CECI n'est pas EXECUTE Khasif Sherwani

Khasif Sherwani

PhD Student
Institutional affiliation(s): EHESS

Professional contact information



Dissertation director: Michel Boivin

PhD program: EHESS - Political Studies

Initial registration: 2007


The Failure of Modernist Religious Reform in Pakistan: The Asymmetrical Encounter between Maududi’s Classicism and Fazlur Rahman’s Modern Islam


The conflict between modernity and traditional societies is one of the most ubiquitous phenomena around the world. The traditional societies, which encountered modernity from the fifteenth century onward, were deeply affected by the “conquest” at the hands of the European world. For more than four centuries this meeting between the Europe and its Others yielded a rich diversity of responses, successes, frustrations, and violence. The conquest and colonization of Muslim lands also generated similar reactions from the colonized Muslim societies. The introduction of rational/enlightened socio-political and reformist religious ideas on the one hand, and the establishment of new political, economic and educational institutions on the other hand, engendered conflicting view-points and often bitter religious and ethnic divisions in the colonized people. The conflict between modernist and classical Islam too is a product of this colonial ambience. This thesis concentrates on the comparison and contrast of the classical and modernist versions of Islam as depicted in the writings and politics of Maududi and Fazlur Rahman and their impact on the religio-political history of Pakistan. The larger issue framing this dissertation is the question of the failure of the modernist reform project in most of the Muslim world. The purpose of the thesis is to study the fortunes of the modernist reform movement in Pakistani society. This study will be carried out through the prism of the religious and political thought processes as represented in the work of Maududi and Fazlur Rahman, and by carrying out a close study of the political and constitutional history of Pakistan. Specifically, this thesis will argue that in Pakistan, by 1991 it was clear that as a result of religio-political conflict between largely classical Sunni Islam and modernist worldviews, Maududi’s classical view of Islam had succeeded in establishing an enduring stronghold within the constitutional, legal, and societal realms.



Last update: 5 December 2017 (NG)





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