Muslim Online Prayer in a Sociocultural Context

Author(s) Wael Hegazy
Contact Wael Hegazy, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA. E-mail: wael_hegazy@ucsb.edu
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 14, Iss. 2, 2020, pp. 64-84
Published December 15, 2020
Type Article
Abstract The article argues that the debate over the online prayer is not just an ordinary fatwa issued by religious scholars for the Muslim Ummah, but it rather goes through a complicated process of social, identarian, cultural, authoritative, and transnational caveats. The physicality entailed by this debate over the online prayer shows how the place of worship along with the physical presence in it while performing the prayer is considered as an identity marker, a tool for sustaining the social fiber and the culture of the Muslim community. The article concludes by situating the debate over the online prayer within a broader framework of online religion versus religion online and the impact of the virtualization of rituals on the perception of the religious experience.
Keywords Cyber Islam, distanced Islamic Rituals, Online Islamic Rituals, Online Prayer, Digital Islam, Islamic Response to Covid-19, Online Islam, Virtual Islamic Rituals, and Prayer over Broadcasting