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Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice in South Asian Shi'ism - Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks (Paperback)
  • Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice in South Asian Shi'ism - Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks (Paperback)
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Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice in South Asian Shi'ism - Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks (Paperback)

(author)
£30.50
Paperback 240 Pages / Published: 28/02/2014
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In this study of devotional hagiographical texts and contemporary ritual performances of the Shi'a of Hyderabad, India, Karen Ruffle demonstrates how traditions of sainthood and localised cultural values shape gender roles. Ruffle focuses on the annual mourning assemblies held on 7 Muharram to commemorate the battlefield wedding of Fatimah Kubra and her warrior-bridegroom Qasem, who was martyred in 680 C.E. at the battle of Karbala, Iraq, before their marriage was consummated.

Ruffle argues that hagiography, an important textual tradition in Islam, plays a dynamic role in constructing the memory, piety, and social sensibilities of a Shi'i community. Through the Hyderabadi rituals that idealise and venerate Qasem, Fatimah Kubra, and the other heroes of Karbala, a distinct form of sainthood is produced. These saints, Ruffle explains, serve as socioethical role models and religious paragons whom Shi'i Muslims aim to imitate in their everyday lives, improving their personal religious practice and social selves. On a broader community level, Ruffle observes, such practices help generate and reinforce group identity, shared ethics, and gendered sensibilities. By putting gender and everyday practice at the centre of her study, Ruffle challenges Shi'i patriarchal narratives that present only men as saints and brings to light typically overlooked women's religious practices.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9781469613710
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 18 mm
Edition: New edition


MEDIA REVIEWS
Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice is a study of interest to students and scholars of Islamic practices among the laity of the Indian sub-continent.--Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies


An important contribution to the extant scholarship on the piety and practice of South Asian Shi'ism. . . . Ruffle's personal relationship with members of the Hyderbadi Shi'a community and her empathetic reading of their spiritual lives brings a palpable intimacy and immediacy to the study.--Religion


Unique among recent ethnographic studies. . . . Readable and moves deftly from description of rituals and texts to abstract theorization. . . [and] will be of interest to a wide range of readers.--International Journal of Middle East Studies

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