Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Sacred rhythms: an ethnography of a Cardiff mosque

Ahmed, Abdul-Azim 2016. Sacred rhythms: an ethnography of a Cardiff mosque. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
Item availability restricted.

[thumbnail of 2017ahmedmaphd.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview
[thumbnail of ahmedma.pdf] PDF - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (699kB)


This thesis presents a case study of a single mosque, Jamia Masjid. It provides a description of everyday life, with attention to the congregation and the construction of sacred space. Its claim to originality is that it is an “insider” ethnographic perspective of a mosque in Britain, built upon an extended year-long period of fieldwork. It is an “insider” ethnography both in the sense that the researcher has a pre-existing relationship with the mosque, and also, that it focuses on the space and meanings within the mosque. Its timeliness is predicated upon the second decade of the 21st century being a period in which an increasingly British-born and young Muslim population take leadership in mosques established a generation prior. The thesis argues that Jamia Masjid is an interspatial mosque, providing a diverse range of activities to fulfil the needs of its congregation. It achieves this by operating as a subaltern counter-public, or a “coffee shop mosque”, in which congregants take agency for activities and events. The role of the congregation is pronounced in the thesis to address an identified gap in existing research. Furthermore, the thesis provides theorisation on the temporal dimensions of sacred space, drawing upon Henri Lefebvre and Rhythmanalysis (2004). It argues that sacredness is not a static concept, but dynamic and rhythmic. This sacredness is described as baraka. Jamia Masjid is both a site of distributing and receiving baraka, and it is sacredness is constructed dialectically – transcending some existing categorisations of sacred space in the literature. The thesis argues also that conflict is not an inevitable consequence of sacred space but, at times, a meaningful way of marking and constructing it. These original theoretical contributions are presented through a rich ethnography that provides an insight into the everyday activities of a mosque congregation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 May 2017
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 16:16

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics