The Muslim shrine is at the crossroad of many processes involving society and culture. It is the place where a saint – often a Sufi - is buried, and it works as a main social factor, with the power of integrating or rejecting people and groups, and as a mirror reflecting the intricacies of a society.
The book discusses the role of popular Islam in structuring individual and collective identities in contemporary South Asia. It identifies similarities and differences between the worship of saints and the pattern of religious attendance to tombs and mausoleums in South Asian Sufism and Shi`ism. Inspired by new advances in the field of ritual and pilgrimage studies, the book demonstrates that religious gatherings are spaces of negotiation and redefinitions of religious identity and of the notion of sainthood. Drawing from a large corpus of vernacular and colonial sources, as well as the register of popular literature and ethnographic observation, the authors describe how religious identities are co-constructed through the management of rituals, and are constantly renegotiated through discourses and religious practices.
By enabling students, researchers and academics to critically understand the complexity of religious places within the world of popular and devotional Islam, this geographical re-mapping of Muslim religious gatherings in contemporary South Asia contributes to a new understanding of South Asian and Islamic Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Authority, Shrines and Spaces: Scrutinizing Devotional Islam from South Asia, Michel Boivin Part I: Authority and the Figures of Sainthood 2. Vagrancy and pilgrimage according to the Sufi Qalandari path: The illusions of anti-structure, Alexandre Papas 3. Qalandars and Ahl-e Haqq, Mojan Membrado 4. Woman [Un] like Woman: The question of spiritual authority among female fakirs of Sehwan Sharīf, Omar Kasmani 5. Negotiating Religious Authority at a Shrine Inhabited by a Living Saint – The dargāh of "Zinda” Shāh Madār, Ute Falasch 6. How Discourses Construct Figures of Holiness: The Example of the Indo-Muslim Martyr Ghāzī Miyān (Uttar Pradesh, North India), Delphine Ortis Part II: Shrine and Circulation 7. Meditative Practice, aesthetics and entertainment Music in an Indian Sufi shrine, Mikko Viitamäki 8. Evolution of the Chishtī Shrine and the Chishtīs in Pakpattan (Pakistan), Muhammad Mubeen 9. The Mother and the Other. Tourism and pilgrimage at the shrine of Hinglāj Devī/Bībī Nānī in Baluchistan, Jürgen Schaflechner 10. Sacred Journeys, Worship and reverence: The Sufi legitimation of the ziyarat in Hyderabad, Mauro Valdinoci 11. An ambiguous and contentious politicization of Sufi shrines and pilgrimages in Pakistan, Alix Philippon
Michel Boivin is Director of Research at French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and member of the Centre for South Aslan Studies at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), France.
Remy Delage is Research Fellow at French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), France, and Associate Researcher at the French Institute of Pondicherry in India.