The Shrine of ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī in Baghdad & the Shrine of ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Jīlānī in ʿAqra: Mapping the multiple orientations of two Qādirī Sufi shrines in Iraq

Al-Gailani, Noorah (2016) The Shrine of ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī in Baghdad & the Shrine of ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Jīlānī in ʿAqra: Mapping the multiple orientations of two Qādirī Sufi shrines in Iraq. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis charts the stakeholder communities, physical environment and daily life of two little studied Qādiriyya Sufi shrines associated with Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī (1077 – 1165 AD), a 12th century Ḥanbalī Muslim theologian and the posthumous founder of one of the oldest Sufi orders in Islam. The first shrine is based in Baghdad and houses his burial chamber; and the second shrine, on the outskirts of the city of ‘Aqra in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, is that of his son Shaikh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (died 1206 AD). The latter was also known for lecturing in Ḥanbalī theology in the region, and venerated for this as well as his association with Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir.

Driven by the research question “What shapes the identity orientations of these two Qādiriyya Sufi shrines in modern times?” the findings presented here are the result of field research carried out between November 2009 and February 2014. This field research revealed a complex context in which the two shrines existed and interacted, influenced by both Sufi and non-Sufi stakeholders who identified with and accessed these shrines to satisfy a variety of spiritual and practical needs, which in turn influenced the way each considered and viewed the two shrines from a number of orientations. These overlapping orientations include the Qādirī Sufi entity and the resting place of its patron saint; the orthodox Sunnī mosque with its muftī-imams, who are employed by the Iraqi government; the local Shīʿa community’s neighbourhood saint’s shrine and its destination for spiritual and practical aid; and the local provider of welfare to the poor of the city (soup kitchen, funeral parlour and electricity-generation amongst other services). The research findings also revealed a continuously changing and adapting Qādirī Sufi scene not immune from the national and regional socio-religio-political environments in which the two shrines exist: a non-Sufi national political class vying to influence and manipulate these shrines for their own purposes; and powerful national sectarian factions jostling to do the same.

The mixture of stakeholders using and associating with the two shrines were found to be influential shapers of these entities, both physically and spiritually. Through encountering and interacting with each other, most stakeholders contributed to maintaining and rejuvenating the two shrines, but some also sought to adapt and change them driven by their particular orientation’s perspective.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, Abd al-Aziz al-Jilani, Abu Khumra al-Hindi, Ahmad al-Makki Mosque, Akri, Aqra, Bab al-Shaikh, Baghdad, Ba’th Party, Dhikr, Diwan al-Awqaf al-Qadiriyya, Gailani Family, Iraq, Islamic mysticism, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, Jilani, Kasnazaniyya Sufi Order, Kurdistan, Local history, Material culture, Mawlid al-Nabi, Mawlud Shaikh Abd al-Qadir, Mosque, Mysticism, Niqabat al-Ashraf, Naqib al-Ashraf, Qadiri, Qadiriyya Sufi Order, Religious expression, Saddam Hussein, Sectarianism in Islam, Shi’a sect, Shi’ism, Shrine worship, Shrine architecture, Social history, Sufi, Sufi lodge, Sufi worship, Sufism, Sunni sect, Sunnism, Takkiat al-Shaikh Abd al-Aziz al-Jilani, The Great National Faith Campaign, Wulianiyya, Qadiriyya Wulianiyya Sufi Order.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Ridgeon, Dr. Lloyd
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Miss Noorah Al-Gailani
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7663
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 16:02
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2016 08:54

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