The Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing in an Ambiguously Islamic Place

By Carla Bellamy | Go to book overview

Notes

PROLOGUE

1. A Shi‘ite icon of a five-fingered hand, said to represent the panj-e-pāk, or Five Pure Ones: Muhammad, ‘Ali, Hasan, Husain, and Fatima.

2. The name of the horse Husain rode at Karbala; its riderless return following the martyrdom of Husain is popularly understood to be the way that ḥusain’s family learned that he had been killed.

3. Mastān Bābā, whose name likely derives from mastānā, meaning “drunken,” died in the late 1990s. He was well known in Udaipur, and he figures prominently in the healing process of another pilgrim, whose story will be related in subsequent chapters.

4. In most cases, this is a Qur’an whose Arabic has been transliterated into Devanagari, sometimes with an accompanying interlinear translation into the vernacular.

5. A non-allopathic healer commonly faces a life-threatening situation or illness before becoming a healer him- or herself. See, for instance, Michael Taussig, Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).

6. As I will explain in the following chapter, the term “saint,” used throughout this book for revered Muslim individuals referred to with a wide range of titles and terms, is purposefully chosen.

7. According to Platt’s Urdu-English dictionary, the Urdu term zarīh, commonly used to refer to a railing or latticework surrounding a temple or tomb, is “probably a corruption of [the Arabic] ẓarīh.” John T.Platts, A Dictionary of Urdū, Classical Hindi, and English (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 2000). In India, the term is also used to refer to models of the tombs of the martyrs of Karbala made of precious metals and jewels. When writing the word zarīh, native Urdu speakers at Ḥusain Ṭekrī employed a range of spellings, includingjarī and zarī. For more

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