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Mr Riyaz Timol 

  • Overview
Position:PhD Religious and Theological Studies

Academic History

1:1 BA (Hons) English Literary Studies, 2004, University of Central Lancashire (awarded prize for best dissertation)

PhD Research

Working Title: An ethnography of Tablighi Jama'at in the UK.

Funded by the Jameel Scholarship Programme.

I am in the final year of my PhD at the Islam-UK Centre and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here; since joining in 2012 I have particularly benefited from the Centre’s emphasis on sociological and anthropological methodology.  My research focusses on a ubiquitous yet under-researched aspect of British Muslim life: the Tablighi Jama’at (TJ).  Utilising the classical ethnographic techniques of participant observation and semi-structured interviews, I have conducted extensive fieldwork with British TJ over the past year.  My work builds upon extant academic scholarship to examine the ways in which second and third generation British-born Muslims, raised in predominantly secular cultural milieux, appropriate and indigenise the movement in modern contexts.  Looked at through a complex prism of identity, diaspora, transnationalism and secularity, my work seeks to enhance public understanding of the ways in which religion evolves in contemporary societies and how historical reform movements, developed under colonial rule, continue to animate Muslim communities inhabiting ambivalent postcolonial spaces.  

Start Date: October 2012

First Supervisor: Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray
Second Supervisor: Dr Mansur Ali


Timol, Riyaz. 2013. “Commentary on the Eleventh Contentions” by Abdal Hakim Murad, for the Muslim World Book Review 34(1), pp. 28-30

Timol, Riyaz. 2014. "Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Ali Nadwi: His Life & Works" by Mohammad Akram Nadwi, book review in Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations no. 25 (4):538-540.

Timol, Riyaz. 2014. “Missionary Impositions: Conversion, Resistance and Other Challenges to Objectivity in Religious Ethnography” by Hillary K. Crane and Deana L. Weibel (eds), book review in Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Timol, Riyaz. 2015. “Islam, Youth, and Modernity in the Gambia: The Tablighi Jama’at” by Marloes Janson for the Muslim World Book Review (forthcoming).

Additional Information

Conference Organiser (with Abdul-Azim Ahmed): ‘INSIDE OUT: Reflexivity and Methodology in Research with British Muslims’ in association with the Muslims in Britain Research Network, September 10 2014 at Cardiff University.

2014-2015 Seminar tutor: RT1111 Introduction to the Study of Religion.

Areas of interest

Muslims in Britain, Ethnography of Religion, Post-Secular Theory, Contemporary Movements and Trends in Islam, Postcolonialism, Diaspora and Transnationalism, British Muslim identity, Islam and Modernity, Islam in Europe.