Sufi Remembrance Meditation: ZEKR or ZIKR

Sufi Remembrance Meditation: ZEKR or Zikr

ZEKR Ceremony in Afghanistan

ZEKR Ceremony in Afghanistan


ZEKR Ceremony in Turkey

ZEKR Ceremony in Damascus

ZEKR Ceremony in Cypress

Naqshbandi Sufi Order's "Jumping Zekr" ceremony

ZEKR Ceremony in Malaysia

"Dhikr-ذکر or Zekr, literally meaning pronouncement/ invocation/ or remembrance, is a Sufi practice that focuses on the remembrance of God. Zekr as a devotional act often includes the repetition of the names of Allah, supplications and aphorisms from hadith literature and sections of the Quran.

The Sufi orders engage in ritualized Zekr ceremonies. Each order or lineage within an order has one or more forms for group Zekr, the liturgy of which may include recitation, singing, instrumental music, dance, costumes, incense, meditation, ecstasy, and trance. Zekr in a group is not limited to these rules but most often done on Thursday and/or Sunday nights as part of the institutional practice of most orders. Zekr is sometimes accompanied with traditional instruments such as the Daf (frame drum), Ney (flute), Dombak (goblet drums), Tar (lute), Setar (stringed lute), Santur (dulcimer), and so on. Recently, modern instruments have also been used to perform Zekr.

A group Zekr ceremony in Arabic countries is usually called the hadrah. In Turkey the group ceremony is called Zikr-i Kiyam. The hadrah marks the climax of the Sufi's gathering regardless of any teaching or formal structure. Musically this structure includes several secular Arab genres and can last for hours. The hadrah section consists of the ostinato-like repetition of the name of God over which the soloist performs a richly ornamented song. Often the climax is reached through cries of "Allah! Allah!" or "HU! HU!" ("He! He!"), with the participants bending forward while exhaling and stand straight while inhaling."

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