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Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice

Ruffle, Karen G.:
Gender, sainthood, & everyday practice in South Asian Shi'ism / Karen G. Ruffle. - Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2011. - XIII, 222 S. : Ill. - (Islamic civilization & Muslim networks)
ISBN 978-0-8078-3475-6
US$ 65,00
DDC: 297.57082095484

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 localized 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 idealize 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 center 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. [Verlagsinformation]

Acknowledgments. xi
Notes on Transliteration. xv
Introduction. 1
Saints are "Real" People: Imitable Sainthood in Shi'ism. 23
God's Strong Women: Female & Feminine in Shi'i Sainthood. 59
The Saddest Story Ever Told: Translating Karbala through Feminine Voices & Emotions into a Deccani Shi'i Idiom. 85
A Bride of One Night, A Widow Forever: Text & Ritual Performance in the Constitution of an Idealized South Asian Shi'i Selfhood. 121
Who Could Marry at a Time Like This?: Debating the Mehndi ki Majlis in Hyderabad. 145
Glossary. 171
Notes. 177
Bibliography. 189
Index. 207

KAREN G. RUFFLE is assistant professor of history of religions and women's and gender studies at the University of Toronto. Profile page.

Quellen: The University of North Carolina Press; WorldCat; Library of Congress; Amazon