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Spiritual practices buffer against mental and physical illnesses and enhance spiritual, mental and physical wellbeing. It helps an individual to develop calm, happy, contented life style and relationship to one’s self’, to divine and to larger community. Spiritual practices and ritual at the Sufi shrines are a way to communicate with (supreme power) Allah. Saints, Walis and Sufis are faith educators and mentors for believers and non-believers. Sufi shrines are the sacred places and centers for spiritual healing, observation and devotion. The study was conducted at three famous shrines of Potohar region in Punjab, Pakistan. The research was directed to find how spiritual practices play their role to overcome physical and mental illnesses at Sufi shrines. Non-probability techniques including convenience, purposive and snowball sampling were used to select a sample of 110 Pilgrims. The study was descriptive in nature. Interview guide was prepared as a tool to conduct in- depth interviews. Case studies were collected with the help of a Case Study checklist. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to manage and analyze data. The study summarizes that spiritual/sacred rituals at the Sufi shrines connected a believer to his inner being, to larger community, and to the Divine. These rituals help to provide awareness, meaning, intention, and purpose in life. Visitation of Sufi shrines assist to get rid of mental and physical illnesses. Believers have strong faith that shrines have the power to heal physical problems as well as mental and spiritual problems. Shrines are socio-religious-cultural places where Sufi saints are buried. These places are symbol of purity, sacredness, knowledge, grace and spirituality.

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Sawatia Ghazanfar (Pakistan) 13941
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