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Syed Hasan Raza Shah

Muslim sects of Pakistan

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Assalam-O-Allaiykum to all Brothers and Sisters,

I am a Shia Muslim from Pakistan.I have been researching on different Muslim sects general population throughout Pakistan through various sources.Some of the facts I have established so far are as follows.

Total population of Pakistan as of 2017 is estimated to be just a tick over 200 Million/20 Crores.Out of which 97% are Muslims belonging to different sects and school of thoughts while 3% are Non-Muslims.

That makes Muslim population to be round about 194 Million and Non Muslim 6 Million.

Taking into consideration 194 Million the breakup between Sunni and Shia Muslims is that around 135-145 Million(70-75%) are Sunni Muslims which makes it the 2nd largest Sunni Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.

Around 50-60 Million(25-30%) are Shia Muslims which makes it the the 2nd Largest Shia Muslim population in the World after Iran.

The Shia Muslim population of Pakistan is almost entirely Athna Ashari School of thought with very minor numbers of Bohri,Ismaili,Zaydi etc.

The Sunni Muslim population is however divided into 3 major school of thoughts namely Brailvi,Deo Bandi,Ahle Hadith.

The Brailvi Sunni Muslims are in the majority and constitute about 50-60% of the total Sunni Muslim population,followed by the Deoband Muslims who constitute around 20-30% while Ahle Hadith/Salafi Muslims are around 10-20% of the total Sunni Muslim population of Pakistan.

It is also interesting that at the time of partition in 1947 almost the entire Sunni Muslim population of Pakistan constituting upto 90% was Brailvi Sunni.Those figures started changing drastically in the late 70's andn 80's during Gen.Zias Marshall law when a systematic Tableeghi/Preaching System of the Deo Band and Ahle Hadith school of thoughts was launched throughout Pakistan backed by the State and international agencies.

Due to this many Brailvi Sunni Muslims converted/accepted to either the Deo Band or Ahle Hadith school of thoughts both of which were almost non existant in Pakistan.

Prior to this systematic campaigns in the late 70's and throughout the 80's sectarianism was almost unheard of in Pakistan.

Sunni Muslims Pre Zia era took part in Muharram Processions and infact the Sabeels,Niaz were distributed mainly by the Sunni Muslims in Muharram processions throughout Pakistan.

Another interesting fact is that prior to Zia era there were many Shia Muslim majority districts and towns in Pakistan which were systematically turned into Sunni Muslims majority by the Zia regime through systematic migration of Sunni Muslims from surrounding areas of those districts and towns.

For e.g in current KPK Hangu,Dera Ismail Khan were Shia Muslim majority districts.

In FATA Kurram Agency and its headquarters Parachinar.

In Punjab Districts and towns of Chakwal,Jhang,Khushab,Bakker,Multan,Dera Ghazi Khan etc

In Sindh District and towns of Khairpur,Sukkur,Rohri etc

In Gilgit-Baltistan apart from Chillas and Hunza all major districts and towns had a vast Shia Muslim Majority and as of now Gilgit Baltistan still remains the only Shia Muslim majority area in Pakistan but the percentage has gone done drastically since the systemtic migration during Zia regime.

As of now its also interesting that the population and percentages of all Muslims sects vary with regions.

For e.g in KPK region there is a small Shia Muslim population and a very large Sunni Muslim population almost entirely belonging to the Deo Band and Ahle Hadith school of thought.The Brailvi Sunnis are very less and even lesser than the Shia Muslims in the region.Shia Muslims are constituted in mainly Peshawar and the south west districts of Kohat,Dera Ismail,Bannu etc.The north and north easterns Districts of Abbotabad,Mansehra,Mardan,Swat,Dir,Chitral etc all have a vast Sunni Muslim population with majority belonging to the Deo Band and Ahle Hadith/Salafi School of thought.

In Gilgit Baltistan ,Chillas district is almost entirely Sunni Muslims of Deoband and Ahle Hadith school of thought.Hunza is almost entirely Ismaili.And Skardu is almost entirely Shia Muslim.Rest of towns and districts have a mixed population with a Shia Majority in almost all.

In Punjab there is a very big Sunni Muslim population followed by a very large Shia Muslim population.Still the majority Sunni Muslim population belongs to the Brailvi school of thought but Deo Band and Ahle Hadith also have quite large numbers compared to the Pre Zia era but still Shia Muslims outnumber both Deo Band and Ahle Hadith and are second to Brailvi Sunnis in the region.

Like wise in Sindh there is a very big Sunni Muslim population followed by a very large Shia Muslim population.Still the majority Sunni Muslim population belonging to the Brailvi school of thought which is specially in vast majority in Interior Sindh.But taking into consideration the large populations of Karachi and Hyderabad there is now a significant number of population of Sunni Muslims belonging to the Deo Band and Ahle Hadith school of thought but still here again the Shia Muslims outnumber both Deo Band and Ahle Hadith and are second to the Brailvi Sunni Muslims in the region.

In Baluchistan there is a vast majority Sunni population with almost equal numbers of Brailvi,Deoband and Ahle Hadith school of thoughts and Shia Muslim population is mainly constituted in Quetta with the Hazara Shia Muslim community.

In Azad Kashmir there is also a big Sunni Muslim population followed by a large Shia Muslim population.Majority of Sunni Muslims belonging to the Brailvi School of thought with a significant number of Deo Band and Ahle Hadith.Here again the Shia Muslims outnumber both Deo Band and Ahle Hadith and are second to the Brailvi Sunni Muslims in the region.

Hope information shared above gives a good account of the demographics of Pakistan specially for foriegn Brothers and Sisters.

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On 3/11/2017 at 6:32 PM, Syed Hasan Raza Shah said:

Taking into consideration 194 Million the breakup between Sunni and Shia Muslims is that around 135-145 Million(70-75%) are Sunni Muslims which makes it the 2nd largest Sunni Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.

Around 50-60 Million(25-30%) are Shia Muslims which makes it the the 2nd Largest Shia Muslim population in the World after Iran.

The Shia Muslim population of Pakistan is almost entirely Athna Ashari School of thought with very minor numbers of Bohri,Ismaili,Zaydi etc.

4

Care to share the source of these stats? I've seen the 70-75% figure being thrown around a lot but have never actually seen a solid source. I mean I understand nobody really collects this kind of data due to obvious reasons but there must be some logic to this inference.  

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