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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A Sufi Saint's Day in South Africa: The Legend of Badsha Peer
Author:Vahed, Goolam H.
Periodical:South African Historical Journal
Geographic term:South Africa
religious rituals
Religion and Witchcraft
rituals & festivals
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02582470308671449
Abstract:This article examines the role of 'pirs' (saints), 'mazars' (shrines) and 'Urs' ('wedding') in forging Islamic culture and identity in South Africa. The focus of the study is the 'Urs' in May 2002, the 'death' anniversary of Badsha Peer, a revered saint who lies buried in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, where Muslims are predominantly of Indian origin. The saint's passing away is regarded as a wedding ceremony in which the saint, who is a bridegroom, will join God, the Beloved Bride, in an eternal marriage. While providing succour to many ordinary Muslims, Badsha Peer's shrine is a site of tension. The article traces the establishment of the shrine, the role it played and plays in the lives of Muslims, its significance to those who administer it, and how conflict over the shrine and practices associated with it refract social relations among Muslims. More broadly, the study explores 'internal' debate among Muslims about the relationship between God and believers, and transitions in activities associated with popular Islam, in the context of historical and structural economic and political change in 20th-century South Africa. App., ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]