Accepted Paper:

Sufi shrines and dreams in Palestine  


Aref Rabia (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)

Paper short abstract:

to follow

Paper long abstract:

This paper will describe the common Sufi beliefs regarding dreams and shrines. These beliefs developed during joint and private seasonal visits (ziara) during the twentieth century in Palestine. Gaining insight into the sociology of the Sufi cult of saints can enrich our understanding of similar cults in other places and shed light on the reasons for their absence in other societies. I will examine the phenomenon of true dreams at saints' shrines, particularly among the various Sufi orders in Palestine, and explore the historical and contemporary extent of dream pilgrimages to these shrines.

Ceremonies that involve visiting saints' shrines have encouraged a relationship of socio-cultural and psychological-therapeutic dependence of the pilgrims with regard to these shrines. This dependence is deeply rooted in their collective psyche and reinforced and legitimized through Palestinian folklore. This paper will be based on primary and secondary sources, interviews with Sufis, including their leaders, and, key people who have been active in participating in these rituals, as well as archival and documentary material, a review of published and unpublished materials, books, and scientific journals.

Panel W133
Muslim saints, dreams, and veneration of shrines