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The Female Voice in Sufi Ritual Cover

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The Female Voice in Sufi Ritual

Devotional Practices of Pakistan and India

By Shemeem Burney Abbas

The female voice plays a more central role in Sufi ritual, especially in the singing of devotional poetry, than in almost any other area of Muslim culture. Female singers perform sufiana-kalam, or mystical poetry, at Sufi shrines and in concerts, folk festivals, and domestic life, while male singers assume the female voice when singing the myths of heroines in qawwali and sufiana-kalam. Yet, despite the centrality of the female voice in Sufi practice throughout South Asia and the Middle East, it has received little scholarly attention and is largely unknown in the West. This book presents the first in-depth study of the female voice in Sufi practice in the subcontinent of Pakistan and India. Shemeem Burney Abbas investigates the rituals at the Sufi shrines and looks at women’s participation in them, as well as male performers’ use of the female voice. The strengths of the book are her use of interviews with both prominent and grassroots female and male musicians and her transliteration of audio- and videotaped performances. Through them, she draws vital connections between oral culture and the written Sufi poetry that the musicians sing for their audiences. This research clarifies why the female voice is so important in Sufi practice and underscores the many contributions of women to Sufism and its rituals.

Fighting the Greater Jihad Cover

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Fighting the Greater Jihad

Amadu Bamba and the Founding of the Muridiyya of Senegal, 1853-1913

Cheikh Anta Babou

In Senegal, the Muridiyya, a large Islamic Sufi order, is the single most influential religious organization, including among its numbers the nation’s president. Yet little is known of this sect in the West. Drawn from a wide variety of archival, oral, and iconographic sources in Arabic, French, and Wolof, Fighting the Greater Jihad offers an astute analysis of the founding and development of the order and a biographical study of its founder, Cheikh Amadu Bamba Mbacke.
Cheikh Anta Babou explores the forging of Murid identity and pedagogy around the person and initiative of Amadu Bamba as well as the continuing reconstruction of this identity by more recent followers. He makes a compelling case for reexamining the history of Muslim institutions in Africa and elsewhere in order to appreciate believers’ motivation and initiatives, especially religious culture and education, beyond the narrow confines of political collaboration and resistance.
Fighting the Greater Jihad also reveals how religious power is built at the intersection of genealogy, knowledge, and spiritual force, and how this power in turn affected colonial policy.
Fighting the Greater Jihad will dramatically alter the perspective from which anthropologists, historians, and political scientists study Muslim mystical orders.

From Empire to Empire Cover

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From Empire to Empire

Jerusalem Between Ottoman and British Rule

Abigail Jacobson

The history of Jerusalem as traditionally depicted is the quintessential history of conflict and strife, of ethnic tension, and of incompatible national narratives and visions. It is also a history of dramatic changes and moments, one of the most radical ones being the replacement of the Ottoman regime with British rule in December 1917. From Empire to Empire challenges these two major dichotomies, ethnic and temporal, which shaped the history of Jerusalem and its inhabitants. It links the experiences of two ethnic communities living in Palestine, Jews and Arabs, as well as bridging two historical periods, the Ottoman and British administrations. Drawing upon a variety of sources, Jacobson demonstrates how political and social alliances are dynamic, context-dependent, and purpose-driven. She also highlights the critical role of foreign intervention, governmental and nongovernmental, in forming local political alliances and in shaping the political reality of Palestine during the crisis of World War I and the transition between regimes.

Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice in South Asian Shi’ism Cover

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Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice in South Asian Shi’ism

Karen G. Ruffle

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.

Globalization and Its Counter-forces in Southeast Asia Cover

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Globalization and Its Counter-forces in Southeast Asia

Terence Chong

This volume is a collection of essays from a diverse group of scholars. Collectively, they present a multidimensional perspective of globalization in Southeast Asia. They delve into the political, economic, security, social, and cultural dimensions of globalization and local responses, offering evidence of complex interfacing between the global and the local, thus championing the need for a multidisciplinary approach to globalization studies. This volume depicts globalization as an uneven and, sometimes, undesired process, and resists the temptation for easy conclusions to the challenges facing the region today.

Globalization and National Autonomy Cover

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Globalization and National Autonomy

The Experience of Malaysia

Joan M Nelson, Jacob Meerman and Abdul Rahman Haji Embong

Malaysia has long had an ambivalent relationship to globalization. A shining example of export-led growth and the positive role for foreign investment, the country's political leadership has also expressed skepticism about the prevailing international political and economic order. In this compelling collection, Nelson, Meerman and Rahman Embong bring together a group of Malaysian and foreign scholars to dissect the effects of globalization on Malaysian development over the long-run. They consider the full spectrum of issues from economic and social policy to new challenges from transnational Islam, and are unafraid of voicing skepticism where the effects of globalization are overblown. Malaysia is surprisingly understudied in comparative context; this volume remedies that, and provides an overview of a country undergoing important political change.--Stephan Haggard, Krause Professor, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego

