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4. Social Base

Islamic revivalism, far from being an abstract expression of religious sentiment, is intensely political in its outlook, because it intends to alter the balance of power and the structure of social relations. The lower-middle classes—the petite bourgeoisie—have been identified as its social base and as having shaped its political outlook and pattern of social action.[1] In Pakistan, Islamic revivalism is said to draw its support primarily from this class, and within it from among the educated and the refugees of the partition of the Subcontinent (the Muhajirs), and the Jama‘at’s membership supports these conclusions. But the Jama‘at’s membership also presents a more complex picture by drawing attention to continuity and change in the ethnic composition and lower-middle-class base of Islamic revivalism.

The Jama‘at’s record of activity in Pakistan shows both its success as an “organizational weapon” and its failure as a political movement. Although it is not inconsequential as a pressure group, it has no real power, as repeated failures at the polls show. Its lackluster political performance no doubt is a consequence of its doctrinaire and elitist outlook on politics. Ever since it was formed, the Jama‘at has shown an aversion to populism and a disregard for the demands of the poor, preferring instead to trust its political fortunes to a policy that interprets all issues through the prism of religious exegesis and is directed at winning over the elite, suggesting that its objective has been to take over the state from secular leaders rather than give voice to the demands of the masses. As a result, it is indifferent to sociopolitical concerns, and its organizational culture, reinforced by its rigid command structure, discipline, and strict membership criteria, has encouraged that indifference. This reflects its image as a holy community and a vanguard of an Islamic revolutionary struggle, but it stymies any hope of becoming a political movement with the large following needed for success in electoral politics. As a result, it has become cut off from Pakistani society. Despite their revolutionary pretensions and indefatigable preparations for the realization of their political goals, Mawdudi and his followers never sought support in any social class or effectively anchored their program in any social movement.

In a society divided by deep socioeconomic cleavages, animated by ethnic rivalries, and plagued by poverty and extreme economic inequality, the Jama‘at’s promise of an Islamic order and its preoccupation with halting the progress of the secular state have been increasingly challenged. Not long after the Jama‘at moved to Pakistan, the first cracks in the party’s ideological edifice began to show. The Jama‘at soon became aware of the problems facing the Pakistani underclass and began social work among the refugees. That paid some dividends in later years. The party’s success in the Karachi municipal elections of 1958 was, in part, a product of this work, and the Jama‘at, acknowledging that, promised a form of welfare state for Pakistan. But it never moved beyond this rudimentary acknowledgment of the political relevance of the grievances of the poor to appreciating the potential of populism.[2] It cultivated votes among the poor through social work, but failed to advocate their cause. The party’s services were appreciated, but its politics were irrelevant to the demands of the underprivileged. In the end, this did not prove catastrophic, however. It marginalized the party and curtailed its social impact, but it did not altogether exclude it from politics. The Jama‘at simply settled for less; it continued to call Pakistanis to revolution, but in practice it accepted incremental change.

The disjunction between the party’s practice and the dictates of politics did not mean that the party’s plan of action was totally divorced from social influences. The Jama‘at would never have survived Pakistani politics had its ideology not found support from important segments of the population. But the initiative for attracting a social base did not come from the party but from that part of society that found the party’s views relevant to their lives and aspirations and handed it a base of support. In the words of one observer of the Jama‘at in 1950: “In Karachi, Lahore and smaller Sindhi cities he [Mawdudi] drew large crowds…. [H]e has an appeal to a broad mass of the people who have a feeling that the government is not all that it should be, but who cannot put their finger on the causes.”[3]

Changes in the Jama‘at’s outlook and structure have modified its social base over the years, but its social appeal has not deepened so much as it has spread. The Jama‘at’s place in Pakistan’s political equation is today more complex than it was when the party moved to Lahore in 1947. It has been recognized as important to the delicate balance of power which sustains the country’s political process.

Finding a Social Base

The lack of detailed membership records makes the task of determining the exact social composition and base of support of the Jama‘at difficult. Much, however, can be surmised from electoral and membership data.

All of the Jama‘at Islami’s original seventy-five members in 1941 came from the ranks of the young ulama and the religious literati of northern India.[4] By 1947 its 625 members represented a wider geographic distribution, but the social composition remained roughly the same. With no political agenda, the Jama‘at’s appeal in those years was to the religious and moral sensibility of its audience. It found fertile ground among the followers of those religious schools and communities sympathetic to Mawdudi’s exegesis on Islam, and who did not follow the Jami‘at-i Ulama-i Hind or the Congress party, and had no political organization of their own. The members of the Ahl-i Hadith were a case in point. With their austere theology, strict reliance on the fundamentals of the Islamic faith in religious exegesis, antagonism toward Deobandi and Brailwi ulama, vehement opposition to Sufism and to the popular practices associated with it, and emphasis upon individual interpretation, which closely paralleled Mawdudi’s reading of Islam and the Jama‘at’s doctrine, they flocked to the Jama‘at and formed the core of its early followers and supporters. Until recently, when the Ahl-i Hadith formed its own national religiopolitical and student organizations, the followers of this school of Islam found that the Jama‘at best represented their political views.[5] The Ahl-i Hadith tradition was, and continues to be, strongest among the educated middle-class, and especially lower-middle-class, Muslims of northern India and Pakistan. The Jama‘at’s religious doctrines, not its political agenda, encouraged support among those same people.

If the Jama‘at ever set out to win support among any social stratum, it was among educated Muslims, whom the party regarded as the primary agents for effecting a revolution from above. This made the caliber of its members intellectually high,[6] but did not extend its influence beyond the lower-middle classes,[7] and despite diligent proselytizing among the intelligentsia, the Jama‘at even failed to establish a solid base of support among them.[8] Mawdudi’s exegesis was sufficiently creative to capture their attention and even to bring some into the party’s ambit, since his modernizing proclivities appealed to them and gave the Jama‘at a niche in their culture. Despite his untiring efforts, however, Mawdudi never could bridge the gap which separated the Islamic from the modern worldview and to resolve the contradictions inherent in such concepts as “democratic caliphate,” “Islamic ideology,” and “Islamic democracy.” He presented Islam using the language and logic of the educated classes but failed to persuade them of the logical consistency of his hybrid formulations. His discursive casuistry was plagued by anomalies and often collapsed into moralizing sermons with threats of damnation and promises of salvation. As Mawdudi’s ideology remained ill at ease with modern thought, so did the Jama‘at with the intelligentsia. Its support came more and more from the lower-middle classes, who were both religious and educated enough to be receptive to his polemic. As the years passed the Jama‘at increasingly relied on the IJT and its white-collar unions rather than ideology to compel the educated to join its ranks. Jama‘at members blame government harassment and the charges of sedition and subversion leveled against them, especially between 1947 and 1956, for their failure to recruit more effectively from among the educated classes.[9]

Over the years the party has been run by those who have received a modern education and not by the ulama. By 1964 the ulama who dominated the first shura’s made up only 26 percent of the central shura’,[10] and in 1970, 45 percent of the East Pakistan and West Pakistan’s provincial shura’s.[11] In the same year only 20 percent of those assigned National Assembly seats in the general elections were ulama.[12] By 1989, of the Jama‘at’s top fifteen officeholders, only one was educated at a seminary (madrasah).[13]

