The Routledge Handbook on Islam in Asia offers both new and established scholarship on Muslim societies and religious practices across Asia, from a variety of interdisciplinary angles, with chapters covering South, Central, East and Southeast Asia, as well as Africa–Asia connections.

Presenting work grounded in archival, literary, and ethnographic inquiry, contributors to this handbook lend their expertise to paint a picture of Islam as deeply connected to and influenced by Asia, often by-passing or reversing relationships of power and authority that have placed ‘Arab’ Islam in a hierarchically superior position vis-à-vis Asia. This handbook is structured in four parts, each representing an emergent area of inquiry:

  • Frames
  • Authority and authorizing practices
  • Muslim spatialities
  •  Imaginations of piety

Dislodging ingrained assumptions that Asia is at the periphery of Islam – and that Islam is at the periphery of Asia’s cultural matrix – this handbook sets an agenda against the ‘center-periphery’ dichotomy, as well as the syncretism paradigm that has dominated conversations on Islam in Asia. It thus demonstrates possibilities for new scholarly approaches to the study of Islam within the ‘Asian context.’

This ground-breaking handbook is a valuable resource to students and scholars of Asian studies, religious studies, and cultural studies more broadly.

part Part I|77 pages


chapter 1|13 pages

Studying Islam

The view from Asia
ByChiara Formichi

chapter 2|15 pages

Minoritization, racialization, and Islam in Asia

ByIlyse R. Morgenstein Fuerst

chapter 3|20 pages

The five pillars and Indonesia's musical soundscape

ByAnne K. Rasmussen

chapter 4|15 pages

Islam and Sanskritic imaginaires in southern Asia

Mount Meru in Arabia
ByTorsten Tschacher

chapter 5|12 pages

Islamic feminisms in Asia

Trials and tribulations for Muslim women 1
ByHuma Ahmed-Ghosh

part Part II|102 pages

Authority and authorizing practices

chapter 6|13 pages

Eastern African doyens in South Asia

Premodern Islamic intellectual interactions
ByMahmood Kooria

chapter 7|15 pages

The making of Qīz Bībī in Central Asia's oral shrine traditions

From the Great Lady to a fourteen-year-old virgin
ByAziza Shanazarova

chapter 8|16 pages

The Ismailis of Badakhshan

Conversion and narrative in highland Asia
ByDaniel Beben

chapter 9|13 pages

Islamic law in Xinjiang

ByEric Schluessel

chapter 10|16 pages

Major turning points for Shiʿi Islam in modern South Asia

Princely states, partition, and a revolution
BySimon Wolfgang Fuchs

chapter 11|14 pages

Making Islamic finance in South Asia

The state, the seminary, and the business corporation
BySohaib Khan

chapter 12|13 pages

In the halal zones of Malaysia and Singapore 1

ByJohan Fischer

part Part III|86 pages

Muslim spatialities

chapter 13|13 pages

South Asian Shiʿi sacred geography

Tracing ʿAli's footprints
ByKaren G. Ruffle

chapter 14|13 pages

Muslim pilgrimage in Southeast Asia

Saints among the rice fields
BySophia Rose Arjana

chapter 15|16 pages

Ḥaḍramī Sufi-scholars and their shrines in Southeast Asia

A geography of sanctity
ByIsmail Alatas

chapter 16|16 pages

Sacred spaces and the making of Sufism in Sri Lanka 1

Between violence and piety
ByMerin Shobhana Xavier

chapter 17|12 pages

Muslim interactions between Central Asia, China, and Imperial Japan

ByKelly A. Hammond

chapter 18|14 pages

Mosque architecture and decoration in China

ByNancy S. Steinhardt

part Part IV|84 pages

Imaginations of piety

chapter 19|13 pages

Mapping the trajectory of Islam in Chinese terms

Community matters
ByRoberta Tontini

chapter 20|14 pages

The “moral background” of work in Central Asia

The sacred in the mundane
ByJeanine Dağyeli

chapter 21|14 pages

Pious lives of Soviet Muslims

ByEren Tasar

chapter 22|13 pages

Two Deobandi views on being Muslim in India

Indian bodies, Meccan hearts
ByBrannon D. Ingram

chapter 23|12 pages

The Tablighi Jama'at movement in maritime Southeast Asia

Piety in motion
ByFarish A. Noor

chapter 24|16 pages

A tree enrooted

African Sufi saints as “lineage deities” of a Muslim community of East African ancestry in Western India (Gujarat and Mumbai)
ByJazmin Graves