- Way of life
Les Religions au Maroc
Islam is the official religion of Morocco. Prayer is practiced five times a day. There are many mosques in Morocco. The cities of Morocco also have churches and synagogues where Catholics, Protestants and Jews can gather in peace whether resident or visitors.
Ramadan is the holy month among Moroccans. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. This implies changes in habits and working hours. Administration, public services, banks and private companies adopt the continuous schedule, which is generally from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Beyond the Moroccan constitution, which stipulates in its article 6 that "Islam is the religion of the state which guarantees the free exercise of worship to all", the vast majority of Moroccans are Muslim believers. Sunnis of the Malekite rite, as most Maghrebis are, have for supreme reference the Koran and the sunna (tradition) of the prophet Mohammed recorded in the hadith (collections of sayings attributed the Prophet).
Here, there is no clergy as such: under the explicit terms of the constitution, only the King, Commander of the Faithful (Amir el Mouminine), "ensures respect for Islam". In addition to this religious legitimacy by law, the current dynasty has historical legitimacy: the Alawite rulers are chorfa, that is to say descendants of the Prophet (36th generation for Mohammed VI). Since the late 1970s, Muslim countries have been swept, to varying degrees, by the "Islamist wave".
Morocco has not escaped it, and it was agreed to admit that Islam as it is practiced, in its popular as well as institutional version, is a "bulwark against Islamism". Is such an assertion justified?/p>
A religion lived in everyday life
"There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger": this affirmation of the Oneness of God, contained in the profession of faith in Islam, supports every gesture of daily life; everything is done in the name of Allah alone.
But if God is unique, the way to serve him is plural: popular Islam, orthodox Islam, mystical Islam, pre-monotheistic rituals and magic coexist in Morocco. Practices linked to the prophylactic virtue of talismans or the therapeutic effects of caves, for example, the worship of saints and the fervour for Islam form, without excluding each other, the religious experience of the Moroccan people and do not alter in any way the authenticity of its faith in the revealed religion. Many Moroccan motorists hang prayer beads and Koranic verses from the rear-view mirror of their car.
Lorry drivers write religious formulas on the bumpers of their lorries, often decorated with the so-called hand of Fatima. It’s one way to add to the car insurance, that they have in principle contracted the protection of God. For drivers equipped with this double cover, the temptation is then great to believe they are released from respecting the highway code.
A word of advice: be extremely vigilant on the road in Morocco. This popular Islam is expressed particularly on the occasion of moussems. These annual celebrations in honour of local saints, which are very strong moments of religious and social life, are not to everyone's taste: tolerated by the Moroccan regime as a factor of balance, even encouraged by it as an antidote to Islamism, on the other hand, they are condemned by the rigourists, who perceive them as a blameworthy deviation.
As his father, Hassan II, had done before him, King Mohammed VI, upon his accession to the throne, on July 23, 1999, affirmed his role as Commander of the Faithful: his first official outing, in traditional dress of pageantry, was reserved for Friday prayers; similarly, his first speeches to the nation emplaced him as the religious leader of a state whose motto is "God, Fatherland, the King".
This is a constant in Morocco: the different dynasties have always taken care to preserve their religious prerogatives, both to guide and govern, to monitor and to punish. In recent history, the Moroccan monarchy - unlike other States with a Muslim tradition (notably Algeria) which, after independence, kept a certain distance from religion - used its spiritual power as instrument for controlling the religious and political fields.
It endeavoured in particular to maintain the Habous (provision of the Muslim law regulating the status of mortmain property), to support the original teaching, to create departments of Islamic studies in the universities, to develop religious education school programs, to organise the corps of Ulema (doctors of Islamic law), to train imams and muezzins, to control the construction of mosques and their closure between prayer times.
In Muslim countries, the King of Morocco enjoys international recognition as a charismatic figure: following in the footsteps of his father, Mohammed VI chairs the Al Quds Committee, which is responsible for asserting and defending Muslim rights over the city of Jerusalem. In a country where religious culture is very prominent and where political power takes over the affairs of heaven, what is the place of Islamism and what face does it take?
The importance of religion in Morocco as well as state control in this area does not prevent the Islamist phenomenon from existing. Here, as elsewhere, it feeds on the misery of those left behind, but also on the frustration of the pious middle classes, who are more and more receptive to democratic values and human rights. However, it has not so far had the same form as in Algeria, for example, where it believed it was founded on "re-Islamising" a society that would have lost its Muslim soul, its identity: Morocco did not experience colonisation of the same violence as its neighbour and has retained strong social and religious structures.
Eid El Fitr: The end of the month of Ramadan.
Eid Al Adha or Eid El Kébir: The yearly occasion of slaughtering a sheep.
Achoura: This is the most important holiday of the Shiites.
Achoura is the memory of the death of the martyr Hussein during the disputes for the succession to the Prophet.
For children in Sunni Morocco, this is an opportunity to offer them toys.
El Mouloud: This is the feast day that celebrates the birth of Prophet Sidna Mohammed.
Morocco is one of the countries most open to the West.
Visitors should, however, follow a few rules for a good stay.
Access is prohibited for non-Muslims inside mosques and holy places. If you want to photograph someone, it is polite and good practice to ask their permission.
Language: The official languages in Morocco are Arabic and Amazigh.
But Moroccans also speak French, English and some Spanish in the North and in the Saharan Provinces.
January 11: Manifesto of Independence.
May 1: Labour Day.
July 30: Throne Festival.
August 14: Return of the Oued Eddahab.
August 20: Anniversary of the King's and People's Revolution.
August 21: Youth Day.
November 6: Green March Festival.
November 18: Independence Day.
L’habit traditionnel au Maroc est la djellaba pour les hommes et le caftan pour les femmes.
Néanmoins, l’habillement à l’occidentale et les vêtements prêt-à-porter sont fréquents.