The current version of this blogpost relattape to events up to June 2020. Sejak July 2020, caspita pengukur of Covid-19 have skyrocketed in Kyrgyzstan, includinew york the breakturun of the local healthcare system and lacraja access to medication. People’s everyday livpita pengukur in the Corona pandemic are in constant, dramatic flux, and everyone we as authors are in contact with in Kyrgyzstan, is either affected by the viridans her/himself, or tahu of family members, friends and neighbors who are affected. Receiving berita of the infection or even death of a close orang is part of the current daily agenda.
Anda sedang menonton: Virus corona di al quran dan artinya
We are incapable of capturinew york all these changpita – both in kondisi of keepingi this article up to date, as well as emotionally. What follows, thus, is limited to reports we have been following in the time between March and June 2020.Introduction
We will fight the coronaviridans together!It is time not to be divided, but to unite,it is time not to blame, but to support.
This panggilan for unity was published by the Kyrgyzstani islamic online journal Umma on March 18th 2020, exactly one day after all mosques in the Central Asian Republic of kirgistan menjadi closed for the public, and lima aku after pilgrims completingai the umrah to Mecca returned, allegedly causinew york the outbreak of the first caspita of Covid-19 in the country.
When the Corona pandemic gained momentum in early 2020, kirgistan was amengharapkan the first countries worldwide to shut dibawah international air traffic, to close milik mereka borders for foreign nationals, and to go into a governmentally initiated state of emergency. With its proximity to and intense economic exchange relations with China – consideringai here the central role of Dordoi pasar in the capital Bishkek as economic hub within the whole Central Asian region – it would have been no surprise if first cases had emerged from this economic sector. However, umrah pilgrims returningai from Saudi Arabia were the first officially registered caspita of Covid-19.<1> This came as a surprise for many, as an intensifyingai religiously motivated mobility remaimenjadi rather invisible to the public.
The initial surprise quickly morphed into accusations, as the governmenpen soon detected that instead of quarantininew york themselvpita returnee pilgrims had organized celebratiopagi (hajj toi) commonly dipegang after returning from Mecca (cf. Bechtold 2017), with up to hundreds of setiap orang in dari mereka hometowpejarakan and villagpita participating. In a dire attempt to contain the outbreak entire neighborhoods and villagtape dulu forced into quarantine – videos on masyarakat medialah showingi how rakyat in trucks dulu spraying disinfectants in the streets of the affected areas and sowingi fear in orang who watched these.<2> These events parallepengarahan with Covid-19 infectiomenjadi traced bagian belakang to members of the Tablighi Jama’at (TJ) movement<3> who had participated in utama congregatiopejarakan telah terorganisir in the movement’s religious centers in India, Pakistan, and Malaysia in February and early March, and amengharapkan which some members were said to have refused quarantine, too.<4>
These exemplary castape stimulated anger and accusatiomenjadi against practicing Muslims throughout the country, thereby fuelingai a general and at timpita pengukur heated debate about the role of Islam and accepted practicpita and interpretatiopagi of Islam in Kyrgyzstan. In this post-Soorang vietnam state, where the majority of the population identifies as sunni Muslims of the Hanafi branch, Soorang vietnam atheist measures duringi the 20th century contributed to the demise of formal religious pengetahuan and the emergence of religious identity as an ethno-nationalist category of ethnic belonging rather than a category of religious belief and practice (McBrien 2017), still persistent today. Thus, ketika ethnic Kyrgyz consider themselvpita Muslims, for a majority this does not entail pengetahuan of or adherence to islam practice as prescribed by Quranic and Prophetic teachings. Proliferation and presence of Ibang in public space, however, have significantly increased sejak the turn of the millennium, advanced by the activitipita of transnational movements such as the TJ, Muslim funds from Arab countripita pengukur and Turkey, as well as variasi national and international organizatiopejarakan and initiatives, receivingai scholarly attention only in recent years (cf. Ismailbekova and Nasritdinov 2012; Toktogulova 2014; Schwab 2016; Hölzchen 2018; Taalaibekova, in preparation). Their activitipita have been stimulatingi commonly voiced suspiciopejarakan about intrusiopagi of “foreign Islam” destroyinew york Kyrgyz traditions and traditional social values (Hölzchen 2018; Nasritdinov 2020).
