Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Jihad: South Asia
(1,078 words)

In South Asia, the dominant feature of women's way of life is known as purdah (Papanek and Minault 1982). This tradition is respected by both Muslim and Hindu women. Strictly observed, purdah can lead to the complete seclusion of women. Despite this, Muslim women, like their male counterparts, recognize two different kinds of jihad: the physical jihād-e asghar and the spiritual jihād-e akbar. As early as the eleventh century, Muslim mystics distinguished the two jihads.

Jihād-e asghar

The jihād-e asghar or “lesser” jihad …

Cite this page
Boivin, Michel, “Jihad: South Asia”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 11 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0098d>
First published online: 2009

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