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Synopsis

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.

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