Aspects of Maryam Jameelah’s Post-Conversion Understanding of Islam
Maryam Jameelah (1934–2012) was a fourth-generation American-Jewish woman. After embracing Islam, she migrated to and settled in Pakistan. She is generally perceived as a fervent supporter of fundamentalist Islam. Her perception of religion is generally discussed in conjunction with her conversion. This results in finding reasons for her preference for Islam over other religions. However, it is often ignored that after embracing Islam, she lived more than fifty years propagating it. By exploring her published works as well as unpublished manuscripts found in her personal library, this paper shows how under the influence of Muhammad Asad, she presented Islam as a religion and complete civilisation. It is argued that the later years of her life witnessed a shift in her understanding of Islam. Although she is considered a staunch supporter of Jama'at-i Islami, which is generally regarded as an anti-Sufi movement, she shows a great interest in Sufism and Islamic art, which expresses her devotion to what Seyyed Hossein Nasr refers to as the traditional Islam.
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