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The Zikris (Arabic: ذكرى) are a branch of Islam settled in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and in Balochistan region of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. They believe that they're the followers of Imam e Akhar Zaman Hazrat Syed Muhammad Jaunpuri (Imam Mehdi). The name Zikri comes from the Arabic word dhikr (pronounced "zikr" in South Asia).
Zikri perform all Five Pillars of Islam, shahada, the Hajj, Ramadan, Zakat (alms-giving) and all Shahadah. Zikris, like mainstream Muslims, are religiously obligated to pray five times daily. The content of their prayer, which they call Zikr-e-Elahi, refers to a person's worship of Allah.[clarification needed] The Zikris perform the standard Islamic hajj but they also make pilgrimage (ziyarat) to the mountain where Imam Mehdi stayed, called Koh-e-Murad (Mountain of Desire), in Balochi language. They celebrate ziyarat on the 27th night of Ramadan.
The cultural and commercial significance of the Zikri festivals are the same as other Baloch. Their zikr khanas are like mosques but do not have pulpits, instead, there are mats on which they sit and do the zikr.
Towards the end of Ramadan, (mostly from 25th of Ramadan to 28th of Ramadan) a huge assembly called the Zikir e Elahi takes place on Koh-e-Murad to commemorate the occasion.
Most Zikris live in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and in Balochistan, where they are the largest sect in the Gwadar District. There are also large groups of Zikris in the Pakistani city of Karachi and a few numbered in the Pakistani province of Sindh and in Iranian Balochistan. Many of the other smaller groups live in Karachi and Makran, although the Zikris are predominantly in south-western, where they are the largest sect in the Gwadar District. There are also large groups of Zikris near their spiritual center, Koh-e-Murad.
The number of Zikris is not known since they identify themselves as Muslims. It is estimated that there are several thousands living in Pakistan. In addition, there are Zikri communities in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and in Pakistan Karachi, Lasbela and Quetta.
Zikris had been discriminated in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Balochistan region of Pakistan, Iran and in Afghanistan. The recent emphasis on Sunni and scripturalist Islam encouraged by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam political-religious party is making inroads into Baloch regions.While the Baloch population does not discriminate the above said State forces promote the discrimination. Non-governmental organization, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and local activists, are creating a greater awareness of the Zikri predicament and aim to forestall backlash against this scattered and impoverished community. Recently, police protection has been provided to the Zikri pilgrims.