Zaouia


Zaouia

Zaouia (Arabic زاوية "corner"), also spelled "zawiya", "zawiyah", "zaouiya", "zaouïa" "zwaya", etc, is a Maghrebi and West African term for an Islamic religious school or monastery, roughly corresponding to the Eastern term "madrassa". The zawiya often contains a pool, and sometimes a fountain. [M. D. Goulder, Stanley E. Porter, Paul M. Joyce, David E. Orton, "Preview this bookCrossing the Boundaries: Essays in Biblical Interpretation", 1994, BRILL publisher, 381 pagesISBN 9004101314]

Schools in the Maghreb

In precolonial times, these were the primary sources for education in the area, and taught basic literacy to a large proportion of children even in quite remote mountainous areas - leading to a 40% literacy rate in Algeria in 1830, for instance, which was actually higher than after the French left.Fact|date=March 2007 Their curriculum began with memorization of the Arabic alphabet and the later, shorter suras of the Qur'an; if a student was sufficiently interested or apt, it progressed to law (fiqh), theology, Arabic grammar (usually taught with al-Ajurrumi's famous summary), mathematics (mainly as it pertained to inheritance law), and sometimes astronomy. These are still operational throughout the Maghreb, and continue to be a major educational resource in the Sahel of West Africa, from Mauritania to Nigeria.

Sufi lodges

In the Arab world, the term "zawiya" can also refer to a Sufi lodge, akin to the term khanqah used in the Persian-speaking world. An example is the Hilaliyya Zawiya in Syria.

Hassane tribal usage

Among the Hassaniya Arabic-speaking populations of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Mali and Algeria (often referred to as Moors/Maure and Sahrawis), the term is also used to signify a certain type of tribe. Sahrawi-Moorish society was traditionally (and still is, to some extent) stratified into several tribal castes, with the Hassane warrior tribes ruling and extracting tribute - horma - from the subservient znaga tribes. A middle caste was formed by the Zawiya, or scholarly tribes, who provided religious teaching and services. This did not necessarily mean that they maintained a monastery or school as described above, since all these tribes were more or less nomadic. Hoewever, important shaykhs would sometimes create schools, or, after their deaths, their graves would turn into holy places of significance to the tribe.

Often, the Zawiya tended to be descended from Sanhadja Berbers, while the Hassane claimed lineage from the Beni Hassan Arabs. Even if intermarriage and tribal alliances made the distinction difficult to maintain from a scientific perspective, it was culturally important; however, from about the 19th century, most or all Sahrawi-Moorish tribes had adopted the Hassaniyya Arabic dialect and come to regard themselves as Arabs. Sometimes, the Zawiya and Hassane roles changed with this: military and economic strength would often lead to a gradual redefinition of the tribe's role, and, simultaneously, to its self-perception of religious and ethnic background. Especially in the northern Hassane areas, i.e. today's Western Sahara, the Zawiya tribes were more or less synonymous with the Chorfa, tribes who claimed descent from the Prophet Muhammad. In the areas corresponding broadly to today's Mauritania, this was not necessarily so; there, the name "Marabout" is also used synonymously with "Zawiya" in its tribal meaning.

References

External links

* [http://www.itineranceplus.com/english/culturalmemomarrakech.asp?ID=12 Zaouias and Marabouts] in Morocco (bad translation of a French original)
* [http://www.fsu.edu/~adult-ed/field_projects/padlos/strategies.html Strategies for Strengthening Local Capacity] , with some remarkable statistics on the role of zaouias ("Koranic schooling") in West African literacy.
* [http://www.zaouia.com/ architecture of zaouias] zaouias in Tunisia


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Zaouia — Zaouïa Une zaouïa, également orthographiée zawiya ou zawiyah (arabe : زاوية), est un édifice religieux musulman. En turc, il est appelé zaviye. Sommaire 1 Description 2 Organisation des confréries au sein des zaouias …   Wikipédia en Français

  • zaouïa — [ zauja ] n. f. • 1843; ar. zawiyah « coin; cellule d un reclus; monastère » ♦ Établissement religieux sous l autorité d une confrérie musulmane, spécialement affecté à l enseignement. Des zaouïas. ● zawiya ou zaouïa nom féminin (arabe zāwiya)… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • zaouia — var. zawiya …   Useful english dictionary

  • Zaouïa — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. De l arabe زاوية , le mot peut également être orthographié zaouia, zaouïah, zawiya, zawiyah... Une zaouïa, est un édifice religieux musulman. Zaouïa est… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Zaouia — Zaoui, Zaouia Désigne celui qui est originaire de Zaouia, nom de diverses localités en Afrique du Nord. Le nom vient sans doute de l arabe zâwya(t) = coin …   Noms de famille

  • zaouia — (entrée créée par le supplément) (za ou ia) s. f. •   Établissement religieux où les docteurs de l islamisme enseignent particulièrement la doctrine, la jurisprudence et la grammaire, CHERBONNEAU Dict. franç. arabe …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Zaouia d'Ifrane — Zaouia la belle Administration Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Zaouia de Dila — La zaouia de Dila est une confrérie soufie originaire de l Atlas. Elle tient son d espace d origine d accroissement au sein des tribus berbères du Moyen Atlas. Plus précisément chez les Aït Mejjati, par l Haj Boubker Mejjati. La création de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Zaouia Naciria — Zaouïa Naciria La Zaouïa Naciria est une confrérie religieuse soufi fondé en 1010 de l Hégire au Maroc dans la région de Tamegroute dans la zone de Drâa, par Mohamed Ben Nacer (qui avait recu son baraka de Abou Hafs Omar Ibn Ahmed Al Ansari) pour …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Zaouia El Abidia — Ajouter une image Administration Pays  Algerie !Algérie Wilaya Ouargla …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.