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SUFISTICATED: Exploring post-Tariqa Sufi expression amongst young British Muslims

Khan, Ayesha 2020. SUFISTICATED: Exploring post-Tariqa Sufi expression amongst young British Muslims. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Traditional Sufi tariqa formations are changing. Today religious people can engage with Sufism via the Internet or move between different Sufi-affiliated organisations. They no longer need to observe the traditions of a particular group or sect. Commitment can be optional. This thesis draws upon ethnographic and netnographic research about Sufism in new spiritual organisations and on social media. It observes Sufism outside of the traditional master- disciple relationship. I explore the ways in which Sufi manifestations have diverged from traditional Sufi orders, and consider how religious authority is construed in offline and online contexts. I also focus in particular on naat khwaani (devotional recitation) and the purchase of Sufi paraphernalia. It becomes apparent that the Internet and social media is allowing some young Muslims, who express Sufi practice online, to be perceived as religious ‘celebrities’ and they are expected to uphold the responsibility of representing their faith. The nuances of contemporary Sufi expression are explored through the prism of ‘post-tariqa Sufism’. This conceptual lens is used to analyse my findings, paired with theoretical underpinnings on everyday ‘lived religion’ and the rational choice theory. This thesis explores what the new Sufi phenomena tells us about religious engagement amongst young British Muslims, in relation to its wider religious and sociological landscape. This provides insights into the ways in which a youthful demographic of Muslims negotiate and reconstitute their religious traditions in alternative settings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
Funders: Jameel Scholarship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 21 September 2020
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 01:30

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