The Architecture of Pilgrimage : A study on the Ziyara Bogal and charismatic authority in the Tijaniyya

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Religionsvetenskap

Author: Filip Holm; [2018]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Pilgrimage plays an important role in many religious traditions. Indeed, one of the five pillars of Islam is the Hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim is expected to perform at least once in their life. But this isn’t the only ritual of its kind present in Islam. Indeed, a common practice in Sufism is the Ziyara – a pilgrimage or visit to a saint or the tomb of a saint. This study aims to give a comprehensive overview of one of these pilgrimages – the Ziyara Bogal of the Tijaniyya Sufi order. Through observational methods and interviews, the present thesis will look at strategies of ritualization and charismatic authority, as well as the political implications of the pilgrimage in West African society. Extensive fieldwork was conducted in Senegal, The Gambia and in the diasporic community in Sweden both during the pilgrimage itself and several months before and after, and theories relating to the main themes (ritualization, charismatic authority) is used to analyze the material. As such, the study will map out multiple significant aspects of the ziyara and give an insight into how Islam is lived and practiced in the region.

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