The revival of sacred sites in the Urals: The local and beyond
The Islamic revival in the Ural region does not only translate into an increase in mosques and institutions of religious education (madrasas), such as the newly built Rasulev madrasa, named after the well-known Sufi sheikh or ishan Zaynulla Rasulev (1833–1917), in the city of Troitsk. Sacred sites are also places where one can witness a renewed religious activity. The observation of sacred sites in the Ural region helps approach the question of how a local Islam, inscribed into a particular territorial sacred geography, shows a capacity to create multiple connections, sometimes with far-away places in the Muslim world. The interconnection between the ‘local’ and the ‘transnational’ in these places helps problematise the conventional dichotomy, which one often encounters in the post-Soviet space between a local, ‘ethnic’, Islam and a universalist, ‘foreign’, Islam.