To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This chapter studies debates over sovereignty between the ‘ulama and the state. It does so by examining the killing of the Pakistani governor Salman Taseer and his alleged act of insulting Muhammad. The author asserts that in the case of Taseer’s killing, and in blasphemy cases more broadly, the issue of sovereignty boils down to the question of who can deem the insulter worthy of death and execute this punishment. The state, considering itself sovereign, reserves this right for itself. Consequently, it deemed Taseer’s extrajudicial killing a murder and awarded the death penalty to his assassin. The ‘ulama regard God as the ultimate sovereign. They assert that His sovereignty is vested in His law, the shari‘a, which they interpret and articulate. Many ‘ulama maintain that according to the shari‘a, insulting Muhammad is such a grievous crime that anyone can legitimately commit sovereign violence against a Prophet-insulter. Importantly, a minority among the ‘ulama support the state’s monopoly over legitimate violence. These ‘ulama also claim to formulate their arguments from within the shari‘a. In a broader sense, this chapter’s exploration of blasphemy intervenes in the debate of whether an Islamic state – i.e. a polity that demands its own sovereignty, but also emphasizes its reverence for God’s sovereignty – is possible.
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.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.