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Discuss The Role Of Islam In The Politics Of Pakistan

2613 words - 10 pages

1. IntroductionThis essay will discuss the role of Islam in the politics of Pakistan. It will begin with an overview of the history of Pakistan, stating how the country was formed and the reason(s) for its formation. It will then discuss Shari'a/Islamic law. The essay will then discuss Islam as the law for Pakistan, how it became Pakistan's law, and whether or not Pakistan follows it indefinitely. Then the criminal justice system will be discussed, along with the rights of women in Pakistan. This will be followed by a full description of Pakistan's government. Finally, religious conflict, due to the Shi'a and Sunni groups, as well as its effect on national and international relations shall be discussed.1.1 Defining IslamIslam is described in terms of the basic religious duties of all Muslims; these are known as the 5 Pillars:1) Shahada: this is a declaration of faith according to the formula: 'There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God'.2) Salat: this is where worship takes the form of ritual prostration. Precise bodily movements are considered to be as essential as the accompanying mental activity. Salat may be performed almost anywhere, at noon on Fridays, as long as the worshipper faces the direction of the Ka'ba in Mecca, known as the qibla.3) Zakat: this is also known as alms-giving or compulsory charity. It is given once a year by all adult Muslims, and it is a giving of 2.5% of capital assets over and above a minimum, or nisab.4) Sawm: This is the fast during Ramadan. The fast takes place during the daylight hours of the ninth month of the lunar calendar.5) Hajj: This is the pilgrimage to Mecca, which all adult Muslims must make at least once in their lifetime.(Ruthven, 1997:147-151)2.2.1 The History of PakistanAccording to Nasr (2001, Internet source), Pakistan was formed in 1947 after a 'Muslim demand for separatism'. The Muslim League, founded by Aga Khan III in 1906, made demands for a Muslim state. In 1947 the Muslim League, under the leadership of Muhammed Ali Jinnah, was granted this demand. India, comprising mostly Hindus, and Pakistan, comprising mostly Muslims, were separated to form the new state, according to Ahmed (2005, Internet source).2.2 Shari'a LawShari'a law is the constitutional law, based on and derived from the Islamic Holy Constitution, the Koran and the Hadith. Some of the language in the Islamic Holy Constitution is extremely straightforward, and requires very little interpretation. However, most of the language contained in the Islamic Holy Constitution is general and leaves a lot of room for interpretation (Kurdi, 1984:6). Because of this, volunteer groups from every sector of the Muslim armed forces are provided, and have the task of studying the Islamic Holy Constitution and supplying interpretations for each legal case (Kurdi, 1984:7).It has been argued that Islamic law violates basic human rights, but according to Traer (1991:114), there are 5 basic principles in Islam which legitimate human...

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