In this lexicon, we have the following abbreviations: ar: for Arabic term, ber: for Berber terms, and heb: for Hebrew terms. Underscored words are defined in the present lexicon.
Abdel Aziz: (Mulay) Moroccan king (1900-1908).
Abderrahman: (Mulay) Moroccan king (1822-1859);
Adrar-n-Dern: stands for the western High Atlas (from Berber, Adrar: mountain, plural: idraren; hence, Adrar-n-Dern= The mountain of the mountains).
Agadir: ber. Citadel, stronghold, fortress. Also stone built communal storage for produce. Term mostly used in western High Atlas. In central and oriental Atlas the equivalent is Igherm. See COMMUNAL STORAGE-CITADELS.
Aghmat: (say ‘Ghmat without A). Village located about thirty km south of Marrakech in the Ourika valley. Aghmat was a great caravan settlement; chronicles signaled it as soon as the VII century. Two cities had this name: Aghmat Ailan and Aghmat Warika. It is the latter that was the capital of the Maghraoua before the Almoravides took it from them. And it is probably this location that the present village occupies today. See AGHMAT.
Agurram: ber. Religious leader, equivalent of a marabout. See ZAOUIAS AND MARABOUTS
Almohads: A Berber dynasty that ruled North Africa and Andalucia (southern Spain) from 1146 to 1269. See THE ALMOHADS
Almoravids: A Berber dynasty, which ruled Morocco, Mauritania, the East of Algeria and Andalucia from 1060 to 1146. See BIRTH OF THE ALMORAVID EMPIRE.
Amghar: ber. A tribal or clan leader chosen by his countrymen; See CAIDALISM.
Baydaq (Al): companion of Ibn Toumert and chronicler of the Almohads. In fact, Al Baydaq is his nickname, because he was small in stature. In Arabic, Baidaq means a pawen. See THE ALMOHADS
Berghouta: In 742, Salih Ben Tarif, son of a Kharejite, proclaimed himself a prophet and gave his followers, the Berghoutas, a Berber version of the Koran in 80 chapters, which- he pretended – was revealed to him. He founded a theocratic kingdom which stretched out from Sale to Safi ( In Islam, politics and religion are interconnected), and which was annihilated by the Almohades four centuries later. See. ZAOUIAS and MARABOUTS
Caid, Caidalism: ar. A tribal leader designed by the Makhzen (see this word). Today, the caid is the representative of the ministry of the interior at the communal level. See CAIDALISM
Kasba or Casba: ar. Fortified house, citadel. See, BERBER ARCHITECTURE.
Dahir: ar. Royal decree.
El Hiba: Pretender to the throne under the rein of Moulay Hafid (1908-1912) when the French occupation became imminent. He was proclaimed king in Sous (Western Morocco south of the Atlas). He came to Marrakech (the kingdom capital) for his official acknowledgement, but was beaten by the French troops of colonel Mangin. Consequently, he withdrew to his original stronghold (Taroudant in the Souss Valley) from where he was chased by a coalition of “the great caids” commissioned by the Frenchs. See POLICY OF THE GREAT CAIDS.
Fatimides: A Shiite branch, descendants of the prophet (through his daughter Fatima). The Fatimides ruled North Africa during the two first thirds of the X century. They conquered Egypt in 969 and held power there for two centuries that were known as the golden centuries of Muslim Egypt.
Foucault (vicomte Eugéne-Charles de Foucault): French explorer and missionary (1958-1916). Disguised as a Rabin, he accomplished an exploration trip on foot of more than 2000 km in Morocco. He left an excellent narration of this trip. (Reconnaissance au Maroc 1883-1884).CHARLES DE FOUCAULT
Ghazali (Al): A great Sufi master who taught at the Madrasa Nidhamia in Baghdad, where he died in 1105. According to this scholar: » if the heart is not guided by reason, it will commit errors, and if reason is not vitalized by the heart, it produces a dried skeleton of Islam. » (Cahen). Ibn Toumert, founder of the Almohad movement, pretended he was a disciple of Al Ghazali. See AL MAHDI IBN TUMMERT
Glaoui: A « dynasty » of Caids that ruled a more or mess vast swath of southern Morocco from the beginning of the XVIII century to 1956. Madani Glaoui was the great vizir (prime minister) of Moulay Hafid. Thami (his young brother) was the Pasha of Marrakech (a sort of vice-king for half for southern Morocco) from 1912 to the independence of Morocco in 1956. See THE GLAOUI.
Goundafi: (Tayeb, El) one of the three great Caids (the two others being El Glaoui and El M’touggi), who, from 1900, controlled the tribes of the Atlas and the southern plains. Until 1906, El Goundafi was the most powerful, but a coalition of the two others obliged him to retire to his original stronghold (High N’fis Valley). Later, Lyautey sent him to Sous (as a pasha of Tiznit) against El Hiba. Back to Marrakech, he found that the Glaoui had definitely established his rule over Marrakech as well as the Atlas and the Haouz. He died in Marrakech in 1928. We can still admire the vestiges of his power in the ruins of his Kasbahs that still exist in the High N’fis Valley. See CAIDALISM.
Hafid: (Moulay) Moroccan king from 1908 to 1912, See THE GLAOUI
Halakah: heb. Moses’ s law See THE JEWS IN BERBER COUNTRY
Harka: ar. a regiment of the makhzen in campaign, See CAIDALISM.
Hassan Ist : (Mulay) Moroccan king (1873-1994) , See THE GLAOUI.
