22 May | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Analyzing Pakistan’s dignified modernization for a balanced perspective

In Pakistan, modernization has made education and women's empowerment more important, as women's access to economic and educational possibilities was restricted by ‘cultural norms,’ never existed ‘traditions’

By Alishba Tariq

The ongoing discourse surrounding modernization in Pakistan is one that captivates attention of religious scholars, intellectuals, and the wider populace. It prompts an inquiry into how religious traditions adapt to meet challenges of a ‘rapidly changing’ world. As Pakistan undergoes a significant growth and transformation fueled by advancements in communication, education, and technology, the intersection of modernity with Islamic principles becomes increasingly pertinent. The question of modernization in Pakistan over time is one that frequently ignites arguments and conversations among academics, intellectuals, and the general public. It becomes imperative to consider how religious traditions and beliefs might change to meet the demands and overcome obstacles of the contemporary world as it continues to change. Being a Muslim majority nation, Pakistan is special in this regard.

Over the years, the nation has experienced tremendous growth and improvement because of developments in communication, education, and technology. Without question, this has changed how people communicate, live, and work. But the issue is raised: What impact does modernity have on mainstream religion in our society? Can religious teachings be successfully implemented in a world that is changing quickly? The reading and interpretation of the sacred text is one facet of religious modernity. The interpretations of the Holy Qur’an and Hadiths are always being reviewed and revisited by Islamic intellectuals to make sure understanding of the general public in the modern world. This makes it easier to reconcile religious teachings with the rapidly evolving social, cultural, and technical spheres.

‘More women are actively engaged in a variety of professions while maintaining their faith’

We can observe easily that modernization has made education and women’s empowerment more important in our society. Earlier, women’s access to economic and educational possibilities was restricted by ‘cultural norms’ and never existed ‘traditions.’ As time has gone on, more people have realized how crucial women’s rights and gender equality are in Islam. Nowadays, more women are actively engaged in a variety of professions, including business, politics, and education, while maintaining their faith. Pakistan’s modernization over time is an intriguing example of how tradition and advancement may coexist. It is crucial to take into account how beliefs have changed and adjusted to these developments as the nation welcomes progress in social, technical, and educational spheres.

The emergence of Islamic banking and finance as a consequence of modernity is an important point to take into account. The banking institutions have been established throughout the motherland, providing alternatives to interest-based financial systems by operating under Shariah principles. This evolution represents advancement of financial procedures while adhering to religious principles. Not to mention, there has been a rise in the usage of digital platforms in Pakistan for Islamic education and the sharing of religious knowledge. Qur’anic recitations, religious lectures, and Islamic literature are accessible through a variety of applications and websites, meeting the changing demands of a tech-savvy audience. This illustrates how technology is incorporated into religious practice and knowledge.

‘We must recognize complex relationship between modernizing and religious ideals to achieve balance of tradition and advancement’

The evolving position of women in our society is a significant component of modernity. With improvements in education and acknowledgment of women’s rights, more Muslim women have pursued careers in a variety of disciplines. This change is in keeping with the fundamental tenets of our religion, which emphasize gender equality and women’s empowerment. It represents a contemporary interpretation of the religious teachings. All things considered, these facts demonstrate the dynamic character of religious modernization, showing how traditional ideals are being reinterpreted and applied in reaction to current events. To achieve a harmonious balance of tradition and advancement, we must recognize and comprehend complex relationships that exist between modernizing and religious ideals as the nation continues to change.

Moreover, technology is essential to religious modernization. Currently, the scholars are having an easier time spreading religious teachings to a larger audience thanks to the rise of social media platforms and digital communication. To meet needs of our youth, religious books, and teachings are easily accessible through online resources and apps. In conclusion, our gradual modernization is a process that calls for a balanced perspective. We can observe that Islam can keep pointing people and communities in the direction of a more prosperous and inclusive future by adjusting to the shifting demands and difficulties of the society.

Alishba Tariq is student of media studies at University of South Asia in Lahore