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Title: The Shrine of ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī in Baghdad & the Shrine of ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Jīlānī in ʿAqra : mapping the multiple orientations of two Qādirī Sufi shrines in Iraq
Author: Al-Gailani, Noorah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 8188
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis charts the stakeholder communities, physical environment and daily life of two little studied Qādiriyya Sufi shrines associated with Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī (1077 – 1165 AD), a 12th century Ḥanbalī Muslim theologian and the posthumous founder of one of the oldest Sufi orders in Islam. The first shrine is based in Baghdad and houses his burial chamber; and the second shrine, on the outskirts of the city of ‘Aqra in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, is that of his son Shaikh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (died 1206 AD). The latter was also known for lecturing in Ḥanbalī theology in the region, and venerated for this as well as his association with Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir. Driven by the research question “What shapes the identity orientations of these two Qādiriyya Sufi shrines in modern times?” the findings presented here are the result of field research carried out between November 2009 and February 2014. This field research revealed a complex context in which the two shrines existed and interacted, influenced by both Sufi and non-Sufi stakeholders who identified with and accessed these shrines to satisfy a variety of spiritual and practical needs, which in turn influenced the way each considered and viewed the two shrines from a number of orientations. These overlapping orientations include the Qādirī Sufi entity and the resting place of its patron saint; the orthodox Sunnī mosque with its muftī-imams, who are employed by the Iraqi government; the local Shīʿa community’s neighbourhood saint’s shrine and its destination for spiritual and practical aid; and the local provider of welfare to the poor of the city (soup kitchen, funeral parlour and electricity-generation amongst other services). The research findings also revealed a continuously changing and adapting Qādirī Sufi scene not immune from the national and regional socio-religio-political environments in which the two shrines exist: a non-Sufi national political class vying to influence and manipulate these shrines for their own purposes; and powerful national sectarian factions jostling to do the same. The mixture of stakeholders using and associating with the two shrines were found to be influential shapers of these entities, both physically and spiritually. Through encountering and interacting with each other, most stakeholders contributed to maintaining and rejuvenating the two shrines, but some also sought to adapt and change them driven by their particular orientation’s perspective.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BL Religion ; BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc. ; DS Asia ; GN Anthropology ; GT Manners and customs