In Everyday Conversions Attiya Ahmad explores the experiences of South Asian domestic workers converting to Islam in Kuwait. Tens of thousands of people have converted to Islam over the past twenty years in the Gulf, the majority of them women domestic workers. Such conversions have been examined from two main lenses. Liberal-secular analysis understands conversion as a deliberate endeavor designed to achieve better treatment or remuneration for domestic workers in precarious and highly hierarchical work situations. Muslim reformists attribute the Islamic conversion of domestic workers to the efforts of Daʿwa movements to promote Islamic piety and social reform.

Ahmad’s ethnographic work shifts the analytic focus onto the experiences lived and narrated by domestic workers themselves, showing how the two factors “influence and are configured by everyday gendered experiences” (19). Far from being eventful moments or radical ruptures, Islamic...

You do not currently have access to this content.