Muslimist Religious Temperaments

  • Neslihan Cevik


While in Istanbul meeting with the sector chairs of MUSIAD, I visited the car dealership of Ersin, one of the sector chairs. The company sells both new and used cars, ranging from luxury to inexpensive cars. It provides installment sales by which a car can be bought through monthly payments, without paying interest (usury). The company also sells auto insurance (kasko). Ersin told me that when he first entered into the car business, many warned him that both insurance and auto credits were haram. One day, a person from Iskender Pasha tarikat (religious order)—to which Ersin was an adherent in college—visited the dealership to buy a car and asked for a 36-month installment plan. Ersin says:

I accepted the offer, but informed this person that he also had to purchase insurance. He said, ‘Insurance is haram, I won’t buy insurance, but give me the car’ … I sold him the car. Three weeks later, I received another call from the same person. He told me he got in a bad accident; the car was in bad shape. He said, ‘Can you give me insurance now?’ I said, ‘No! I can’t, insurance is haram!’


Religious Action Religious Community Muslim Woman Religious Identity Global Orientation 
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  1. 2.
    For more on sources of identity in modernity, see Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    The Hayat College’s character program is comparable to the “character-education movement” in the US, which was highly popular in the mid-1980s. For example, in 1984, some public schools in Baltimore County, Maryland, agreed to teach some common core values, which included compassion, integrity, honesty, responsibility, and self-respect—values Muslimists also see as core to children’s education. See James D. Hunter, The Death of Character: Moral Education in an Age without Good or Evil (New York: Basic Books, 2000), 208.Google Scholar

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© Neslihan Cevik 2016

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  • Neslihan Cevik

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