Given their popularity and public visibility, it is perhaps not surprising that the matami guruhan are a topic of controversy among many Hyderabadi Muslims. Criticisms from Sunnis tend to be general, directed against devotional practices embraced by the groups rather than against the guruhan themselves. Several persons whom I questioned asserted flatly that there is no Quranic warrant for the practice of matam, the devotion that defines the guilds. Wahhabi-minded Muslims went further, claiming that the guilds’ veneration of Husain is so overdone as to elevate him to sainthood.
KeywordsCriticism Direct Public Visibility Islamic Tradition Guild Member Doubtful Status
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