Transnational Sufism from below: charismatic counselling and the quest for wellbeing

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Pakistani migrants in Denmark have achieved a level of prosperity and social mobility that first-generation migrants could only dream of before they emigrated in the 1960s. However, their success has come at a price. Currently, migrant families are experiencing a period of radical social change, which challenges and alters their perception of wellbeing. In such a critical situation, they may turn towards Sufi shaykhs, located in Pakistan, for help and guidance. This article puts forward the concept of ‘transnational Sufism from below’ in order to explore how migrants pragmatically use (and abuse) religious counselling in dealing with the contingencies of everyday life. The quest for wellbeing is not only related to the pain and suffering of ‘the individual body’, but it is also related, to a large extent, to ‘the social body’ of family and kinship relations, and seems to outline a new kind of diffuse transnational engagement with the potential for reshaping diasporic identities and connections between Pakistan and Denmark.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSouth Asian Diaspora
Volume6
Issue1
Pages (from-to)105-119
Number of pages15
ISSN1943-8192
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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