n Journal for Islamic Studies - The shaping of Islamic finance in South Africa : Public Islam and Muslim Publics

Volume 31, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0257-7062



Using 'Public Islam' and 'Muslim Publics' as discursive spaces that construct Islam in the public sphere, this article argues that everyday actions at the intersection of religion and the economy are culturally and historically contextual. Shar?'ah-compliant products are being developed by financial institutions entering the niche market of Islamic finance. This procedure contributes to the construction of Public Islam, the diverse invocations of Islam that actors bring to public life. Yet, this representation of Islam by banks and financial institutions is provoking debates as Muslims ask what, if anything, Islamic finance means to them in their lives. Muslim Publics are the situated, communitarian and political debates that occur in everyday life. Dynamic interactions between Public Islam and Muslims Publics highlight the situated character of financial action and underline the point that associations between being Muslim and using faith-based financial instruments are far from being automatic.

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