October 11, 2023

This attachment is a wonderful story adorned with several events throughout time. The first initiator of this attachment is the founder of the first reigning royal dynasty in Morocco, Sultan Sharif Idriss I, a descendant of the Lord, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. During his allegiance and enthronement, he asked the population to follow the guidance of Islam while also loving the Prophet and his descendants. At that time, the Prophet’s descendants were persecuted, oppressed, and even assassinated. Proof of this is the assassination of the new ruler of Morocco, Idriss I, who had married a Berber Amazigh woman, by an emissary sent from Baghdad during the Abbasid reign of Haroun al-Rashid. His son, Idriss II, continued his father’s vision, during which Morocco established its new capital, Fes, and built the world’s first university, Al Quarraouine.

The initial impacts of this attachment to the Prophet became evident with the selection of the Maliki doctrine among the four Islamic doctrines. This choice was influenced by the fact that its founder, Imam Malik, was originally from Medina, the city of the Prophet. Additionally, many descendants migrated to Morocco due to the newfound climate of peace and respect granted to this Sharifian lineage. This attachment has experienced its highs and lows, especially when Sufism in Andalusia and the Middle East did not give sufficient esteem to the highest station of the Prophet in Sufi writings and poems.

The great Moroccan Sufi master, Moulay Abdeslam ibn Machich, and educator of the Sufi master Imam Abu Al Hassan Chadili, played a pivotal role in introducing the Salat Machichia prayer, which bestowed eloquence and beauty to the elevated and ultimate station of divine proximity through this prophetic prayer. Several decades later, another Moroccan Sufi Imam, Al Boussairi, composed the most beautiful, prestigious, and widely popular poem about the love for the Prophet, describing his highest esteem and renown. Since then, all Sufi paths, both in the East and the West, have emphasized this poem during their gatherings and Sufi chants.

During the rule of the Saadian dynasty, King Al Mansour Addahbi noticed the festivities in Turkey during the Prophet’s birthday, commonly known as the Mawlid Annabawi celebration. He founded this celebration while offering dinner meals to dignitaries, as well as to the poor and needy. In his presence, poets recited praises to the Prophet and later to the King, as a sign of solidarity and allegiance. Since that time, this devotion to the Prophet and the Kings of Morocco has never ceased, despite the ups and downs and challenging periods.

This typically Moroccan behavior, also found in North Africa, remains incomprehensible to many global communities, including some Arab-Muslim communities. Sufi orders have provided a refuge for this behavior while preserving the mystical aspect of Islam, in which the Prophet is the first and ultimate bearer, and his worshippers are the successors, led by the master educators of the Sufi paths.

Respect for the Prophet’s descendants endures in Morocco. This lineage, known as Chorafa in the plural form, or Cherif or Charifa for an individual, is highly regarded in Morocco. This term is also used to designate individuals respected for their noble behavior, without necessarily referring to the bourgeoisie, aristocracy, or dignitaries.

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