How to Pray in Kazakhstan: The Fortress of the Muslim and Its Readers

Wendell Schwab

Abstract


In this article, I describe the ways that Islamic presses associated with the piety movement attempt to help Kazakhs develop virtues such as patience and faith by publishing a book of supplications called The Fortress of the Muslim.  Members of the piety movement attempt to follow these presses’ instructions and often report that they have become more patient or mindful of God.  Members of Ata Zholy, another Islamic movement in Kazakhstan, learn a different ideology of supplication on pilgrimages where they seek God’s help in conjunction with the blessings of saints.  Members of Ata Zholy use The Fortress of the Muslim in heterogeneous ways, many of which contradict the ideology of the piety movement.  The various tactics that members of Ata Zholy use while reading The Fortress illustrate the ways that readers unassociated with the piety movement in Kazakhstan use the products of a dominant Islamic movement for their own purposes.


Keywords


Islam, prayer, reading, Kazakhstan, de Certeau

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