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Shrines (Mashhads And Maqamat)

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Chapter Summary

It is generally assumed, in various cultures, that death has a cleansing affect, and that consequently, the dead enjoy some moral advantage over the living and can take advantage of their closeness to God in order to intercede for the living. The notion that the intercessory powers of those persons were most accessible at their graves made cemeteries and mausolea into central arenas of religious life. Shrines - mashhads (memorial structures, with or without a tomb) and maqāms (monuments that commemorate an event in the life of a prophet or saint, or are constructed around a relic associated with him) - were established in their honor. In the corpus of sources surveyed for this chapter women indeed fulfill leading roles in the establishment and upkeep of sanctuaries, but there is no clear evidence that they practiced ziyāras more than men.

Keywords: cemeteries; Shrines



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