Overview

Zāwiyah


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Sufi place of worship and welfare institution. May be identified with the mausoleum of a saint. Location where the five daily prayers are said, litanies of the Sufi order are recited, offerings are brought, food and sanctuary may be sought, and social activities requiring religious blessing are conducted. Also the designated place for achievement of various spiritual states. Under the direction of a spiritual guide, an aspirant isolates himself in zawiyah, eating minimally and reciting dhikrs in the hope that they will bring him to spiritual fulfillment. Zawiyah has also served as a unit of politico-religious organization; it often has a school attached. Its social and economic significance have eroded in the modern period.

See also Khalwah; Khanaqah; Tekke

Subjects: Islam.


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