RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY, IFTĀ’ CULTURE, AND SECTARIANISM IN MODERN PAKISTAN

THE IMPACT OF ITS INTRA-ISLAMIC PLURALISM

Authors

  • Muhammad Kalim Ullah Khan University of Management and Technology
  • Osman Bakar ISTAC-IIUM

Keywords:

Religious authority, fatwā, fatāwa, iftā’, sectarian, muftī, qāḍi, madrasa, multi-madhhab, pluralism

Abstract

This article seeks to provide an overview of the interrelationship between religious authority, Iftā’ culture and sectarianism in Pakistan. This overview includes a discussion of the decentralised and fragmented state of religious authority in the country and the prevailing fatāwa-delivery practices and its shaping factors the most important of which is madhhab pluralism. We argue that what we term “war of the fatāwa” further degenerated into sectarian violence. In viewing the interrelationship between religious authority, fatāwa issuance and sectarianism in the country this article identifies the madrasas as the best group actor to illustrate its dynamics. We also argue that collective fatwā would be the best answer to the problems generated by sectarian fatāwa. In the conclusion of the article, we emphasise that there are two main issues related to the Iftā’ culture in Pakistan that need to be urgently addressed. One is the issue of authoritative fatwā delivery, which pertains to the qualification and expertise of the muftī and the merit of the fatwā issued. The other is the issue of the separation of powers between muftīs and judges and of their respective professional and social standing. The two issues need to be viewed as part of the larger problem posed by Pakistan’s intra-Islamic pluralism.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Downloads

Published

2022-06-30

How to Cite

Muhammad Kalim Ullah Khan, and Osman Bakar. 2022. “RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY, IFTĀ’ CULTURE, AND SECTARIANISM IN MODERN PAKISTAN: THE IMPACT OF ITS INTRA-ISLAMIC PLURALISM”. Al-Shajarah: Journal of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) 27 (1):53-75. https://journals.iium.edu.my/shajarah/index.php/shaj/article/view/1390.

Issue

Section

ARTICLES