Zuara at the tomb of Sheikh Haboos

Z is for Zuara!

Bedouin History Desert Safari

Small, domed tombs, like the one of Sheikh Haboss pictured above, can be found throughout the Sinai peninsula. When Bedouin need guidance, a blessing, or help with a problem – for example if a relative is ill, a wife is pregnant, or good crops desired – many will visit and pray at a holy sheikh’s (like a saint’s) tomb to ask for an intervention of their behalf from Allah. When this takes place on a sheikh’s birthday, it is called a “mulid”. Otherwise, this practice is known as a “zuara” and, depending on tribal traditions and the tomb visited, happens only on certain days.  Mondays and Fridays are reportedly the busiest days for a zuara at the tomb of Sheikh Haboos, although it is  not uncommon for one to happen on other days as well. Typically a zuara involves the sacrifice of a lamb, a shared meal, and – during a mulid…

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