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Out of Materialistic Ideologies and into the Mosque: The Neutralizing

Power of Spirituality in Leila Aboulela’s Minaret




This paper examines the function of the mosque in Leila Aboulela’s fiction, focusing mainly on Minaret. To realize this goal, the study elucidates the forms of materialism that burden the world of Minaret, demonstrating how this world is pulled between two conflicting material ideologies that paralyze Najwa, the protagonist. The eventual malfunctioning of these two ideological paradigms is gradually neutralized (through Najwa’s experience) by the spiritual power accorded to her through the mosque. Najwa’s spiritual transformation takes place over a long period of being intermittently touched by mystical sparks that make her self-conscious of a deeply buried spiritual space in her personality, which has been detrimentally marginalized by the materialistic ideologies governing her former lifestyle. The mosque’s spiritual function is further stressed in the way Aboulela disconnects the mosque’s spirituality from any physicality. When the mosque is shown to have any spiritual effects, its corporeal value ceases to exist.

Keywords: Leila Aboulela; Minaret; the Mosque; Spirituality; Materialism.

Authors: Haitham Talafha , Abdullah Al-Badarneh , Najah Alzoubi , Motasim Almwajeh

Doi: https://doi.org/10.47012/jjmll.14.2.12


Cited by: Jordan Journal of Modern Languages and Literatures (JJMLL) 2022, 14 (2): 433-453


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