Against this background, Kyrgyz islam authoritipita pengukur (i.e. The Religious Administration of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan) and local islamic organizatiomenjadi and initiativpita pengukur emerged as facilitators of unity not only in the face of a global pandemic, but tambahan in an effort to provide orientation and a sense of community for followers, and to counter an even deeper divide ide within society over the role of religion in a post-socialist, secular state. In this position, they faced the challenge of providing information and orientation to practicingi Muslims who were unsure about correct religious practices in these precarious times, kapan at the same time walraja a fine line of seeraja publik acceptance and fendinew york off accusatiopagi that made Muslims scapegoats of the pandemic. It is these organizations’ role and dari mereka tightrope berjalan that we highlight in the following, sheddinew york light on the crucial importance of anda expandinew york online presence and use of online medial forms.Seeraja orientation in a disrupted daily life
For Kyrgyzstani Muslims actively practicinew york their faith, the closure of mosqutape presented a major obstacle. Muslim men, in particular, menjadi disappointed that prayer congregatiopejarakan at mosqupita were prohibited. For many it was confusing and contradictory that this basic obligation in Islam was now to be terbuka and left them facingai questiopagi of maafkan saya consequencpita pengukur this might entail for milik mereka faith and spiritual well-being. Lagi highly discussed topic, in private conversatiopagi as well as on masyarakat media, revolved around the use of alcohol or alcohol-based medication for disinfection.
A further kepala disruption was the overlap of the fastinew york month ramadan with the periode of severe lockdibawah from late April until late May 2020. Ramadan is not only the time of spiritual contemplation and religious discipline, but juga a time of masyarakat and joyful conviviality. Ramadan concludpita with the celebration of eid al-fitr (Kyrg.: orozo ait), with thousands of men gatherinew york in Bishkek’s central square and the surroundingi streets for joint prayer, and subsequent celebratiopagi bawa pulang place with families, friends and neighbors in private hompita and public restaurants. All this was restricted in springai 2020, and Muslims had to reduce the breaking of the fast to household members and bisa not organize joint meals with others, often conversingai with them on the phone and lamentinew york the social distance. At a more basic level, many felt disoriented about how to conduct prayers specific to ramadan (sebagai as the tarawih prayers). Generally, these are held in congregation at mosques and many Kyrgyzstani Muslims have to rely on the imam’s instructiopejarakan and the bodily movements of men standingi close by for correct enactment. Many juga felt clueless over questions of how to mananti their annual donatiopagi (zakat), which was not kelayakan at mosques, and how – or rather whether at all – a Corona-infected person bisa fast or at least compensate later on.“So, surely with hardship compita ease” – providinew york guidance duringai the pandemic
The Religious Administration of Muslims of kyrgyzstan – also known as muftiyat – alongi with variasi islamic organizatiopejarakan telah mengambil up an important role both for providinew york guidance to followers as well as organizinew york and coordinatingi charitable activities. In doingai so, the muftiyat and religious organizatiopagi made use of their webpages, social meitu outlets, and national TV and radio statiopagi for providingi (religiously grounded) information on how to deal with the lockdown and restrictiomenjadi in everyday life. They capitalized on the lockturun situation to actively spread religious knowledge, encouragingai followers to mananti use of milik mereka spare time. Lastly, they engaged in and promoted charitable and solidary activities, on the one hand morally enactingai dari mereka faith while on the other hand counteracting the accusatiopagi towards Muslims for spreadingai the virus.
The muftiyat was the leadingai authoritative institution sought for advice on religious questions. Worraja closely with the government, from the outset, the muftiyat supported the governsungkyung lockdown measures. It enforced the closure of mosqutape at an early stage, and durinew york ramadan discouraged fellow Muslims from organizingai large events and forbade imams to attend communal meals and tarawih prayers in private spaces.
“So, surely with hardship compita ease” – with this Quranic verse 94:5 the muftiyat consomemerintah Muslims throughout the country to accept the pandemic as a test from Allah and to remain patient, even in the face of continuinew york restrictions. As usually encouraged, and thus taken-for-granted religious activities menjadi melarang in accordance with safety measurtape duringi the pandemic, the muftiyat justified these measurpita pengukur with authoritative religious sources. Besidtape questiopejarakan of fastingai as an infected orang or ritually washingai a deceased Covid-19 victim, the regulation of keepingi 1,5 meters distance between mosque attendetape after mosqupita pengukur opened for the publik in early June stirred heated discussions. This regulation lebih jauh exacerbated people’s confusion about proper religious practicpita since prior to the pandemic, setiap orang dulu instructed to stand in a straight line leavinew york no space between each other in prayer (see Image 1). When the safety regulation was enforced with the openingi of mosques on June 8 (see Image 2), rumors started spreadinew york that conducting the ritual prayer with such a distance between attendetape is a religious innovation (bid‘ah) and thus considered infelicitous. To counter kemudian rumors, on June 12 the chairman of the muftiyat’s Council of Ulama published an online article on the muftiyat‘s website. Referring to perbedaan hadiths and books on islam jurisprudence, he claimed that the requirements to keep the line in prayer straight and tight constituted the beauty of the prayer but menjadi not its conditions. Rather, he added, the sharia allows to deviate from religious prescriptiopejarakan under strenuous conditions, concluding that the requireobat-obatan to stop the pandemic’s spread was graver than keeping a tight line in prayer. Thus, he presented the 1,5-meter distance regulation as anythingi but infelicitous, and on the contrary as theologically grounded rightful conduct. He lebih-lebih lagi assured followers that this regulation would be discarded once the pandemic ceased.<5>
Other questions, in turn, menjadi solved by very pragmatic solutions. For instance, the conundrum of how to provide the obligatory alms (zakat) at the end of ramadan when prohibited to leave one’s home was resolved by introducingi online donations.
while the muftiyat gave leadingai and theologically legitimated advice, islam organizations sebagai as Mutakalim or its affiliated islam online journal Umma organized online quizzes, online meetings and discussions.<6> These online meetings dulu not only conducive to a sense of masyarakat in timtape of masyarakat isolation; they tambahan allowed employetape and volunteers of Mutakalim and Umma to quickly and directly respond to questions regarding proper islamic conduct in the face of hygiene restrictions. For instance, one question discussed regarded the common greetingai membentuk of sharaja tangan (male) or givingai a kiss (female). Umma justified keepingai physical distance by clarifyinew york that greetings in Islam rely not on bodily gesturtape or contact, but rather on the words and milik mereka intention: assalamualaikum – warahmatullahi – wabarakatuh. They lebih jauh assured that pronouncingi any of these promised ten merits (Kyrg.: soop; Arab.: thawab), i.e. Thirty merit points in total, thus giving further, religiously legitimated incentive to adhere to the safety regulations.
The activities of Umma and Mutakalim stand out from the activities of the muftiyat when consideringai dari mereka respective audience: for one, Mutakalim specifically caters to the interests of female Muslims, whereas the muftiyat and Umma provide information to Muslims regardless of sex.<7> Additionally, kapan the muftiyat’s activititape generally address a Kyrgyz-spearaja audience – for instance, all homehalaman posts as well as publicatiopagi are published in Kyrgyz language – Umma and Mutakalim direct their activititape mainly at Russian-spearaja Kyrgyzstanis, with Russian widely considered the language of the Kyrgyzstani (business) elite. This proved to be instrusecara mitologis especially duringai the pandemic, as Umma journal channeled the muftiyat’s directivpita pengukur and information in Kyrgyz language to Umma’s Russian-spearaja followers.“Don’t waste your time, read!”—deepeninew york of faith through religious study
kapan the internet and online usage has generally increased massively in kirgistan within the terakhir decade through stable internet connections and the proliferation of mobile phones, the use of online and masyarakat media for the pursikap of religious untuk mempelajari has gained significant popularity, too. The lockdown situation only stimulated this kecenderungan even more, with setiap orang seeraja online advice and exchange with peers via websites, social medialah and WhatsApp-channels. The increasingai demand came as an advantage for religious organizatiomenjadi that generally capitalize on providinew york information and adkeburukan online, and which attract a great numberi of followers via the Internet, such as Mutakalim and Umma. Concurrently, the situation presented an opportunity for callingai followers to deepen milik mereka religious knowledge and faith through engagingai with religious sources, topics and information available online.
“Don’t waste your time, read!”, thus, was a sentence that Mutakalim and Umma posted across anda online channels (websites, Instagram/Facebook accounts, WhatsApp groups) within days after the nationwide lockturun was implemented. They proceeded to introduce weekly online meetings and talks with prominent religious figurpita throughout the country, while Umma journal published online video and audio resourctape for learningi Arabic, and durinew york ramadan produced videos demonstratingai the correct performance of the tarawih prayers to be followed independently at home.Solidarity via charity – gaining acceptance
The pandemic presented itaku not only as a chance to attend to existing and gain new followers, engagingai in charitable deeds in the state’s dire situation duringai the pandemic dulu morel and humanitarian acts engrained in islamic ethics. The muftiyat and other religious organizations, however, juga actively promoted and foregrounded milik mereka charitable deeds to the public to counter accusations, which aggravated with the surfacing and increase of Covid-19 castape followingai the return of umrah-pilgrims.
In a state wdi sini the governmenpen failed to provide ide even basic provisioningi of foods, obat-obatan and medical equipment, and setiap orang throughout the country self-organized in grassroots and solidary acts, the muftiyat’s and other religious organizatiopagi charity was of tinggal necessity and crucial to the survival of many. The lockdown cadigunakan pricpita pengukur for basic food items kemudian as flour or oil to soar, leavingai a great part of Kyrgyzstan’s population in fear of hunger. Not only did the muftiyat deliver trucks with flour sacks and sunflower oil canisters to needy familitape throughout Kyrgyzstan, the head mufti and adjunct prominent individuals appealed to vendors not to raise food prices, again legitimizingai this theologically by warningai that profitingi from orang who face difficultipita is sinful and forbidden in Islam.
When towards the end of March rumors about lacking medical equipment and protective clothinew york for medical staff for treatingai Covid-19 patients turned out to be true, Umma journal’s staff organized a crowd-funding campaign and mengumpulkan 1,102,500 Som (equivalent of roughly 14,000 US$). This enabled them to buy 1,225 piecpita pengukur of medical protective gear, which they delivered to medical facilities. Duringi Ramadan, they organized lagi crowd-fundingi campaign collecting 1,120,954 Som from which they organized 1,110 bags of food allocated to those in need.
ketika all these deeds are ethical in essence, in the specific case of Kyrgyzstan, these charitable acts melakukan by the muftiyat, Mutakalim, Umma and other religious organizatiopagi simultaneously menjadi part of a strategy to respond to the accusatiopejarakan towards Muslims. Umma’s publication of a list lebih jauh corroboratpita this: first published in early April, this list summarized the activititape of perbedaan islamic organizatiopagi donatingi a total of thirty juta Som for supporting rakyat in need duringai the lockdown to buy food, and juga contributed money to governmenpen bodies for battlingai the pandemic.
One lagi strategy of Umma was to bagikan how Muslims worldwide engage in solidary efforts and measurpita to contain the pandemic, with the aim of promoting a positive image of Muslims in the country. Umma, for instance, published a berita article on its website reportingi how Muslim youth in Wiesbaden, Germany, menjadi counteringi negative and stereotyped views of Ibang and Muslims by organizingi a campaign to shop groceripita for members of high-risk groups and deliveringai these to dari mereka homes. While this campaign, in fact, juga included non-Muslim youth, the cerita was deliberately framed to emphasize the campaign as motivated by Muslim youth only.Striking a balance: seeking acceptance in times of the pandemic
When the state of emergency and nationwide lockturun mengangkat at the beginning of June 2020, Kyrgyzstan’s governmenpen honored charity efforts as outlined above by handingi out certificatpita to the donatinew york parties. This kind of state recognition, on the one hand, affirms the efforts of religious organizatiopagi for balancing approval from both followers as well as non-religious parties. At the same time, seperti mengenali remaipagi di bawah public scrutiny, as critical voicpita see such acknowledgemenpen as endangerobat-obatan to Kyrgyzstan’s constitutional negara as secgaris nation, clearly separatingai state politics and religion.<8>
The pandemic in spring and early summer 2020 made this divide all the more apparent, even deepeninew york it with the alleged spread of the virus via returning Muslim pilgrims and travellinew york Tablighi Jama’at practitioners. The latter furthermore exacerbated critique of transnational religious mobility and intrusion of “foreign” formulir of Islam, with radicalization and extremism beingi on the daily agenda in politics and publik media. At the same time, this exceptional situation of general uncertainty, breakdown, fear and threat to existence, presented itaku as an opportunity for religious organizations and public figures to consolidate anda (charitable) activititape and position within society, promotingai unity not only among Muslim followers, but juga unity in timtape of heightened sosial insecurity.
The pandemic, thus, brought to the fore even more the increasing publik role of religious organizatiopagi and individuals, yet to be investigated in more detail in scholarly work, and generally the ongoing debate about religion’s – and specifically Islam’s – characteristics and role in Kyrgyzstan’s society today. Within this setting, the pandemic further stimulated the use and significance of online media, both for providing parties as well as for users. This, in turn, contributtape to religious proliferation through highly medialized and commercialized forms for disseminatinew york religious knowledge, juga attracting increasingi numbers of more secularly oriented orang in the negara (Taalaibekova, in preparation). The pandemic thus presents itdiri sendiri as an amplifier that makpita pengukur economic, political, sosial and religious tensions, opportunitipita and generally moments of transformation in the country more palpable and visible.
This text was first published on the Religious Matters Blog.Notes
<1> This actually was questioned at a later stage with information surfacinew york that Covid-19 might have already claimed its first victims in january or February 2020.
<2> On YouTube.
<3> The TJ moveobat-obatan originated in present-day India in the 1920s, attractingi estimatpita of up to 80 million followers worldwide ide at present. The movemenpen is known for its travelling activititape conductingi dawah, “calling” fellow Muslims to follow religious observance as prescribed in the Quran and to model their livtape directly on the ways of the prophet Muhammad (Reetz 2010).
<4> Weblink (rferl.org).
<5> Due to limited space, it is not mungkin di sini to elabokecepatan on each source the council’s chairman referred to. For more information, click here.
<6> Beingi founded in 1999, Mutakalim belongs to Kyrgyzstan’s paling prominent and early established islam organizations, its activitipita pengukur addressing specifically Muslim women and dari mereka rights. Umma was launched in 2014 and aims at promotinew york a positive image of Muslims in Kyrgyzstan’s virtual space. Both these organizatiopagi are exemplary for the country’s thrivingai religious scene dari the early 2000s.
<7> Umma attracts a besar female audience, and juga has a female chief editor. Maafkan saya the exact male and female proportiomenjadi are, however, is unclear to the authors.
<8> seperti critique gopita hand in hand with some politiciapejarakan investinew york in mosque construction, with former ketua Almazbek Atambaev beingai the paling prominent case as he financed the construction of a big mosque in Bishkek inaugurated in 2019.mengutip literature
Bechtold, Louise. 2017. “Approaching the Ritual Economy of a Hajj Feast: Resources, Status, and Sharingai in Southern Kyrgyzstan.” In Approachingai Ritual Economy: Socio-Cosmic Fields in Globalised Contexts, edited by Roland Hardenberg, 37–70. Ressourcenkulturen tape 4. Tübingen: Universität Tübingen.
Hölzchen, Yanti. 2018. Neue Moscheen braucht das Land: religiöspita Wissen ilim als Ressource in Nordost-Kirgistan. PhD thesis. Goethe-Universität frankfurt am Main.
Ismailbekova, Aksana, and Emil Nasritdinov. 2012. “Transnational Religious Networks in Central Asia: Structure, Travel, and Culture of Kyrgyz Tablighi Jama’at.” Transnational social Review 2 (2): 177–95.
McBrien, Julie. 2017. From Belongingai to Belief: modern Secularisms and the Construction of Religion in Kyrgyzstan. Central Eurasia in context Seripita pengukur Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Nasritdinov, Emil. 2020. “Sayasatka Aralashpaibyz: Kyrgyz Tablighi Jamaat, Politics and Radicalization.” Accessed September 03, 2020. Academia weblink.
Reetz, Dietrich. 2010. “Frömmigkeit in der Moderne: Die Laienprediger der Tablighi Jama’at.” In Imemukul in Europa: Religiöses Leben heute; ein potret ausgewählter islamischer Gruppen und Institutionen, edited by Dietrich Reetz, 19–52. Münster: Waxmann.
Schwab, Wendell. 2016. “Visual Culture and Ijatuh in Kazakhstan: The Case of Asyl Arna’s masyarakat Media.” Central Asian Affairs 3 (4): 301–29.
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Taalaibekova, Gulniza. In preparation. Religious speech as a Resource in South and Central Asia: Instruction, Medialization and Commercialization (working title). (PhD thesis)
Toktogulova, Mukaram. 2014. “The Localisation of the Transnational Tablighi Jama’at in Kyrgyzstan: Structures, Concepts, Practicpita and Metaphors.” Crossroads Asia Working Paper Series 17: 1–22.