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The sentient human body: The concepts of Niyyat, Tahart and Hal

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Chapter Summary

Although Ramadan is known mainly for fasting, its significance is more profound. Prominent among all the devotional activities are the recitations of the Qurʾan, for which the women meet every morning throughout Ramadan in a ceremony called khatm-e Qurʾan. A set of elaborate codes prescribe and regulate the ways in which Qurʾanic recitations should be performed. In the context of Qurʾanic recitation, the senses allow for participation, so that the recitation itself derives performative force. The idea of meaningful sound of Qurʾanic recitation is based on the widespread belief in the divine origin of the Qurʾan and its 'revelation' to the Prophet in oral form in Arabic. The sight of the verses seemed to reinforce the women's sense of divine presence. Commonly, vision, like sound, is constructed as an active agent.

Keywords: khatm-e Qurʾan ceremony; Qurʾanic recitation; Ramadan



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