De titel van het nieuwsbericht
Vryday 7 octobre 2011, Omdurman, Soedan july 2014
Tonight I attended the Dhikr ceremony at the tomb of Sheikh Hamed al Nil, a 19-century Sufi leader. Every Friday, before the evening prayers, men are chanting and dancing, accompanied by rhythmic clapping and chanting the naam of Allah name, reciting the central verse of the Qur'an: La ilaha illallah. This mystical ritual creates a trance and, thereby, offers an opportunity for direct, personal contact with God. This is an element of Sufism, you can find more via Google. The ritual that I attended this afternoon, reminded hardly off what I had seen before.
I knew something about Sufism and the Dancing Dervishes, and I had seen a performance before, in the Caucasus. The monotone singing has a hypnotizing effect, and because the tempo is gradually accelareted, it indeed creates a
kind of trance. And I have been impressed by the film of Jos de Putter: The making of an empire,
in 1999. (Can be seen on Youtube: click here). De Putter filmed his experiences in Chechnya and in his film he also shows this ritual. In the Caucasus it is called Zikr. Moreover, it is certainly not what the Dutch media usually describe it like: an old
Caucasian war dance; it is an ancient mystical ritual.