All posts by J-T.M.

Research & Activity Elsewhere

The I-Share project tries to engage with the research and activities done in the past and in the present elsewhere on the theme of shared sacred spaces.  Two examples include:


The Exhibition Shared Sacred Sites

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) in Marseilles, France first launched the Exhibition in 2015, which is the fruit of several years of scientific research conducted by CNRS and Aix-Marseille University.  The exhibition takes a fresh look at the religious behaviour of Mediterranean populations and highlights some of the most interesting (and most overlooked) phenomena in the region, namely the sharing and exchange between religious communities.  After Marseille, the exhibition travelled to show in other cities like Tunis, Marrakesh, Paris, Thessaloniki and New York.


Shared Sacred Sites project

It is a collaborative project that seeks to develop a rubric for the description, classification, analysis, and publication of work relating to spaces and locations used by multiple, disparate communities for religious purposes. The project is composed of several sub-projects that individually address different and particular difficulties in the study of shared sacred sites and that combine to form an important, updated, and modern survey of the unique features, mechanisms, and adaptations of coexistence found in the communities involved with shared sacred sites.

Sehwan Sharif, Sindh

Credits: Rémy Delage (During the urs with the dargah under renovation in 2012)

Basic information

Location (country): Pakistan

Location (city): Sehwan Sharif

Location (neighbourhood):

Location (GPS coordinates): Latitude: 26.412225 | Longitude: 67.86294

Type of religious site: Dargah, Darbar, Muslim and Hindu Sufi lodges, etc.

Religious community(ies) attending: Sunni and Shia Muslims, Hindus, Malang, Faqir, etc.

No of communities attending:

Language(s) used for ceremonies and prayers: Sindhi, Urdu, Punjabi

Approximate size of the site: (in m2)

Year of construction: 13th century

Pilgrimage location: yes

Pilgrimage season: Month of Sha’ban

Names and dates of the main festivals celebrated in situ: Celebration of the `Urs (18-20 Sha’ban); Commemoration of Ashura (1-10 Moharram)

No of pictures of the sites appended to this form: (Min 1)

Website page of the site (if available):                                                 

Name and title of the in-charge of the site (if known): Awqaf Department, Government of Sindh

Overview of the site

The pilgrimage centre of Sehwan Sharif is located in the southern province of Sindh in Pakistan, along the Indus. Its reputation is related to the presence of the saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, an antinomian Sufi who migrated and settled there at the end of the 13th century. Since then, the locality developed in parallel with the growing cult of the saint that has known a significant increase in terms of participation since the late 20th century.  Apart from the daily visits of devotees (ziyarat) throughout the year, two major events structure the ritual calendar of the mausoleum. On the one hand, the commemoration of Ashura (month of Muharram) is an occasion for Twelver shias to display their religious identity during which a complex system of ritual processions reveals social divisions at the local level. On the other hand, the annual pilgrimage (urs, mela) during the month of Sha’ban is preceded by one the most important gathering of faqirs across the subcontinent and followed by the departure of several caravans of faqirs and pilgrims to other holy destinations. What is more, the locality of Sehwan articulates during the festival various circulatory territories that bring together various social (transgender, low and high castes, etc.) and religious groups (sunni, shia, hindu, malang, etc.). The practices of sharing public spaces during such specific event are worth being studied empirically since they contribute to the repositioning of pilgrims and local people faced with social and religious otherness.

Bibliography pertaining to the site

Rémy Delage (2018) « Sufism and Pilgrimage Market: A Political Economy of a Shrine in Southern Pakistan », in Coleman, S. & Eade, J. (eds) Translating the Sacred: Pilgrimage and Political Economy in Transnational Contexts, Berghahn Books, Oxford.

Rémy Delage (2016) « L’espace du pèlerinage comme territoire circulatoire : Sehwan Sharif sur les rives de l’Indus », Cahiers d’Outre-Mer, Numéro thématique Prier aux Suds : les lieux de culte entre territorialisations, cohabitations et mobilités du religieux, 275.

Omar Kasmani (2017) « Grounds of becoming : faqirs among the dead in Sehwan Sharif, Pakistan ». Culture and Religion. An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 18, n° 2, pp. 72-89.

Omar Kasmani (2016) « Women [un-]like Women : The Question of Spiritual Authority among Female Fakirs of Sehwan Sharif ». In M. Boivin and R. Delage, eds, Devotional Islam in Contemporary South Asia: Shrines, Journeys and Wanderers, Londres, Routledge, pp. 47-62.

Rémy Delage (2016) « Soufisme et espace urbain. Circulations rituelles dans la localité de Sehwan Sharif », in Claveyrolas, M. & Delage, R. (eds) Territoires du religieux dans les mondes indiens. Parcourir, mettre en scène, franchir, Editions EHESS, coll. Purusartha, n°34, Paris, pp. 149-175.

