Spirituality, Faith, Cultural Practices and Leisure: A Case Study of Azaan Pir's (SAINT) Dargah(GRAVE), Saraguri Chapori, Assam, India

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 12:00
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Pranjal SARMA, Department of Sociology, Dibrugarh University, Assam, India, India
There is a relationship between religion, spirituality, faith, cultural practices and leisure. ‘Religion’ is a social institution, consisting of a system of beliefs and practices related to sacred things, and a moral community that serves to unite its members. ‘Spirituality’ is something to do with religion or religious beliefs. ‘Religious belief’ is a system of knowledge about the divine and its relationship with the human. ‘Cultural practices’ and ‘rituals’ are acts performed repeatedly and according to custom.

‘Faith’ is a strong belief in a religion. On the other hand, ‘leisure’ generally involves withdrawal from routine activities such as work and involvement instead in a pleasurable activity, highly valued by the individual.

In this paper we will highlight the case of Hazarat Azaan Pir(Saint)’s  Dargah(grave) in Saraguri Chapori in the district of Sivasagar, Assam which unites religion and leisure. Azaan Pir’s Dargah is situated near the bank of river Brahmaputra. The place is known as Saraguri Chapori, a village of 145 families where all the families are Hindus except the caretaker family of the Dargah, which is a Muslim family. Observation and interview method will be used and respondents will be villagers, tourists and priests.

Sayed Shah Milaan, popularly known as ‘Azaan Pir’, had migrated to Assam from Baghdad and unified the people of Assam and brought harmony between the religious communities. Originally he spoke Arabic and later on he mastered the Assamese language. He preached Islam with the help of devotional folk songs ‘Zikirs’ and ‘Zaris’. The villagers of Saraguri Chapori, in their leisure time sing Zikirs and Zaris and while grazing their cattle they sing songs. They engage in  agriculture and fishing activities. The place provides a unique amalgamation of religious practices and leisure activities through cultural practices based mainly on faith which unites people from all religious background.