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ʿAzafid Ceuta, Mawlid al-Nabī and the Development of Marīnid Strategies of Legitimation*

ʿAzafid Ceuta, Mawlid al-Nabī and the Development of Marīnid Strategies of Legitimation*

Chapter:
(p.126) (p.127) 7 ʿAzafid Ceuta, Mawlid al-Nabī and the Development of Marīnid Strategies of Legitimation*
Source:
The Articulation of Power in Medieval Iberia and the Maghrib
Author(s):
James A. O. C. Brown
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265697.003.0007

This chapter assesses the development of mawlid al-nabī as a public ceremony in Morocco in the thirteenth-fourteenth centuries, from its origin in Ceuta to its subsequent adoption by the Marīnids. Although it is often assumed that the Marīnids adopted existing religious norms to achieve greater religiopolitical credibility, in this case the meaning and significance of mawlid were contested, showing that the development of understandings of legitimacy are not transferred simply from one group to another, but are formed by the process of interaction. Although the adoption of the mawlid is often associated with the growth of Sufism and sharīfism, the development of the festival was also closely related to the reassertion of Mālikī orthodoxy around this period, and was therefore useful for the Marīnids to symbolise their support for a spectrum of religious tendencies. It also allowed for a symbolic assertion of Islamic identity when the reality of growing Christian power created increasing challenges for Muslim rulers.

Keywords:   mawlid, Ceuta, ʿAzafids, Marīnids, sharīfism, Mālikism, Morocco

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