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Sanctifying Domestic Space and Domesticating Sacred Space: Reading Ziyāra and Taliya in Light of the Domestic in the Early Modern Ottoman World

Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Religions 2020, 11(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11020059
Received: 2 December 2019 / Revised: 24 January 2020 / Accepted: 24 January 2020 / Published: 28 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Devotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe)
Shrine-visitation (ziyāra) and devotion to Muḥammad (such as expressed in taṣliya, the uttering of invocations upon the Prophet), both expressed through a range of ritualized practices and material objects, were at the heart of everyday Islam for the vast majority of early modern Ottoman Muslims across the empire. While both bodies of practice had communal and domestic aspects, this article focuses on the important intersections of the domestic with both shrine-visitation and Muḥammad-centered devotion as visible in the early modern Ottoman lands, with a primary emphasis on the eighteenth century. While saints’ shrines were communal and ‘public’ in nature, a range of attitudes and practices associated with them, recoverable through surviving physical evidence, travel literature, and hagiography, reveal their construction as domestic spaces of a different sort, appearing to pious visitors as the ‘home’ of the entombed saint through such routes as wall-writing, gender-mixing, and dream encounters. Devotion to Muḥammad, on the other hand, while having many communal manifestations, was also deeply rooted in the domestic space of the household, in both prescription and practice. Through an examination of commentary literature, hagiography, and imagery and objects of devotion, particularly in the context of the famed manual of devotion Dalā’il al-khayrāt, I demonstrate the transformative effect of such devotion upon domestic space and the ways in which domestic contexts were linked to the wider early modern world, Ottoman, and beyond.
Keywords: domestic devotion; Ottoman religious history; shrine visitation; ziyāra; pious graffiti; Ottoman art; space; devotion to Muhammad; taṣliya; Dalā’il al-khayrāt domestic devotion; Ottoman religious history; shrine visitation; ziyāra; pious graffiti; Ottoman art; space; devotion to Muhammad; taṣliya; Dalā’il al-khayrāt
MDPI and ACS Style

Allen, J.P. Sanctifying Domestic Space and Domesticating Sacred Space: Reading Ziyāra and Taliya in Light of the Domestic in the Early Modern Ottoman World. Religions 2020, 11, 59.

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