"Fulfilling the Mission: Minhāj-ul-Qurˀān, Women’s Authority and Reinstilling Love for the Prophet" Restricted; Files Only

Shoaib, Summar (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/2n49t262k?locale=en


Minhāj-ul-Qurˀān International (MQI) is a Sufi transnational organization and movement run by Dr. Tāhir-ul-Qādrī, a man who is both a Sufi shaykh and an Islamic scholar with a doctorate in Islamic Law. My dissertation argues that despite the MQI being visibly dominated by men, it is female authority that 1) constructs the sense of community necessary to overcome barriers of distance in a transnational movement and 2) sustains the movement by organizing events on the ground and increasing membership through their network of family and friends. Women’s authority is performed via the neo-khānqāh, or a Sufi environment that combines physical and virtual space to serve as a site to foster community for members of a transnational Sufi order. Despite the crucial role of women in the MQI, their authority cannot be constructed independently of the shaykh and his organization; the shaykh 's authority is constructed through the traditional means of transmission and lineage. However, women establish authority through a variety of means: through the sohbat of the shaykh, through their professional and educational backgrounds, and through their familial upbringing. These factors allow certain women in the MQI to serve as exemplars and function as authorities to other women. Using their authority, women argue against those who criticize the religious practices of the MQI and strive to bring other Muslims to the mission of reinstilling love for the prophet Muhammad.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1- Introduction: Meeting Minhāj-ul-Qurˀān                                                         1                     

Chapter 2: A Living Saint-Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri and the MQI                               38

Chapter 3: Performing Transnationalism: MQI and the History of Islamic Reform         90

                Movements in South Asia                                                     

Chapter 4: The World Wide Web of Networks: Utilizing a Neo-Khanqah                      148

Chapter 5: Female Exemplars and Islamic Authority                                                      202

Chapter 6: “A Spark in the Heart:” Women’s Strategies for the Defense                     259

                  Against Critique                                                                                          

Chapter 7: Conclusion: Sufi Women’s Practice and Agency in the Age                        313

                 of the Internet                                                     

Bibliography                                                                                                                     334

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