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Longing for the Prophet: connection and affective presence of the absent beloved This paper discusses the affective presence and agency of relics, in this particular case in the guise of a single hair of the Prophet Muhammad. The relic is obviously not the Prophet, but it is also not-not the Prophet, as the hair is filled with baraka of the Prophet and thereby seems to confirm Sir Frazer’s thesis of ‘sympathetic magic’ where part and wholes are forever connected. Based on a study of and within the Naqshbandi Mujjadidi Saifi tariqa, this paper set out to ‘follow the hair’ in different ethnographic settings in Denmark, Norway and Pakistan in order to discuss how it enables connections between the visible and the invisible aspects of reality and the spiritual transformation of the devoted murids. The relic not only constitutes an affective presence of the beloved, but it also becomes significant in the establishment and religious becoming of the Saifi tariqa.
12 dec. 201313 dec. 2013


AfholdelsesstedAarhus University, Faculty of Arts


ID: 67022109