Changes in the social composition of the Jama‘at do not only reflect the party’s campaign for support among those with a modern education but are also a consequence of the patrimonial structure of Pakistani politics. The firm control of the landowning and propertied class over the political parties and electoral process in Pakistan and the upper-class domination of politics owing to the high cost of entry into the electoral system have made ideological parties such as the Jama‘at the sole avenue for political advancement by the educated middle- and especially lower-middle-class youth. The Jama‘at, for instance, is almost unique in Pakistan (one exception is the Muhajir Qaumi Mahaz, the Muhajir National Front) in determining promotions in the party, distribution of local and national offices, and assignment of national, provincial, district, and city tickets in general elections solely based on merit and loyalty. The lower-middle-class background of the Jama‘at’s leaders and elected officials contrasts sharply with the upper-class leaders of other Pakistani national parties, from the avowedly populist People’s Party to the nationalist Muslim League. As long as patrimonial norms prevail, the Jama‘at will continue to benefit from recruiting the politically frustrated aspiring middle and lower-middle classes.

The surge in members with a “modern” education has also laicized the party, encouraging its bureaucratization and the replacing of its ideological zeal with a utilitarian approach to political activism. Those with a modern education maintain only informal ties with the traditional Islamic sodalities and are not bound by their norms and discipline. They view questions of principle and ideological fidelity differently and are free to use the emotive power of religion for sociopolitical purposes.

The Jama‘at’s social base has also been dictated by its literary tendencies. In 1951, only 13.8 percent of Pakistan’s population was literate, and in 1990 that number had risen only to 28 percent. The poor, and the underclass who do not read, remain cut off from the logic and language of the party. The folly of this approach has become increasingly apparent as the country has moved toward democratization. One may well question the wisdom of emphasizing education and literary propaganda when most of the voters of Pakistan cannot read.

The problem is not only the disjunction between the party’s literary bent and the rampant illiteracy in Pakistan. The dominance of traditional power relations based on the patronage systems supported by pirs or hereditary landed families in the rural areas has limited the Jama‘at’s access to the Pakistani peasantry as well as to recent urban immigrants who retain their loyalty to the rural power structures centered in the landlord and the pir. The party’s political influence is therefore effectively limited to the urban areas, an impediment further complicated by the disjunction between the Jama‘at’s ideological outlook and style and the religious and political culture of the rural areas, especially in Sind and Punjab.

One need not look too far to find fundamental differences between the Jama‘at’s puritanical and modernizing exegesis on Islam and the culturally eclectic and generally “maraboutist” religion of the poor. Still, converting the poor to the “true” Islam of the Jama‘at and making inroads need not have been the insurmountable problems they have proved to be had the party been able effectively to communicate with the Pakistani underclass. But the Jama‘at is rooted in the high culture of the Muslims of northern India and in the tradition of Islamic learning in the Subcontinent, which means that the party is firmly grounded in Urdu.[14] The party, moreover, much like the Muslim League had viewed Urdu as the linchpin of the two-nation theory and a cornerstone of Pakistani nationalism. Allegiance to Urdu was therefore an article of faith in the Jama‘at. The rural and urban poor are as deeply rooted in vernaculars such as Baluchi, Pakhtun, Punjabi, Siraiki, and Sindhi. Outside of the Muhajir communities of Sind, Urdu is not used below the lower-middle class.[15] This problem is an obvious hindrance to the Jama‘at’s ability to contend with the ethnic aspect of Pakistani politics. It stands in contrast to the widely popular Tablighi Jama‘at, whose following cuts across class as well as ethnic boundaries, and which uses the local vernaculars. For instance, the Jama‘at was firmly opposed to giving Bengali equal status with Urdu in Pakistan between 1947 and 1971, which seriously compromised the party’s ability to influence the politics of East Pakistan. Similar trends have been evident in recent years, as ethnic loyalties have stolen the political limelight from Islam, willy-nilly hampering the party’s ability to maneuver in the political arena. Since ethnic sentiments often echo socioeconomic grievances, as was the case with the rise of the Awami League in East Pakistan, and is most clearly reflected in the MQM’s political platform, the Jama‘at’s social base has become doubly constricted. Its elitist and pro-Pakistan program has limited appeal among the urban and rural poor, who support the various ethnic parties.

The problem is shared by all Islamic revivalist parties in Pakistan, a highly fractious and precarious polity, where ethnic and parochial sentiments command the allegiance of a significant share of the population, especially among the lower classes. The logic of separating and making a Muslim homeland has continued to inform its political development. So central has been the role of ethnic and linguistic loyalties in Pakistani politics that the country has fought two civil wars to defend the primacy of its federal union: first in 1971, which ended in the dismemberment of Pakistan; and again, during 1973–1977 when Baluchistan threatened to secede. Since then, however, Pakistan continues to be plagued by ethnic separatism, the more so in the 1980s with the call for “Sindhudesh” (rhymes with Bangladesh) in some quarters. Pakistan’s ordeal with ethnic and linguistic nationalism emphasizes the dangers posed to this homeland of Muslims, which have beckoned the Islamic revivalist parties to its defense, and underscores the power and potential of ethnic and linguistic loyalties as a fundamental pillar of popular politics. It is not surprising that national parties such as the People’s Party have been compelled to pay homage to ethnic and linguistic sentiments in order to bolster their political standing.

The dilemma is how to defend the territorial integrity of Pakistan while still serving the party’s political interests that entail accommodation of popular ethnic sentiment. Caught in the tangle of a federal arrangement defined in terms of the boundaries of Islam and the Urdu language, which has been kept at bay by the deeply entrenched ethnic and parochial political forces, Islamic revivalism has compromised its ability to “trickle down” and as was the case in East Pakistan in 1971, could, as a result, face virtual obliteration. Operating as national parties and defenders of Pakistan—a homeland created in the name of Islam—compels parties such as the Jama‘at to adopt the national language and to avoid appealing to provincial and parochial sentiments and remain attached to the ideal of Muslim solidarity and to Urdu.[16] The resolution of this dilemma is far from simple; it is predicated upon a significant reinterpretation of the role of Islam in Pakistani politics.

Over the years the Jama‘at has expanded its proselytizing and established a base of support in Sind, North-West Frontier Province, and Punjab, a policy that is tied to the state’s efforts to integrate its provinces into a federation. While a greater geographic spread in membership has given the Jama‘at a national image, it has not sufficiently expanded its social base. To expand that base any further, the Jama‘at will have to succumb to the pressures of ethnicity, to sacrifice its national goals and stakes, not to mention its dedication to the ideal of Pakistan and commitment to the Muslim homeland. If the Jama‘at’s strong defense of the unity of Pakistan during the civil war in East Pakistan is any indication, the party is not prepared to undertake such a momentous step. It cannot altogether remain unmoved, however, by the ethnic politics that are destroying the equilibrium that has conditioned its political choices; nor can it expect to retain control over the rapidly changing and highly fluid political environment in which it operates. For instance, the MQM was established in urban centers of Sind in the 1980s by a number of IJT students who objected to the domination of the student organization by Punjabis and the Jama‘at’s unwillingness to address problems which were particular to the Muhajir community. The Jama‘at, although it had never consciously solicited domination by Punjabis to the detriment of Muhajirs, was incapable of controlling the crisis brewing in its ranks. The MQM has subsequently eliminated the Jama‘at from the urban centers of Sind, forcing the party into a largely Punjabi existence, an outcome neither desired nor welcomed by the Jama‘at.

