In Sufism, the practice of listening to music, chanting, and dancing as a means of producing a state of religious ecstasy and mystical trance. Practitioners hold that music prepares the soul for a deeper comprehension of divine realities and a better appreciation of divine music. God, as the source of beauty, is taken to be approachable through these activities because they contain or exemplify beauty. It is stressed that music is only a means to approach the spiritual realm, and strong ascetic training is required to ensure that music so employed does not arouse base instincts.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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