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Saintly Spheres and Islamic Landscapes explores the creation, expansion, and perpetuation of the material and imaginary spheres of spiritual domination and sanctity that surrounded Sufi saints and became central to religious authority, Islamic piety, and the belief in the miraculous.
The cultural and social constructs of Islamic sainthood and the spatial inscription of saintly figures have fascinated and ignited scholars across a range of disciplines. By bringing together a broad scope of perspectives and case studies, this book offers the reader the first comprehensive, albeit variegated, exposition of the evolution of saintly spheres and the emplacements of spiritual power in the Muslim world across time and place.

Contributors: Angela Andersen, Irit Back, Devin DeWeese, Daphna Ephrat, Jo-Ann Gross, Nathan Hofer, Ayfer Karakaya-Stump, Sara Kuehn, Bulle Tuil Leonetti, Silvia Montenegro, Alexandre Papas, Paulo G. Pinto, Fatima Quraishi, Eric Ross, Itzchak Weismann, Pnina Werber, and Ethel Sara Wolper.
Author: Asiya Alam
Women, Islam and Familial Intimacy in Colonial South Asia highlights the rich tradition of protest and defiance among the Muslim women of colonial India. Bringing together a range of archival material including novels, pamphlets, commentaries and journalistic essays, it narrates a history of Muslim feminism conversing with, and confronting the dominant and influential narratives of didactic social reform. The book reveals how discussion about marriage and family evoked claims of women’s freedom and rights in a highly charged literary and cultural landscape where lesser-known female intellectuals jostled for public space alongside well-known male social reformers. Definitions of Islamic ethics remained central to these debates, and the book illustrates how claims of social obligation, religious duty and freedom balanced and negotiated each other in a period of nationalism and reform. By doing so, it also illuminates a story of Muslim politics that goes beyond the well-established accounts of Muslim separatism and the Pakistan movement.
Money, Pride, and Soul-Searching
Author: Yuting Wang

Abstract

Against the widespread understanding that Salafism in Pashtun religious circles owes its establishment to the close interaction with Arab representatives of that current since the resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan between 1979 and 1990, a theologically quite radical form had indigenously emerged already in the late 1940s. This current, originating in the small town of Panjpīr in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, stands out by a rigid Salafī epistemology.

In: Die Welt des Islams
Author: A. Sunarwoto

Abstract

The focus of this article is on the Salafiyya-Madkhaliyya in Indonesia, which takes its name from Saudi scholar Rabīʿ al-Madkhalī. After an account of how they emerged and developed in Indonesia, the relationship of the Madkhalīs with the state, which is based on a “fiqh of obedience”, is analyzed. It is argued that, while this legal underpinning necessitates that they give total loyalty to the ruler (walī l-amr, or ūlū l-amr), the Indonesian Madkhalīs are unable to entirely follow this principle. The Madkhalīs have had to come to terms with the fact that Indonesia follows a democratic system, which, in fact, prevents the comprehensive accommodation of their Salafī principles. The resulting ambiguities prove difficult to solve. It is argued here that the negotiation between Madkhalī Salafīs and the Indonesian state is characterized by the constant efforts of the former to tackle those ambiguities.

In: Die Welt des Islams
In: Die Welt des Islams

Abstract

Salafī refutations of Sunnī kalām have long been focused almost exclusively on the Ashʿariyya. In recent decades, however, Salafī authors and activists have also turned their attention towards the Māturīdī current, which has been historically predominant in those parts of the Muslim world dominated by the Ḥanafī madhhab. In the present article, the characteristics of the Salafī challenge to the Māturīdiyya are presented and the main factors behind its emergence and dissemination are traced. It is shown that the recent growing awareness of the Māturīdiyya as a theological other among adherents of Salafī Islam owes much to the efforts of the Pakistani scholar Shams al-Dīn al‑Salafī al‑Afghānī, a graduate of the Islamic University of Medina. It is argued that his work, which was influenced both by his specific South Asian background and by his exposure to established forms of Salafī education and daʿwa in Medina, was instrumental in raising the spectre of a “modern Māturīdiyya” as a serious doctrinal challenger and impediment to Salafī expansion in South Asia and elsewhere. Hereby it was specifically the late Ottoman scholar Muḥammad Zāhid al-Kawtharī and his followers, as well as the South Asian Deobandī and Barelvī (i.e., Ahl-i Sunnat) masālik, which were identified as prime representatives of the contemporary Māturīdiyya. Finally, it is shown that the Salafī assault on the Māturīdiyya seems to have resulted in a revival of theological madh­hab‑consciousness, as well as in growing cooperation between Ḥanafī scholars in different parts of the Muslim world.

In: Die Welt des Islams

Abstract

After the departure of the United Nations and the restoration of the monarchy in 1993, Cambodia’s Muslim minorities became an important hub of transnational Muslim networks and movements, including the Salafī movement, which is increasingly influential. This article will examine how Salafism has inserted itself into Cambodian society and what limits there may be to its continued growth.

In: Die Welt des Islams
Author: Fuad Aliyev

Abstract

Salafī daʿwa is a new phenomenon in the religious life of Azerbaijan. Entering the scene in the mid‑1990s as a result of Gulf-funded organizations and the proselytizing activities of foreign students-turned-preachers, Salafīs gradually turned into important actors of Islamic revival in the post-Communist country. Operating in a highly secularized and, moreover, Shīʿī-majority environment, the Salafī daʿwa in Azerbaijan had ex ante limitations that shaped its development patterns. A comprehensive overview of the historical development of the Salafī daʿwa shows that, over three stages, the transnational Salafī movement had become increasingly indigenized. Following these historical observations, the development patterns of the Salafī daʿwa in Azerbaijan are explored, and an attempt is made to explain them through a framework provided by social movement theory. Finally, based on its ideological variations in Azerbaijan, an attempt is undertaken to develop a refined taxonomy of the Salafī movement in this country, based on a critical reassessment of existing classifications.

In: Die Welt des Islams