Sidi Ifni - Believing that the dead 'holy' people lying inside graves work miracles, more unmarried women are constantly visiting shrines and mausoleums to procure some sanctity by which they can avoid living as spinsters, particularly now that the phenomenon of spinsterhood has grown rampant.
Sidi Ifni – Believing that the dead ‘holy’ people lying inside graves work miracles, more unmarried women are constantly visiting shrines and mausoleums to procure some sanctity by which they can avoid living as spinsters, particularly now that the phenomenon of spinsterhood has grown rampant.
When kissing and touching the graves, some unmarried women shed tears and plead with the dead people inside for some sanctity that can help bring the suitor of their dreams. At other times, these women put money beside the grave as an offering for the realization of their invaluable dream.
Although this tradition has been observed from time immemorial, many Muslim Sheikhs continue to speak out against it and hope to eradicate it on the basis that it goes against the Islamic teachings of the Prophet (PBUH). According to some Sheikhs, reliance on mausoleums for the hope of realizing something in life is a clear sign of mass ignorance amongst some unmarried Muslim women.
Visitors to shrines usually believe in the stories told amongst themselves, such as the story that a woman once got married soon after touching and pleading with the marabout at a mausoleum. Most of the visitors also prefer visiting shrines to seeing doctors, for they believe in the sanctity of the holy places more strongly than that of the clinics.
In an interview with the daily Al Massae, Abdelmajid Mekki, a psychology specialist, explained that “these unmarried women usually have recourse to these mausoleums, for they associate sanctity with the graves.”
“Female visitors to the shrines believe that the marabouts are in closer communion with Allah than other Muslims and, therefore, can plead with Him to answer the women’s prayers,” Mekki added, pointing out some motives behind this old tradition.
Shrines exist all over Morocco, and they are viewed as healing and uplifting by some Moroccans. Whereas some believe that shrines truly make miracles that can come in the form of spiritual healing, dream realization, or protection from the evil eye, others go on to make a mockery of the visitors to such ‘holy’ places.
Despite the progress that Morocco has made, believing in the sanctity of the marabouts is still deeply entrenched in many Moroccans’ minds, particularly among the illiterate, unmarried women who seek solace in shrines to put an end to their spinsterhood. Self-pitying of all is that Morocco is now stigmatized because of this tradition, which not all Moroccans observe.