The study of Muslim societies has been for a long time the appanage of western Orientalists and European ethnographers whose view from the outside rarely accounted for the complex reality of these societies. This Variorum volume by an eminent North African historian follows the development of Islam in Morocco as a social phenomenon over the last five centuries. During this period the nature of North African societies and political systems was profoundly changed and shaped by the emergence of a new form of Islamic religiosity based on the glorification of Prophet Muhammad and the veneration of popularly acclaimed saints. From being a purely religious phenomenon, the devotion shown to the Prophet and his lineage turned into a major principle of legitimacy, in both the religious and political fields. In fact, as legitimacy tended to center around the prophetic lineage, Moroccan society witnessed an intense rivalry between saints and sultans, or spiritual and temporal leaders, with the latter trying to keep the saints and the sufis within a strictly religious sphere. This rivalry between the two parties is crucial to the understanding of modern Maghribi history, as well as the present Moroccan political system.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Moroccan Islam Observed / Chapter Two: Saints and Sultans / Chapter Three: Sharifian Sufism / Chapter Four: The Sanctuary (hurm) in Pre-colonial Morocco / Chapter Five: Sanctuary Immunity in Early Nineteenth Century Morocco / Chapter Six: Muhammad’s Birthday and the Ascendancy of the Prophet’s Lineage in Morocco / Chapter Seven: Hospitality, Charity and Legitimacy in Pre-modern Morocco / Chapter Eight: Maghribi Islam in the Mashriq / Chapter Nine: Moroccan Observers of Western Civilization / Chapter Ten: Salafi-s and Modernists in the Moroccan Nationalist Movement.
Mohamed El Mansour is senior professor of modern history at Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco. He completed his doctoral studies at The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK (1981) and his publications include Morocco in the Reign of Mawlay Sulayman (1990) and Morocco Before Colonialization (in Arabic, 2006).