'New Anthropological Studies of the Tablighi Jamaat Transnational Islamic Revivalist Movement: From National to Global'
October 14-18, 2012, U. of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Organizers: Dr. Muhammad Masud (Int'l Islamic U.) and Dr. Scott Flower (U. New South Wales)
Tablighi Jamaat is a movement for the renewal of Islam founded in the 1930s under very specific local conditions in Mewat, India. Since its founding it has transformed from a local to regional and finally a global movement in over one hundred sixty countries. The movement's missionary activities usually involve small groups (six to ten) of self-funded and organized individuals, however the Tablighi's annual international meeting known as 'Ijtema' held in Pakistan and Bangladesh attracts between 2-3.5 million Muslims. In addition to the Tablighi Jamaat being the Muslim world's largest social movement its international Ijtema is also the second largest pilgrimage in the Muslim world behind the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj), yet the movement and its transformation remains understudied. The workshop brought together eighteen scholars from around the world to Oxford University's Centre for Islamic Studies to present and discuss their research, with contributors' papers facilitating much comparative analysis and wide ranging discussion. The workshop critically examined continuity and change within the Jamaat membership and bureaucracy over the last decade and local-global and global-local causes of change. The workshop also facilitated important intergenerational knowledge exchange between senior scholars of the Tablighi Jamaat who have recently retired or are close to retiring and younger emerging scholars. An edited book will result from the workshop.