Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Religious Practices: Pilgrimage: Central Asia
(1,015 words)

The worship of tombs and relics and pilgrimage in Central Asia is closely associated with the cult of saints. Pilgrimage to saints' tombs is usually referred to as ziyara . Pilgrimage to the tombs of particularly worshiped imams, sheikhs, and other saints (for instance to the tomb of Bakhauddin Nakshband) is considered to be the “Little Pilgrimage” to Mecca.

The main attribute of a sanctuary is a tomb (one or several). In the front wall of the tomb there is a small bay with a lamp of traditional shape to light ritual fire. The room itself or its surroundings features flags – tugs – a distinctive…

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Malikov, Azim, “Religious Practices: Pilgrimage: 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_0614c>
First published online: 2009

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