Wednesday, July 13, 2011

German compilation on old and famous shrines of Pakistan

Jumbo Editorial Team

Dr Jürgen Frembgen, Chief Curator of the Oriental Department at the Museum of Ethnology in Munich and a Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Munich, having taught Islamic Studies and Anthropology in other universities of Europe as well, has authored a book titled "At the Shrine of the Red Sufis - Five Days and Nights on Pilgrimage in Pakistan" in which he has talked about his experiences at the old and famous shrines of the country.

The book was launched at the German Embassy in Islamabad in which the author read out some passages from his book and showed scenes of the documentary "The Red Sufi" by Martin Weinhart.

A galaxy of diplomats, intellectuals, educationists, students and foreigners had gathered at the premises of the Federal Republic of Germany to celebrate the launch of the book, published by Oxford University Press.

Dr Jürgen Frembgen, in recounting his experience shared his perceptions with his readers by reading out few of excerpts from his book and provided a highly readable and vivid account of one of the most culturally, spiritually and emotionally charged events.

The book is a welcome addition because no detailed record is believed to be available about old and famous shrines in Pakistan with information of different kinds of groups that participate to demonstrate their rites and rituals of devotion and the sacred geography of shrines and pilgrimages of Qalandars in Pakistan.

This book takes the reader on a journey to experience the spiritual rapture, ecstasy, trance, magic, and devotion at the annual Urs celebrations held at Sehwan Sharif in honor of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Pakistan's most Sufi popular saint.

Dr Jürgen Frembgen has been visiting professor at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, and National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore. He has also conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Pakistan having published works in both German and English languages on Islam, the Sufi tradition, anthropology and related subjects.

Two of his earlier books, The Friends of God: Sufi Saints in Islam: Popular Poster Art from Pakistan and Journey to God: Sufis and Dervishes in Islam were also published by Oxford University Press.

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