Sudanese Sufis Attempt to "Reach God" by Ritual

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Khartoum, Sudan
March 23, 2015

Al-Samaniya is one of the most prevalent Sufi orders in Sudan. Followers of this Tariqa, young and old alike, attempt to reach God by reiterating "There is no God but Allah" while bowing repetitively.

Video shows Samaniya members performing a ceremonial prayer at a mosque in Khartoum. It also includes an interview with a clerical member of the order, Sheikh Jaafar Mohammed, who explains the devotional practices and beliefs of the Samaniya order.


  1. soundbite (Arabic )
    Member of Al-Samaniya Order, Member of Al-Samaniya Order: "Al-Samaneya Gharebiya Hassania order is one of the houses of Sufism in Sudan. It is based on the principle of ihsan [charity] -- you worship God even if you do not see Him. If you cannot see Him, He can see you. Starting from this great significance, we communicate with members of the community in all religious and social events. In the holy month of Ramadan this ritual is kept alight. We start with a night prayer, then we read the Quran in the conclave. We also perform the five prayers and break our fasting; many people attend the fast breaking in this holy place. This is followed by *taraweeh* prays at night. During the evening prayer we also perform many devotional recitals. We also organize many preaching and social events, which aim at raising religious awareness among people."
  2. soundbite (Arabic )
    Member of Al-Samaniya Order, Member of Al-Samaniya Order: "This practice is based on reciting 'there is no God but Allah' [as well as other recitals]. Recitals are accompanied by physical movement to avoid monotony. The aim is to reach God by reciting the phrase 'there is no God but Allah' with perseverance, through pronunciation, movement as well breathing. On the Day of Judgment, when a human being cannot use his tongue anymore he will use his body."
  3. voiceover