“It is like Mathematics”! - How to Influence the Universe with a Khatim (Islamic Seal).

Michael Marlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article covers how the West African khatimulu (Islamic numerical tables) are presently applied and taught in Western Europe. First, an introduction to the khatim is followed by a presentation of the context of the West African Mandinka marabout. Then, all the crucial components used in the design of the khatim – from the choice of initial sacrifice, the size of the khatim, the principles of numerology, the personalization of the khatim, the use of possible metaphysical agents, to Koranic quotes and physical substances to enhance the effect – is described. Further, the methods of two interviewed marabouts based in Sweden are compared with the classic Islamic esoteric literature and earlier ethnographic research. Finally, the clients for the services of the marabouts based in Western Europe are identified as primarily non-Muslim native Europeans, not West Africans.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)477–488
JournalAnthropos -Freiburg-
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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