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Islam / Orientations / Sufism /
Arabic: dhikr allah

Dhikr performed by Rifa'i sufis.
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Dhikr performed by Rifa'i sufis.

Muslim religious technique used by Sufis, in which a name of God or a short religious phrase is repeated over and over again. The object of doing this varies somewhat. It could be to glorify God or, as is more common in Sufism, by the means by which one tries to step out of this world in order to come closer to God. The Arabic term "dhikr" should be translated with "remembrance".
The practice is slightly founded in the Koran, but its use of the term can just as easily relate to everyday life and not necessarily to any specific technique used by the Sufis. The following reference is found in the Koran:
Koran sura 33: Confederates
41 You who believe, remember God with all your memory...

Among the phrases that can be repeated are laa ilahi illa llah, "there is no god but God"; subhanu llah, "Oh God Almighty"; al-hamdu li-llah, "praise be to God"; allahu akbar, "God is greater"; astaghfiru llah, "I ask for God's forgiveness", or simply allah, "God".
Dhikr can also involve music, in which spiritual songs, hard to distinguish form ordinary songs, are used.

By Tore Kjeilen