Idris Ist: Descendent of Ali (hence of the prophet through Fatima, his daughter). Persecuted by the Sunnites in power in Baghdad , he found refuge in Morocco by the end of the VIII century, where he was greeted by some newly converted to Islam Berber tribes. He founded a principality in the ancient roman city Volubilis. His son, Idris II, is the founder of Fez in 808 and of the Idriside kingdom. Though the conflict between his successors ended up with the dividing up of the kingdom into several principalities in the middle of IX century Idris I and Idris II and their descendants are known as the Idrissides. See ZAOUIAS AND MARABOUTS
Igherm: ber. See Agadir
Ismael: (Mulay) Moroccan sultan (1672-1727); See CAIDALISM
Kharejite, Kharejisme : ar .In a very simplified way , Kharejisme originates from the struggle for power ( following the death of the prophet Muhammad) between various factions. Amongst these, those on Ali’s side ( fourth and last caliph, son in law of the Prophet) who were known afterwards by the name of Shiites, on the one hand and on the other, those on Moawiyya’s side (Governor of Syria) the Sunnis supported by Aisha (young widow of the prophet). One of the points of disagreement was to know whether the murder of the third caliph (Othmane predecessor of Ali) was licit (which would have absolved the murderers ) or whether the perpetrators of this homicide (whom Ali was accused of protecting ) were to be punished .The disagreement degenerated into an armed battle ( Siffin 657) which came to an end when the two sides decided to bring the case before a jury. A minority of those on Ali’s side rejected this peaceful solution calling for the continuation of the fight. They were the Kharejites (the exiting ones from the Arab: kharaja which means : to exit) . The kharejites have had many followers amongst the Berbers because of their spirit of independence and their constant rebellion against the established power . see ZAOUIAS AND MARABOUTS.
Lag Baomer: heb. A mourning 40 day period to celebrate the Destruction of the Temple. It is during this period that pilgrimage to the Jewish popular saints of Morocco take place see: HAIM BEN DIWAN
Makhzen: ar. Precolonial maroccan Regime ; see CAIDALISM
Marabout: ar. from Murabit, a disciple who receives a religious teaching from a master established in a Ribat, nowadays a marabout is trivially considered the equivalent of a saint, a character (usually real) whose qualities (wisdom , knowledge, (real or admitted), of religious texts and above all of the baraka – divine grace) make of him the perfect intercessor near God . see MARABOUTS AND MARABOUTISM
Megorashim: heb: Jews who were kicked out from Spain and took refuge in Morocco. See THE JEWS IN BERBER COUNTRY.
Mesfioua : A tribe that established east of Marrakesh (Ait Ourir) and was conquered by the Glaouia see the THE GLAOUI
M’touggi: Is one of the three great Caids ( the other two being El Glaoui and El Goudaffi ) who since 1900 have established their hegemony on the tribes of Atlas and on the plains of the south. He had his moment of glory between 1908 ( after the disgrace of Madani El Glaoui in Moulay Hafid’s eyes ) and 1911 (when the Glouis gained France’s consideration when Morocco became a French Protectorate). see CAIDALISM
Moussem: ar. Popular gathering around a marabout that is held at fixed date ( usually once a year) and which is the occasion for rejoicing and animal sacrifices . Also a fair. See MOULAY BRAHIM
Orf: ar: Customary law see: communal_storage_citadels
Riad: ar. Traditional house restored using the materials and techniques of yesteryear into Guesthouses and Hostelleries of character. Equipped with modern confort amenities and stylishly adorned. Legend has it that a Riad is an image of the Garden of Eden…
Ribat: ar. the Ribat can be assimilated to a convent whose monks dedicated their existence to the propagation of Islam if needs were by force and when circumstances were favourable took hold of the political power see ZAOUIAS AND MARABOUTS
Sufis, Sufism: ar. mystical Muslims who practised and preached renouncing, truthfulness of the heart self abandonment to God ( C. Cahen: l’islam ) they owe their name to the rude woollen (suf in Arabic means wool ) clothes that they willingly wore. The first Sufis have lived in the eighth century some remain to this day. see ZAOUIAS AND MARABOUTS
Shiites : see Kharejites, see ZAOUIAS AND MARABOUTS
Sunnis or sunnites: see Kharejites, see ZAOUIAS AND MARABOUTS
Tagadirt : ber. Diminutive of Agadir ; see communal_storage_ctadels
Taqbilt: ber. From the Arabic qbila (tribe). Means small tribe. Basic social group self sufficient and self governed see SOCIO-POLITICAL ORGANIZATION OF THE BERBERS
Taqqanot : heb. Decision or judgement made by Rabbis to solve a case ; equivalent of Muslim « Fetwa » . see JEWISH BERBERS.
Tighremt : ber. Diminutive of igherm; see communal_storage_citadels
Toshabim : heb. Moroccan Jews see JEWISH BERBERS.
Yesivot: heb. Jewish religious schools see HAÏM BEN DIWAN
Zaouia : ar. Kind of convent where disciples (« monks ») pray , and are taught the doctrine of a sufi (see this word); see ZAOUIAS AND MARABOUTS
Zirides: When the Sunnites (see this word) Abbassids, had the power firmly in their hands in Baghdad many Alides (descendants of Ali) sought refuge in western Muslim countries. Amongst them were the Fatimides who settled down in Ifriqya (now Tunisia) where they organised themselves in order to take the power from the Abbassids (official Sunnis caliphs of Baghdad) . In 969 they conquered Egypt (en route to Baghdad) leaving Ifriqya to their Berber vassals who founded a new dynasty : The Zirides whose reign lasted as long as the Fatimids’ in Egypt, about two centuries see BIRTH OF THE ALMORAVIDS