Piety, Authority and “Popular Ijtihad” in the Online Space of Russian Muslims during the Pandemic

This article examines the first reactions of the Russian Muslim com‑ munity in the social networks to the spread of the coronavirus (mostly February‑May 2020). We turn to the concepts of authority and legitimacy; the ideas of Brian Turner on the performative role of in‑ formation technology for the institution of religious authority; Gary Bunt’s discussion of the democratization of Islamic knowledge in the online environment; Olivier Roy’s concept of individualization of Islam; and Peter Mandaville’s idea of decentralization of power in the Islamic tradition.

“Islamic Reformation”: Positive Project or Artificial Concept?

Today the concept of “Islamic Reformation” acts as a universal framework for a large number of research projects within the field of Islamic and Muslim studies. This theory, mediated by Western modernization theory, claims a comprehensive understanding of Islamic reality and thus attracts many researchers. However, this universality results in a lack of attention to some important areas, which stimulates criticism from experts on Islam.