"Islam" as the national identity for the formation of Pakistan: the political thought of Muhammad Iqbal and Abu'l 'Ala Mawdudi

O "Islã" como identidade nacional para a formação do Paquistão: o pensamento politico de Muhammad Iqbal e Abu'l 'Ala Mawdudi

Carimo Mohomed About the author

In 1930, Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) devised for the first time the creation of a separate state for the Indian Muslims, for whom, according to him, the main formative force through History had been Islam. Although predicated upon secular ideologies, the Pakistan movement was able to mobilize the masses only by appealing to Islam. Nationalism became dependent on Islam and, as a result, politicized the faith. A number of Muslim religious and communal organizations pointed to the importance of promoting Muslim nationalism, political consciousness and communal interests. As the creation of Pakistan became more and more likely, Abu'l 'Ala Mawdudi (1903-1979) increased his attacks on the Muslim League, objecting to the idea of Muslim nationalism because it would exclude Islam from India. The increasingly communal character of the Indian politics of the time, and the appeal made to religious symbols in the formulation of new political alliances and programmes by various Muslim groups as well as Muslim League leaders, created a climate in which Mawdudi's theological discourse found understanding and relevance. This paper, using especially the political thought of Muhammad Iqbal and Abu'l 'Ala Mawdudi, analyses how Islam was used to justify a separate state for the Indian Muslims, and the impacts on and challengesto the political process and its evolution, at the same time that it concludes that "Islam", as a political symbol, can have many forms according to the ideas previously held by those who use it.

India; Pakistan; Islam; Nationalism; Muhammad Iqbal; Mawdudi


Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho Faculdade de Ciências e Letras, UNESP, Campus de Assis, 19 806-900 - Assis - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel: (55 18) 3302-5861, Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais, UNESP, Campus de Franca, 14409-160 - Franca - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel: (55 16) 3706-8700 - Assis/Franca - SP - Brazil
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