<i>Dhikr</i> Rituals and Culture Change

John G. Kennedy and Hussein M. Fahim

in Nubian Ceremonial Life

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9789774249556
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781617970955 | DOI:
Dhikr Rituals and Culture Change

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This chapter presents a discussion and description of the Nubian cultural and religious change as exemplified in the village microcosm of Nubian culture. As in most parts of the Islamic culture area, an important feature of the religious life of Egypt and Sudan is the dhikr (or zikr), the most important ritual of the Ṣūfi brotherhoods. Despite the wide geographic extent and historical depth of Ṣûfism in this part of the world, it is rare to find in the literature any but the briefest accounts of the dhikr. In essence, the dhikr is a ritual means of attaining an ecstatic state of spiritual union with God by verbally or mentally chanting certain litanies in concert with repetitive body movements. This chapter describes two actual dhikr performances as observed among the Nubians of Egypt, one in Old Nubia and another in Kanuba.

Keywords: Nubian culture; dhikr; zikr; Ṣûfism; Egypt; Kanuba

Chapter.  9467 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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