Folk Islamic Rituals #9: Devotional Images

This blog post is the ninth in a series on South Asian folk Islam and its rituals. Click here to go to the first of these articles. Understanding the rituals of Folk Islam provides insight into the beliefs and practices of folk Muslims. This understanding helps us to make disciples of folk Muslims. I hadContinue reading “Folk Islamic Rituals #9: Devotional Images”

Folk Islamic Ritual #8: The Evil Eye

The folk Islamic worldview focuses on spiritual powers that are always present around us. In the view of folk Muslims, some of the most common opposing spiritual forces are jinn, demons, and the evil eye. Jinn and demons are similar but distinct. Demons (usually called Shaytan or Iblis in Urdu) are evil and more powerful than jinn. In contrast, jinn function as troublemakers who cause misfortune and trouble. The English word “genie” derives from the Arabic root jinn. Muslims often attribute tripping or other accidents to jinn. Another spiritual force is the evil eye.

Folk Islamic Ritual #7: Mystical Uses of the Qur’an

One Muslim understands the Qur’an to be the source of truth from Allah, while another uses the Qur’an most as a magic book to overcome spiritual forces in their life. Many Muslims simultaneously use the Qur’an in both of these ways.

Folk Islamic Ritual #6: Zikr and the 99 Names of Allah

One way that folk Muslims seek to interact with this spiritual realm is through protective amulets called tawiz. Another common practice is called zikr (Arabic dhikr), which often uses the 99 names of Allah.

Folk Islamic Ritual #5: Tawiz (Amulets)

This blog post is the fifth in a series on South Asian folk Islam and its rituals. Click here to go to the first of these articles. Understanding the rituals of Folk Islam provides insight into the beliefs and practices of folk Muslims. For some, it is strange to explore the worldview of folk Muslims.Continue reading “Folk Islamic Ritual #5: Tawiz (Amulets)”

Folk Islamic Ritual #4: Urs Festivals

Understanding folk Muslim rituals help us to understand the worldview of ordinary Muslims in South Asia. Understanding the worldview of ordinary Muslims helps us more effectively make disciples of folk Muslims. However, not all folk Muslims adhere to the same folk rituals. Therefore, these readings on folk Islamic rituals should act as a guide toContinue reading Folk Islamic Ritual #4: Urs Festivals

Folk Islamic Ritual #3: Eid Milad-un-Nabi (Muhammad’s Birthday)

Islamic folk practices reveal the worldview of folk Muslims. Understanding the worldview of folk Muslims empowers us to make disciples among them. I want to begin this discussion with my first experience of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (also known as Mawlid). My wife and I had recently moved to South Asia and lived across the street fromContinue reading Folk Islamic Ritual #3: Eid Milad-un-Nabi (Muhammad’s Birthday)

Folk Islamic Ritual #2: Veneration of Pirs at Dargahs

Understanding folk Muslim rituals help us understand the worldview of folk Muslims. Understanding the worldview of folk Muslims aids us in making disciples among them. In the previous blog on folk Muslim rituals, we discussed devotional singing, called na’at, and how na’at shows us that folk Muslims in South Asia approach God through mediators. Folk Muslims understand the gospelContinue reading Folk Islamic Ritual #2: Veneration of Pirs at Dargahs

Folk Islamic Ritual #1: Na’at (Devotional Singing)

This blogpost is the first of a series sharing some of the basic aspects of South Asian folk Muslim rituals. Understanding folk Muslim’s worldview aids in making disciples for Jesus among folk Muslims. Therefore, each reading concludes with tips on how these worldview issues relate to ministry among folk Muslims. There is great diversity inContinue reading “Folk Islamic Ritual #1: Na’at (Devotional Singing)”