Volume 10, Issue 1, 2013
Axiology of Islam
Mohd Faizal Musa
Axiology of Pilgrimage
Malaysian Shi’ites Ziyarat in Iran and Iraq
The religious rites of Shia remain a mystery to Malaysia’s Sunnite majority. One such rite is the ziyarat (visits to sacred sites). This essay highlights the rituals
conducted and performed by Malaysian Shi’ites during their seasonal pilgrimage to Iran and Iraq. Their rituals and behaviors during these pilgrimages to holy shrines in Iran and Iraq were documented from the standpoint of a cultural anthropologist. Rites from two sites, Mashad and Karbala, are presented in this study. Applying Herbert Blumer’s symbolic interactionism as a conceptual framework, and Charles Brooks’s methodology through social interaction and participant-observation, this essay aims to analyze and understand their rites, and the values and significance of these rites. By doing so, the axiological aspects of the rites were observed and clarified, thus enabling non Shi’ite Muslims to perceive greyest area of Shia rites, as performed by Shi’ites from Malaysia in their pilgrimage to Iran and Iraq.