Rifai raatheeb is a ritual performed by a section of Ahmed ar-Rifa'i . Rifai is a name which originates from sufi saint Shaikh Ahmed ar-Rifai who was born in the Wasit region in Baghdad, Iraq in 1118. Shaikh Rifai committed himself to memorise the Holy Koran at the age of seven years and he is the founder of the Rifai Sufi Order. Rifai Ratib . performed at ritual festivals, and homes. they are done to escape from incurable diseases and to fulfil the aspirations of the people. According to many masters of the rifai sufi order, the origin of Ratib( piercing of the body without pain, immunity to snake and fire by Rifai Shaykhs and riding of wild animals) is the pilgrimage of Shaykh Ahmad Rifai. However, there is no authentic source confirming this origin. The ritual consists of acts like piercing parts of one's own body like the tongue, the ear, and the stomach with knives and sharp-edged steel tools. Hymns known as Byths or Ratheebs are sung during the ritual. (There are more than twenty different byths being used). daf) main musical instruments used in Rifai Ratib. The followers and protagonists of the ritual believe, that even though injuries are inflicted on the bodies of the performers by weapons, these do not cause pain or damage to the body. They believe that, since the ritual is performed by devotees who have received "ijazath" (permission) from their "sheikh" (deity), it will not cause injuries.
While follower of the ritual portray Rifai Ratib as a folklore art, Islamic revivalist as well as reformist movements in (like salafi Movement) maintain that this ritual is, in fact, Rifai Ratib don't have any proof to real teaching of Sahaba, Quran, and hadeeth.