chapter  5
20 Pages

Sunni Concepts of Ritual Purity in a Contemporary Diaspora Context

ByUdo Simon

Being associated with Islamic ritual practices, purity is a notion Muslims are usually quite familiar with. This holds true even for those Muslims whose interest in religion is rather limited as purity is a part of their cultural heritage. In this essay, I fi rst outline the central aspects of ritual purity in Islam and its related issues. In the second part, focussing on the situation in Germany, I shall be looking at some modern sources that are relevant in the process of transferring those concepts of purity to the West. Finally, I shall discuss the role of thematic corridors based on the recognition of a central idea as a point of reference for Muslims in the diaspora. Classical and modern scripts show a remarkable persistence. They form a ‘corridor of rules’ that can serve as a resource for personal decision making and allow the believer a degree of agency and fl exibility that impacts on ritual dynamics.