The Role of the Sufi Centre Within the Muslim World
For Muslims generally, and Sufis in particular, the Sufi Centre is often the heart of a community across the Muslim world. Known variously as a zawiya, ribat, khanaqah, tekke, and dargah, the development of these institutions shows some historical diversity that has converged into a soteriologically significant place for individual development and congregational worship. In tracking the historical development of these institutions, this paper highlights how the once literal meanings have retained symbolic significance in referencing the functions of a Sufi Centre. There have been some scholarly attempts to make specific distinctions between these institutions. However, the convergence with regard to function and content has meant the differences are often indicative of location and/or cultural heritage, and the titles used to refer to a Sufi Centre have become almost equivalent.
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