The first book to explore the up to date history of Islam in South Asia
The first up to date state to be founded in the name of Islam, Pakistan used to be the largest Muslim country on this planet at the time of its establishment in 1947. Today it is the second one-most populous, after Indonesia. Islam in Pakistan is the first comprehensive book to explore Islam’s evolution in this region over the last century and a half, from the British colonial era to the present day. Muhammad Qasim Zaman presents a wealthy historical account of this major Muslim nation, insights into the upward thrust and gradual decline of Islamic modernist thought in the South Asian region, and an understanding of how Islam has fared in the up to date world.
Much attention has been given to Pakistan’s role in sustaining the Afghan struggle against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s, in the growth of the Taliban in the 1990s, and in the War on Terror after 9/11. But as Zaman shows, the nation’s significance in matters with regards to Islam has much deeper roots. Since the late nineteenth century, South Asia has witnessed important initiatives toward rethinking core Islamic texts and traditions in the interest of their compatibility with the imperatives of up to date life. Traditionalist scholars and their institutions, too, have had a prominent presence in the region, as have Islamism and Sufism. Pakistan did not merely inherit these and other aspects of Islam. Quite, it has been and remains a site of intense contestation over Islam’s public place, meaning, and interpretation.
Examining how facets of Islam have been pivotal in Pakistani history, Islam in Pakistan offers sweeping perspectives on what constitutes an Islamic state.