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Abstract

At a time of sociocultural changes that started questioning established Islamic learning traditions (independence years, post-Cold War/book market liberalization), printing diasporas exerted influence on the circulation of Islamic texts in East Africa: published overseas (Cairo, Beirut, and the Indian subcontinent) and/or locally reprinted on the Swahili-speaking Islamic coast, they came to play a seminal role in negotiating Swahili Muslim literary culture. How have transoceanic religious and intellectual networks operating beyond national borders become intertwined? In this paper, the beginnings of Swahili Muslim book publishing—and the entities underpinning it, such as Nairobi’s Islamic Foundation Center, a Pakistani-oriented charitable foundation—will be outlined. I will then delve into the history of Indian-and-Swahili family-run publishers Adam Traders based in Mombasa in order to tackle hitherto neglected transoceanic connections and patterns of influence across the sea.

Open Access
In: Islamic Africa
Free access
In: International Journal of Islam in Asia
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Abstract

Travel following religious aims has a long tradition in the Indonesian-Malay Archipelago. Yet mass overseas religious tourism is a relatively recent phenomenon among people in today’s Indonesia. A variety of travel agencies advertise pilgrimage package tours to notable destinations like Mecca and Medina but also to other destinations in the Middle East, Europe, East Asia, and Central Asia. An analytical focus on various images in this context, including their creation and distribution, reveals patterns of prestigious cosmopolitan middle-class imagery among Muslim and Christian Indonesians in the field of religious tourism. This imagery is similar across different religious affiliations and particularly vibrant in online social media. The imagery challenges perceptions of interreligious divisions and hegemonic mappings of the world, ultimately centralizing the local social environment of people and exhibiting national Indonesian pride.

In: International Journal of Islam in Asia
In: International Journal of Islam in Asia

Abstract

This paper argues that the mainstream Indonesian cosmopolitan Islamic intellectual milieu has not been adequately conceptualized in existing literature. By presenting a political history of the evolution of this cosmopolitan cohort and by engaging with contemporary emic Indonesian debates on the nexus between cosmopolitanism, Islam, and the nation state, the paper finds that in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in the archipelago, cosmopolitan Islamic thought has been, and continues to be, significantly driven and shaped by the interplay of international influences dominated by the “West” and Indonesian patriotic politics. More recently, Indonesia’s perceived status as an Islamic periphery and the country’s emerging soft power agenda contribute to furthering a peculiar relationship between cosmopolitanism and patriotism in Indonesian Islamic intellectualism. The paper argues that as a result of the strong impact of patriotism, mainstream Indonesian cosmopolitan Islamic intellectuals are best understood as nationally rooted “cosmopatriots,” representing “cosmopatriotism,” while the “West” remains a central intellectual and cultural reference point.

In: International Journal of Islam in Asia

Abstract

In recent years a variety of activities have emerged in Indonesia that invite Palestinian shaykhs as figures of religious authority. These practices are a by-product of humanitarian initiatives carried out by Muslim solidarity organizations of the Tarbiyya movement. Analyzing these practices through the lens of Muslim cosmopolitanism, I argue that they reflect a cosmopolitan patriotism, in which the umma and the nation are mutually constitutive frameworks of belonging. Mobilizing Indonesians for the Palestinian cause, while teaching them Qurʾan memorization skills that Gazans are believed to exceptionally possess, serves to create a pious generation as envisioned by the Tarbiyya movement.

In: International Journal of Islam in Asia
Author:

Abstract

It is often said that the Shafiʿi school of law was the main source of the Malay-Indonesian Islamic legal tradition and codes during the last couple of centuries. However, one may wonder if further Islamic legal schools were welcomed in the archipelago and, if so, how and under what circumstances. On this subject, the author examines a rare, thick, fragile, and rare Persian manuscript. Copied in the seventeenth century, the manuscript in question is a work that was not only in the possession of Malay-speaking people. The manuscript clearly shows an attempt to translate it into local languages and to expand its jurisprudential clauses. Being a comprehensive source for the study and practice of Islamic law, it includes both Sunni and Shiʿi classical legal treatises, their Qurʾanic commentaries on “legal verses,” and relevant theological comments. This source has the potential to invite scholars to re-examine the context of seventeenth and eighteenth-century Southeast Asian manuscripts which used to be known as the turning point towards “Shariatization” by means of Arabo-Sunni legal and theological treatises, and to raise a more robust conjecture about the cosmopolitan nature of the Indonesian archipelago.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Islam in Asia

Abstract

This article discusses the possibility and consequences of the idea, concept, and discourses of freedom and free choice in apostasy. The issue is explored from theoretical perspectives of discrepancy, rational choice, and free will and grounded with examples from original research on Finnish ex-Pentecostals and comparison to previous research on apostasy. The article claims that even though our choices are influenced and our freedom is limited by our personal attributes, personal and social environments, and backgrounds, the subjective assertion, belief, and experience of freedom is essential to apostates’ wellbeing and new identity.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe