Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Sufi Orders and Movements: North Africa
(1,611 words)

Women have been active in Sufi orders in North Africa throughout history. They participated in separate women's dhikr s (Sufi remembrance rituals), and served as muqaddamāt (circle leaders). Muqaddamāt acted as liaisons between the men's and women's groups, led the women's dhikr , initiated new women members, and taught Sufi doctrine and practices to women members. Some women took charge of the internal administration of the zāwiya s (Sufi lodges) in which they lived and worshipped. The primary sources for these roles and practices include Arabic historical wor…

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Rausch, Margaret J., “Sufi Orders and Movements: North Africa”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 29 January 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0149c>
First published online: 2009

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