All of the cases show re-dedication of prayers by Muslims with respect to the environment within a landscape of multiple, even expanding options. One ritual had come to exclude agents of prayer with connection to the natural world, the mythic guardian spirit (who nevertheless still receives his new clothes and offerings every year). Coinciding with expectations that religious intention should become rationalized, the traditional forms of prayer associated with labuhan had been rendered as non-religious “culture,” while their identity as private devotion receded into domains of the inaccessible. As a response to the same event that precipitated social change of the labuhan, another form of prayer in the wake of disaster unexpectedly shifted boundaries of intent to include others (Christians) as purpose was reshaped by abrupt environmental change.
Across the island of Java, devotions for environmental well-being introduced a new object of purpose (“the environment” itself), through forms of dhikr and salawat that nevertheless still conserved outward form. Esoteric theory and practice combined with modern patterns of ritual purpose to support the specificity of such explicitly “environmental” prayer. As I discuss elsewhere, new stakeholders, such as Muslim and non-Muslim NGOs, now seek to extract from Islamic traditions such ritual resources in order to promote environmental care. The conditions that shift landscapes of prayer in this manner also form the contours for pluralistic religious norms of environmentalism that are committed to notions of the traditions of “world religions.” This renders Muslim prayers, now re-dedicated in their intent to be universally and instrumentally “environmental” as globalized performances in our shared era of the Anthropocene.