The Taqwacores Background

The Taqwacores Background

The Taqwacores is Michael Muhammad Knight’s first novel, originally published in zines. After being endorsed by different labels and people, the novel was published by Autonomedia. The Taqwacores is a fictional novel that tells of an Islamic punk rock scene. The title comes from the portmanteau of taqwa and Hardcore. Taqwa is the Islamic word for the concept of simultaneous fear and love for Allah. Hardcore is a genre of punk rock.

In The Taqwacores, the narrator is a Pakistani American engineering student who lives with fellow Muslim classmates in New York. He lives in a house with these friends, and this house serves not only as their home but also as a place for them to have Friday prayer without others they are not comfortable with.

The Taqwacores was the first place that publicized the idea of a woman leading prayers, and in 2005, Amina Wadud made history as the first woman who acted as imam during prayer. In addition, the novel caused a documentary to be made called Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam that traced Knight and a few Taqwacore bands all over the US. In addition to telling the story of the small punk Islam communities in New York, The Taqwacores created a new wave of awareness of the Islamic religion.

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