n Journal for Islamic Studies - "I must strive to rectify myself and the people of the whole world" : portraits of Sunni traditionalist activists in South Africa




From its headquarters in Karachi, the traditionalist Sunni movement, Dawate Islami, has spread to a number of other countries and in 1996 it founded a branch in South Africa. South Africa, in turn, has witnessed a mushrooming of Dawate Islami centres in various towns and cities throughout the country and has been the base for further expansion of the movement to other parts of Africa.

What drives the members to the movement? How were they inducted as members? This paper explores these questions through portraits of two senior South African activists: Mufti Abdun Nabi Hamidi and Amirudeen Kajee. Drawing on the notions of 'practices' 'virtues' and 'states of the self' inspired by the work of Talal Asad, this paper also seeks to provide a framework for understanding the nature of the activists' belonging and commitment to the movement.


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