Jamiat Ahle Hadith
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Jamiat Ahle Hadith (JA) (Urdu:جمیعت اہلحدیث یا جمیعت اہل حدیث English: "Assembly of followers of the Sayings of the prophet") is a religio-political party in Pakistan promoting the Ahle Hadees religious movement. Researcher Bizaa Zeynab Ali describes them as lacking a significant popular base of support but "sustained by free-flowing Saudi money, assisted by a mainstream political party (Pakistan Muslim League (N)) and protected by Pakistani intelligence services" (the Inter-Services Intelligence).
Originally a religious group, it was launched as a political party in 1986 by leader Ehsan Elahi Zaheer, with generous Saudi funding and support, to spread its 'revivalist program' from 'mosques and madrassas' to the public sphere. According to Olivier Roy, JAH opposed government involvement in affairs of sharia law -- unlike similar Islamic groups. However an interview with its leader (Sajid Mir) posted on its website circa 2010 states that it seeks to address what Mir calls the "deliberate and organized efforts at the state level to replace honorable Muslim values in society with the offensive Western culture". JAH is also strongly sectarian and aggressively antagonistic to those Muslims it believes are not true Muslims, such as Shia, and especially the Ahmadi, preaching on their website that "the religious duty of every Muslim" is "to dispatch an Ahmedis to hell". Even Sunni revivalist Deobandis have been attacked by the JAH as mushrikin (polytheists) "for their veneration of the Prophet", according to B.Z. Ali. Zaheer was assassinated in 1987, probably by a Shia. As of 2014 the party is led by Professor Sajid Mir.
The party was part of the Islamic fundamentalist Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, alliance that won 11.3 percent of the popular vote in the 2002 legislative elections, but has since folded. It is linked to the Ahl-i Hadith movement. It has been called "closely linked" to Saudi Arabia and according to Bizaa Zeynab Ali it "assiduously follows the lead of Saudi ulema' with their most orthodox and stringent school of interpretation of Islamic law."
- Ali, Bizaa Zeynab (2010). "The Religious and Political Dynamics of Jamiat Ahle-Hadith in Pakistan". Columbia Academic Commons. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- Olivier Roy (1994). The Failure of Political Islam. Translated by Carol Volk. Harvard University Press. p. 118-119.
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