Sufis in Egypt (2) - YOUM7 (Archive)/Hassan Mohamed
CAIRO - 7 March 2017: Hundreds of Sufis in Egypt headed to the mosque of Sayeda Nafisa, meaning “Lady Nafisa,” in Cairo on Tuesday on the occasion of her birthday, with an extensive presence of policemen to secure and organize the celebration,
Sayeda Nafisa, the great-great-granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad, was a scholar and teacher of Islam.
The Sufi community celebrates her birthday every year by putting flowers and garments at her shrine and chanting Sufi chants and hymns near the mosque bearing her name.
The imam of the mosque, Sheikh Abdullah Roshdi, told Youm7, “What is new this year is to try to make the celebration free from legal violations by cooperating with the authorities.”
“Beggars and street vendors were also removed from the area of the mosque in response to the directives of the Minister of Religious Endowment (Awqaf) Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa,” Roshdi said.
The ministry had called on visitors to preserve the sanctity of the mosque and to respect and abide by the ethics of the visit.
Sufism, often called "Islamic mysticism," is an Islamic trend that has deep roots in Egypt, with almost 15 percent of the population being members of the Sufi community or participating in its practices. It is an approach to Islam that focuses on “self-purification and the attainment of spiritually advanced states” through a number of disciplines and practices, a study by Harvard Divinity School explained.
These practices include recitation of litanies, the celebration of the prophet’s birthday in a big traditional ceremony and festivals to celebrate members of the prophet’s family, which are conducted at their tombs and the mosques named after them.
The final event in the celebration will be held Wednesday.