Doing Piety through Care

Embodied Enactments of the Qur’an and Gender Perceptions in Muslim families in Contemporary Denmark


  • Abir Mohamad Ismail Independent Scholar



Qur'an, Embodiment, Performativity, Gender, self-cultivation, care


This article takes the practice of elderly care as a starting place to discuss how Muslim men and women “do” piety when doing elderly care in their everyday lives. It introduces and analyses central passages in the Qur’an and the Hadiths that deal with birr-al- walidayn (filial piety), ‘awra (the intimate body parts that must be covered), and ‘ayb (shame/shamefulness) since they all appear as central concepts in the Islamic tradition of elderly care. With a focus on the embodied enactment of these concepts, the article turns to the analysis of two ethnographic cases to look at how Muslims “do” care for their elderly parents and at the same time strive to embody their sacred text, the Qur’an, and the Hadiths in everyday life. The article aims to show that “doing” elderly care enables a domain of
pious doings that matters to how Muslim men and women perform and understand gender.


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How to Cite

Ismail, A. M. (2023). Doing Piety through Care: Embodied Enactments of the Qur’an and Gender Perceptions in Muslim families in Contemporary Denmark. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 14(1), 177–194.