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Key words
Sufi sm, the Comoros, zikr, the daira, murid, sheikh
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +7 (921) 935-55-33
3, Universitetskaya emb., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation
PhD (History) applicant, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Science

The article is devoted to the ritual of the Daira (circle), which is widespread among the Sufi  brotherhoods of the Comoros. The Muslim community in the Comoros began to form from the fi rst century on the hijra. Islam on the islands has acquired its own identity as a result of multilateral processes of religious interaction and ethno-cultural synthesis, especially pronounced in the ritual practices of the Comorian Sufi  orders. Sufi sm has exerted and infl uences various aspects of the social and cultural life of the peoples inhabiting the archipelago.

On the basis of travel notes, interviews with representatives of Sufi  communities and local experts, the author shows what challenges the traditional Islam of tariqas in the modern world is facing with and how they overcome them. Th e emergence of religious confl icts in a state where practically the entire population professes one religion of Islam is a new phenomenon caused by the emergence of adherents of a return to “pure Islam” in the country. Th ereupon the joint ritual, where representatives of diff erent Sufi  communities can take part, acquires special signifi cance. The article focuses on the ethnographic description of the religious ceremony of the Dairа and its “new traditions”.


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