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Ethical Time of Destiny: Islamic Education and Post-Schooling Life Outcomes of Muslim Girls in Contemporary India


· Shahana Munazir UW Madison (Madison, United States of America)


07/27 | 13:30-13:50 UTC+2/CEST


Often relying on “kismat” or destiny to explain a good or bad life-outcome, invocation of this temporal ethic in India and much of South Asia is often accompanied by a usual sigh and shrug of shoulders, caste-aside as a form of a meaningless verbal hyperbole. In the context of young Muslim girls in Islamic schools in contemporary India, however, this might mean more than a simple shrug. Especially, in the wake of rising socio-political precarity within the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJPs) nationalist discourse in India since 2014, the learning, embodying, and invoking of ethical time in the form of “kismat” opens doors for larger debates on Islam, ethics, temporality, and agency of Muslim women in contemporary India that goes beyond tracing of teleological progression in girls’ lives from being “pious” to a “modern Muslim woman” in-between piety and non-piety. My work will explore how the Islamic ethic of Islamic predestination or the inevitability of the divine taught and embodied through the pedagogy of the Islamic schools intersect with how girls formulate their decision-making using destiny as an invocation of a “determined” future in their everyday life post-schooling. In particular, I explore how this intersection between time and ethics shape girls’ kinship relations of love, care, and health at home and political participation in the public space, as well as how such intersections shape alternate meanings of representation, lived risks, and marginality of such vulnerable populations.