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Popular Religion

Source:
The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Popular Religion

    Combination of pre-Islamic local culture and practices (adat) with Islamic meanings, terms, and interpretations. Includes pilgrimages (ziyarah) to tombs and shrines of saints, descendants of Muhammad , religious teachers, founders of Sufi orders and Shii imams (often accompanied by presentation of gifts or offering of sacrifices for requests for blessing, mystical knowledge, resolution of daily problems, and/or intercession by God); popular celebrations of Muhammad's birthday; reenactment of events surrounding martyrdom of Husayn ; Quran recitations at major life events; curing sick; exorcism of demons; use of Quranic verses as charms and amulets for protection, prevention, and medical cures; use of numerology and astrology to predict the future and defend oneself from evil and misfortune; dhikr (chanting) performance; use of popular accounts of lives of Muhammad, his descendants, and other holy people as instructive literature; participation in ritual meals and distribution of blessed foods; belief in the Mahdi (messianic figure); and belief in and invocation of jinn (nonhuman creatures) for magical purposes. Scripturally oriented reformers typically reject popular practices as heretical innovations, although many movements use popular imagery and language and have maintained ties with popular leaders or movements to attract more adherents.

    See also Magic

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