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Notes from the Margins: Shi‘a Political Theology in Contemporary Pakistan

This article examines the political theology of contemporary (2011-2012) Pakistani Shi‘a traditional scholars (ulema).

Drawing on six months of fieldwork among Pakistani Shi‘a scholars, I contend that three distinct theo-political projects characterise their discourses. These are: (1) a secular state, (2) a sectarianly-unaligned Islamic state, and (3) the implementation of wilayat al-faqih. Despite their differences, I assert that all three theo-political projects are propelled, at least partly, by the same force – the spectre of violence resulting from the ongoing massacre of Shi‘as in Pakistan. Additionally, I argue that these traditional scholars also narrativise Pakistani history in a manner that legitimises and animates the particular political-theology each exhorts for the actualisation of an ideal Pakistani state.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Notes from the Margins: Shi‘a Political Theology in Contemporary Pakistan

Author(s): Mashal Saif

Published in: Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies, Winter 2014 – Vol. VII – No. 1

 Language: English

Length: 133 page

Notes from the Margins

About Ali Teymoori

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