By the beard of the Prophet: Imitation, reflection and world transformation in a Naqshbandi brotherhood

Mikkel Rytter holder oplæg ved frokostseminar, arrangeret af Center for SamtidsReligion.

04.10.2012 | Christian Mikkel Pade

Dato tir 09 okt
Tid 12:00 13:00
Sted Lokale 415, bygning 1453, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 3


This article discusses the significance of growing large beards among the young Danish-Pakistani members of a newly established Naqshbandi Sufi-brotherhood in Copenhagen; the beard is not simply an imitation, but a reflection of Prophet Muhammad. Exploring emic understandings of emulation and embodiment this article suggest that a conceptual displacement from imitation to reflection enables an analytical framework beyond the ‘self-cultivation paradigm’, that has dominated recent writings in the anthropology of Islam, to also include the numerous ways that devoted Sufis are being acted upon; in this respect connections between this-world and other-worlds becomes possible. The article further discusses how the beard is significant in the brotherhoods attempts of sacralisation and world transformation based on Nur (light) and love.