"The present study aims to explore and examine the emergence and development of a new intellectual discourse and community that conceptuallyideologically transformed from political Islam (Islamism) to a new understanding of Islam (post-Islamism). This small circle of emergent intellectuals has gained unprecedented coverage and momentum in the recent years through the new media in Pakistan. This research examines the ideas and worldview—specifically interpretative method, theory of social change, views on Islamic state, democracy, individual liberties and jihad—of this new intellectual circle that has mutated from its previous Islamic revivalist ideology. The study shows that the grand intellectuals (Amin Ahsan Islahi/ d. 1997 and Javed Ahmad Ghamidi/b. 1951) and public intellectuals (researchers, writers, public speakers, TV anchors and teachers) in this discursive circle were once ardent believers in the Islamist ideology of Mawdudi (d.1979) that aimed creating an Islamic state. However, based on different grounds and at various points of time, these intellectuals seceded from Mawdudi’s Islamic revivalist thought and socio-political activism. In this thesis, I refer to the worldview of these intellectuals as post-Islamism and their circle as a post-Islamist discourse community. This small community of intellectuals has extended its message and influence, mostly among modern educated, middle and upper-middle classes at wider public level through their active participation in debates on diverse issues, such as Islamic state, Islamic punishments, gender, jihad and human rights. These debates are mostly held on the newly liberated electronic media in Pakistan.
In this study, I argue that these post-Islamist scholars in Pakistan, though unable to create a popular social movement, have instead inaugurated a unique interpretative method and line of ijtihad. Primarily, their treatment of the doctrinal sources and unique interpretative method, has mainly contributed to their conceptual and ideological transformation from Islamism to post-Islamism. Thus, the epochal shift in epistemology and hermeneutics, the articulation and proliferation of a counter-worldview to Mawdudi’s political reading of Islam, the nullification of his revivalist thought and the retreat in theory and practice from his initiated project of establishing an Islamic state constitutes the main project of post-Islamism in Pakistan. In lieu of conclusion, this thesis summarises that post-Islamists’ worldview has farreaching implications for reformulation of the relationship between Islam and democracy, individual liberties, status of non-Muslims in a Muslim majority state and principles of waging of armed struggle—jihad. Towards the end, the study also identifies some policy implications and new avenues of future research."

, ,
Higher Education Commission of Pakistan
G. ter Haar , M.K. Masud
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ISS PhD Theses
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Amin, H. (2010, April 26). From Islamism to Post-Islamism: A Study of a New Intellectual Discourse. ISS PhD Theses. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/19340