The purpose of this chapter is to provide the necessary background to how and why Pakistan came about as an expression of Muslim nationalism that had an irrevocably Islamic revivalist tinge to it. This is why the Islamization of the Pakistani financial sector cannot be analyzed or understood without an understanding of the forces that drove Pakistan almost from its very inception towards Islamization. The development of a Muslim political consciousness in India during the period 1905-47 resulted in the Partition of the British Indian Empire into two successor states in August 1947: Hindu-majority India led by the Indian National Congress and Muslim-majority Pakistan led by the Muslim League. This Muslim mass mobilization and the creation of a distinctly Muslim

political identity in India under Muslim League auspices, even if not all Indian Muslims subscribed to it, meant that once Pakistan came into being it was destined to be ‘Islamic.’ Thus the real question that occupied center stage in Pakistani constitutional and politico-legal discussions almost from the first day of its existence onwards was ‘How Islamic should Pakistan be?’ and not ‘Should Pakistan be Islamic?’ Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League, was completely

secular, indeed areligious, in his personal life and outlook, and his death in 1948 deprived the League of its most powerful advocate of a modern (i.e., de facto secular and only at most ceremonially deist) form of government for Pakistan. However, the secularists in the League were faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem: if Pakistan was not to be Islamic, then why have a Pakistan? Without Jinnah’s towering personality and status in the new nation, they could neither effectively articulate nor press the case against the comprehensive Islamization of the new nation. Pakistan was the result of a four-decade-long process that began with the

British colonial government’s partition in 1905 of the Indian province of Bengal into a Muslim-majority and a Hindu-majority region, and it culminated in the resounding electoral victory of the Muslim League in 1946. Between 1905 and 1946 the sense that Muslims were a separate ‘nation’ within India grew from being a belief held by only a few to becoming the deciding issue of the 1946 elections.