ZIKR. The Muhammadan zikr (a "remembrance," that is to say, a remembrance of God) is a religious cere mony or an act of devotion practised by the various orders of Dervishes. As T. P. Hughes says, the per formance is very common in all :Muhammadan countries, since nearly every devout Muhammadan belongs to some order of Dervishes; but the zikr is not always quite the same. It consists in repeating the divine name according to set formulas. There is a private zikr for individual use. " The private zikr is either secret ' (zikr-el-kha'fi), that Is, to be recited mentally or in a low voice, or vocal ' (zikr-ej-ja'li), that is, to be said aloud " (F. J. Bliss). In the secret zikr, according to E. Sell, the dervish closes his eyes and with " the tongue of the heart" repeats the words " Allah the Hearer," " Allah the Seer," " Allah the Knower." Then, with alternate inhaling and exhaling of breath, he repeats phrase by phrase the creed of the unity. The repetition may be made hundreds of times. In the vocal zikr, the wor shipper, who is seated, varies his position from time to time and shouts the phrases of the creed with a voice that grows louder and louder. The congregational zikr is said by a number of dervishes in concert after a leader.
" It is usually conducted on Thursday evening (the eve of the sacred day) at the dervish house. According to
the order to which they belong, the participants squat on their heels, stand on their feet, or begin sitting and later change to standing. The chanting is accompanied by the bending of the body in different directions. Some times the zikr takes the form of a rude dance, to execute which the worshippers form a circle or a row, holding each other's hands, advancing and retreating in unison, and stamping with the feet. Beginning slowly to repeat the divine name with clear enunciation and solemn dignity, they gradually work themselves up into such a state of excitement that the rapidly uttered words become mere sounds without meaning. The swaying body keeps pace with the tongue. Physical exhaustion naturally follows this furious exercise of lungs and limbs " (F. J. Bliss). There is another kind of zikr. practised by the uninitiated. This is called the imitation zikr. It is commonly held in mosques. "According to strict doctrine, through the imitation zikr laymen may obtain protection against their enemies, but not that mystical union with God produced by the zikr of initiation." See T. P. Hughes; F. J. Bliss.