Here is the English abstract of Dr. Ramazan Ali Izanloo’s presentation in the 2nd pre-con meeting of the conference “Theology of Pilgrimage" which was held by Astan Quds Razavi’s Foundation of Islamic Researches on June 14, 2023, at Mashhad, Iran.
Typology of Pilgrims at the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza: A Systematic Review Study
The holy shrine of Imam Reza is considered the most sacred pilgrimage site for Iranian Muslims, and the pilgrims have their deepest and purest pilgrimage experiences in this sacred place. The significance of this shrine has led to numerous studies on the pilgrimage in terms of this holy site. These numerous studies and researches necessitate a systematic review study. To this aim, 155 articles and dissertations on the general topic of Imam Reza and pilgrimage, as well as 9 articles on the typology of pilgrims, have been examined from various aspects such as research methods, data collection, sample size, objectives, and typology of pilgrims. The results indicate that: a) phenomenology is the dominant method in these studies, b) data collection methods vary, including in-depth interviews with pilgrims, authors' lived experiences, analysis of anecdotes, personal letters to Imam, and travelogues, c) the minimum sample size in these studies was 6, and the maximum was 30, d) the common objective of all authors was to examine and understand the pilgrimage experience from the perspective of pilgrims at the holy shrine of Imam Reza and their typology, e) typologies of pilgrims have been presented in various ways, resulting from the different perspectives of the authors. Some categorize pilgrims based on religiosity patterns, while others categorize them based on modernity. For example, based on religiosity patterns, pilgrimage styles are classified as doctrinal, traditional, intellectual, ritualistic, commemorative, functional, and meaning-based. From the perspective of modernity, pilgrimage styles are categorized as virtual, feminine, metropolitan, traditional, modern, and post-modern.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi