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Chapter 1 presents juxtaposed scenes of study and struggle in Medina by the Bay from the 1950s to present-day to consider how Islamic knowledge practices informed and transformed selves and social relations. These scenes are not an exhaustive history; rather, they are demographic, geographic, and affective portals and structures for the following scenes and chapters to move through and against. The chapter puts daʿwa (socioreligious activism and invitation) and taʿlim (teaching/instruction of ʿilm, knowledge and ʿulum, sciences of Islam), and to a lesser degree taʾdib (cultivation of adab), in relation to demonstrate how the ethics and politics of knowledge and survival are intertwined. Personal, communal, and institutional histories evoke a sense of how diverse Muslim ways of knowing and being emerge and how knowledge-practices are often at the center of ensuring the survival of Muslims and Islam.

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