Moulay Abdellah Sanctuary
A marabout is a personal spiritual leader in the Islamic faith as practiced in West Africa, and still to a limited extent in the Maghreb. The marabout is often a scholar of the Qur'an, and many make amulets for good luck, preside at various ceremonies, and in some cases actively guide the life of the follower.
Marabouts rely on donations to live. Often there is an obligation to support the marabout that has accumulated over generations within a family.
A marabout may also refer to a tomb of a person who is a marabout. The word marabout means "Saint" in the Berber language. It is sometimes confused with the Arabic word "Mourabit" which has another meaning. The pronunciation of that word may vary according the spoken Berber dialect, for example it is pronounced as "Amrabadh" in the Rif dialect: Tarifit. The "marabout" is known as "Sayyed" (سيد) to the Arabic speaking Maghribians. Many cities in Morocco got their names from local "marabouts", and the name of those cities does usually begin with "Sidi" (سيدي) followed with the name of the local "marabout." The standard Arabic for "saint" would be "Waliy" (ولي).
The roots of this tradition can be traced back to ancient times when the Berbers believed in the polytheistic religions. Herodotus mentioned that tradition too, when he has spoken on the Nasamones. It is remarkable that the visitors of the "Marabouts" bring animals to Marabout's tombs in order to sacrifice them.
Given that Islam comdemns this tradition and strictly forbids its practice, it is unlikely that the tradition has its roots in Islam.
Text from Wikipedia
cloth covering the grave
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