Seeking Sanctuary in 'the age of disorder': Women in Contemporary Tablighi Jama'at

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    This article addresses the novel phenomenon of the attachment of women from privileged backgrounds to the Tablighi Jam?'at movement in Indonesia. How to understand the involvement of these urban wealthy women who eventually give up their high-class lifestyles for the sake of their new understanding of Islam? The common stereotype of Tablighi Jam?'at women is that they are oppressed, cannot exercise agency, and do not contribute to the development of the movement. However, based on an ethnographic study of middle and upper-class Tablighi Jam?'at women, I found that their passion to return to the true path of Islam and the commitments it embodies have made them aware of their capacity to exercise agency within the movement's structuring conditions. The women's privileged social background has enabled them to embrace the meaning of being active in a religious group. The most notable contribution of these women is their effort in undertaking recruitment and sustaining this religious network of shared meaning with their colleagues. Within these activities they are social agents, not just tools of the movement's men.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-160
    JournalContemporary Islam: dynamics of muslim life
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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