Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The 'Ulama in Contemporary Pakistan
Contesting and Cultivating an Islamic Republic

  • Author: Mashal Saif, Clemson University, South Carolina
  • Publication planned for: October 2023
  • availability: Not yet published - available from October 2023
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108839730


Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available for inspection. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an inspection copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • In this book, Mashal Saif explores how contemporary 'ulama, the guardians of religious knowledge and law, engage with the world's most populated Islamic nation-state: Pakistan. In mapping these engagements, she weds rigorous textual analysis with fieldwork and offers insight into some of the most significant and politically charged issues in recent Pakistani history. These include debates over the rights of women; the country's notorious blasphemy laws; the legitimacy of religiously mandated insurrection against the state; sectarian violence; and the place of Shi'as within the Sunni majority nation. These diverse case studies are knit together by the project's most significant contribution: a theoretical framework that understands the 'ulama's complex engagements with their state as a process of both contestation and cultivation of the Islamic Republic by citizen-subjects. This framework provides a new way of assessing state - 'ulama relations not only in contemporary Pakistan but also across the Muslim world.

    • Facilitates a better understanding of some of the most significant and politically charged issues in recent Pakistani history
    • Provides a theoretical framework to understand the 'ulama's complex engagements with their state
    • Gives insight into the sectarian diversity of clerics in Pakistan and these traditional scholars' similarities, differences and interactions
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'The book overall is well-organised and a timely addition. It provides a new perspective on the 'ulamāʾ 's evolving authority in the nation-state system, in general, and state- 'ulamāʾ relations in Pakistan, in particular.' Jaffer Abbas Mirza, Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies

    'Saif has produced a stimulating and fascinating work, which gives vast and enriching access of the ulema's political thinking, without which any understanding of Pakistan remains deficient … Everyone interested in studying Pakistan must engage with this treatise.' Muneeb Yousuf, South Asia Research

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Publication planned for: October 2023
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108839730
    • length: 350 pages
    • dimensions: 160 x 235 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.65kg
    • availability: Not yet published - available from October 2023
  • Table of Contents

    1. The clerics and the council: contesting religious authority
    2. Sovereignty between God and the state: debating Muhammad's honor and blasphemy
    3. Questioning state identity and legitimacy: a case for religiously mandated insurrection
    4. Seeking security: Shi'a 'Ulama and state formation
    5. Minority aspirations and teh state: Shi'a political theology.

  • Author

    Mashal Saif, Clemson University, South Carolina
    Mashal Saif is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Clemson University, South Carolina.

Related Books

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.