Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Sufi Orders and Movements: Egypt
(1,168 words)

Medieval historians were uninterested in recording women's participation in Sufi orders which must be inferred from incidental references to shaykhs in Mamluk and Ottoman Egypt who catered to women and admitted them into their orders – controversial topics among Sufi men – and from denunciations of women's participation in dhikr , the ritual “remembrance” of God through repeated chanting of some of His Names. There are rare notations of women who became shaykhas, such as Zaynab Fāṭima bt. al-ʿAbbās (d. 1394), head of a women's retreat house in Cairo founded in 1285 …

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Hoffman, Valerie J., “Sufi Orders and Movements: Egypt”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0149b>
First published online: 2009

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