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Shahan Mufti's family history, which he can trace back 1,400 years, offers a unique perspective on the intertwined histories of Islam and Pakistan. Descended from the Mufti and Qazi families-both revered guardians of Sharia law in South Asia for many centuries - Mufti tells the story of his lineage to reveal the deepest roots-real and imagined-of Islamic civilization in Pakistan as it evolved over the centuries, as well as the delicate nature of Islamic history itself. Through historical anecdotes, journalistic vignettes and autobiography, The Faithful Scribe captures the larger story of the world's only state founded in the name of Islam and the world's first Islamic democracy, now caught in the middle of a vicious battle between modernity and tradition. Mufti's family story is one thread in the fabric of a larger Islamic narrative, through which a Western audience might begin to understand the dynamic forces and historical underpinnings of the hugely important nation of Pakistan.
The Faithful Scribe is an impassioned and insightful look into the heart of a troubled but vital country. This is a history of Pakistan from the pen of a keen observer, whose own story represents Pakistan's past and whose vision reflects its hope for the future. - Vali Nasr, New York Times bestselling author of The Dispensable Nation - American Foreign Policy in Retreat.
In The Faithful Scribe, Shahan Mufti, who calls himself '100 percent American and 100 percent Pakistani,' sets out to explain the country's present-day turbulence through the prism of its history. Mr. Mufti deserves credit for framing Pakistan's story in terms of ideas, not merely events. He intuitively grasps that, though Pakistan is no theocracy, it shares some of the Saudi and Iranian sense of a larger Islamic mission. - Wall Street Journal.
(Mufti's) talent for explaining the political through the personal-particularly the 'tormented embrace' between his home countries-benefits from the uncanny convergence of his family's milestones with Pakistan's. - New Yorker.
A penetrating, carefully crafted and sometimes moving account that presents Pakistan through the lens of Mufti's family's history, offering a vivid new perspective on a troubled country that is at once intimate and sweeping. - Declan Walsh, New York Times Pakistan Bureau Chief.