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established by the Fatimid court.109 From the moulid of the Prophet will be developed the ziayra or visit to the tombs of saints consisting of a procession to the shrine followed by supplications. The festivities include many different activities such as the torchlight processions in addition to other performs such as reciting Quran as well as stories from the Prophet's biography and poems of praise; festive meals, organizing entertainments, singing, and dancing. The celebration starts in general by the procession of the participants Sufi orders and worshipers to the shrine and it ends by the great sufi processions held either the last day of moulid preceding the great night or the day after for the closing event. Depending on the importance of the moulid all the other sufi orders participate, each bears its distinctive banners with its own colors red for the Ahmadis, green for the Shadhilis and black for the Rifa’is ...etc. Music accompanies the followers who sometimes perform ritual dances. In the center of the procession, the successor of the saint or at least the turban of the saint or any symbolic object took the privileged place of receiving honor and distributing benediction. The followers of the saint in honor threw sweets, salt and rice into the crowd as symbol of benediction from the saint. The dervishes and the fakirs perform their dances and shows sometimes even with brandishing snakes as for the Rifais or practicing self-mutilation by piercing the cheeks, swallowing fire. In the present these practiced disappeared from the urban moulid in Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta to be replaced only by the dances, the followers bearing the photos of the saints and the flags. In Upper Egypt, the moulid procession is famous by the mahmal or palanquins paraded a camel during the final procession. This model refers to the procession of mahmal that announced the departure of the Egyptian caravan for Hajj. In some cases, the new hangings (kiswa) for covering the saint’s tomb are carrying in the mahmal in comparison with the Kiswa sent by Egypt to Mecca. The deceased must be interred within 24 hours of death. After the death family of the deceased prepare the body and then it is laid on the ground or on a table facing Mecca, and the others stand behind him in rows to pray for his forgiveness. Then the funerary procession transports the body until the grave. Men of the family bear the body, after them the close family and friends most of them are male, only the female close family assist to the procession, all the neighbors, friends and even strangers can join the procession. It is preferable to every Muslim to assist to the funerary procession to take the lesson of the death and to pray for the diseased. It is recommended for those following the procession to walk calmly, quietly, and not crowd or push others who are carrying the deceased. According to Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H): "Visit the sick and walk with in the funeral procession, it will remind you of the hereafter"(Muslim). 109

Boaz, 2002.


Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project  
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