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Hearing the Voice From the Veil. An Ethnographic Inquiry Into the Mourning For Lady Zainab By Toronto Shiites

Hearing the Voice From the Veil. An Ethnographic Inquiry Into the Mourning For Lady Zainab By Toronto Shiites

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Title: Hearing the Voice From the Veil. An Ethnographic Inquiry Into the Mourning For Lady Zainab By Toronto Shiites
Author: Hirji, Ali Abbas Mehboob
Abstract: The religious flux experienced by Indo-Pakistani Shiites in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) raises insightful questions about how and why their lamentation assemblies are modified. Although the martyrdom of Hussain and his companions at the siege of Karbala has an existential importance to Shiite mourning, a premium is also placed on the narrative of Lady Zaynab, the first granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad. I use the veneration of Zaynab as my guide into explaining ritual change within this Shiite diaspora. Zaynab was Hussain’s comrade in spirit and, in the absence of Zaynab, Hussain’s resistance was futile – her strength of mind, compassion and dedication make her the cornerstone of Shiite belief and the driving force behind the panorama of Shiite mourning rituals and assemblies. These mourning rituals are discussed through my participation in them during my formative years in Dubai, the strict formulae to our mourning and the socioeconomic, political circumstances within which our mourning transpired. Through the authoritative discourses that mediated our mourning, I highlight the ritual change I unexpectedly witnessed upon migrating to the Greater Toronto Area, how it is received by the elder members of the Shiite diaspora and the fluid interpretations of Shiite mourning within the context of ritual theory, identity and diaspora.
Subject: Sociology
Religion
Philosophy of Religion
Keywords: Shiite
Ritual
Islam
Mourning
Karbala
Imam Hussain
Lady Zaynab
Islamic Diaspora
Indo-Pak traditions
Transnational religion
Memory
Iraq
Damascus
Dubai
Multiculturalism in Canada
Toronto religions
Islamic practices
Islamic history
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/30079
Supervisor: Nijhawan, Michael
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Program: Sociology
Exam date: 2015-03-30
Publish on: 2015-08-28

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