Rātib in leather pouch

Item

Title

Rātib in leather pouch
religious token

Creator

Creator Unrecorded

Subject

Sudan; Omdurman, Sudan; Mahdi; religion; koran; Quran; campaign mementoes; Camel; ethnography; World Cultures; skin, animal; bag, skin; battles
Ephemera

Description

Rātib prayerbook on parchment, cased in camel hide. The rātib (Ar. “ordered”) is a compendium of prayers, verses from the Qur'an and invocations of the 99 names of Allah, together representing a portable version of the zikr, the collective remembrance of Allah. In addition to the five daily prayers, every important Sufi fraternity had its own collection of supplications: the hallmark of an intense, internal version of Islam, achieving knowledge of God by prayer, mediation, physical movement and spiritual ecstasy.
As the sheikh of an influential Sammānīa fraternity, Muḥammad Aḥmad began to distil key elements of the zikr into a small, concise volume. Once he declared himself to be the Mahdī and moved to the Nūba Mountains in August 1881, the rātib took its final shape.
Its chanted meditations, repeated in stipulated multiples, became mesmeric with repetition.
This copy of the rātib is bound in leather, with stamped circular patterns with internal crosses. There is a leather two-ply carrying strip and a flap that closes the book. The small pouch in front contains half a wooden comb. [FHM 25/09/2019, FN/ON 09/02/2020]

Publisher

Making African Connections

Date

1896
1898

Format

Height 110mm; Length 95mm; Height 120mm; Length 95mm; Diameter 27mm; Height 47mm; Length 52mm
wood; leather; paper; leather

Identifier

5001.44
ES44

Language

Rights

© Royal Engineers Museum

Linked resources

Filter by property

Relation
Title Alternate label Class
The rātib Text