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5 - Fatima’s Apparition

Power Relations within Female Ritual Spaces

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 January 2022

Yafa Shanneik
Affiliation:
University of Birmingham
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Summary

The chapter examines the historical theological and hagiographical as well as contemporary portrayal of the figure of Fatima. It analyzes the significance of Fatima’s presence in women-only majalis in the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and Kuwait and to what extent her images and roles support women’s agency and contribute to the attainment of eschatological gender equality within Shi‘i ritual practices. Fatima is believed to be spiritually and, in some cases, physically present during commemoration ritual practices held by Shi‘i believers remembering the death of her son Imam Husayn. Fatima’s apparitions and other miraculous events during majalis are linked to the transformation of women’s empowerment within their communities. This is in addition to women’s recent increasing contribution to Shi‘i ritual practices, particularly those that traditionally have been regarded as male-dominated practices. Fatima’s apparitions are seen as a divine intervention in support of women’s transgression of these specific patriarchal religious boundaries. Women’s apparition narratives are instrumental in overcoming gender inequality in the performance of religious practices. Women’s claims for their right to participate in certain Shi‘i ritual practices is strengthened and, to a certain extent, legitimized through Fatima’s appearances.

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The Art of Resistance in Islam
The Performance of Politics among Shi'i Women in the Middle East and Beyond
, pp. 153 - 175
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Fatima’s Apparition
  • Yafa Shanneik, University of Birmingham
  • Book: The Art of Resistance in Islam
  • Online publication: 06 January 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009030335.007
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  • Fatima’s Apparition
  • Yafa Shanneik, University of Birmingham
  • Book: The Art of Resistance in Islam
  • Online publication: 06 January 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009030335.007
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Fatima’s Apparition
  • Yafa Shanneik, University of Birmingham
  • Book: The Art of Resistance in Islam
  • Online publication: 06 January 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009030335.007
Available formats
×