Hi Tarik, which bit isnt true?This isn't true. It is practiced by both Muslims and Christians. Most people dismiss it as superstition because they don't belong to that world, so they don't know about it. and those of us who do follow this way of life just get too tired trying to explain, so we just tend to keep it quiet and keep to ourselves, or we tell people what we think they can understand or what they want to hear. Like I keep saying, there is more to it than JUST A RITUAL Just as a mass and communion are only very small parts of a much larger spiritual philosophy in Catholicism, so too is the Zar only a small part of a much wider world view and spiritual perspective. To just focus on Zar without really knowing the world view and philosophy behind it is to take it out context.
I did say that most cultures practice this kind of ritual and each is unique.
In Egypt, I know that the Christains have a different version of the Zar.
Zar for me has become a bit like the word Belly dance.
I can see by this thread that the term is being described very loosley and perhaps it is, but this is the reason this thread is bouncing around as we all have a slightly different view of what Zar means.
I am no expert in this matter but I do know a bit in relation to some practices of this nature.
We had a high profile case in the UK a few years back which led to lots of changes within childrens services.
The Child (an 8 year old girl) died as a result of constant torturing because her aunt (who was a christian) thought she was possesed. Her aunt claimed she was performing an ancient cultural ritual (described like the ZAR)
This is not a ZAR and was never refferred to as such. We have lots of practices still like this in the UK. It stops being spititual for me when kids are starved and tortured to death because of this.
My husband also worked on cases within Egypt were people died as a result (mainly young people). This was not the ZAR either. this was to do with magic and spells which are still practiced and believed in in certain areas of Egypt. Some are just seen as harmless shawazza like making the man you love impotent to any other women, but some cases have led to death.
There is a flip side to everything and not everything considered spiritual leads to divine things.
Sorry to offend anyone.