Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Political Islam In South Asia: Multiple Perspective From Actors And Society
Webinars Brief 111:2023
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Political Islam In South Asia: Multiple Perspective From Actors And Society

Publication Year : 2023
Author: Momna Hassan
Explore More : Webinars Brief

The webinar is about the different viewpoints on the concept of politics and Islam. So first, we need to understand what the term political Islam means. The word political Islam is treated as an alert in opposition to extremist and violent ideological involvements in the name of Islam. As evaluating Islam with other religions. A political figure instituted Islam. Hazrat Muhammad(saw) being the head of state Madina. The verses of the Quran were also scripted in the historical importance of different experiences. They almost automatically contained rules and references for governance. These rules are basically giving a method for living a peaceful life. 

  The Muslim domains of that century thus used Quranic references as rules and institutions of governance. These references give an extensive outlook for this world and also for the world hereafter. Islamic legal system, which appeared as part of this governance, stayed relatively open for all. Decisions vary on that how we translate these Quranic references. Interpretations are eternally choosy, especially in theology, as no follower can clearly claim to know the full message of God or the prophet but can only give his or her insight.


Structural Intervention


South Asia has gone through its own chronicle of Muslim political rule, its history of migration and immigration of orientation and interpretation, sect and sub-sect of Islam. Their rules and claim of existence in a social context have ultimately led to competing interpretations of the governance elements and political claims of Islam, as Jamat ul Islami is the most political of the Islamic parties and groups in South Asia. They advocated an Islamic government in a modern Context. In this way, they distinguished the party from other groups. 

South Asia and the Pluralism of masks

Salafi: The Ahl-I Hadith doctrine is shared by different communities in South Asia and is identified with traders scholars.

Salafi in Saudi Arabia: Scholars and government are not the same

Salafi in West: Young second-generation Muslims who do not want to identify with the ethnic Islam of their parent’s generation.

Barelwi: They have shrines. They have their own traditional madrassah and modern religious school, but there is also political participation through TLP activism.

Nationalism, Socialism, the green movement, Liberalism, and conservatism are all major political ideologies incarnations in Muslim groups and mobilization.



Political action and claims today, as well as before also driven by functionality and delivery. New mobilization does not necessarily relate to the ideology with which it claims to be connected. For instance, in Gwadar, it is neither a religious nor an ethnic movement but is driven by the lack of functionality and delivery by the state and the economy. In the larger sense, political Islam improves society as much as it can damage it, which ultimately depends on the people involved in their immediate actions on the ground.