Islam in Pakistan
Islam is the official religion of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In 2007, 97% of the population were Muslims, with 75% being Sunni and 20% Shi'a. There are about 175,376,000 Muslims in Pakistan which is the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia. The Shi'a Muslim population is the second largest in the world after Iran, more than 50 million.
History[change | change source]
Islam arrived in the area of modern Pakistan in 711 CE (8th century A.D.) 79 yrs after the of death of the prophet Muhammad. The Umayyad dynasty sent a Muslim Arab army led by Muhammad bin Qasim al-Thaqafi against the ruler of Sindh, Raja Dahir. Raja Dahir had given refuge to many Zoroastrian Princes who had fled the Islamic conquest of Iran. Muhammad Bin Qasim's army was defeated in his first three attempts. The Muslim army conquered the northwestern part of Indus Valley from Kashmir to the Arabian Sea.
The arrival of the Arab Muslims to the provinces of Sindh and Punjab, along with subsequent Muslim dynasties, set the religious boundaries of South Asia. This would lead to the development of the modern state of Pakistan as well as forming the foundation for Islamic rule across much of South Asia. Following the rule of various Islamic empires, including the Ghaznavid Empire, the Ghorid kingdom, and the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughals controlled the region from 1526 until 1739. Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to Islamic Sultanate and Mughal Empire in South Asia.