The rise to prominence of an ethnic party in the community with most at stake in the federal union of Pakistan has eroded the base of support of parties such as the Jama‘at, narrowed their angle of entry into national politics, and by implication, posed a challenge to their political relevance and efficacy. One might have thought that the diminishing importance of the federal center would have removed the impediments to popularizing the Jama‘at among the lower class. However, the rise of the MQM and its mix of ethnic and populist politics, rather than encouraging the Jama‘at to do likewise, has generated resistance to such a development. The prospect of the Pakistani federation’s collapse and the loss of constituency associated with the party’s national role has dampened any enthusiasm for realigning Jama‘at politics along provincial and parochial lines. The effort to provide an alternative to the MQM has also encouraged the Jama‘at to remain anchored in national politics so that it can present Muhajirs with a political platform not available in the MQM’s repertoire. The Jama‘at has been effectively split by its political role of legitimizing and defending the unity of the polity and territory by which the party is defined and its ultimate political aim of expanding its social base and winning elections. Resolving this dilemma will in good measure depend on the extent to which provincial and ethnic politics prove receptive to the Jama‘at’s ideology, and on its ability to decentralize and adapt itself to the needs of a variety of ethnic communities. The rate at which the party loses support in the vote banks affiliated with its national role and identity should it turn to ethnic and provincial politics, and whether that loss will be compensated by new bases of support, is another question. For the time being, while it assesses its future in provincial and ethnic politics, the Jama‘at continues to operate at the national level, tenaciously defending the turf of the federal structure against encroachments by parochial forces.

The Jama‘at’s commitment to national politics has, over the years, been sacrosanct as has the idea of the nation-state in the party’s political thinking. At the end of a decade of ethnic politics, the Jama‘at’s election platform of 1970 specifically rejected appealing to “sons of the soil,”[17] and declared the party’s determination to operate only as a national party.[18] Faced with the collapse of the federal order that defined the limits of the Jama‘at’s activities, first in 1947 and again in 1971, the party reluctantly, but hastily, adapted itself to the new circumstances. It did so, however, not by recognizing the importance of parochial forces in the politics of South Asia but by realigning its strategy and operations along nation-state lines, floating independent Jama‘at-i Islamis with new national and territorial identities. The Jama‘at resisted abandoning national politics. It made changes in its strategy and organizational structure, but only along national and territorial lines, when the polity itself had divided into new national entities. Its willingness to sublimate its universalist ambitions to the reality of the nation-state system, however, has conceded little to ethnic politics. Commitment to the nation-state system has thus far remained paramount.

The Muhajirs

The Jama‘at-i Islami began in Pakistan as essentially a Muhajir party, consisting for the most part of Urdu-speaking migrants from the Muslim minority provinces of India who had settled in the cities and towns of Sind and East Pakistan and migrants from East Punjab who settled in the Pakistani side of that province. They remained its most visible base of support until well into the 1980s.[19] Their loyalty can be attributed in part to the extensive relief work the party undertook among the refugees in Karachi and Lahore after partition. The Jama‘at workers cleaned up refuse in refugee camps, buried unclaimed corpses, and provided food and medicine;[20] it set up some forty-two aid centers for assisting the refugees, spending in excess of Rs. 260,000 on them between 1947 and 1954, which benefited some 1.5 million Muhajirs.[21] These efforts established a firm bond between the two, the more so because the government had proved incapable of helping the refugees. This campaign proved so successful that social work was incorporated into the structure of the Jama‘at. The party created its division for “service to the people” (shu‘bah-i khidmat-i khalq), which today runs hospitals, dispensaries, orphanages, and centers for assistance to widows and the old. It collects revenues and contributions for distribution among the poor. When in the 1980s large numbers of Afghan refugees began to pour into Pakistan, the Jama‘at initiated projects similar to those for the Muhajirs to gain support among the Afghans.

The Jama‘at’s virulent anti-Hindu rhetoric also found a receptive ear among the Muhajirs, whose harrowing experiences from the partition had made them particularly sensitive to the Indian threat. They were most keen about Mawdudi’s promises to restore Islam to its true place at the helm of power in the Subcontinent, which for many Muhajirs meant restoring their fortunes, status, and property. The Muhajirs had arrived in a country where, before partition, the Muslim League had had little influence and where ethnic loyalties and provincial interests superseded the kind of commitment to Islamic universalism that had led to Pakistan’s creation. Neither the geographical territory of Pakistan nor its ethnic and provincial political structure had any significance for the Muhajirs; their sole reason for migrating to the new homeland had been the primacy of religious and communal identity in their politics. In Mawdudi’s denunciation of nationalism and the Jama‘at’s emphasis on Urdu and Islam, the Muhajirs found a political program attuned to their interests, which sought to hide the fundamental realities of Pakistani society and politics—the simmering tensions between the refugees and their hosts, especially in Sind—behind Islamic solidarity. The Jama‘at’s political program in general, and its depiction of the plight of the Muhajirs as comparable to those of the original Muhajirs, the companions of the Prophet who migrated with him from Mecca to Medina, provided the Muhajirs with a justification both for their presence in Pakistan and for having a say in its politics.[22] The Jama‘at’s ideological pronouncements in a time of social disorder and political change attracted support for the party. This championing of the Muhajir cause came over time to become a part of the party’s role and place in Pakistan politics.

The campaign for the Islamic state, assigned to Islamic parties in general—and to its most vociferous advocate, the Jama‘at, in particular—the task of legitimating the idea of Pakistan and providing hope and solace in hard times. This legitimating function attracted the support of those who had a stake in the unity of Pakistan, which, in addition to the Muhajirs, meant the Punjabi and Pathan middle and lower-middle classes. With every crisis and the threat to the unity of the country, the Islamic movements such as the Jama‘at have increased their following and have had success in their propaganda, because the panacea for political unrest rooted in the founding principles of Pakistan is Islam. This also in good measure accounts for the Jama‘at’s reluctance to abandon its legitimating role and the religious tone of its political discourse and to turn to a more pragmatic approach to provincial and ethnic politics.

