Participation Type

Paper

Presentation #1 Title

Sermons or Political Speeches? Islam(ism), ʿUlama and Khuṭbāt

Presentation #1 Abstract

Jamʿiyyat ʿUlamā-I Islam (Society of Scholars of Islam, JUI) is a major representative of electoral Islamism in Pakistan. The ʿUlama, mentioned in the title of the party, are traditionally educated Scholars of Islam, most of whom serve as prayer leaders (Aʾimma; sing. Imām) in mosques. JUI is a potent force, both in Parliament and ‘on streets’ and works under its Qāyid (Leader), (Mawlana) Fazlur Rahman (1953--). Rahman, a seasoned Pakistani Politician and Theologian, severs as Amīr (President) of the party. JUI is a major vehicle for the politicization of ʿUlama. These politically active ʿUlama, in turn, advance party agenda in their (Friday) Khuṭbāt (sermons). In doing so, these ʿUlama, thus, tend to blur the boundaries between religious and political utterances. More explicitly these boundaries collapse in the publication practices adopted by Islamist groups. JUI, for instance, strategically brand the largely political speeches of its President (Rahman) as Khuṭbāt. Khuṭbāt-i Qāyid-i Jamʿiyyat (KQJ), thus, is an Urdu language book, comprising of Rahman’s speeches. He delivered these Khuṭbāt mostly to political rallies, home and abroad. The speeches, 62 in number, cover a period of twenty years from 1986-2006. They were orally delivered, recorded, transcribed, possibly edited by party officials, and then published. My paper seeks to broadly examine KQJ to decipher Islamist techniques of sermonizing the political speeches. The paper also aims to textually analyze a selected Khuṭbā from KQJ to find out Rahman’s politically motivated legitimization strategies based on references from Islam’s foundational scriptures, Qurʾan and Hadith.

At-A-Glance Bios- Presenter #1

Hussain Muhammad is associated with Chair of Muslim Cultural & Religious History, Department of Religious Studies, University of Erfurt, Germany, as a Ph.D. candidate. His Doctoral Project explores the diverse ways in which Taqwā (Islamic Piety) interacts, relates and fuses with, but also resists politics by focusing on Pakistan’s religio-political landscape. His Study investigates these complex dialectics through the textual analysis of the documented speeches of Pakistani Theologian-Politician Fazlur Rahman (1953—), President of Jamʿiyyat ʿUlamā-i Islam (Society of Scholars of Islam, JUI). Hussain Muhammad has presented his research outcomes at various Colloquia and International Conferences in Germany and beyond. His research focusses on questions of South Asian Islamism, with a special focus on Pakistani Ulama, Politics and Islamic Piety. Professionally, He is serving as a Lecturer at Islamia College Peshawar (ICP), a Public Sector Pakistani University. Enjoying vast experience of teaching in his home-country, Pakistan, he also co-taught several courses at Graduate and under-Graduate levels at University of Erfurt, Germany.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Sermons or Political Speeches? Islam(ism), ʿUlama and Khuṭbāt

Jamʿiyyat ʿUlamā-I Islam (Society of Scholars of Islam, JUI) is a major representative of electoral Islamism in Pakistan. The ʿUlama, mentioned in the title of the party, are traditionally educated Scholars of Islam, most of whom serve as prayer leaders (Aʾimma; sing. Imām) in mosques. JUI is a potent force, both in Parliament and ‘on streets’ and works under its Qāyid (Leader), (Mawlana) Fazlur Rahman (1953--). Rahman, a seasoned Pakistani Politician and Theologian, severs as Amīr (President) of the party. JUI is a major vehicle for the politicization of ʿUlama. These politically active ʿUlama, in turn, advance party agenda in their (Friday) Khuṭbāt (sermons). In doing so, these ʿUlama, thus, tend to blur the boundaries between religious and political utterances. More explicitly these boundaries collapse in the publication practices adopted by Islamist groups. JUI, for instance, strategically brand the largely political speeches of its President (Rahman) as Khuṭbāt. Khuṭbāt-i Qāyid-i Jamʿiyyat (KQJ), thus, is an Urdu language book, comprising of Rahman’s speeches. He delivered these Khuṭbāt mostly to political rallies, home and abroad. The speeches, 62 in number, cover a period of twenty years from 1986-2006. They were orally delivered, recorded, transcribed, possibly edited by party officials, and then published. My paper seeks to broadly examine KQJ to decipher Islamist techniques of sermonizing the political speeches. The paper also aims to textually analyze a selected Khuṭbā from KQJ to find out Rahman’s politically motivated legitimization strategies based on references from Islam’s foundational scriptures, Qurʾan and Hadith.