A sample survey of the village of Mohali in Punjab was carried out to cover its various structural aspects. It also included the prevalence of beliefs among the villagers regarding superstitions and other supernatural aspects. A household count was taken to assess the total number of households and other relevant information. The total number of households was 350.
Respondents in this study were aged 55 and over. This age group was selected in particular because they might have observed or experienced the supernatural aspects during their lifetime. Out of 350 households and 223 eligible persons, 109 respondents were selected at random, i.e. 54 men and 55 women. A maintenance schedule allowing multiple responses has been established. The results are based on descriptive analyzes.
Belief in Superstitions: Superstitions generally refer to the belief that certain things and incidents have positive or negative implications. For example, certain colors, days, and numbers are seen as bringing good luck or bad luck in some societies. These beliefs can have an impact on the social life of people by influencing their behavior. Believing in superstitions is a universal phenomenon. The type and degree of beliefs may vary across regions and cultures.
Reasons to believe in superstitions:
Respondents were asked to indicate their reasons for believing in superstitions. Half of the men surveyed, who believe in various superstitions, also emphasized experience and observation among the reasons. On the other hand, most women (around 70.0%) believed in superstitions based on self-experience. More men than women indicated that watching was the reason for believing in superstitions. Women are perhaps considered to be more fatalistic and superstitious than men.
Belief in Dreams: Generally, there are three basic types of dreams. First, dreams that reflect our routine affairs and experiences. These dream elements often emerge from memories of waking events (Stick Gold et al., 2001). For them, emotions can play a central role in the dreaming process. The second type of dreams are based on the pleasant and unpleasant experiences of the past which are held in the subconscious mind. The third type is one in which an unimaginable or unforeseen impact is visualized. These dreams are considered to transcend the limits of ordinary perception and customary logic (Hall, 1979). These could be associated with a prediction of a future event or a symbolic indication of supernatural or divine strength. The third type is mainly related to our question on dreams. According to Green, the Islamic tradition is rich in symbolic expressions and interpretations of dreams. The researcher specifies that it was the dreams and subsequent visions of the Prophet (pbuh) that heralded the beginning of Islam. Prophet Yusuf (pbuh) was also known for his true interpretation of dreams
Visit of the shrines: The shrines of the Sufi saints remain the important aspect of religion and social structure in Pakistan. In rural areas, many tribes are associated with a particular saint who originally converted that tribe to Islam (Ewing, 1983). The functions of shrines include social participation, providing entertainment in the form of devotional music and chanting (qawali), educating people, distributing food, sweets, money, etc. (Karin, 1983).
Respondents were asked about the purpose of their visits to shrines. An overwhelming majority (89.0%) visit the shrines of Sufi saints for various purposes. Males constitute half of them.
Some of them enjoy being at the sanctuary and get peace of mind from it. Another common reason found in the study was satisfaction with some unresolved internal conflicts. The study also found that most men and women visit the shrines because of their dedication and respect for the Sufi saint. They had learned the tradition of their ancestors and found their happiness there. —Javeria Bukhari, Rabia Khalil, Muneeba Shoukat, Sana Liaquat, Mehak Ayub