ISSN: 20431015
First published in 2012
2 issues per volume
Volume 2 Issue 2
Cover Date: December 2013
The drums of Islam, a shrine and a story set in Pakistan
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Authors:  Richard K. Wolf 
DOI: 10.1386/pi.2.2.127_1

ethnographic fiction,Madho Lal Husain ,Sufism,Panjab (Pakistan),Panjabi language,dhamal,music,dance,Lahore,malang,faqir,drumming,poetics,poetry,Shah Husain,Lal Shahbaz Qalandar,qalandar,‘urs

Many kinds of act we recognize as performative and help constitute religious experiences all over the world. This article focuses on the experiences of drummers, dancers and other participants at a Sufi shrine in Lahore, Pakistan. The readers of this journal are likely to have encountered historical debates concerning the appropriateness of music in Islam, as well as discussions regarding what qualifies as recitation, as music, or as noise. Understanding these debates and semantic concerns is an essential part of gaining insight into important aspects of Sufi Islamic religious experiences. In this article I invite the reader to contemplate performance not only in reference to music and dance themselves but also with respect to the creative non-fictional form in which I present them ethnographically. This article is adapted from my forthcoming book, The Voice in the Drum: Music, language, and emotion in Islamicate South Asia (2014), a hybrid piece of creative and analytic writing in the form of a novel. It is based on my fieldwork in India and Pakistan over a 28-month period in late 1996 and on shorter visits extending into the mid- and late 2000s.
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