Although the Jama‘at had never courted the Muhajirs, it soon became aware of their political value and the pivotal role the cities that they dominated played in Pakistani politics, especially as rural politics remained closed to the party. By 1951, the year when the first census in Pakistan was taken, the Muhajirs accounted for 57 percent of Karachi’s population, 65 percent of Hyderabad’s, 55 percent of Sukkhur’s, and in all, 46 percent of the population of Pakistan’s twelve major cities.[23] Anxious to win elections, limited in appeal to urban voters, and increasingly conscious of its legitimating function in Pakistan, the Jama‘at made much of its ties with the Muhajirs. In return, the party was able to attract large crowds for demonstrations and public rallies in cities like Karachi, time and again intimidating the government and compelling it to adopt measures Islamic parties demanded. With no national elections in the offing until 1970, the Jama‘at found no opportunity to test its popularity or the wisdom of its policy of relying mainly on the Muhajirs. In 1970 the Muhajirs, in turn, for the first time took a hard look at their policy of supporting the unity of Pakistan in the name of Islam and lending support to the Jama‘at. While the politics of the Muhajir community did not radically change until the 1980s, when the MQM was founded, doubts were already evident in the elections of 1970. The Jama‘at’s staggering defeat at the polls in the elections of 1970 showed its weakness and told the Muhajirs that it could not deliver on their demands. The elections were soon followed by the secession of East Pakistan and harrowing tales of oppression of its Muhajir community by the Bengali majority. The independence of Bangladesh proved to be a devastating psychological shock for the Muhajirs, especially as it coincided with the rise to power of Bhutto, a prime minister who championed Sindhi nationalism to the detriment of the Muhajirs. The Jama‘at’s poor showing demonstrated that it would be of no help. The Muhajirs chose instead to play the ethnic political game, a strategy that promised to deliver more tangible gains than the Jama‘at could produce—provide them with a greater say in the country’s affairs and direct resources to their community. By succumbing to ethnic politics, however, they abandoned the vision of Pakistan united under the banner of Islam. Later, the MQM rallied Muhajirs to its cause with the slogan “We have not signed contracts to uphold Pakistan and Islam.”[24]

Changes in Constituency after the Elections of 1970

In a speech before the workers of the Jama‘at-i Islami on January 10, 1971, Mawdudi blamed the party’s lackluster performance in 1970 on its too limited base of support.[25] In a rare show of self-criticism, he declared that the Jama‘at boasted a literacy rate of 85 percent in a country where the same percentage were illiterate; it had spent too much energy and resources on attracting the educated, while it was the poor and uneducated who determined elections. The Jama‘at should reexamine its policies and its orientation and strategy. Mawdudi’s candor resulted in some proselytizing work among other groups, notably women,[26] the industrial labor force, and the peasants. Given the limited numbers of Jama‘at’s elected representatives, the women became important to the Jama‘at because for a time there were twenty special seats reserved for them in the National Assembly and twenty-three in each provincial assembly.

The party’s new strategy was not drastic enough, however. Its campaign for support among the uneducated underclass went hand in hand with redoubling of campaigns among educated groups such as the ulama, university professors, lawyers, doctors, engineers, journalists, government employees, students, and urban youth.[27] Separate programs and sometimes organizations were formed to gain support: the Jama‘at began to use “religious schools, mosques, social service centers, zakat committees, municipal offices,” and the like for implementing its campaign.[28] Its elected representatives were directed to solidify their base of support in their constituencies, using an amended version of the famed People’s Party battle cry, “clothing, bread, and shelter” (kapra, roti, awr makan), that added “health and basic education” (‘alaj awr zaruri ta‘lim).[29] The party set higher goals for raising the number of affiliates and increased the frequency of its training camps for workers and sympathizers.[30] These programs were continued through the 1970s and 1980s.[31]

All these efforts produced results. The party gained more solid support in Punjab and grew in North-West Frontier Province. The party’s greater prominence in North-West Frontier Province is significant in that since the elections of 1985 that province has provided the Jama‘at with a steady number of national and provincial assembly seats. This clearly demonstrates the success of the party’s new strategy. The Jama‘at’s greater role in North-West Frontier Province’s politics is the result of the vigorous organizational work of Qazi Husain Ahmad. The absence among Pathans of traditional authority based in feudalism and Sufism made Qazi Husain’s task easier. The Jama‘at’s following in that province is based in small towns such as Swat and the rural district of Dir, which has proved to be a Jama‘at stronghold. It is the only district to choose Jama‘at candidates in every general election since 1970.[32]

These developments have certainly altered the party’s national distribution and base of support. In 1977 the Jama‘at, as a member of the Pakistan National Alliance, won four seats to the National Assembly from Sind, two from Punjab, and three from North-West Frontier Province; in 1985 it won three seats from Punjab, four from North-West Frontier Province, and one from Baluchistan. In 1988 it won six seats to the National Assembly from Punjab and two from North-West Frontier Province. In 1990 the figures were seven and one, respectively. Similarly, in 1970 the Jama‘at had won one seat to each of the provincial assemblies of Punjab, Sind, North-West Frontier Province, and East Pakistan; in 1988 it won six seats to the Punjab provincial assembly and seven to the North-West Frontier Province assembly; in 1990 the figures were eleven and eight, respectively. The Jama‘at’s electoral showings in provincial elections improved in the 1990 elections; otherwise the constituencies which elected Jama‘at members in 1988 and 1990 remained roughly the same.[33] Since 1977, Karachi’s place as the secure base of Jama‘at support and guaranteed source of elected representatives has given way to Dir and Swat in North-West Frontier Province and Lahore and small towns in Punjab. The urban base of support, aside from sporadic electoral victories in Lahore and Rawalpindi, has evaporated.

In the elections of 1977, the results of which are still in doubt because of charges of massive rigging by the government, of the Jama‘at’s nine seats to the National Assembly, three in North-West Frontier Province and one in Punjab were in rural or small-town constituencies. The remaining five seats were from urban areas. In 1988 of the Jama‘at’s eight National Assembly seats, only two were from large urban areas; the remaining six seats were from rural areas or small towns. Similarly, in provincial elections that year, of the Jama‘at’s thirteen seats only four were from major cities. The results of the 1990 elections resembled those of 1988: of the Jama‘at’s eight seats to the National Assembly, three were from urban centers in Punjab, and five were from rural or small-town areas. Of the nineteen provincial seats won by the Jama‘at, nine were from major urban areas and ten from rural or small-town areas. While the Jama‘at’s organizational work and propaganda produced these changes, Bhutto’s economic policies also helped. They were unpopular with large and small landowners and the petite bourgeoisie, and opened those classes to the Jama‘at’s influence.

Today Punjab and North-West Frontier Province account for most of the increases in the Jama‘at members, sympathizers, and officeholders. In 1987, after forty-six years with a Muhajir at the helm, the Jama‘at chose its first Pathan amir, from North-West Frontier Province, Qazi Husain Ahmad.[34] The distribution of shura’ members also shows how the party’s base of support has shifted from cities to towns and the countryside. In 1957, the five major cities of Lahore, Rawalpindi, Lyallpur (Faisalabad), Multan, and Bhawalpur in Punjab accounted for twenty-three of the twenty-nine of the province’s share of central shura’ members, with the remaining six coming from two small towns. In 1989, the share of the five cities had shrunk to eleven, while twenty-four of Punjab’s central shura’ members came from nineteen small towns. Similarly, Peshawar accounted for all of the North-West Frontier Province’s five central shura’ members in 1957; in 1989 it accounted for only two of the eight North-West Frontier Province central shura’ members. The other six were from small towns and rural areas (see table 4).

