Islamic Habitus in English Language Textbooks Produced by Boards in Pakistan


Ashar Johnson Khokhar
Dr. Yaar Muhammad


The textbook is an important and powerful tool used by the state to reproduce the social and cultural habits of a group, most often, of the majority group’s social and cultural imaginations. The habitus produces and instills the world-view about society, the social and cultural values that a state valorized and would like pupils to internalize and make it part of their world-view. This study analyzes the English textbook published by the state textbook boards (Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh) for the academic year 2018-2019 for pupils of classes four to eight. The textbook content was analyzed using the Qualitative Content Analysis method. The content of 15 textbooks was digitized (scanned and made readable) to electronically categorized the text into categories using Nvivo 12 Plus software. The analysis revealed that the content is focused on developing and promoting Islamic habitus through stories weaved around family, making it a core component of a Muslim country. The family members practiced Islamic values, social and cultural, not only through their everyday lives at home, in school, and at other public places but also within their community through the celebration of cultural and religious festivals. The textbooks presented the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his family’s life as an ideal life to be lead by all, whether Muslims or non-Muslims. The textbook highlighted the ‘good,’ the ‘bad,’ valorizing the former and stigmatizing the latter to encourage pupils to develop an Islamic world-view. The textbooks fail to look into the micro-level national habitus, that is, portraying the habitus of its minorities, ethnic and religious, as the content did not integrate their habitus into the national habitus of Pakistan, making it the habitus of the majority. The current fast globalizing world needed to be presented to pupils a world-view, and this required, broadening the scope of textbook content to make it reflective of true Pakistani habitus aligned and rooted in the humane global world-view.


How to Cite
Ashar Johnson Khokhar, and Dr. Yaar Muhammad. 2020. “Islamic Habitus in English Language Textbooks Produced by Boards in Pakistan”. Journal of Islamic Thought and Civilization 10 (1), 288-310.


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