"For the novice to the field the book serves as a good introduction to the meanings of Islam in the area; for those well-versed in the field of Central Asian studies it is very important reading, not least because of its engagement with theory as well as the broader literature on the wider Islamic world (still rare in the field of Central Asian studies). I find [Rasanayagam's] attempt to bring the material into dialogue with current theoretical discussions on morality within anthropology particularly illuminating ... Scholars and students interested in the anthropology of morality would find his discussions of experience as a moral source most interesting, and scholars interested in religion, politics and ideology would find lots of inspiration in the book as well."
Maria Louw, Contemporary Islam
In recent years, the Uzbekistan government has been criticized for its brutal suppression of its Muslim population. This book, which is based on the author's intimate acquaintance with the region and several years of ethnographic research, is about how Muslims in this part of the world negotiate their religious practices despite the restraints of a stifling authoritarian regime. Fascinatingly, the book also shows how the restrictive atmosphere has actually helped shape the moral context of peoples' lives, and how understandings of what it means to be a Muslim emerge creatively out of lived experience.