1st Edition

Inter-religious Practices and Saint Veneration in the Muslim World Khidr/Khizr from the Middle East to South Asia

Edited By Michel Boivin, Manoël Pénicaud Copyright 2024
    294 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Inter-religious Practices and Saint Veneration in the Muslim World studies the immortal saint Khidr/Khizr, a mysterious prophet and popular multi-religious figure and Sufi master venerated across the Muslim world.

    Focusing on the religious figure of Khidr/Khizr and the practice of religion from Middle East to South Asia, the chapters offer a multi-disciplinary analysis. The book addresses the plurality in the interpretation of Khizr and underlines the unique character of the figure, whose main characteristics are kept by Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs. Chapters examine vernacular Islamic piety and intercommunal religious practices and highlight the multiples ways through which Khidr/Khizr allows a conversation between different religious cultures. Furthermore, Khidr/Khizr is a most significant case study for deciphering the complex dialectic between the universal and the local. The contributors also argue that Khidr/Khizr played a leading role in the process of translating a religious tradition into the other, in incorporating him through an association with other sacred characters.

    Bringing together the different worship practices in countries with a very different cultural and religious background, the study includes research from the Balkans to the Punjabs in Pakistan and in India. It will be of interest to researchers in History, Anthropology, Sociology, Comparative Religious Studies, History of Religion, Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, South Asian Studies and Southeast European Studies.

    I. Surat 18 – Excerpt on Khidr – Khizr; II. Introduction to Khidr-Khizr: A Figure of Shared Legacy in a World of Religious Boundaries; Michel Boivin and Manoël Pénicaud; III. Mapping Cults of Khidr-Khizr from Middle East to South Asia Part 1. Representations in literature and iconography Ch. 1: The Sage of Inner Knowledge: Al-Khidr in Qur’an, Hadith, and Tafsir, Hugh Talat Halman; Ch. 2: An Enigmatic Figure in Turkish Literature: Hızır (Khidr) and His Identities, Sibel Kocaer; Ch. 3: Mediator of Heaven and Earth: Al-Khidr in the South Asian Environment, Thomas Dähnhardt; Ch. 4: Khwaja Khizr in Iconographic Translation: The Changing Visual Idiom of a Complex Figure from South Asia, Michel Boivin; Ch. 5: Khwaja Khizr in Sindhi Devotional Literature: A Preliminary Survey, Kamran Kumbher Part 2: Places, beliefs and rituals Ch. 6: When Research Turns into a Quest: Ethics in the Narratives of Khidr-Seekers in Contemporary Turkey, Samuel Verley; Ch. 7: Al-Khidhr: A Multifaceted and Ambiguous Figure in the Mediterranean, Manoël Pénicaud; Ch. 8: Cyclical Time, Nature Spirits, and Translation Activities: The Transreligious Role of the Meeting of Khiḍr and Ilyās in the Balkans, Sara Kuehn; Ch. 9: Sharing St. George Al-Khader: Choreographies and Inter-religious Dialogue in Palestine, George Tsourous; Ch. 10: The Al-Khidr conflict: Shared Holy sites as Observatories of the Social Fabric during the Mandate Period (Emirate of Transjordan), Norig Neveu; Ch. 11: The Prophet Xerzr-Elias in Iranian Popular Belief: With Some Slavic Parallels, Anna Krasnowolska; Ch. 12: Lord of the River: An Outline of Khwaja Khizr’s Worship in the Indo-Pak Subcontinent with a Focus on Sindh, Zahida Rehman Jatt; Ch. 13: Spatializing Khwaja Khizr (Jhule Lal) in Punjab, Yogesh Snehi; Index


    Michel Boivin is the former Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris. He is currently a member of the Centre for South Asian and Himalayan Studies (CESAH), previously known as the Centre for South Asian Studies (CEIAS). Historian and anthropologist, he devotes his research to South Asia, especially the Sindhicate area, straddling Pakistan and India, and Director of the Centre for Social Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan. His previous publications include Devotional Islam in South Asia (2015, co-edited with Remy Delage), also published by Routledge.

    Manoël Pénicaud is Research Fellow at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), France. He is also a member of the former Institute of European Mediterranean and Comparative Ethnology (IDEMEC), now renamed as Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology (IDEAS), Aix-Marseille University, France. His research focuses on Pilgrimages Studies, cult of saints, shared holy places, interreligious dialogue, visual anthropology, and museology.