The universal characteristics of Islamic State are derived from the teachings of the holy Quran, as embodied in the political practice or the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) An Islamic State is closely linked with the society because Islam is accepted as a comprehensive integrated way of life. The State is only the political expression of an Islamic society. The majority of the Islamic states are so far not in a position to recognize Islamic ideology.
In many quarters of the Muslim world a strong momentum exists to reassert Islamic principles in social, economic and political spheres. This momentum often involves a quest for a new Islamic identity, which may include redefinition of traditional Islamic institutions and application of Islamic Laws.
During the past quarter century, numerous political developments across the Muslim world have dramatically pointed to Islamic reassertion of Islam's political culture. The success and resilience of the Islamic revolution in Iran, the fierce and long Afghan resistance, popularly known as 'Jihad', against the Russian controlled government in Afghanistan, the devastating strife between the secular military government and the Islamic popular opposition in Algeria as well as progressive revival of some traditional Islamic laws in Pakistan, Egypt and Malaysia are testimonials to the resilience of Islamic political sentiment and the resurgence of its political values in these modern times.
In the popular media most Islamic socio-political developments are frequently attributed to "Islamic fundamentalism". Basically what distinguishes fundamentalism from liberalism is mainly the understanding of Islamic social and political values.
Islam played a definite role in Pakistan during its formation. Though many attempts have been made since 1947 to establish a political system representative of its Muslim population, the issue of secularization and Islamization is far from settled Pakistan has had constitl1tions which upheld governmental and legal institutions not specifically totally Islamic where liberalism, topped a reformist agenda. Such issues in Pakistan's political and constitutional history have been characterized by increasing challenges by Islamic activists and intellectuals and terms like "Republic" had to be substituted by the notions of "Islamic Republic" or "Islamic State". The concept of Islamic state has dominated religion-political thinking in Pakistan ever since its creation in 1947. After the military coup d’ etat of 1958 General Ayub Khan's government imposed martial law in the country, abrogated the constitution and dropped the Islamic Republic from the nomenclature of Pakistan thus signaling a rejection of Islamic commitment but as soon as the martial law was eased the debate about the secular and Islamic nature of the Pakistan re-emerged.
The distinguishing criteria for attitudes in Muslim societies are termed as political secularists and political Islamists. Political secularists exclude Islam as irrelevant to or undesirable in statecraft. Political Islamists believe that Islam makes some political demands on them and would therefore like to pursue Islamic political teachings in matters of statecraft. In Pakistan Modernist's and Islamists have both influenced the constitutional and political development thereby affecting the process of Islamization.
The Pakistan movement mobilized the Muslim masses in the name of Islam under the charismatic leadership of Jinnah although the colonial state in its pristine form did not provide any role for either ideology or charisma. Allama Iqbal proposed the formation of a separate North-West Indian Muslim state comprising Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Baluchistan7.
The Muslim League thus produced new patters of interaction of Islamic ideology and politics, As the Pakistan movement gained momentum the fundamentalist Ulema of Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat-ul-ulema Hind condemned it and termed the Muslim league as un-Islamic. The first 11 years of independence were crucial to molding Pakistan's political, ideological and institutional profile and it failed to introduce even a formal democracy with periodic free and fair elections. The bureaucratic-military elite pursued centralized and authoritarian governance, changed federal and provincial governments and excluded those who questioned their political management. Pakistan deliberately and systematically adopted regional disparities. Economic policy under West Pakistan civil servants led industrialization in East Pakistan far behind. In the wake of ethnic conflicts the orthodox and the conservative Islamic parties, most of which lost their credibility during the last phase of independence movement due to their refusal to endorse the Muslim league's demand for Pakistan, found the confusion In Pakistan's political scene suitable to stage a comeback by demanding the establishment of an Islamic state on conservative lines.
Modernist under the Muslim League believed that Islam was an indispensable ingredient of their political legitimacy but they were reluctant to abandon then own political culture, that of western style democracy on the British model. They simply wanted to seek Islamic legitimacy to their own institutions. Pakistan was proclaimed an Islamic Republic, the declaration of objectives proclaimed the sovereignty of Allah. Principles of policy stipulated links with other Muslim countries. teaching and research organization would help build an Islamic society and a consultative commission on Islamic Ideology was to ensure that the laws passed by the parliament were in conformity with the Quran and Sunnah.
More emphasis in the Peoples Party program was on Islam. Ending Pakistan's isolation Bhutto gave himself international legitimacy in the name of Islam by playing a dominant role in the Islamic Conference organization, the Muslim countries federal body, summoning it to meet in Pakistan. Gen. Zia-ul-Haq who is usually held uniquely responsible for Islamization of Pakistan's legal system restored matters by setting limits on the Islamization of the country. In affect Zia had established a dual system of Anglo-Indian-type modernist law where Islamic law was relegated to a minor role. Gen. Zia came with a Islamic agenda and political expediency also demanded that he take a position diametrically opposed to the one taken by his military precursors Gen. Ayub and Gen. Yahya Khan. Zia also brought an alliance of sorts between the military and the Islam Pasand (favoring) parties. Zia also used Islam as an instrument of foreign policy to strengthen Pakistan's relations with Muslim countries. The trend of fundamentalists neo-totalitarian Muslim movements which is contrary to the political, cultural and historical traditions of the Muslim majority, included Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world, lamaat-i-Islami in Pakistan, Sharekat Islam in Indonesia and Islamic Government of post revolutionary Iran, all had their impact on Pakistan's foreign policy although none of these movements succeeded in attracting the majority of workers, peasants and intelligentsia. Emerging reality of Shia-Sunni conflict is sweeping Pakistan now as all major religious groups have their private militias.
The state has used religious parties to recruit, indoctrinate and train militants who have fought in Kashmir and Afghanistan. The all encompassing Islamic ideology of the religious parties tends to support the state particularly the centralizing aspects of Pakistani federalism and has prevented religious parties from addressing issues of ethnicity and regional rights. Ethnic nationalism has not been handled adroitly by the Pakistani state. Pakistan has been ruled by traditional oligarchies. be it the military, civil service or political leadership. Military's dominance in Pakistan has been because of failure of the political leadership The military is the most cohesive, disciplined and task oriented institution in Pakistan. The military can continue to influence the political process while staying at the sidelines.
There can be no specific model of a modern Islamic state and Muslim countries have adopted different political structures in view of their Socio-economic requirements. Countries like Malaysia, Indonesia. Turkey. Bangladesh and Iran: all have Islamic laws and ideology but have different systems and infra structures to provide it.