Chapter

Introduction Ambiguity

Carla Bellamy

in The Powerful Ephemeral

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780520262805
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950450 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520262805.003.0001
Introduction Ambiguity

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This introductory chapter discusses Husain Tekrī, which is a collection of Muslim saint shrines. It first defines some of the major terms that are used throughout the book, including walī and khwāja. It then studies the notion of bearing witness, which is part of what all pilgrims recognize as authoritative and powerful about Muslim saints. It uses the Muslim saint shrines in order to study the way pilgrims consider subcontinental Islamic memorial structures as connected and basically interchangeable manifestations of a single type of power. The chapter also studies the dargāh culture, the historical connection of Muslim saint shrines to the Muslim rulers and institutions, and Husain Tekrī's historical relationship with the nawabs of Jaora.

Keywords: saint shrines; Husain Tekrī; bearing witness; Muslim saints; Islamic memorial structures; power; dargāh culture

Chapter.  12875 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Islam

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