Shrines, Drugs, and Mental Health in South Asian Culture: A Case Study of Rahman Baba Shrine, Peshawar Pakistan


  • Shakeel Ahmed Department of Social Work, University of Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Imran Ahmad Sajid Department of Social Work, University of Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Samia Shakeel NUML University, Regional Campus, Peshawar


Drug Use, Mystical Substance, Shrines, Rehman Baba, Marijuana, Pakhtun


This phenomenological study explores the traits of substance-induced mysticism at the Rehman Baba shrine in Pakistan. The shrine of Rehman Babais frequently visited by many. Some of the Malang(monks) use marijuana to induce a mystic experience. It has become a socially acceptable practice at this shrine. It uses non-participant observation of the substance users and exploratory interviews along with focused group discussion at Rahman Baba shrine. The findings indicate that only marijuana is used at the shrine as a holy drug. They view substance use as a source of love for humanity, relaxation from social stresses, and harmony among the users. It is further used to escape from the challenges of social life. Merton’s ‘individual’s modes of adaptation’ has been used to explain the data.


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How to Cite

Ahmed, S., Sajid , I. A. ., & Shakeel, S. (2022). Shrines, Drugs, and Mental Health in South Asian Culture: A Case Study of Rahman Baba Shrine, Peshawar Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Applied Social Sciences, 13(1), 23–43. Retrieved from