Hamed el-Nil Tomb

Top choice islamic site in Khartoum

Every Friday afternoon you can see an incredible Sufi ritual, where a colourful local troupe of whirling dervishes belonging to the Sufi community stirs up the dust in worship of Allah, at this imposing mausoleum located in a large Islamic cemetery. Things start around 4.30pm (5pm in winter), but it doesn't really get going until about 5.30pm and they don't dance during Ramadan. If you're used to the dour colours of Arabian Islam, you'll find the circus-like atmosphere here refreshingly colourful and laid-back – don't miss it!

The ceremony starts with a procession towards the mausoleum, with the dervishes carrying green banners. Some dervishes look like Rastafarians with their dreadlocks. As they parade around a large open space outside the tomb, they chant, pray, bob and clap, accompanied by cymbals and drums, which creates an atmosphere of frenzy. Some of them enter in a trance state. Foreigners are welcome to attend this ritual and take pictures.


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