This article explores the ritual creation of a distinct form of pious masculinity among Pakistani Tablighis, practitioners of the transnational Islamic piety movement, the Tablighi Jamaat. Pakistani Tablighis practice a ritualized form of face-to-face preaching (dawat) that they claim cultivates the pious virtues that allow them to live ethically with kin, neighbors, and fellow citizens. I argue that dawat entails a reflexive ethical stance on male agency and represents an effort to manage the growing problem of male violence in Pakistani life. I conclude by arguing that constructions of "religious violence" so prevalent in the age of the Global War on Terror are underpinned by liberal–secular assumptions about ritual as an absence of critical thought and hierarchy as intrinsically violent. This liberal–secular framework not only rationalizes secular power, it also elides the ethical work that Tablighis are doing to address the violent afflictions of postcolonial modernity in Pakistan.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 53-77
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.