Document Type : Research Article
Professor of social science/ university of Tehran
Sociology alumni, Faculty of Social Science University of Tehran
During the past two decades there has been various public and official rituals going on in Iran and Itikaf has been one of them, where people stay in Masdjeds for at least 3 days, fasting. Therefore studying Itikaf can lead us to the recent approaches toward religion in Iran. Obtaining a Durkheimian-Weberian approach, and by applying Marcel Geuchet’s theories, the main aim of this essay is to analyze the tendency toward participating in Itikaf. Two main types of Itikaf have been derived: the first percieves Itikaf as a mean to religious “self” return. In this vision Itikaf plays a self-maintaining and spiritualistic role. The second type sees Itikaf as a media, identifying the participants in Itikaf with each other. Studying Itikaf in the context of post-revolutionary Iran, I argue that the differentiation of social fields during the years after Iranian revolution (1978) has caused a gap between social and religious values among believers. On the other hand, the identical integrity of which followed the crisis eras of revolution and war, gradually fade out. Thus considering these two main types of Itikaf and their perspectives, We can conclude that Itikaf is a way to form a new identity, though focusing on individual demands or social ones.