Socio-Political Impacts of the Contemporary Religious Movements in AJK Pakistan: An Empirical Study on Competing Visions of an Ideal Islamic Society

Ishaq, Muhammad (2016) Socio-Political Impacts of the Contemporary Religious Movements in AJK Pakistan: An Empirical Study on Competing Visions of an Ideal Islamic Society. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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The aim of this study was to explore the emergence of the three main religious movements in AJK Pakistan and empirically investigate how they utilise social and public spaces to achieve their vision for this society. These groups are recognized as Islamic revivalist movements; therefore, the study aims to explore and understand how religiously motivated values function as social visions to shape or transform a society. As AJK society is largely based on the biraderi or caste system, it is important to explore how the above mentioned religious groups, reconcile their religious ideals to address a socially-segregated society. The role of religion, or more specifically, Islam and Islamic activism, is examined by applying sociological methods; the socio-religious and socio-political activities of the Islamic movements are analysed within the paradigms of the Social Movement theory. The study focusses on three main research questions, (i) the emergence of the Islamic movements, (ii) how they utilise or mobilise resources and (iii) how the movements disseminate their values and message into society. Aside from contemporary India and Pakistan, Kashmir has its own very long history of religion, politics, and independence as a kingdom. It consists of a Buddhist kingdom, a Brahman caste structured society, and a Sufi-oriented Muslim state, while the image of post-colonial Kashmir is totally different, which is divided, governed by foreign rules, and holds differing religious and secular ideologies. There are many active Islamic movements who are working in the name of revivalism, or reform, and who aim to bring changes to the society to make an ideal Islamic society according to their own perceived visions. The focus of this study was upon the three social-religious movements that are seeking to bring changes to the AJK society. Jamat-e-Islami (JI) is a well-known Islamic revivalist movement in the subcontinent; which has more than six chapters in six South-Asian countries. The movement uses many strategies to achieve its social, political and religious goals. In AJK, it is actively using different networks, such as education, health, welfare and politics. Minhaj-ul-Qur’an (MQ) is a comparatively new movement, however, the strategies and methods it deploys are quite like those of the JI Movement, but differ in its application of ideology, vision and rhetoric. Khanqah-e-Fatihiya, or Hadhrat Sahib of Gulhar Sharif (GS), is an apolitical movement that has evolved from within AJK. This movement represents the popular Sufi forms of Islam prevalent within AJK society. However, over the last 30 years, its substantial changes demonstrate elements of an internal revival within the AJK tasawwuf sects, which also emphasise ‘economic and religious emancipation’. The study highlights how these movements adopt different tactics to promote their ideologies through a variety of means, hence, how socio-religious and socio-political strategies are operating in a society which is mainly based on the caste system. As an exploratory, qualitative and ethnographic study, the research is based on three case studies centred on the above mentioned Islamic movements. The study concluded that all three movements had different goals and focus in AJK, for example, JI uses a state-centric approach, MQ mainly concentrates on society, whereas, the Sufi tariqa is an individual-centric movement. All three movements utilise an individual movement structure and apply differing methods to convey their message, in AJK.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: Submitted to the University of Gloucestershire through The Markfield Institute of Higher Education.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan; Islam; Islamic activism; Khanqah-e-Fatihiya; Hadhrat Sahib of Gulhar Sharif (GS); Minhaj-ul-Qur’an (MQ); Jamat-e-Islami (JI); Social Movement theory; Social-religious movements
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creatives
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2018 15:59
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:55

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