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Muslim Preaching in the Middle East and BeyondHistorical and Contemporary Case Studies$
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Simon Stjernholm and Elisabeth Özdalga

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474467476

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474467476.001.0001

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Instructive Speech Among Bosnian Muslim Women: Sermons, Lessons or Guidance?

Instructive Speech Among Bosnian Muslim Women: Sermons, Lessons or Guidance?

(p.48) 3 Instructive Speech Among Bosnian Muslim Women: Sermons, Lessons or Guidance?
Muslim Preaching in the Middle East and Beyond

Catharina Raudvere

Edinburgh University Press

The chapter analyzes teaching traditions among Muslim women in Bosnia and how Islamic knowledge is transmitted, embedded in practices such as prayers, Quran recitation, singing and teaching. A case is provided of some Sarajevo women’s recitation gathering (mukabela) at the end of Ramadan which included instructive speech of some length. A young preacher (vaiza) made use of the common genre elements for a Muslim sermon and moved with confidence between comments on the Quran, paraphrases of narratives from the hadith and moral stories set in the present. The vaiza’s legitimacy to speak in the mosque was based on her formal education, reputation of personal piety and knowledge of local prayer and song traditions. Hence the audience accepted the preacher’s authority to give ethical guidance and included her interpretations of contemporary Muslim life with their conceptions of national heritage.

Keywords:   authority, Bosnia, knowledge production, legitimacy, prayers, Quran recitation, Ramadan, religious instruction, Sarajevo, sermons

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