Framing a Modern Umma: The Muslim Brothers' Evolving Project of Da'wa

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This article’s point of departure is that da‘wa – the preaching or call to Islam – rather than jihad constitutes the backbone of modern organized Islamic action. The Society of the Muslim Brothers made it the essence of its mission since its foundation in 1928, turning its main thrust inwards, toward the Muslims themselves. Focusing on its processes of framing within the social movement theory approach, the essay analyzes three generations of Muslim Brothers and related Islamist thinkers in three concentric geographical circles: Banna, the Egyptian founding father, who strove to re-Islamize society of Christian missionary and Western secular materialism; his moderate successors such as Sa‘id Hawwa and Fathi Yakan, who struggled to overcome the double challenge of the ordeal they suffered by the Arab authoritarian regimes and of Sayyid Qutb’s radical response; and the contemporary Islamic thinkers Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Tariq Ramadan, who seek to remold it as a dialogue and example in the Western and global environments. I argue that this resilience of the Muslim Brotherhood’s da‘wa is an important key to its survival and to the viability of its ongoing project of framing the modern umma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-169
Number of pages24
JournalSociology of Islam
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Brotherhoods, Muslim
  • Civilization, Islamic
  • Ummah (Islam)
  • Daʻwah (Islam)
  • Islam -- Missions
  • Arabic language -- Terms -- Jihād
  • Jihad
  • Dialogue (Theology)
  • Globalization -- Religious aspects
  • Islam -- Relations


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