SUFIMINISM: THE SEXUAL, THE SPIRITUAL, THE SELF

dc.contributor.advisorTambe, Ashwinien_US
dc.contributor.authorHaq, Saraen_US
dc.contributor.departmentWomen's Studiesen_US
dc.contributor.publisherDigital Repository at the University of Marylanden_US
dc.contributor.publisherUniversity of Maryland (College Park, Md.)en_US
dc.date.accessioned2018-09-07T05:38:03Z
dc.date.available2018-09-07T05:38:03Z
dc.date.issued2018en_US
dc.description.abstractMy dissertation addresses the question: what does an exploration of sexual politics within Islam look like if the mandate of respectability is refused? It explores the possibilities of Sufi thought as an epistemological approach to thinking about sexuality studies and reframing the relationship between Islam and sex. Existing scholarship on Sufism, Islam, and feminism tends to overrely on legal framings of sexuality and heavily exegetical engagements with religion, and offers too many unstated concessions to respectability politics. I argue that by centering the poetic, the everyday, and the transgressive, Sufism can offer alternative understandings of counter-hegemonic Islamic traditions. I use an expansive range of texts such as Sufi qawwali (spiritual songs), Sufi poetry, Qur'anic exegeses, hagiographical texts, and oral storytelling to explore pivotal concepts in sexuality studies: heteronormativity, consent, and the divide between licit and illicit sex. In addition to textual analysis, I present interludes of experiential narratives that are drawn from semi-structured interviews with sexually marginalized Muslims as well as from autoethnographic reflections; they illustrate the complex relationships between religio-spirituality and sexual expression. Each analysis chapter is focused on distinct Sufi tropes, such as wisal/firaq (union/separation), niyyat (intentionality), ‘ubudiyya (servanthood), pain-and-pleasure, kanjri (whore), zaat (being), and izzat (honor). Together, these chapters challenge imperatives of marriage and sex, make the case for affective consent, reflect on unconventional sexual practices such as kink/BDSM, and reframe a conversation about sex work beyond the binary of licit versus illicit sex. I conclude by discussing the possibilities of future research on the contemporary resurgence of feminism and Sufism in South Asian popular culture, as well as my vision for a queer and interdisciplinary approach I call Sufiminism.en_US
dc.identifierhttps://doi.org/10.13016/M2ZW18W4K
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1903/21145
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledWomen's studiesen_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledIslamic studiesen_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledSexualityen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledfeminismen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledgenderen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledIslamen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledqueeren_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledsexualityen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledSufismen_US
dc.titleSUFIMINISM: THE SEXUAL, THE SPIRITUAL, THE SELFen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US

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