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Dance

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Dance

    There is no specific theory or tradition of religious dance in Islamic civilization. Some Sufis (mystical Muslims) use dance to visually represent the Islamic principle of tawhid, emphasizing the oneness, peerlessness, and utter transcendence of God. Nonindividuation of content, structured gestures, and symmetrical repetition of motifs within a prescribed spatial plan invoke the elaboration of arabesque patterns. Most famous is that of the “whirling dervishes,” performed by the Mawlawi Sufi order, founded by Jalal al-Din Rumi . Other types of dance found in the Muslim world include solo dances, line dances performed by one-gender groups, and martial and combative dances.

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