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There is, of course, a long and important tradition of anthropological scholarship on Islam in Pakistan. Recent international events, moreover, have brought the analysis of Islam's place in Pakistani politics and society to the forefront of global debates about the state of the Muslim world. Whilst the expansion of ethnographic studies of Muslim everyday life in Pakistan is a welcome development in anthropological work on the country, the current focus on Islam in Pakistan also raises important problems. Above all else, there is a danger of Islam becoming a gate-keeping concept, leading to the assumption that the study of Islam and Pakistan are
one and the same. By addressing the diversity and complexity of the Islamic tradition in contemporary Pakistan and seeking to analyse this diversity from very different theoretical angles, the chapters in this book emphasise the multi-dimensionality of the varying ways in which Islam is an important part of the everyday life of Pakistani Muslims. The authors explore the vitality of Islam as a religious tradition in Pakistan both from the perspective of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork and historical research. They bring together ethnographic material from each of the country's five major provinces, as well as from a very a wide spectrum of social settings within these,
ranging from those of major cities to small towns and remote villages. In addition, several chapters have been included that are not anthropological in the strictest sense; these chapters provide the wider political and historical contexts within which many field-based studies of Muslim life in Pakistan have been framed, including, for example, the high-politics of sectarian violence and the colonial and postcolonial history of madrassah reform.
Readership: Graduate, undergraduate students, professors, and researchers.
Dr Magnus Marsden is a fellow of Trinity College and the Graduate Officer in Research at the Centre of South Asian Studies, the University of Cambridge. He lectures on the anthropology of Islam, as well as on religion and politics in Pakistan.
Series Editor's Introduction
Introduction: Anthropology, Islam and Pakistan
1: Of Children and Jinns: An Enquiry into an Unexpected Friendship during Uncertain Times
2: The Modern Businessman and the Pakistani Saint: The Interpenetration of Worlds
3: Islamic Influences on Sociolegal Conditions of Pakistani Women
4: Religious Education and the Rhetoric of Reform: The Madrasas in British India and Pakistan
Muhammad Qasim Zaman
5: Reforming Mysticism: Sindhi Separatist Intellectuals in Pakistan
6: Flagellation and Fundamentalism: Transforming Meaning, Identity, and Gender through Pakistani Women's Rituals of Mourning
Mary Elaine Hegland
7: The Sunni-Shia Conflict in Jhang
Mariam Abou Zahab
8: Langar: Pilgrimage, Sacred Exchange, and Perpetual Sacrifice in a Sufi Saint's Lodge
9: All-male Sonic Gatherings, Islamic Reform and Masculinity in Northern Pakistan
10: Selves and Others: Representing Multiplicities of Difference in Gilgit and Northern Areas of Pakistan
11: Islam, the State, and Identity: The Zikris of Balochistan
12: Sakineh, The Narrator of Karbala: An Ethnographic Description of Women's Majles Ritual in Pakistan
Shemeem Burney Abbas
13: Al-Huda: Of Allah and the Power-Point
14: The Rise of Sunni Militancy in Pakistan: The Changing Role of Islamism and the Ulama in Society and Politics
15: The Poetics of 'Sufi' Practice: Drumming, Dancing, and Complex Agency at Madho Lal Husain
Richard K. Wolf
Notes on Contributors