chapter  1
16 Pages

Introduction

This book offers a view into a growing movement of Islamic revival as it is taking place in the small, historically Hindu kingdom of Nepal on the northern Himalayan edge of the Indian subcontinent. A newly declared secular republic, Nepal presents a rich and highly unique context in which to examine the complex issue of how a Muslim minority population adapts to and claims a place within its non-Islamic environment, as well as in the global umma, at a time of significant social and political change. In recent decades, many of Nepal’s Muslims have become active participants in both a larger global movement of Sunni revival and in Nepal’s own local politics of representation. Through this process, many have developed a heightened sense of religious identity-at both the individual and collective levels-and have begun to cultivate a new piety-driven reform and revival-oriented community.