Although the greater representation of small-town and rural constituents in the central shura’ indicates that the Jama‘at has extended its reach, it has not been altogether a boon for the party. For the religiously conservative and politically unsophisticated small-town and rural members have diminished the Jama‘at’s flexibility in contending with sociopolitical exigencies and have nudged the party in directions which are not in keeping with the political imperatives before it. To the chagrin of the Jama‘at’s leaders, diversification has given a conservative bent to the party at a time when a more liberal position is necessary if the party is to expand its base of support. For example, in November 1989, when it tried to expand its base among women by suggesting that its views on the women’s dress code (purdah) be relaxed—so that women had to cover only their hair and could show their faces in public, the majlis-i ‘amilah resisted.[35] The majority of its members are from small towns and rural areas of Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, where women customarily wear the face cover (burqa‘). Backed by a religious decree (fatwa) from the Jama‘at’s ulama, who ruled that purdah was addressed in religious sources and was therefore not open to debate, interpretation, or change, the conservative element soundly defeated the initiative.

4. Geographical Distribution of Shura’ Members, 1950–1992
  1950 1957 1989 1992
Source: Organization Bureau of the Jama‘at-i Islami.
Punjab 15 29 35 39
  Lahore 3 3 3 4
  Other major cities of Punjab[a] 8 20 8 7
  Small cities and towns of Punjab[b] 4 6 24 28
Sind 2 12 15 18
Karachi 2 6 9 11
Hyderabad 0 2 1 2
Rest of Sind 0 4 5 5
NWFP 2 5 8 11
Peshawar 2 5 2 2
Rest of NWFP 0 0 6 9
Baluchistan 0 1 2 2
East Pakistan 0 3 0 0

The Jama‘at continues to try to expand its base, however, by maintaining a delicate balance between sociopolitical imperatives and pressures for ideological fidelity by lowering the scope of its changes and steering clear of divisive doctrinal issues. It has also sought to consolidate the changes which have been undertaken to date,[36] which is exemplified in the choice of the populist Qazi Husain Ahmad to succeed the taciturn Mian Tufayl Muhammad in an effort to replace the subdued image of the Jama‘at’s leaders with a more appealing one, both to encourage activism and to appeal to a greater number of Pakistanis. In 1987, Qazi Husain Ahmad began his term of office as amir with a much publicized tour from Peshawar to Karachi. He called it the “caravan of invitation and benevolence” (karavan-i da‘wat’u muhabbat); its populist intent gained him the sobriquet surkhah (red, i.e. leftist) in the party. Since his election, Qazi Husain Ahmad has continued to harp on populist themes, albeit in tandem with commitment to democracy and the Pakistan state. He has also attacked feudalism (jagirdari) and capitalism (sarmayahdari)[37] and has deliberately bestowed upon the party’s rhetoric and plan of action a class consciousness it did not earlier possess:

In this country there is a small imperialist class whom the British established in power. Since the British left, this small class has been ruling the country. The culture of this class is foreign; in their houses they speak in another language. They are educated in special institutions. This is our ruling class, which is as foreign and alien as were the British. This the people understand.[38]

Qazi Husain, much like Mawdudi, approaches social analysis through culture rather than through economics. It is apparent from his rhetoric that Jama‘at’s political discourse, although more populist in tone, continues to be nationally oriented, seeking out contentious sociopolitical issues that would have national relevance. Although shifts in its base of support had much to do with the politics of the Muhajirs and its own organizational activities in Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, its reach into small towns and rural districts has also owed its success in good measure to the IJT.

Despite these gains, which were reflected in modestly improved electoral showings in 1985, 1988 and 1990, the party has not changed its political stance and organizational structure sufficiently to accommodate Qazi Husain’s populism. Without that, it cannot hope for victory at the polls in a country where some two-thirds of the population live in the rural areas. As efficacious as IJT has proved to be, it too has reached the limit of its expansion. With no political program to address the problems of the rural and small-town voters, IJT has failed to make its campus organizations a nation wide network. The Jama‘at has therefore been forced to face up to the questions Mawdudi posed in 1971, and to debate fundamental changes in the structure of the party, including the ultimate question over its existence as holy community or political party.

The Debate Over Opening The Party

Since its creation in 1941, the Jama‘at has adhered to a set of rules and criteria that have seemed to restrict its membership (see tables 5 and 6). As Mawdudi explained, “so I concluded that I wanted Jama‘at-i Islami’s discipline to be very strict and firm, whether some stay or leave…I would not permit compromise on the organization.”[39] Discipline, moral rectitude, and strong organizational bonds were the foundation stones of a holy community and essential to the pursuit of the goals of “Islamic revolution” and an “Islamic state.” But, as the Jama‘at began to put its fortunes in Pakistani politics beginning in 1951, the relevance of a vanguard—a holy community and an “organizational weapon”—in the revolutionary sense of the term, as floated by Lenin and adopted by Mawdudi, became suspect.

Taking its cue from Mawdudi, the Jama‘at’s leadership long remained unclear about the exact nature of its decision to turn to politics and the implications of this change in strategy. They were reluctant to undertake any substantial reforms in the party’s organizational structure. Although aware that the Jama‘at’s cadre of workers and party’s base of support needed to be expanded, in 1951 the leaders decided to introduce the new category of affiliate to act as a convenient buffer between the Jama‘at and Pakistani society, a stop-gap measure that permitted the Jama‘at to expand its organizational network without compromising the principles and criteria of its organizational structure. The affiliate category both reflected and confirmed the ambivalent nature of the Jama‘at’s purposes and the tensions produced by its efforts to balance ideological fidelity with utilitarian politics.

The affiliates were composed of those who favored the Jama‘at’s goals and ideas, but were not ready to abide by its organizational discipline, a group through which the party’s rigid organizational structure could interact with the society at large. In November 1951, during the party’s convention in Karachi, the Jama‘at decided to recruit and organize at least 12,000 affiliates.[40] Thenceforth, as their interest in electoral politics increased, the affiliates became the Jama‘at’s political lifeline and permitted the party to evade the question of more fundamental structural changes. A positive correlation was thus established between greater political activity—and the resulting electoral defeats—on the one hand, and emphasis upon the affiliates, on the other. The humiliating defeat in the Punjab elections of 1951 generated no discussion regarding Jama‘at’s membership criteria, but it did lead to a more aggressive policy of recruiting and organizing affiliates.[41] In 1955, with an eye on national elections, the Jama‘at’s leaders directed the organization to recruit 40,000 affiliates in a three-year period.[42]

Although there were no elections in Pakistan until 1970, the Jama‘at continued to expand its organizational networks through the affiliates. The Machchi Goth affair helped, since the declaration of the shura’ in November-December 1956 that Mawdudi’s writings were no longer binding on the party was used to attract followers from other schools of Islamic thought. These new recruits were often Deobandi or Ahl-i Hadith, or were followers of other self-styled religious movements, but they sympathized with the Jama‘at’s goals. Their entry into the Jama‘at transformed the terms under which the affiliates allied themselves with the party. They were no longer restricted to those attracted by Jama‘at’s message but who hesitated to submit to its rigorous discipline; they were increasingly those who sympathized with the Jama‘at’s political program but remained attached to other schools of Islamic thought.

