Zikri

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فارسی

 

Zikri is an offshoot of Sunni Hanafi Islam that is concentrated in Balochistan province of Pakistan. There are about seven-hundred fifty thousand followers in this sect. It is based around the teachings of Nur Pak, a 15th century self proclaimed Mahdi. Not much is known about him, but he is believed to have lived in Balochistan, specifically in Makran. Nur Pak claimed to be the Mahdi, and was seen as a reformer of Islam in his area. He introduced new teachings that would grow into to Zikri sect.

In religious practice, the Zikris differ greatly from mainstream Muslims. Zikris perform five times daily prayers called Zikr in which sacred verses are recited, as compared to the orthodox practice of Salah (Namaz). They perform Ziarat (pilgramage) of shrine Koh-e-Murad , which is located in the city of Turbat in Balochistan, on the twenty seventh night of Ramadan . The name Zikri comes from the Arabic word 'dhikr' (pronounced 'Zikr' in Farsi (Persian) and Urdu.) that refers to remembrance, usually of Allah. This is reflective of the Zikri worship centering on the recitation of Islamic credos.

Most of Zikris live in Balochistan, but a large number also live in Karachi, interior Sindh and Iran. They tend to vote for secular parties in elections, and they constitute the majority religious group in the district of Gwadar. Zikris have faced persecution from mainstream Muslims who consider them heretics and apostates.

'Koh' means mountain and Murad is a name, meaning aim and desire. It has been reported that the Zikris perform rites similar to Hajj when performing the Ziarah at the shrine at Koh-e-Murad as described above.

The Zikri came to Balochistan through searching for a safe place, and in their isolation from the mainstream Muslims, developed these practices that are in deviance from the majority Muslims.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page last updated: Thursday, February 02, 2006 19:51:31 -0500