The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad: Devotional Piety in Sunni Islam

Front Cover
Routledge, 2007 - Religion - 275 pages
2 Reviews
"In the medieval period, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (the mawlid) was celebrated in popular narratives and ceremonies that expressed the religious agendas and aspirations of ordinary Muslims, including women. Mawlid celebrations expressed the hope for salvation through the relationship of love and mutuality with the Prophet, rather than exclusively through obedience to Islamic Law." "The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad: Devotional piety in Sunni Islam examines the mawlid from its origins to the present day and provides a new insight into how an aspect of everyday Islamic piety has been transformed by modernity. The book demonstrates that medieval popular Islam was coherent and meaningful, not just a set of deviations from scholarly norms. It gives a window into the religious lives of medieval Muslim women, rather than focusing on the limitations that were placed on them. Elite scholars attempted to co-opt and discipline these forms of piety, but were not able to control or suppress them, and popular narratives about the Prophet's birth remained a powerful counter-canon for centuries. In the twentieth century, social and economic change transformed the ways in which Muslims imagined the Prophet Muhammad, and the celebration of his birthday was marginalized by political forces." "Combining textual and historical analysis, this book is an important contribution to our understanding of contemporary Muslim devotional practices and will be of great interest to graduate students and researchers of Islam, religious studies, and medieval studies." --Book Jacket.

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Review: The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad

User Review  - Khadijah Qamar - Goodreads

This book is one of the most comprehensive academic studies of the mawlid, the celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. Katz has obviously spent years researching this book - she cites ... Read full review

About the author (2007)

Marion Holmes Katz is Associate Professor and the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, New York University, USA.  Her research interests are Islamic law, ritual and gender.

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