Islam in Morocco

A mosque in Larache

Islam is the largest religion in Morocco, with more than 99% of the population adhering to it. The largest subset of Muslims in Morocco are Maliki Sunni; other numerous groups include practitioners of Zahirism and non-denominational Muslims.


Islam was first brought to Morocco in 680 by an Arab invasion under the Uqba ibn Nafi, who was a general serving under the Umayyads of Damascus. In 788, The Zaydi Shia Idrisids ruled large parts of Morocco. Their contemporaries included the heretical Barghawata state and the Khariji state of Sijilmasa. After several Berbers formed more powerful Islamic dynasties that reigned over the country. Among them were the Almoravids (1040–1147), who was the first to unite Morocco, as well as significant regions in West Africa, Spain and Algeria. The Almoravids were responsible for making the Malikii school of Islamic jurisprudence the most prominent in Morocco. It was later under Almohad rule (1121-1269) that smaller Muslim sects were persecuted and orthodox Sunni Islam became prevalent across the country.[1][2][3]

In 2016, the government developed a strategy to further adherence to the Maliki Islamic school of thought. Religious education had textbook passages deemed promoting violence removed from the curriculum. As a result, religious textbooks had 24 lessons compared to the former 50.[4][5]


Muslims in Morocco are predominantly of the Sunni Maliki madhab, or school of thought.[6] The administration of King Mohammed VI has combated the influence of Salafism via a state program where 100,000 imams will go to the country’s 50,000 mosques and promote the moderate Islam of the Maliki madhab.[7] Morocco has a large Salafi movement, notable figures among it include Omar al-Haddouchi and Hassan Kettani.



  1. ^ http://www.qantara.de/webcom/show_article.php/_c-476/_nr-1132/i.html
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2010-11-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-11-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)[art_id]=24583&cHash=e64aaa807d
  4. ^ Vidino; et al. (2018). DE-RADICALIZATION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN - Comparing Challenges and Approaches (PDF). Milano: ISPI. pp. 69–70. ISBN 9788867058198. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-08-24. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  5. ^ "FOCUS - Morocco reforms religious education to fight extremism". France 24. 2016-12-13. Archived from the original on 2018-12-27. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  6. ^ "Legal System - Morocco". Emory Law School - Hungary. Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  7. ^ New York Post: "Fighting terror Bogart-style: How Morocco counters radical Islam" By Benny Avni Archived 2017-06-13 at the Wayback Machine August 13, 2015


  • Burke III, Edmund (2014). The Ethnographic State: France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam. Oakland: University of California. ISBN 978-0520273818.
  • Cornell, Vincent J. (1998). Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism. Austin: University of Texas. ISBN 978-0292712102.
  • Eickelman, Dale F. (1976). Moroccan Islam: Tradition and Society in a Pilgrimage Center. Austin: University of Texas. ISBN 978-0292750258.
  • Eickelman, Dale F. (1985). Knowledge and Power in Morocco: The Education of a Twentieth-Century Notable. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691025551.
  • Geertz, Clifford. (1968). "Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia" . Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.ISBN 978-0226285115
  • Munson Jr., Henry. (1993). " Religion and Power in Morocco" . New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300053760
  • Terem, Etty. (2014). "Old Texts, New Practices: Islamic Reform in Modern Morocco". Stanford: Stanford University PressISBN 978-0804787079

See also

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