Conceptualisation of ‘Islamic State’ by Pakistani Scholars: From Idealism to Minimalism
Conceptualisation of ‘Islamic State’ by Pakistani Scholars: From Idealism to Minimalism
Shahbaz Ahmad Cheema
Abstract: The idea of an ‘Islamic state’ is hotly contested in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This article has selected three renowned Pakistani scholars, namely, Syed Abul Ala Mawdudi (1903-1979), Muhammad Asad (1900-1992), and Javed Ahmad Ghamidi (1951), for the analysis of their theories of an ‘Islamic state’. The methodologies adopted by these scholars draw upon the Islamic tradition based on the primary sources of Islamic law, i.e., the Quran and Sunnah. The first two scholars participated in the process of constitution-making through their writings in the wake of the emergence of Pakistan on the world map, whereas the third scholar entered into this scholastic debate in the early 1990s. The research in this article reveals that although these scholars have converged on some generic principles on the conceptualisation of Pakistan as an ‘Islamic state’, there are notable differences of opinion among them making the claim of any essentialist ‘Islamic state’ problematic. The article proposes that the political thoughts of these scholars can be understood from the framework of idealism, pragmatism, and minimalism noticeable in the political thought in medieval Islam, and concludes that Mawdudi is a perfect illustration of idealism, in addition to sporadic reliance on pragmatism during his political struggle, Asad is primarily a pragmatist while clinging to idealism theoretically, and Ghamidi presents a classical illustration of minimalism.

Please Sign in if already registered Subscriber.


Please Register and make the necessary subscription payment to activate your account.

Adobe Reader