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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.
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.
The Experience of Malaysia
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
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.
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
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.
Perspectives on an Alternative Path within Islam
Hizmet Means Service examines Hizmet, a Turkish-based but global movement dedicated to human service. Inspired by Fethullah Gülen, a Sufi Muslim mystic, scholar, and preacher, it is an international endeavor focused on education, business, interfaith dialogue, science, and efforts to promote tolerance and understanding. One of Hizmet’s main tenets is that religious believers can hold profound beliefs and and commit spiritually inspired acts of service without discriminating against or alienating people of other faiths. Even as a ruling party in Turkey has set out to undercut the movement, its international influence continues to grow and attract followers who are devoted to "service."
The scholars whose work appears in this book represent approaches from a variety of disciplines, faiths, and nations and offer a wide range of narratives, analyses, and critiques. This title moves beyond mere introduction, analyzing Hizmet and the manifestations of this interfaith movement.
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.
A New Guide, with Select Translations
For anyone, non-Muslim or Muslim, who wants to know how to approach, read, and understand the text of the Qur'an, How to Read the Qur'an offers a compact introduction and reader's guide. Using a chronological reading of the text according to the conclusions of modern scholarship, Carl W. Ernst offers a nontheological approach that treats the Qur'an as a historical text that unfolded over time, in dialogue with its audience, during the career of the Prophet Muhammad.