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Sufis & Saints' BodiesMysticism, Corporeality, and Sacred Power in Islam$
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Scott A. Kugle

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830819

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807872772_kugle

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Body Politicized: The Belly of Sayyida Amina

Body Politicized: The Belly of Sayyida Amina

(p.81) 2 Body Politicized: The Belly of Sayyida Amina
Sufis & Saints' Bodies

Scott Kugle

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines not just the architectural presence of dead bodies but also a range of other manifestations: the particular public power of saintly female bodies in the nineteenth century. It explores the belly of women, which it notes is an ambiguous region, defined not by a particular organ but by a cultural concatenation of images. The chapter clarifies that the belly of women is the location of the womb and other organs of reproduction, but through a common cultural logic the womb is also connected to organs of nutrition. It focuses on the belly to gain insights into the life and legacy of a woman saint, Sayyida Āmina bint Ahmad Ibn al-Qādī, who lived in sixteenth-century Fes, in a neighborhood not far from the tomb of Mawlay Idris. The chapter asks how female saints negotiated the patriarchal order of Islamic public space and perhaps reveal something of the limits of that order.

Keywords:   architectural presence, belly, women, organs, reproduction, nutrition, saint, Fes, Mawlay Idris

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