The mystical form of Islam espoused by Sufi saints for hundreds of years continues to thrive in Pakistan despite opposition from religious hardliners and the authorities. As the sun sets on a Thursday evening, hundreds of working class people descend on a shrine to the eighth-century mystic, Abdullah Shah Ghazi, in Karachi. The shrine is located on a hill in the upmarket Clifton district of Pakistan's financial capital, flanked by swanky shopping malls and the posh residential area of Defence. In the grounds below the shrine gather electricians, plumbers, construction workers, vagabonds, transvestites, prostitutes. Encircled by a cheering crowd, men take turns in a weightlifting competition. Sufism has historically provided Islam with an alternative to orthodoxy and has won it most of its converts. Sufi saints created mass appeal through their merging with pre-existing faiths of the region and their ability to align themselves with popular interests.