Rémy Delage et Delphine Ortis (2014) « Les relations entre Sehwan Sharif et l’Indus dans le Sindh : histoire d’une mise à distance (Pakistan) », in Harit Joshi et Anne Viguier (eds) Ville et fleuve en Asie du Sud. Regard croisés, Editions INALCO, pp. 33-47.

Boivin, M. (2012) Le soufisme antinomien dans le sous-continent indien. Paris, Éditions du Cerf.

Michel Boivin (2012) « Compétition religieuse et culture partagée dans les lieux saints complexes d’Asie du sud » in Isabelle Depret et Guillaume Dye (dir.), Partage du sacré : transferts, cultes mixtes, rivalités interconfessionnelles, Bruxelles, Editions EME, pp. 149-165.

Boivin, M. (2011) Artefacts of Devotion. A Sufi Repertoire of the Qalandariyya in Sehwan Sharif, Sindh, Pakistan. Karachi, OUP.

Michel Boivin et Rémy Delage (2010) « Benazir en odeur de sainteté. Naissance d’un lieu de culte au Pakistan », Archives des Sciences Sociales des Religions, n° 151, Paris, Editions EHESS,  pp. 189-211.

Boivin, M. (2005) « Le pèlerinage de Sehwân Sharîf, Sindh (Pakistan) : territoires, protagonistes et rituels », in S. Chiffoleau & A. Madœuf, dir., Les  pèlerinages au Maghreb et au Moyent-Orient. Espaces publics, espaces du public, Damas, IFPO, pp. 311-345.

Hazrat Maulana Ziauddin Sahab Rehmat Fakhri Nizami Chisti Dargah, Jaipur

Source: (Oct 2018)

Basic information

Location (country): India

Location (city): Jaipur, Rajasthan

Location (neighbourhood): Char Darwaza 302002

Location (GPS coordinates): (c.f.

Latitude: 26.927362 | Longitude: 75.838432

Type of religious site: (i.e. dargah, shrine, stupa etc.) Dargah

Religious communities attending: Hindu, Sikh, Muslim

Number of communities attending: 3

Language(s) used for ceremonies and prayers: Hindi, Urdu, local dialects

Approximate size of the site: (in m2)

Year of construction: Mosque built in 1798; Mausoleum built in 1929

Pilgrimage location: NO

Pilgrimage season:

Names and dates of the main festivals celebrated in situ: Urs (August –September)

Website page of the site:

Name and title of the in-charge of the site 

Hazrat Syed Zainul-abideen (Mehmood Mian Sahib) is the Sajjadanashin and Mutawalli of the Dargah Sharif


Overview of the site

Located in the predominantly Muslim locality of Char Darwaza, Subhash Chowk, Jaipur, the Dargah Hazrat Maulana Ziauddin Sahab Rehmat Fakhri Nizami Chisti is one of the most reputed dargahs of the Nizami chistiya sufi order in Jaipur. Among the dargah visitors, it’s largely Muslims from various sects and beliefs, but a smattering of Hindu and Sikh presence is observed. Most worshippers of the shrine, come here after incidents of spirit possession, black magic, loss and misfortune etc., the cure for which not only lies in the blessings of Maulana Ziauddin Sahib, but also in the hands of a small shrine of Rehmat Ali Baba within the complex. Is Rehmat Ali Baba then the crowd-puller? Through an observation of the faith, beliefs and practices of visitors at the site, I would like to examine how interactions, connections and ‘shared’ sacredness among the two shrines of Hazrat Maulana Ziauddin and Rehmat Ali Baba are built.


Economy of the site

The ownership is disputed as Maulana Ziauddin did not have a direct descendant. There is a court case between the present Sajjadanashin family. Hazrat Syed Zainul-abideen (Mehmood Mian Sahib) is the Sajjadanashin and Mutawalli of the Dargah Sharif.


Conflicts revolving around the site

  1. The ownership of the site.
  2. It seems there are also rivalries with other Chistiya dargahs in the city, especially with Hazrat Miskeen Shah; often manifested in conversations of which saint came into Jaipur first. (This authenticity claim/one-upmanship could be related to lineage issues?)


Bibliography pertaining to the site

Bentley, M., Peerenboom, C. A., Hodge, F. W., Passano, E. B., Warren, H. C., & Washburn, M. F. (1929). Instructions in regard to preparation of manuscript. Psychological Bulletin, 26, 57–63. doi:10.1037/h0071487

Rappaport, J. (1977). Community psychology: Values, research and action. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

Upcoming event on Dec 4, 2018

The next conference and team meeting on December 4, 2018  at CEIAS. See poster for programme: 

IShare poster texte 4dec2018 web

10h-12h: Talk on Traversées théologiques des frontières religieuses, by Catherine Clémentin-Ojha

(Chaire: Dynamique des mouvements religieux dans le monde indien. De l’anthropologie à l’histoire, CEIAS-EHESS- see profile)

13h-15h: Discussion over David Mosse’s book, The Saint in the Banyan Tree: Christianity and Caste Society in India  (See Book review by Alpa Shah 2015)

Mosse, David 2012- Book Cover
Mosse, D 2012- Contents