Muslim Mothering: Local and Global Histories, Theories, and Practices


Price: $34.95

Page Count: 297

Publication Date: June 2016

ISBN: 978-1-77258-021-1

Muslim Mothering is an interdisciplinary volume, concentrating on the experiences of Muslim mothers, largely in the contemporary period. The volume is notable for the global range of its contributors and topics, indicative of the number of Muslim majority national contexts and large and diverse Muslim diaspora of today’s world. While motherhood is highly valued in the sacred texts of Islam, the lived reality of Muslim mothers demonstrates that their lives do not often conform with traditional religious paradigms. For instance, prominent among the themes uniting these essays from diverse global contexts are the challenges facing Muslim mothers to protect and nurture their children in the context of war and militarization.  With ongoing turbulence in the Middle East and subcontinent, many Muslims mothers face the difficulties of rearing children amongst frequent bombings and episodes of violence. Muslim mothers living in the diaspora face other challenges, such as the difficulty of fostering positive Muslim identity as a minority and in a context of Islamophobia. Other contributions discuss the way that Muslim mothers negotiate cultural institutions and practices, such as divorce, adoption/guardianship, post-partum confinement, and societal/religious expectations of procreation. This collection demonstrates the diverse and complex ways that Muslim mothers define and redefine the resources of Islam to negotiate better situations for themselves and their children, revealing how religious identity is a dynamic and vital force in their everyday lives.

“This anthology is a much needed and timely intervention into a widely Islamophobic public imaginary in which Muslim women in general and Muslim mothers in particular are stereotypically understood in the cultural mainstream as victims of religious oppression or villainous terror conspirators. The contributions in this book critically unpack the nuances of the complex agencies of Muslim mothers in an international diaspora of many Muslim communities. The text is academically rigorous, emotionally touching, intellectually challenging, and important as a window into representations and the lived realities of Muslim mothers in a variety of contexts around the world.”
—Rebecca Bromwich, lawyer and faculty member, Carleton University Department of Law and Legal Studies

“ This is a very interesting and timely book. What I like best about this book are the case studies and accounts of women’s agency through Muslim mothering. Their voices are loud and clear through the claiming of their religion and their commitment to good mothering on their terms. The diversity of the case studies covers a wide range of mothering experiences from conflicts to day-to-day lives across a wide range of cultures.”
—Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, San Diego
State University

Muslim Mothering: Local and Global Histories,
Theories, and Practices

Table of Contents


Muslim Mothering: Between Sacred Texts
and Contemporary Practices
Margaret Aziza Pappano and Dana M. Olwan

I: Muslim Mothering Amid War and Violence

Empowered Muslim Mothering:
Navigating War, Border-Crossing, and Activism
in El-Haddad’s Gaza Mom
Nadine Sinno

“God as My Witness”:
Mothering and Militarization in Kashmir
Nouf Bazaz

Mourning Mothers in Iran:
Narratives and Counter-Narratives of
Grievability and Martyrdom
Rachel Fox

II: Remaking Kinship:
Muslim Single Mothers, Adoptive Mothers, and Co-Mothers

Constructing Counter-Narratives of the “Good”
Muslim Mother in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Audrey Mouser Elegbede

Between Blood and Milk, East and West:
Muslim Adoptive Mothering in a Transnational Context
Margaret Aziza Pappano

“Sister Mothers”:
Turkish American Muslim Mothers’ and
Grandmothers’ Networks in Diaspora
Maria F. Curtis

III: Muslim Mothering in the Diaspora

Muslim, Immigrant, and Francophone in Ontario:
A Triple Minoritization or How to See Mothering
as an Integrative Process
Aurélie Lacassagne

Managing the Family, Combatting Violence:
Faith as Resource and Promise of the Good Life in Case Studies
of Migrant Muslim Mothers in Germany
Ulrike Lingen-Ali

A Poetic Inquiry:
Muslim Mothering and Islamophobia
Mehra Shirazi

IV: Reproduction and Maternity in Muslim Societies

Social and Religious Constructions of
Motherhood in Indonesia: Negotiating Expectations
of Childbearing, Family Size, and Governmental Policies
Nina Nurmila

Confinement Practices of Young Malay Muslim Mothers
Fatimah Al-Attas

The Impact of Maternity Beliefs on
Reproductive Health in Muslim Societies
Nazila Isgandarova

V: Muslim Mothering as Academic Inquiry

Theoretical Constructions of Muslim Motherhood
Irene Oh

About the Contributors

M. Aziza Pappano is an Associate Professor of English at Queen’s University.

Dana M. Olwan is an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at Syracuse University.