5. Members and Affiliates of the Jama‘at-i Islami, 1941–1992
  Members % Change Affiliates % Change
Source: RJI 5:60, 6:25–26, 98, 150; SAAM 2:8, 392; Organization Bureau of the Jama‘at-i Islami.
1941 75 0 0 0
1946 486 548 0 0
1947 385[a] -21 0 0
1949 533 38 0 0
1951 659 24 2,913 0
1955 1,078 64 0 0
1957 1,272 18 25,000 758
1970 2,500 97 0 0
1974 3,308 32 186,085 0
1977 3,497 6 282,089 52
1983 4,776[b] 37 256,403 - 9
1985 4,798 0 238,331 - 7
1989 5,723[c] 19 305,792 28
1992 7,861 37 357,229 17

While useful in expanding the organizational horizons of the Jama‘at, the affiliate category proved inadequate for satisfying the party’s rapidly rising political expectations (see table 5). The party’s defeat in the elections of 1970 left little room for its leaders to remain sanguine about the affiliates as a source of political power. Mawdudi came under increasing pressure to relax the criteria for membership, and expand its organizational reach. Aware that the move would have implications he did not like, Mawdudi balked at the idea, and by blaming the defeat on the machinations of foreign powers he diverted attention from the need for fundamental organizational reforms.[43] His vision for the Jama‘at still encompassed not a party, but a holy community—an embryonic ummah—and a vanguard. If success in electoral politics required changing structure and ethos, then Mawdudi preferred to opt out of the electoral process altogether. Although no longer at the helm, between 1972 and his death in 1979, Mawdudi used his considerable powers of persuasion to convince the new leaders of the wisdom of his course, but he was not entirely successful. At the shura’ in 1975, he declared that the Jama‘at should reevaluate its agenda and its future course of action, and possibly abandon electoral politics altogether in the interests of ideological purity.[44] The new leaders were not convinced; they wanted to break the political impasse, but not totally to replace politics with purely religious concerns. The Jama‘at had evolved into a consummate political party, and its commitment to electoral politics had gone too far to allow them simply to walk away from it. No clear decisions were taken regarding Mawdudi’s counsel, and with the future of the party in doubt, tensions continued to mount in the ranks. In 1978 for example a suggestion by ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad that the Jama‘at as a political party should ally itself more closely, even blend in, with other Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) parties provoked public censure from Mawdudi.[45]

6. Jama‘at-i Islami Members, Affiliates, and Workers by Province, 1974–1992
  Punjab NWFP Baluchistan Sind Total
Source: Organization Bureau of the Jama‘at-i Islami.
Members 2,077 405 65 762 3,308
Affiliates 90,957 53,272 1,276 40,580 186,085
Workers 5,102 1,676 89 2,092 18,959
Members 2,135 430 51 881 3,497
Affiliates 125,546 89,722 2,738 54,083 282,089
Workers 5,436 1,254 210 1,782 8,682
Members 2,320 496 94 399 3,309
Affiliates 135,684 95,000 868 13,609 245,161
Workers 3,299 270 3,569
Members 2,921 607 110 2,692 4,776
Affiliates 58,797 13,7514 7,273 52,819 256,403
Workers 6,528 2,586 210 2,692 12,016
Members 2,905 678 122 1,093 4,798
Affiliates 61,985 103,533 1,442 71,371 238,331
Workers 6,345 2,151 148 2,637 11,281
Members 2,954 860 131 1,365 5,598
Affiliates 81,509 126,403 2,485 116,658 355,895
Workers 6,430 2,674 83 3,574 13,724
Members 4,435 1,252 200 1,974 7,861
Affiliates 111,322 118,572 1,900 125,435 357,229
Workers 17,326 4,829 337 11,664 34,156

For as long as Mawdudi lived, his inflexibility staved off any attempt to open up the Jama‘at’s membership. The party, instead, resorted to other ways of expanding its base, such as organizing students, women, the labor force, and the peasants. The popularity the party enjoyed in the 1970s as a result of its firm opposition to the Bhutto government and success in mobilizing the masses around single causes, such as the non-recognition of Bangladesh, to the leaders’ relief somewhat obfuscated the issues that had given rise to the debate over membership, but did not solve the problem of expanding the Jama‘at’s base of support nor the anomaly inherent in utilizing a rigid organizational structure in electoral politics. Since 1985, lackluster electoral results have once again raised questions about the fate and objectives of the Jama‘at, and the loss of support among the Muhajirs has underlined its deficiencies. With Mawdudi out of the picture, these developments have led to impassioned debates over its membership criteria both in and outside the party. A group of Mawdudi loyalists—those who continue to see the Jama‘at as essentially a holy community, as well as those who advocate an “Islamic revolution” of some form—resist change. They argue that the Jama‘at’s raison d’être is its ideological vision, which could be diluted or, worse yet, manipulated if it is revamped by members who do not have firm loyalties to the party’s ethos and world view. The newcomers could use their vote to destroy the Jama‘at from within, and to do what successive governments have failed to do. The Jama‘at, they argue, owes its continuity to its strong ideological foundations and to the moral fiber and loyalty that are protected and perpetuated by its strict membership criteria. Their position has been bolstered by the fact that no one in the Jama‘at wishes to compromise the discipline which underlies the existing political power of the party. In a country where political parties are hopelessly divided into factions and autonomous wings, the Jama‘at leaders pride themselves in the unity of thought and action of their members, which they attribute to their membership standards.

The more politically motivated Jama‘at leaders and workers, however, favor some opening up. In the Jama‘at opinions vary from opening the party’s membership to the few, to creating new intermediary criteria between member and affiliate, to providing mechanisms for greater participation by affiliates in decision-making, to separating the party’s religious and political functions—vesting the first in a closed organization and second in an open one.[46] To engineer and manipulate “political participation” the Jama‘at must become a full-fledged party. “Revolution has no meaning without popular support,”[47] as one leader put it. It must open its ranks to the many Pakistanis who are allied with the party ideologically and politically, and yet are kept from joining it ranks by the forbidding membership criteria. The holy community, as an ideal as well as a reality, has over the years become an anachronism and a constraint on the party’s political progress.

While the Jama‘at has done much to create the “Islamic vote bank” in Pakistan, denying membership to its own group of voters has kept it from consolidating this same base of support, and therefore it cannot benefit from the fruits of its own toil. It cannot count on affiliates and sympathetic voters, because to ensure their loyalty, it must have some organizational control over them. The great ease and rapidity with which the Muhajirs abandoned the Jama‘at attests to the weakness of its ties. Those hardest hit by the loss of the Muhajir vote—the members of Jama‘at-i Islami in Sind—argue that, had the Muhajirs been able to express their views in the party and seen more of their interests reflected in its policies, they might not have been compelled to look elsewhere for solutions.

