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Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject Paperback – 23 Oct 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; New in Paper edition (23 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691149801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691149806
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mahmood has carried out one of the most succint analysis of the impact of religious believes within the women's religious movement in egypt. this book obliges all scholars and curious intellectuals to change their previous ideas regarding the women islamic revival and their reasons behind their participation in public life shifting the question from why to how they do so. this book is a must if you want to understand this recent phenomenon.
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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Politics Of Piety: An Egyptian's Perspective 12 Nov 2013
By Nada Zidan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Politics Of Piety:The Islamic Revival and The Feminist Subject," by Saba Mahmood speaks to all people: Westerners, Middle Eastern, and those in between. Mahmood writing in English and translating the Muslim traditions, religious rituals, and Quranic verses to Arabic, adds so much to book's credibility and makes it easy for the reader, whether Muslim or other, to engage with the reality she is presenting. The religious gap in Egypt, the case study of the book, is well articulated by Saba Mahmoud:"sharp lines drawn between those who conduct themselves in an 'Islamic manner,' and those who ground their sociability in what may be glossed as 'Western liberal' lifestyles."
Feminism in Islam is split between "modern Muslim women" treating the veil as a personal choice, while others see the veil as a religious command. The latter distinction Mahmood makes in her book, shows that she is not a Western scholar attempting to "analyze" the psychology of 'them' Arab women, and that is something only I, as an Egyptian who was born and raised in Egypt, can identify. The fact she knew about the many Egyptian women "wearing the HIjab(veil) as a custom rather than a religious duty that also entails other responsibilities," and believing that the veil should be a means for us Muslim women to find peace and serenity rather than acting up 'virtue,' makes her perspective a reality rather than an assumption. She portrayed the Mosque movement and Islamic Revival that are the signs of 'Piety,' not as strict and extreme practices as other Academias have already done, but as religious practices that these educated Muslim women take pride in.
Mahmood did a great job of not condemning the rules of Islam or ever daring to treat them as 'oppressive.' She portrays the religion as one with a middle ground rather than extreme in its entirety, as it was commonly perceived after 9/11. This middle ground was clearly defined when talking about Women's Daw'a in Islam and how Zaynab el Ghazali is a source of pride to Egyptian females as she was "the first prominent female da'iya in Egypt." And although there are limitations to women's Daw'a in Islam as it cannot be done amongst men but only with other women, the author showed that there is still resistance because not all Muslim women are 'obedient and docile.' The common misconception that "men and women are not allowed to mix according to the Quranic rules," were corrected in the book when providing evidence that even at the time of the Prophet, men and women were in fact mixed, it is not 'haram' (forbidden) as long as the "women lower their gaze and be mindful of their chastity."(Surat Al Nisa'a).
Mahmood highlighted the fact that Islam is tolerant enough that it allows for loose interpretations of certain texts because it is not all black and white, that is how disagreement over circumcision for example stems from.
In Mahmood's analytical framing, she left the reader with the idea that within religion that there is still room for individual freedom and self realization which can be achieved through "keeping away from sinful behavior, without having to conjoin this understanding with particular forms of clothing and attire."
Overall, Mahmood's language was both feasible and accessible for a wide range of readers with different backgrounds, and she did an amazing job comparing and contrasting the religious facts with the social constructs.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A different look at the Muslim world 5 April 2013
By Robert E. Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I write techno-thrillers that deal, at least as back story, with the Middle East and its social structure.I am interested in establishing a voice for the Muslim feminist as part of the ongoing story and for one character that I have introduced. Politics and Piety was one of two books that was highly rated and readily available to help me do that. It does not disappoint. The author provides a stimulating and well-written look into the daily lives of Muslim women, how they think and how they deal with the more harsh facets of the teachings of Islam.

Robert Cook[...]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Important work! 13 Mar 2014
By Ruwa A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This work is an extremely important revisionist contribution to Muslim gender studies and the liberal assumptions that underlie so much work on gender in the Middle East! Theoretically sophisticated, and ethnographically rich, it should be read by all scholars interested in understanding the best of current research in gender and Islam.
I just started reading and it looks promising for my ... 21 July 2014
By Raquel Sukhu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I just started reading and it looks promising for my research on women and religion. Unfortunately the TOC link for Chapter 5 takes me to Chapter 1, and the kindle text has misspellings that do not appear in the original book. I think the book deserves 5 stars, but the Kindle version, not so much.
2 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on time, no complaint 22 Sep 2012
By Boon Lim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not read it yet. It is too early in to the semester. I will be using this book sometime the end of the semester.
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