In this Book

Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice in South Asian Shi’ism
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In this work, Ruffle examines traditional hagiographical texts and ritual performances of the Shi’i Muslims of Hyderabad, India, and demonstrates how understandings of sainthood, everyday religious rituals, and gender interact to shape the lives of Shi’i women & men. Taking as her focus the annual ceremonies commemorating the lamentable story of Fatimah Kubra and Qasem (whose unconsummated battlefield marriage was followed 3 days later by Qasem's death in battle), which comprises a literary tradition of central importance in the Islamic world, Ruffle shows how these practices of idealization and veneration (of Qasem and of Fatimah and other saintly women in the story) produce social and religious role models whom Shi’i Muslims aim to imitate in their daily lives. People undertake this practice of saintly imitation, Ruffle argues, to improve their personal religious practice and, on a broader social level, to help generate and reinforce group identity and shared ethics and sensibilities. The study is especially notable for its emphasis on women’s religious practice in everyday life and for its contribution to the understanding of gender and hagiography.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Notes on Transliteration
  2. p. xv
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  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. pp. 1-22
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  1. 1 SAINTS ARE “REAL” PEOPLE: Imitable Sainthood in Shi'ism
  2. pp. 23-58
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  1. 2 GOD’S STRONG WOMEN: Female & Feminine in Shi'i Sainthood
  2. pp. 59-83
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  1. 3 THE SADDEST STORY EVER TOLD: Translating Karbala through Feminine Voices & Emotions into a Deccani Shi'i Idiom
  2. pp. 85-120
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  1. 4 A BRIDE OF ONE NIGHT, A WIDOW FOREVER: Text & Ritual Performance in the Constitution of an Idealized South Asian Shi'i Selfhood
  2. pp. 121-143
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  1. 5 WHO COULD MARRY AT A TIME LIKE THIS?: Debating the Mehndī kī Majlis in Hyderabad
  2. pp. 145-170
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 171-176
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 177-187
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 189-205
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 207-222
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