The strict criteria for membership have so reduced the interactions between the Jama‘at and the society in which it operates that the party has developed an elitist and patronizing outlook which one erstwhile Jama‘at votary calls “a kinship” (‘asabiyyah).[48] The abstract, pedantic, and mostly apolitical discourse of the Jama‘at—telling Pakistanis what they should think and demand rather than representing their aspirations—and the distinct physical and sartorial appearance of its members—long sherwani coats, caracul caps, and long beards—has distinguished them from the general population, who refer to them as “Jama‘ati” (of the Jama‘at). Opening up the Jama‘at would not only be a concession to outsiders, but also the means by which the party can become sensitive and responsive to the sociopolitical imperatives and dynamics that determine the course of politics in Pakistan. As the party’s fear of annihilation subsided over the years so did the pressures for segregating the Jama‘at from the society at large.

Demand for change has been voiced from different quarters. The party’s Muhajir members,[49] and those to whom the Jama‘at has made overtures in order to avoid opening its ranks, including the members of its various unions, have also favored opening the party. Jama‘at’s efforts in the 1970s and the 1980s to find a base of support among the labor force, peasants, and white-collar professionals have only created new demands for greater say in the affairs of the party. The more these new groups support the Jama‘at, the more the party has felt the pressure for change, lest it fail to sustain its rapport with its new found allies and supporters. The proliferation of semi-autonomous institutions such as those enrolling the labor, peasants, teachers, and lawyers threatens the Jama‘at’s organizational structure directly by creating centrifugal tendencies within the party. If these expanding groups are not successfully incorporated into the Jama‘at, the party will lose control over them.

In 1990 Qazi Husain Ahmad finally took the first step, not by reforming the membership criteria, but by adding yet another semi-autonomous organization to Jama‘at’s family. This was the Pasban (Protector), which draws support mainly from among the urban youth, former IJT members, and the right-of-center activists in the lower middle classes. The new organization, which is not officially affiliated with the Jama‘at, has no membership criteria and, to the chagrin of the Jama‘at old guard, does not demand adherence to a code of social conduct, not even wearing a beard. The aim is to organize those who sympathize with the Jama‘at, even if their support is limited to politics, in order to provide the party with a broader base. The Pasban was also charged with the task of popularizing the Jama‘at’s message through plays and festivals, thus somewhat alleviating the problem of the Jama‘at’s distance from the masses. No sooner was it created, however, than it became a bone of contention in the Jama‘at. While Qazi Husain and his supporters viewed the new organization with hope, the purists decried its lax discipline and even denied that it was useful.

Organizational reform and membership criteria continue to preoccupy the Jama‘at’s leadership, reflecting its continuing struggle with tensions born of applying its ideological perspective to the pursuit of its political goals. The outcome of this process and the ultimate shape which the Jama‘at’s greater political activism is likely to take have in good part, however, been controlled and conditioned by the party’s interactions with other political actors and the various Pakistani regimes.


1. Leonard Binder, Islamic Liberalism: A Critique of Development Ideologies (Chicago, 1988), 328–41; Abdallah Laroui, L’ideologie arabe contemporaine (Paris, 1967); Said Amir Arjomand, The Turban for the Crown The Islamic Revolution in Iran (New York, 1988); Henry Munson, Jr., Islam and Revolution in the Middle East (New Haven, 1988), 98–104; Nazih Ayubi, Political Islam Religion and Politics in the Arab World (New York, 1991), 158–77; and Saad Eddin Ibrahim, “Anatomy of Egypt’s Militant Islamic Groups: Methodological Note and Preliminary Findings,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 12, 4 (December 1980): 423–53. [BACK]

2. The importance of this omission is underlined by the fact that the Muhajir community, the Jama‘at’s main base of support at the time, was also the strongest advocate of land reform and populist politics. It had pressed the Muslim League to advocate land reform as early as 1949; U. K. High Commission, Karachi, disp. #31, 8/3/1949, DO35/8948, PRO. [BACK]

3. U. S. Embassy, Karachi, disp. #102, 7/13/1950, 790D.00/8–1150, 5, NA. [BACK]

4. Nu‘mani states that the Tarjumanu’l-Qur’an was read widely among the religious literati in the 1940s and did enjoy a certain following among them; see Muhammad Manzur Nu‘mani, Mawlana Mawdudi Miri Sath Rifaqat ki Sarguzasht Awr Ab Mira Mauqaf (Lahore, 1980), 31–33. [BACK]

5. This was also true of members of other religious movements, some of which were opposed to Pakistan, and hence waned in power after 1947; see Freeland Abbott, “The Jama‘at-i-Islami of Pakistan,” Middle East Journal 11, 1 (Winter 1957): 41. The followers of these movements, again mainly from the lower-middle classes, saw the Jama‘at as the only effective movement representing their sentiments and objectives, and hence they flocked to the Jama‘at. Two notable lieutenants of Mawdudi, Aqa Shurish Kashmiri—a close companion of Mawdudi—and Chaudhri Ghulam Muhammad, a senior Jama‘at leader, came from such a background. The former had belonged to the Majlis-i Ahrar, and the latter to the Tahrik-i Khaksar. [BACK]

6. Ahmad reports that in 1990 of Jama‘at’s top fifteen leaders, nine held master of arts degrees, three had master of science degrees, one had earned a law degree (LL. B.), one had a bachelor of arts degree, and one had been educated in the traditional system. Of the fourteen, twelve had specialized in the humanities or the social sciences, and two in technical fields; Mumtaz Ahmad, “Islamic Fundamentalism in South Asia: The Jamaat-i-Islami and the Tablighi Jamaat,” in Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds., Fundamentalisms Observed (Chicago, 1991), 495. [BACK]

7. This observation is confirmed by the Jama‘at’s leaders themselves. In an interview with this author, Chaudhri Aslam Salimi, the former secretary-general, stated that “the Jama‘at is by and large lower-middle class.” Binder, Ahmed, and Ahmad, too, confirm this finding in their studies on the party. Binder identified the Jama‘at’s supporters in the 1950s as those “drawn from the traditional middle classes, the students, and those who have failed to enter into the modern middle class despite achieving a bachelor’s degree;” Leonard Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1961), 8. Ahmed writes, “Jamaat-i-Islami’s social base is located amongst small businessmen, small land-holders, and urban lower middle class strata of shopkeepers, teachers, clerks and petty government officials”; Ishtiaq Ahmed, The Concept of an Islamic State: An Analysis of the Ideological Controversy in Pakistan (New York, 1987), 112–13. Ahmad argues that the lower sections of the new middle classes and traditional petite bourgeoisie are the backbone of the Jama‘at; Ahmad, “Islamic Fundamentalism,” 496–500. [BACK]

8. As a result of emphasis placed upon education in 1989, the Jama‘at had a literacy rate of 85 percent while the literacy rate in Pakistan stood at 28 percent; figures provided by the office of secretary-general. The Jama‘at did make some headway in attracting members of the Pakistan civil service, but these figures are not reflected in organizational records. Wary of government reaction, Mawdudi told his followers among the country’s bureaucrats that in the interests of the party’s long-run goal they should avoid official affiliation with the Jama‘at and to clandestinely support it from whatever position they serve. In later years the same policy was adopted vis-à-vis the personnel of the armed forces. [BACK]

