Pakistani Tablighis, practitioners of a transnational Islamic
piety movement, the Tablighi Jamaat, insist that only their own form
of face-to-face preaching (dawat) is capable of spreading Islamic virtue.
Tablighis dismiss the efforts to spread Islam by a diverse array of
Islamist actors, including political parties, corporations, NGOs, and popular
televangelists. This highlights a central cleavage within the Islamic
revival in Pakistan. While Islamists have adopted a modernist conception
of religion associated with egalitarian individualism, Tablighis
understand dawat to be a religious practice that entails an ethics of
hierarchy in which one becomes virtuous by submitting to the authority
of pious others. In dawat, Tablighis create a hierarchically structured
world of pious sociality against the threat of egalitarian individualism in
liberal and Islamist varieties.