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.

chapter 1|12 pages

Authority, shrines and spaces

Scrutinizing devotional Islam from South Asia
ByMichel Boivin

part 1|87 pages

Authority and the figures of sainthood

chapter 2|16 pages

Vagrancy and pilgrimage according to the Sufi qalandari path

The illusions of anti-structure
ByAlexandre Papas

chapter 3|16 pages

Qalandars and Ahl-e Haqq

ByMojan Membrado

chapter 4|16 pages

Women [un-]like women

The question of spiritual authority among female fakirs of Sehwan Sharīf 1
ByOmar Kasmani

chapter 5|16 pages

Negotiating religious authority at a shrine inhabited by a living saint

The dargāh of ‘Zinda’ Shāh Madār
ByUte Falasch

chapter 6|21 pages

How discourses and rituals construct figures of holiness

The example of the Indo-Muslim Martyr Ghāzī Miyān (Uttar Pradesh, North India)
ByDelphine Ortis

part 2|90 pages

Shrine and circulation

chapter 9|18 pages

The mother and the other

Tourism and pilgrimage at the shrine of Hiṅglāj Devī/Bībī Nānī in Baluchistan 1
ByJürgen Schaflechner

chapter 10|18 pages

Sacred journeys, worship and reverence

The Sufi legitimation of the ziyārat in Hyderabad
ByMauro Valdinoci