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In search of Sylhet – the Fultoli tradition in Britain

Ahmed, Mohammed and Ali, Muhammad ORCID: 2019. In search of Sylhet – the Fultoli tradition in Britain. Religions 10 (10) , 572. 10.3390/rel10100572

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This article presents a case study of the Fultoli tradition, an expression of Islam dominant amongst Bangladeshi migrants to the UK, but which has failed to communicate itself to British-born Muslims. It is also a denominational identity that has been overlooked in academic literature on British Muslims, and regularly mischaracterized. To correct this, the article presents an overview of Fultolir Sahib, the late founder of the tradition, and the theological distinctiveness of his teachings, before considering its movement to Britain. A varied methodological approach is adopted in order to explore the topic, combining a textual exploration of Fultoli sources, with qualitative interviews with members of the Fultoli tradition, and also autoethnography, with the authors (who were both raised by Fultoli parents) drawing on their experience of the tradition. The article argues that Fultolir Sahib’s authority is constructed in an idiom that is inaccessible to British Muslim and that Fultoli institutions have failed to create leaders capable of preserving the tradition. It concludes that despite the diminishing numbers of Fultolis in Britain, it is still important for academics to recognize their unique role in the landscape of Muslim denominational diversity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Additional Information: This article belongs to the Special Issue Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities.
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2077-1444
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 October 2019
Date of Acceptance: 8 October 2019
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 10:02

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