(Persian, beggar; synonymous with Arab. fakir). Mem. of an Islamic order whose practices include dances and self-castigation. There are many orders; some live in monasteries, others go about ordinary occupations and carry on the practices of their order only on special occasions. The dancing (whirling) and the howling dervishes are most widely known. See also Islam.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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