Here is the English abstract of Dr. Shahla Bakhtiari’s presentation in the 1st pre-con meeting of the conference “Theology of Pilgrimage" which was held by Shahid Motahari University on May 20, 2023, at Tehran, Iran.
The Pilgrimage and Women’s Emotional Disorders
The pilgrimage journey, arising from emotions and the desire for visiting the sacred, has been a common practice among Muslims and the Shia community in the form of performing Hajj or visiting the blessed tombs of religious figures, as well as the shrines of Shia Imams and Imams' descendants. Pilgrimage journeys were very difficult in the past, but these difficulties were overcome by the enthusiasm to benefit from its spiritual achievements. Women, due to their physical delicacy compared to men and certain emotional characteristics, faced different challenges and have different motivations for pilgrimage journeys. This article, using a descriptive-analytical approach and relying on library sources and documents from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, examines the reasons behind women's decision to undertake pilgrimage journeys, the spiritual and emotional atmosphere of the journey, and the specific problems faced by women in these journeys. The results of the study indicate that the interest in benefiting from the religious achievements of this spiritual journey, the eagerness to be present in the shrines of the Imams and visit them, the hope for their blessings, the healing and treatment of certain illnesses, praying for others, solving marital problems, and other similar matters have influenced women’s motivations for pilgrimage journeys. Additionally, the hope for spiritual and physical purity and grace during the journey has been a motivator for its continuation. Some physical disorders specific to women and related illnesses, the lack of sanitary travel facilities, discomfort and annoyance due to the negligence of some fellow travelers in observing cleanliness, physical and mental fatigue from long journeys, the fear of being unable to observe pilgrimage rituals and other similar distressing matters have bothered the delicate souls of women.
Translator: Mahdi Ghasemi