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'I Discovered I Love to Pray Alone’: Nonconformist Muslim Women’s Approaches to Practicing Islam during the ‘Lockdown Ramadan of 2020′


Abstract for Online Program Book (maximum 1200 characters including spaces)

Practices devised to limit the spread of the coronavirus have changed the way many people do religion. Practices from the margins' in particular, attending online mosques and prayer groups, using online religious resources, or praying alone only, have suddenly become commonplace. Based on 38 open-ended online surveys distributed among 'nonconformist' Muslim women living chiefly in the USA and the UK (with single respondents in six other countries), this paper employs the framework of lived religion. Our analysis evidences the existence of four narratives that reflect fluctuations in the intensity and type of religious practice. They demonstrate the ambivalence inherent in lived religion, whereby the ideal of rigorous striving for purity is always confronted with often contradictory requirements of present circumstances. The manifold manifestations of the lived religion captured in this study support the call for incorporation of a wider array of Muslim identities in the study of Islam.