9. Sayyid As‘ad Gilani, Maududi: Thought and Movement (Lahore, 1984), 132. [BACK]

10. Cited in Sayyid As‘ad Gilani, Qafilah-i Sakht Jan (Sargodha, 1965), and Khurshid Ahmad, Tazkirah-i Zindan (Karachi, 1965), which contain information on members of the shura’ arrested in 1963–1964. [BACK]

11. JIKUS, 43. [BACK]

12. Ibid., 43–44. [BACK]

13. Cited in Ahmad, “Islamic Fundamentalism,” 495. [BACK]

14. Following its creation, the Jama‘at made a concerted effort to translate Mawdudi’s works into local Indian languages, from Malayalam to Sindhi; see RJI, vols. 1–5. However, the scope of these efforts never matched the weight of the party’s efforts in Urdu, nor did it change the predominantly Urdu orientation of the movement. [BACK]

15. According to the 1951 census, only 3.4 percent of Pakistanis identified themselves as Urdu speakers; cited in Rounaq Jahan, Pakistan: Failure in National Integration (New York, 1972), 12. [BACK]

16. In 1955, for instance, with a view to expanding its base of support, the Jama‘at launched a three-year plan to teach Urdu to twenty-five thousand people; cited in RJI, vol. 7, 244. [BACK]

17. Manifesto of Jama‘at-i Islami of Pakistan (Lahore, 1970), 4–5. [BACK]

18. In a gathering of Jama‘at members in 1974, Mawdudi declared that the Jama‘at’s aim was not only gaining political success for itself but also, more important, preserving the unity of Pakistan. As such, he enjoined Jama‘at’s members not to be distracted from the legitimating function which their party performs at the national level nor swayed by the lure of ethnic politics, and hence to maintain the organizational unity and all-Pakistan poise of the Jama‘at; cited in ISIT(1), 47–49. [BACK]

19. For instance, of the first thirteen nazim-i ‘alas of the IJT, only three were born in Indian provinces inherited by Pakistan (one in Punjab and two in North-West Frontier Province). The other ten were born in areas which today rest within India, and all belonged to the Muhajir community. See the biographical sketches of JVNAT, vols. 1–2. [BACK]

20. ‘Ali Ahmad Khan, Jama‘at-e-Islami of Pakistan, Introduction Series, no. 2 (Lahore, 1954), 4–6. [BACK]

21. Cited in Syed Riaz Ahmad, Mawlana Mawdudi and the Islamic State (Lahore, 1976), 176. [BACK]

22. Syed Abul ‘Ala Maudoodi, Islamic Law and Constitution (Karachi, 1955), 144–45. [BACK]

23. Cited in Shahid Javed Burki, Pakistan: A Nation in the Making (Boulder, 1986), 44. [BACK]

24. Cited in Herald (August 1992): 151. [BACK]

25. Mawdudi’s speech was reprinted in A’in (April 25, 1985): 6. [BACK]

26. Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi, “Muslim Women Must Participate in Islamic Movement,” Criterion 5, 5 (Rajab-Sha‘ban 1390/1970): 45 and 74. [BACK]

27. ISIT(2), 49. [BACK]

28. Ibid. [BACK]

29. The motto defined Jama‘at’s new khidmat-i khalq (service to the masses) approach launched in 1972. See Rudad-i Jama‘at-i Islami, Pakistan, 1972 (Lahore, n.d.), 22–23. [BACK]

30. Ibid., 48–50. [BACK]

31. In January 1979 the Jama‘at’s shura’ declared attracting new affiliates (mutaffiq-sazi) a major goal of the party, setting a goal of a 25 percent increase in their numbers, and directing the party to form committees and circles across Pakistan to accomplish this feat. Between March and May 1979 the drive brought 109,000 new affiliates to the Jama‘at, 50,000 from North-West Frontier Province, 32,000 from Sind, 22,000 from Punjab, and 5,000 from Baluchistan; ibid, 32. [BACK]

32. In 1988 elections the Jama‘at won four and in 1990 five of Dir’s six provincial assembly seats. For more on these elections see chapters 8–10. [BACK]

33. In 1990, however, the Jama‘at did better in Punjab than in North-West Frontier Province, at least in the contests for seats in the National Assembly. Moreover, it did better in the larger cities of Punjab than it had in the elections of 1988. For details see chapter 10. [BACK]

34. It should, however, be noted that Muhajirs still predominate in many of Jama‘at’s top offices. For instance, in 1992 of the five deputy amirs, three were Muhajirs. [BACK]

35. Interview with Chaudhri Aslam Salimi. [BACK]

36. See the text of Qazi Husain’s speech to the “Jama‘at’s youth,” printed in Takbir (October 12, 1989): 42–43, wherein he argues fervently for expanding Jama‘at’s reach into the masses of illiterate Pakistanis. Qazi Husain himself is of the opinion that while the Jama‘at realized the importance of appealing to lower social strata after the 1970–1971 elections few structural changes were undertaken to reorient the politics of the Jama‘at. He therefore sees such an undertaking as the central focus of his leadership of the party; interview with Qazi Husain Ahmad. [BACK]

37. Khurram Badr, Qazi Husain Ahmad (Karachi, 1988), 95–108. [BACK]

38. Interview with Qazi Husain Ahmad in Takbir (June 30, 1988): 14. [BACK]

39. JIKUS, 32. [BACK]

40. RJI, vol. 6, 26–27. [BACK]

41. SAAM, vol. 1, 384. [BACK]

42. RJI, vol. 7, 244. [BACK]

43. SAAM, vol. 2, 392–93. [BACK]

44. Personal correspondence with Mawlana Wasi Mazhar Nadwi, 1989–1990. [BACK]

45. The censure was published in Wifaq and Nawa’i-i Waqt in Lahore; also see Rana Sabir Nizami, Jama‘at-i Islami Pakistan: Nakamiyun ke Asbab ka ‘Ilmi Tajziyah (Lahore, 1988), 102. [BACK]

46. This issue has been extensively debated between Javid Ahmadu’l-Ghamidi, Khurshid Ahmad, Ahmad Nadim, and Na‘im Siddiqi in Ishraq throughout 1993. [BACK]

47. Interview with Khurram Jah Murad in JVNAT, vol. 1, 78–79. [BACK]

48. Nizami, Jama‘at-i Islami, 77–79. [BACK]

49. The most notable advocates of opening up the Jama‘at in this category are ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad and Khurram Jah Murad, both Muhajir deputy amirs of the party; interviews with ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad and Khurram Jah Murad; also see interview with Khurram Jah Murad in Awaz-i Jahan (January 22, 1990): 10–14. In addition, journalists Altaf Hasan Quraishi, Muhammad Salahu’ddin, and Mujibu’l-Rahman Shami have become quite vocal on this issue. They are staunch supporters of the party but are not bound by the code of conduct which bars Jama‘at members from public discussion of party issues. Moreover, as editors of magazines and journals with large followings in the party, these men have been able to disseminate ideas about change directly into the Jama‘at, forcing the party to debate its future course of action. [BACK]

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