day, both Muslims and non-Muslims visit the famous tomb of Moinuddin Chishti; it has become even a popular tourist and pilgrimage destination. Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar (d. 1605 A.D.), the 3rd Mughal ruler frequented Ajmer as a pilgrim, setting a tradition for his constituents. Successors of Khwaja Moinudden Chishti include eight additional saints; together, these names are considered the big eight of the medieval Chishtiyya order. Moinuddin Chishti (d. AD 1233 in Ajmer, India) Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki (d. AD 1236 in Delhi, India) Fariduddin Ganjshakar (d. AD 1265 in Pakpattan, Pakistan) Nizamuddin Auliya (d. AD 1335 in Delhi). Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehlavi Bande Nawaz (d. AD 1422 in Gulbarga, India) Akhi Siraj Aainae Hind (d. 1357 in Bengal, India Alaul Haq Pandavi Ashraf Jahangir Semnani(d. AD 1386, Kichaucha India)
The founder of this order was Abdul-Wahir Abu Najib as-Suhrawardi (d. 1168 A.D.). He was actually a disciple of Ahmad Ghazali, who is also the younger brother of Abu Hamid Ghazali. The teachings of Ahmad Ghazali led to the formation of this order. This order was prominent in medieval Iran prior to Persian migrations into South Asia during the Mongol Invasion Consequently, it was Abu Najib as-Suhrawardi’s nephew that helped bring the Suhrawardiyyah to mainstream awareness. Abu Hafs Umar as-Suhrawardi (d. 1243 A.D.) wrote numerous treatises on Sufi theories. Most notably, the text trans. “Gift of Deep Knowledge: Awa’rif al-Mar’if” was so widely read that it became a standard book of teaching in South Asiaan madrasas. This helped spread the Sufi teachings of the Suhrawardiyya. Abu Hafs was a global ambassador of his time. From teaching in Baghdad to diplomacy between the Ayyubid rulers in Egypt and Syria, Abu Hafs was a politically involved Sufi leader. By keeping cordial relations with the Islamic empire, Abu Hafs’s followers in South Asia continued to approve of his leadership and approve political participation of Sufi orders.
This order was founded by Abu'l Jannab Ahmad, nicknamed Najmuddin Kubra (d. 1221 A.D.) who was from the border between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan This Sufi saint was a widely acclaimed teacher with travels to Turkey, Iran, and Kashmir. His education also fostering generations of students who became saints themselves. This order became important in Kashmir during the late 14th century (1300-1400). Kubra and his students made significant contributions to Sufi literature with mystical treatises, mystical psychology, and instructional literature such as text "al-Usul al-Ashara" and "Mirsad ul Ibad." These popular texts regarding are still mystic favorites in South Asia and in frequent study. The Kubrawiya remains in Kashmir — India and within Huayy populations in China.
The origin of this order can be traced back to Khwaja Ya‘qub Yusuf al-Hamadani (d. 1390 A.D. ), who lived in Central Asia. It was later organized by Baha’uddin Naqshband (b. 1318–1389 A.D.) of Tajik and Turkic background. He is widely referred to as the founder of the Naqshbandi order. Khwaja Muhammad al-Baqi Billah Berang (d. 1603 A.D.) introduced the Naqshbandiyyah to South Asia. This order was particularly popular Mughal elites due to ancestral links to the founder, Khawja al-Hamadani  Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty in 1526 A.D., was already initiated in the Naqshbandi order prior to conquering South Asia. This royal affiliation gave considerable impetus to the order.
The Qadiriyyah order was founded by Abdul-Qadir Gilani who was originally from Iran (d. 1166 A.D.) It is popular among the Muslims of South Asia. As a widespread order, the Qadiriyyah had a prominent Sheikh in South Asia. Muhammad Mayan Mir (d. 1635 A.D.) was a famous scholar known for significant non-Muslim tolerance and community service work. Worlds largest religious organisation Dawate-E-Islami also belongs to the Qadiriyyah order whose founder was Moulana Ilyas Qadri
Less accurate information is known about the following other orders within South Asia: Mujaddidiyyah.
Muslims who reject the authority of hadith, known as Quranist, Quraniyoon, or Ahle Quran, are also present in Pakistan. In South Asia during the 19th century, the Ahle Quran movement formed partially in reaction to the Ahle Hadith movement whom they considered to be placing too much emphasis on hadith. Many Ahle Quran adherents were formerly adherents of Ahle Hadith but found themselves incapable of accepting certain hadiths. Notable Quranists of Pakistani descent include Ghulam Ahmed Pervez (founder of Tolu-e-Islam), Asarulislam Syed (founder of the Jannat Pakistan Party), and Shabbir Ahmed.
Conversions to Islam
There has been conversion to Islam from the religious minorities of Pakistan. Many Hindus, Ahmadis and Christians have converted to Islam. Deen Mohammad Shaikh is a Muslim missionary from Matli in Badin District in Sindh province and has converted over 110,000 Hindus to Islam.
Laws and customs
There is no law in Pakistan enforcing hijab and wearing of Hijab by Pakistani women is fairly uncommon. However, the practice of wearing Hijab among younger women in urban centers is slowly growing due to media influence from the Middle East and Persian Gulf countries.
Media and pilgrimages
Media and pilgrimages has influenced Pakistani Muslims to learn more about Islam as a result the local folk beliefs and practices are progressively being replaced with orthodox beliefs from Quran and Sunnah. The inexpensive travel, simpler visa rules and direct air travel to Saudi Arabia has resulted in large number Pakistani Muslims going to Medina and Mecca for Haj and Umrah. This has helped to increase Pan-Islamic identity of Pakistani Muslims. The Muslim print media has always existed in Pakistan which included newspapers, books and magazines. The Muslim satellite channels are widely available and are watched by Pakistani population.
The Islamiat, study of Islam, as a subject is compulsory for all Muslim students up to Graduation in Pakistan. Islamic education to the masses is also propagated mainly by Islamic schools and literature. Islamic schools (or Madrassas) mostly cater to the youth from impoverished social backgrounds and those learning to be Islamic clerics. More casual and even research oriented material is available in the form of books. While the most prominent of these schools are supervised, the latter are being 'moderated' by both the government and some of the scholars, thereby also removing in the process the various material present in it that is used by anti-Muslim writers. Oldest and universally accepted titles such as the Sahih Bukhari have been revised into 'summarised' editions and some of the old, complete titles, translated to Urdu, the national language, are not available for purchase now. These changes are also a herald to new outbreaks of religious controversy in the region.
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- 100,000 conversions and counting, meet the ex-Hindu who herds souls to the Hereafter
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.
- Islam in Pakistan in Oxford Islamic Studies Online
- Complete website on Islam
- Online Copy: The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; by Sir H. M. Elliot; Edited by John Dowson; London Trubner Company 1867–1877 - This online Copy has been posted by: The Packard Humanities Institute; Persian Texts in Translation; Also find other historical books: Author List and Title List