A recording of a Sufi dhikr undertaken by patients at the Sultan Bahu Rehab Centre in Westridge, Mitchell’s Plain. Dhikr (literally, “remembrance”) is a traditional Islamic recitation, where sacred names are chanted with special breathing techniques, often creating trance-like effects. This practice was brought to the Cape with the Malay slaves, and is now used by the rehabilitation centre as an augmentation to the curative process. “Al Madat,” the specific dhikr used for this installation, translates as “help,” and is here used to implore the Prophet for assistance.
Started by Shafiek Davids in 2005, the Sultan Bahu Centre is a non-profit organisation in the field of substance abuse – mainly heroin and methamphetamine (tik) – in both Mitchell’s Plain and Bonteheuwel. The centre operates as a drug treatment facility in lower socio-economic communities, offering a six-week intensive day programme with continual care thereafter.
Sultan Bahu (1628 – 1691) was an Islamic scholar, poet and Sufi saint, founder of the Sawari Qadiri Sufi Order.
Audio extracts can be heard here: https://soundcloud.com/theotherjameswebb/sets/sultan-bahu-rehabilitation
Photograph by Kyle Morland