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Remaking Muslim LivesEveryday Islam in Postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina$
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David Henig

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043291

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043291.001.0001

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Praying and Witnessing

Praying and Witnessing

(p.109) 5 Praying and Witnessing
Remaking Muslim Lives

David Henig

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the role of prayer (dova) in Muslim life. The act of prayer belongs to the villagers’ repertoires of vital exchange whereby blessing, prosperity, and vitality are accessed, and relations between life and the afterlife, and between the living, the dead, and the divine are maintained and cultivated. Prayer is thus crucial in villagers’ temporal orientations toward the past, present, and the future. The chapter focuses on two major forms of prayer. First, it explores how prayer is deployed to address matters here and now, and/or prospectively by introducing examples of Islamic healing, and dream visions and divination. Second, it analyzes how acts of prayer intersect with and shape the ethics of memory. It shows how the idiom of dova provides village Muslims with a vocabulary with which to engage with the critical events of the past and becomes a mode of historical experience. Specifically, it focuses on how prayer is performed by the living for the souls of the dead, including war martyrs from the 1992-95 war, as well as from the Ottoman era.

Keywords:   commemoration, dreams, fortune, historicity, martyrdom, misfortune, politics of memory, prayer, prayers for rain, sorcery

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