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Nubian Ceremonial LifeStudies in Islamic Syncretism and Cultural Change$
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John G. Kennedy

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9789774249556

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774249556.001.0001

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Dhikr Rituals and Culture Change

Dhikr Rituals and Culture Change

Chapter:
(p.41) Chapter 3 Dhikr Rituals and Culture Change
Source:
Nubian Ceremonial Life
Author(s):

John G. Kennedy

Hussein M. Fahim

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774249556.003.0003

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

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