Islam in contemporary Pakistan

Essay by sportinga92vetteUniversity, Bachelor'sA, December 2003

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Popular Islam of Contemporary Pakistan

The Islamic faith was founded by the prophet Mohammed in the 6th century C.E. when the holy scripture of the Qur'an was revealed to him in a painstaking process, as he was chosen by Allah to spread the word of Ilsam. And so did Islam begin to spread once Mohammed traversed to Medina from Mecca. Islam unrelentingly spread into northern Africa, throughout the Middle East, and eventually into Asia. People have embraced the Islamic faith for several reasons including simplicity- Islam requires faith to only one god, and use of intelligence and observation . After the founding of Islam, however, there have been several different sects and types of the religion.

Popular Islam is the Sufi-based portion of the Islamic faith to which the majority of the Pakistani population belongs. The minority of the population, however, belongs to Jama'at-i Islam, which strictly following shari'a law .

Sufism is the spiritual search which involves only the individual and was institutionalized around the tenth century, solidified its basis in Pakistan via mystics, saints, malangs, and silsila's.

The mystic way of the Sufi is different because the Sufi actually believes in what he is doing and not just going through the motions; he believes in the batin, what's on the inside, opposed to the zahir, which is what's on the outside. Someone who simply goes through the motions, the paradigm tracer, indulges in this form of zahir so that he can believe that he is doing something good. The mystic also keeps taubah close to him, and doesn't vocalize it, because it supposed to be kept between the Sufi and God . This devotion to closeness to god, as well as personalization, makes Sufism a very appealing form of religion.

Through the utmost devotion to their...