Aspects of Shrine Devotion and its Entwined Communication with the Lived Sufi Culture in Karachi


  • Babar N. Sheikh SZABIST



Sufism, Devotion, Veneration, Tradition, Sacred Presence, Islamic Mysticism


This paper endeavors to gain insight into the phenomenon of sacred presence, as it is perceived, expressed, and defined by devotees of diverse Sufi orders in the context of a sampling of ritual practices, narratives, and beliefs connected to eight Sufi saints’ tombs in Karachi. The paper explores how devotion, tradition, and faith through the saints are preserved within the physical and spiritual framework of shrines and play an indispensable role in the lives of the ordinary person. How a deep love and veneration are epitomized as a testimony to the Saints’ selfless service to God’s creation, and how these sacred spaces have stood the test of time in preserving tradition and the essence of the spiritual. This paper investigates rituals, and practices and how through the singular thread of devotion to the saints they connect various communities that make up the diverse populace of Karachi. This paper argues that despite the apparent disorderliness, disruption, and haphazardness, there is a unity of purpose behind different rituals/ways of remembrance and its integration into people’s lives, centered around and nourished by the saints’ spiritual presence, which is a lived experience for millions. It investigates the ways this culture becomes the common thread of connection, unity, and continuity for a vast populace that identifies with the connection (nisbat), of the saints (auliya) and their shrines (dargahs).




How to Cite

Sheikh, B. N. (2023). Aspects of Shrine Devotion and its Entwined Communication with the Lived Sufi Culture in Karachi. Journal of Journalism, Media Science & Creative Arts, 3(2), 86–103.