Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Religious Associations: North Africa
(1,183 words)

Women's associations meet to perform religious rituals on a regular or occasional basis throughout North Africa. These associations are autonomous, attached neither to each other, nor to parallel men's associations, although some associations recognize distant or former affiliation with Sufi (Islamic mystical) orders. They are usually loosely structured with membership based on ritual participation. Their rituals may take the form of the dhikr , or Sufi remembrance ritual, a spirit possession ceremony called ḥaḍra or līla , or a combination. Some are held exclusively fo…

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Rausch, Margaret J., “Religious Associations: North Africa”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0142d>
First published online: 2009

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