Heirs of the Prophet, The Cover

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Heirs of the Prophet, The

Charisma and Religious Authority in Shi'ite Islam

After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, different religious factions within the Muslim community laid claim to the Prophet’s legacy. Drawing on research from Sunni and Shi>ite literature, Liyakat N. Takim explores how these various groups, including the caliphs, scholars, Sufi holy men, and the Shi>ite imams and their disciples, competed to be the Prophetic heirs. The book also illustrates how the tradition of the “heirs of the Prophet” was often a polemical tool used by its bearers to demand obedience and loyalty from the Muslim community by imposing an authoritative rendition of texts, beliefs, and religious practices. Those who did not obey were marginalized and demonized. While examining the competition for Muhammad’s charismatic authority, Takim investigates the Shi>ite self-understanding of authority and argues that this was an important factor in the formation of a distinct Shi>ite leadership. The Heirs of the Prophet also provides a new understanding of textual authority in Islam by examining authority construction and the struggle for legitimacy evidenced in Islamic biographical dictionaries.

History of al-Tabari Volume XL, The Cover

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History of al-Tabari Volume XL, The

Index

Completed in 1999 by a distinguished group of Arabists and historians of Islam, the annotated translation of al-T|abariµ’s History is arguably the most celebrated chronicle produced in the Islamic lands on the history of the world and the early centuries of Islam. This fortieth volume, the Index, compiled by Alex V. Popovkin under the supervision of Everett K. Rowson, serves as an essential reference tool. It offers scholars and general readers convenient access to the wealth of information provided by this massive work. The Index comprises not only all names of persons and places mentioned by al-T|abariµ, with abundant cross-referencing, but also a very broad range of subject entries, on everything from “pomegranates” to forms of “punishment.” The volume includes a separate index of Qur

History Of Islam In Africa Cover

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History Of Islam In Africa

Nehemia Levtzion

The history of the Islamic faith on the continent of Africa spans fourteen centuries. For the first time in a single volume, The History of Islam in Africa presents a detailed historic mapping of the cultural, political, geographic, and religious past of this significant presence on a continent-wide scale. Bringing together two dozen leading scholars, this comprehensive work treats the historical development of the religion in each major region and examines its effects.

Without assuming prior knowledge of the subject on the part of its readers, The History of Islam in Africa is broken down into discrete areas, each devoted to a particular place or theme and each written by experts in that particular arena. The introductory chapters examine the principal “gateways” from abroad through which Islam traditionally has influenced Africans. The following two parts present overviews of Islamic history in West Africa and the Sudanic zone, and in subequatorial Africa. In the final section, the authors discuss important themes that have had an impact on Muslim communities in Africa.

Designed as both a reference and a text, The History of Islam in Africa will be an essential tool for libraries, scholars, and students of this growing field.

Homeland Insecurity Cover

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Homeland Insecurity

The Arab American and Muslim American Experience After 9/11

In the aftermath of 9/11, many Arab and Muslim Americans came under intense scrutiny by federal and local authorities, as well as their own neighbors, on the chance that they might know, support, or actually be terrorists. As Louise Cainkar observes, even U.S.-born Arabs and Muslims were portrayed as outsiders, an image that was amplified in the months after the attacks. She argues that 9/11 did not create anti-Arab and anti-Muslim suspicion; rather, their socially constructed images and social and political exclusion long before these attacks created an environment in which misunderstanding and hostility could thrive and the government could defend its use of profiling. Combining analysis and ethnography, Homeland Insecurity provides an intimate view of what it means to be an Arab or a Muslim in a country set on edge by the worst terrorist attack in its history. Focusing on the metropolitan Chicago area, Cainkar conducted more than a hundred research interviews and five in-depth oral histories. In this, the most comprehensive ethnographic study of the post-9/11 period for American Arabs and Muslims, native-born and immigrant Palestinians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Yemenis, Sudanese, Jordanians, and others speak candidly about their lives as well as their experiences with government, public mistrust, discrimination, and harassment after 9/11. The book reveals that Arab Muslims were more likely to be attacked in certain spatial contexts than others and that Muslim women wearing the hijab were more vulnerable to assault than men, as their head scarves were interpreted by some as a rejection of American culture. Even as the 9/11 Commission never found any evidence that members of Arab- or Muslim-American communities were involved in the attacks, respondents discuss their feelings of insecurity—a heightened sense of physical vulnerability and exclusion from the guarantees of citizenship afforded other Americans. Yet the vast majority of those interviewed for Homeland Insecurity report feeling optimistic about the future of Arab and Muslim life in the United States. Most of the respondents talked about their increased interest in the teachings of Islam, whether to counter anti-Muslim slurs or to better educate themselves. Governmental and popular hostility proved to be a springboard for heightened social and civic engagement. Immigrant organizations, religious leaders, civil rights advocates, community organizers, and others defended Arabs and Muslims and built networks with their organizations. Local roundtables between Arab and Muslim leaders, law enforcement, and homeland security agencies developed better understanding of Arab and Muslim communities. These post-9/11 changes have given way to stronger ties and greater inclusion in American social and political life. Will the United States extend its values of freedom and inclusion beyond the politics of “us” and “them” stirred up after 9/11? The answer is still not clear. Homeland Insecurity is keenly observed and adds Arab and Muslim American voices to this still-unfolding period in American history.

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