This article addresses Mauritanian society’s attitude towards death in general and the dead in particular. Although religion has a degree of influence on death and handling of the dead, the practices that Mauritanians have traditionally adopted with respect to these two issues reflect the multi-ethnic and cultural norms of thispopulation. The article focuses on those traditions and prevalent rituals of Mauritanian society, examined within their ethnic diversity and spatialdistribution, while in doing so assessing these practices from sharīʿa [Islamic Law]’s perspective. Using an anthropological and historical approach, this article identifies various components of Mauritanian society and discusses how they appeal to religious precepts to overcome some of those popular uses as they pertain to the deceased. This research article reveals that regardless of the injunctions of Islam on the matter, some traditional beliefs are everlasting because they are firmly anchored and widespread in the society, thus making their elimination quasi-impossible in the short term.

The cult of the dead in Mauritania: between traditions and religious commandments

LAGDAF, SOUADOU
2016

Abstract

This article addresses Mauritanian society’s attitude towards death in general and the dead in particular. Although religion has a degree of influence on death and handling of the dead, the practices that Mauritanians have traditionally adopted with respect to these two issues reflect the multi-ethnic and cultural norms of thispopulation. The article focuses on those traditions and prevalent rituals of Mauritanian society, examined within their ethnic diversity and spatialdistribution, while in doing so assessing these practices from sharīʿa [Islamic Law]’s perspective. Using an anthropological and historical approach, this article identifies various components of Mauritanian society and discusses how they appeal to religious precepts to overcome some of those popular uses as they pertain to the deceased. This research article reveals that regardless of the injunctions of Islam on the matter, some traditional beliefs are everlasting because they are firmly anchored and widespread in the society, thus making their elimination quasi-impossible in the short term.
Mauritania; funerary rituals; sharīʿ, bid’a
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/253624
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact