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Rituals and Worship

Sacred Time

In addition to customary Muslim practices, Sufi practitioners cultivate a rich inner life that analyzes temporary states of being called "hals" on the path to achieving more permanent heights of spiritual enlightenments called stations, or "maqam."

Sacred Space

Many Sufi lodges developed around the shrines or tombs dedicated to founders of a particular "tariqa" or order. These lodges could serve as residences to members of an order, or as schools or hostels for visitors and travelers.

Rites and Ceremonies

"Dhikr," or remembrance of God, is the central ceremony in Sufi practice and is performed in addition to regular daily prayers. Comprised of voluntary prayers that may be performed at any time, and invocations of God, "dhikr's" meaning and form are derived from an understanding of the Quran.

Worship and Devotion in Daily Life

In addition to ceremonial practices, the daily life of the Sufi is shaped by the paradigm of worship as a path to God. Each day and each moment is seen as an opportunity to remember God while disciplining the soul.


The most enduring symbol of Sufi belief is the veil, or the "paradox of the Veil." This veil is a barrier between humans and True Reality, and overcoming it, or seeing past it, is the aim of the Sufi.