This article presents a case study of the Fultoli tradition, an expression of Islam dominant amongst Bangladeshi migrants to the UK, but which in general terms has failed to communicate itself to British-born Muslims. It is also a denominational identity that has been overlooked in academic literature on British Muslims, and regularly mischaracterized. To correct this, the article presents an overview of Fultolir Sahib, the late founder of the tradition, and the theological distinctiveness of his teachings, before considering its movement to Britain. A varied methodological approach is adopted in order to explore the topic, combining a textual exploration of Fultoli sources with qualitative interviews with members of the Fultoli tradition, and also autoethnography drawing upon the authors’ (who were both raised by Fultoli parents) experience of the tradition. The article argues that Fultolir Sahib’s authority is constructed in an idiom that is inaccessible to British-born Muslims and that Fultoli institutions have failed to create leaders capable of preserving the tradition. It concludes that despite the diminishing numbers of Fultolis in Britain, it is still important for academics to recognize their unique role in the landscape of Muslim denominational diversity.
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