How Long is Life? Neoliberalism and Islamic Piety

Humeira Iqtidar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
495 Downloads (Pure)


How are neoliberal ideas and sensibilities entrenched in vastly different political contexts? The paper explores the enmeshment of neoliberalism with existing ideas and practices in predominantly Muslim societies by focusing on the ideational constellations supported by the pietist, mass proselytizing group, Tablighi Jamaat (TJ), which is the largest organized grouping of Muslims in the world today, and often seen as a model of secularized piety. It presents a brief history of the Tablighi Jamaat to elaborate the context and content of the particular arrangements of ideas that undergird its practices, and discusses an aspect that elide easily with neoliberalism: a vision of personal piety that does not engage with the new mechanisms of power that emanate from the modern state, and which consequently facilitates a naturalization of economic and political inequality. However, a very different conception of time embedded in TJ thought and practice creates significant tensions with neoliberalism and places important limits on this symbiotic relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)790-812
Number of pages23
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


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