Spiritual Authority and Religious Introspection among Muslim Migrants in Western Siberia
This article concerns the Islamic community in contemporary Russia and the dynamic identities of Muslim migrants there. The focus of this study is the religious and wider social practices of those Muslim migrants who are considered leaders of local micro-communities, enjoy respect within their religious community, and have steadfast religious authority within their circles. These practices are considered in their local religious and migrant contexts through the prism of such concepts as religious individualism, everyday lived Islam, and tactical religion. The author shows multiple ties that emerge between the region’s Muslims, specifically between unofficial local leaders, and other believers who need this authority to elaborate their everyday Muslim practices in the context of migration and the authority crisis in Russian Islam. This study emphasizes the importance of the everyday in the formation of individual religiosity and shows how a local Muslim environment builds up around certain key figures outside the mosque.