Khartoum, Sudan

The men dance enjoying the music and chanting, while the women stand in the background. In a state of excitement and euphoria, one woman ran out to the grounds with the dancing men but a frustrated elder quickly hustled her back to the proper area for women.

The eldest whirling dervish at Hamad el-Nil Mosque

Proceeding to the mosque grounds where this old man led the chanting and singing of ‘Allah’ while the men in colorful clothes (whirling dervishes) danced, swayed, bobbed and spun

Proceeding to the grounds just outside the Hamad el-Nil Mosque for music, chanting and dancing of the whirling dervishes

The sacrifice

Woman buying beads at the mosque

Ablution at Hamad el-Nil Mosque

More than 70 percent of the Sudanese people are Muslim.

The followers of Sheikh Hamad el-Nil, who worship in this sixty-four year old mosque, adhere to the Qadiriya Sufi Order.

Younger men respectfully watch this older gentleman gently move to the beat of drums.

One of the whirling dervishes dances and willingly accepts donations.

Part of the celebration involves the sacrifice of a camel to provide food for the poor. Note the priest with his knife.

Hundreds of people come to see the celebration of whirling dervishes.

Every Friday afternoon (except Ramadan) at Hamad el-Nil Mosque, the Qadiriya Sufi Order of Islam celebrates with dancing, music, chanting and singing. Note the whirling dervish dressed in traditional green, but carrying a modern cell phone.

A vast cemetery surrounds Hamad el-Nil Mosque.


6 October 2000 – The whirling dervishes of the Qadiriya Sufi Order of Islam twirl, sway, chant and stir up dust in front of the sixty-four year-old Hamed an-Nil Mosque every Friday afternoon, except Ramadan. A camel is sacrificed, with his meat going to the poor. The decapitation is gruesome. Festivities also include old, wrinkled men chanting and singing “Allah” repeatedly, while men in colorful green and patched robes dance, bob and spin to the delight of hundreds of onlookers. During the excitement of the hour-long, upbeat celebration, men physically showed signs of enjoyment, moving and chanting, while women stand solemnly in the back, with an occasional high-pitched, female squeal escaping. One woman, in a state of euphoria, ran to join dancing men, but instantly a frustrated elderly man grabbed her by the shoulders returning her to the proper women’s area. An overjoyed Muslim man fainted for a few brief moments, but came back to life with a smile covering his brown face. The experience must be lived, as words can not do justice to the whirling dervishes.


  Sufis and Sacrifice
  Khartoum (Jim)
  National NGOs (Jim)