Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Islam: Saints and Sacred Geographies: Central Asia
(1,261 words)

The conception of the cult of saints or their tombs is rooted in pre-Islamic beliefs of the Arabs, Persians, and inhabitants of Central Asia. In early Islam, some individuals became saints; but worship of them or their tombs was not permitted. Popular belief in mediators between God and individuals was gradually legitimated and the teaching of a hierarchy of saints was developed. Although Islam lacks the official apotheosis of saints in Christianity, many saints have received wide recognition, b…

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Malikov, Azim, “Islam: Saints and Sacred Geographies: Central Asia”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 26 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0606a>
First published online: 2009

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