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Modes of Remembrance (Dhikr): A Comparative Perspective

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Atif Khalil (University of Lethbridge)

online lecture │13 June 2024 │ 6:00 pm (CET)

The present lecture will serve as an introduction to the art and science of dhikr or “meditative remembrance” in Islamic mysticism or Sufism through a comparative lens. After opening with a survey of (1) the foundations of the practice in the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet, (2) the various forms and levels of dhikr in classical Sufism, and (3) its epistemic value within the tradition, we will explore (4) its relation to other contemplative modes of interiorizing one’s consciousness. What similarities, for example, does the Islamic practice have with forms of meditation in Buddhism, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and Hinduism? The lecture will conclude by (5) exploring the potential relevance of recent scientific research on the psychological and neurological effects of deep meditation for the field of Sufi studies.

Atif Khalil is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada), where he has been teaching for more than fifteen years. He is the author of “Repentance and the Return to God: Tawba in Early Sufism” (Albany: SUNY Press, 2018), and more than thirty academic articles on the mystical, ethical, and philosophical traditions of Islam. He is co-editor of “In Search of the Lost Heart” (Albany: SUNY, 2012) and “Mysticism and Ethics in Islam” (Beirut: American University of Beirut, 2022). At present, he is writing a monograph on the theory and practice of dhikr in Sufism.


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You can find more information about the lecture series here.

Contact: Dr. Raid Al-Daghistani – raid.aldaghistani@uni-muenster.de