What happens when Muslim women gather together at the mosque to read the Qur'an, learn, and pray? How does family loyalty interact with mosque attendance for women? This book explores the growing Muslim women's piety movement through looking at one women's program in a Syrian suburban mosque. Community models shape individual behavior. The place and power of blessing help define the boundaries between orthodox and popular Islam. Modesty and shame, feasts and fasting, purity and prayer, interact to shape daily life possibilities for women involved in the mosque program. At the same time, the growing accessibility of religious teaching for women allows them to take up new places of authority in the Muslim ummah. Women read the Qur'an not just for blessing, but for what it has to say to issues of daily female and family life. And the words of communal dhikr devotion offer a window into the worshippers' consciousness of God and of Muhammad, Prophet of Islam. This detailed examination of a women's mosque program places it within the wider contemporary movement of piety and da'wa (mission) in Islam, offering an insight into the forces that are shaping communities and countries today. ""It is almost unbearably poignant to read Moyra Dale's description of a vibrant Muslim women's group in Damascus at a time when Syria's tensions pervade the media, and the people she describes have scattered. The vivid and loving description of the women is an important record of imperiled humanity, and the analysis in terms of changing allegiances offers a tool for understanding some of the communal and family dynamics of today's world."" --Ida Glaser, Director of The Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford; Co-author of Thinking Biblically about Islam: Genesis, Transfiguration, Transformation ""This unique case study describes a new memetic ideal as women in a mosque sorority shifted their allegiance from kinship to the mosque as a major locus of identity. That change occurred as they embodied practices and developed their voices as women 'seeking connection with the prophet Muhammad.' Of interest to Islamic scholars and women's studies researchers on communal identity and performative practices, this book makes a timely contribution to a world that needs more nuanced views of Islam."" --Frances S. Adeney, William A. Benfield Professor Emerita of Evangelism and Global Mission, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Moyra Dale has lived and worked for many years in the Middle East, particularly Egypt and Syria. She has been involved in teaching and teacher training in Arabic Adult Literacy, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. She now teaches in Cultural Anthropology and Islam.