Based on ethnographic field research, this article explores religious discourses about proper ritual observance in The Gambia, a country where our understanding of processes of Islamization is largely lacking. These discourses centre upon the case of Berekuntu, a shrine guarded by a female saint in the village of Kartong. On the basis of three ‘texts’, the female saint's biographical narrative, a series of sermons delivered by reformist scholars, and a newspaper article based on an interview with the Supreme Islamic Council, the article shows that shrine and saint veneration are not relics of the past, but are part of a lively contemporary dispute about ‘authentic’ Islam and who represents it. While reformist Muslims seem to have conquered the public sphere during the last decade under the influence of President Jammeh's rule, the Sufi understanding of Islam, as embodied by the saint, still enjoys great support among the Gambian population. Although ‘reformists’ and ‘Sufis’ seem at first sight to be diametrically opposed, they sometimes borrow from each other. An analysis of the (re)negotiation of Muslim identities indicates that Islamization is not a single monolithic movement but, rather, a diffuse process happening at different levels.