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Sharing the SacredPracticing Pluralism in Muslim North India$
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Anna Bigelow

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368239

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368239.001.0001

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Chapter 5. Dead Center: The Tomb of Haider Shaykh

Chapter 5. Dead Center: The Tomb of Haider Shaykh

(p.151) Chapter 5. Dead Center: The Tomb of Haider Shaykh
Sharing the Sacred

Anna Bigelow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

One of the key venues in which the metanarrative of peace is instantiated is at the tomb, or dargah, of Haider Shaikh. In particular, this chapter focuses on the devotional practices at the tomb and how the multireligious constituency interacts at the shrine through microstrategies of attunement. It is here that history meets practice, as devotees from the town and pilgrims alike encounter the saint and one another in an intense choreography. Interviews and observations reveal the two principle modes of interacting with the saint: through his blood descendants and through visitors who are possessed by his spirit. The interactions and exchanges between residents and pilgrims that are enabled by devotion at the dargah are key elements in the production and perpetuation of a stable plural community.

Keywords:   ritual, pilgrimage, Dargah, possession, pluralism, devotional practice, attunement

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