Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9789089644398 Published July 2013 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Islam on the Move

The Tablighi Jama'at in Southeast Asia

Farish A. Noor

Islam on the Move

Farish A. Noor

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

200 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9789089644398 Published July 2013 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
In this exhaustive examination of the rise and spread of the Tablighi Jama’at, which is arguably the world’s largest lay Islamic missionary movement, Farish Ahmad-Noor provides extensive research on the group as well as several conversion narratives from Tablighi members in a number of Asian countries. A key study of an important and complex movement, this volume locates the spiritual framework of the sect in the context of the national and political climate of the countries in which its followers live. Moreover, Ahmad-Noor analyzes the way in which Tablighi followers themselves see the movement, and he traces the way in which internal and external perspectives shape the religion. Islam on the Move seeks to create a more nuanced and variegated portrait of Islam than the reductivist narrative of the religion that became commonplace in the mainstream Western media after the events of September 11th.
Contents
A Note on Proper Names and the Spelling Used in This Book
Glossary
 
Introduction
Brother Bismillah and My Introduction to the Tablighi Jama’at
 
I. At Home Across the Sea
The Arrival of the Tablighi Jama’at and Its Spread Across Southeast Asia
A network among many: Locating the Tablighi Jama’at in an overcrowded Southeast Asia
--Landfall and homecoming: The Tablighi arrive in Southeast Asia
--Touchdown in Jakarta: The arrival and spread of the Tablighi Jama’at across Java
--Go east, Tablighi: The Tablighi Jama’at’s expansion to Central Java, 1957-1970s
--Go further east, Tablighi: The Tablighi Jama’at’s expansion to East Java, 1990 to the present
--A home to call their own: The Markaz Besar of Temboro and the building of the Kampung Madinah
--Today Java, tomorrow the archipelago: The Tablighi Jama’at spreads out
--Kampung Madinah, again: The Tablighi’s centres in Jala and Sri Petaling
--Unity in dispersion: The Tablighi Jama’at network at a glance
Movement and piety: The Tabligh’s aim of reconstituting the ideal Muslim society
 
II. Learning to Be
The Foundational Literature of the Tablighi Jama’at and Its Role in Defining the Movement
The discursive economy of the Tablighi Jama’at: The foundational texts of the Tablighi and the quest for Islamic authenticity
From text to discourse: The discursive construction of the Tablighi worldview with the Prophet and his companions as the model Muslim community
--Approximated mimesis and the impossibility of perfect imitation
Drawing the discursive frontiers of the Tablighi Jama’at: What it is, and what it is not
--Another discourse, another mindset? The foundational texts of the Tablighi Jama’at as a window to the Tablighi worldview
 
III. Learning on the March
The Portable, Reader-friendly Literature of the Tablighi Jama’at and Its Role in the Self-identification and Reproduction of the Movement
--It’s great to be poor: Ustaz Abdurrahman As-Sirbuny’s Untung Jadi Miskin
--A necessary (though fictitious) evil: Ustaz al-Bama’s cautious use of fiction for the higher good
--Joy in work: Ustaz al-Enjoy’s report card on the Tablighi Jama’at
--The commandos of God: Ustaz Fahim’s strategy to defeat the Komando Iblis
--Onward to India: Ustaz al-Hidayah and the centrality of India
The power of the vernacular: Assessing the merits of the Tablighi Jama’at’s portable literature
--Uniformity of form and mode of production
--Regularity in presentation and content
--Oppositional dialectics and the avoidance of direct confrontation
A different discourse, a different form of life?
 
IV. The Stories We Tell
The Conversion Narratives of the Tablighi Jama’at and the Internalisation of Tablighi Identity
--‘Then I prayed, “Oh God, please make me happy like them”’: The conversion narrative of Ustaz Talib Zulham
--‘Oh how the girls were screaming for me!’: The conversion narrative of Ustaz Haji Ataullah Muhammad Ramzan
--‘I realised I was Indian as well’: The conversion narrative of Ustaz Dr. Murshid Ali Khan
--‘No, the Tablighi never forgets us’: The conversion narrative of Ustaz Imam Abdullah Suparsono
--‘All that we do, we do for Allah, with the Prophet as our model’: The conversion narrative of Cikgu Sidek Saniff, former cabinet minister of Singapore
Speaking (and reading, writing and reproducing) a common language-game: The discourse of the Tablighi Jama’at as a form of life
--Valuing the (Tablighi) present and devaluing the (non-Tablighi) past
--Sacrifice and the Spartan spirit: A return to authenticity the hard way
--Proximity to God and salvation: The personal piety of the Tablighis
 
V. Learning to Be Tablighi
The Rule-governed World of the Tablighi and the Disciplining of the Self
The normative world of the Tablighi Jama’at: Stage-setting, and the rites and rituals of mutuality and association
--Dress matters: What you wear is what you are in the world of the Tablighi
--Body matters: The disciplining of the body as part of the cultivation of the self among the Tablighi
--Contempt for the body: Beyond the body and into the self of the Tablighis
--Why hasn’t the Tablighi Jama’at fragmented?
--What do change and conversion mean for the Tablighis?
 
VI. How We Look and What We Are
The Tablighi Jama’at Framed in the Eyes of Others
The view from the outside: How the Tablighi Jama’at figures in the perspective of political Islamists
Enemy at the gates: The construction of the Tablighi Jama’at as a security threat in the discourse of anti-terrorism
Worlds within worlds: The Tablighi Jama’at in the age of the war on terror
 
VII. Finally, a Summing Up
The Tablighi Jama’at as the Complex Thing That It Is
 
Notes
Bibliography
Index
 
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