Kattaniya Brotherhood

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A Moroccan Sufi order, formally intended to enhance the spirituality of its adherents, which played a major political role in the early twentieth century.

The Kattaniya brotherhood (in Arabic, tariqa ) was founded in Fez, Morocco, in 1890 by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Kabir al-Kattaniknown popularly as Muhammad al-Kabir. Al-Kabir was inspired by the Sufi doctrines and practices of the established Darqawi tariqa.

The Kattani family, known for its scholars and jurists, claimed descent from the prophet Muhammad through Morocco's Idrisi dynasty. The Kattaniya rapidly gained adherents in Fez, Meknes, and Morocco's rural regions, but the brotherhood was condemned by reformist ulama (religious scholars). In 1909, Muhammad al-Kabir fled Fez to sanctuary with a neighboring tribe when the new ruler, Sultan Mulay Abd al-Hafid (ruled 19081912), ordered his arrest and closed all Kattaniya zawiyas (Islamic compounds). Pursued and beaten, he was executed soon after he was brought back to Fez.

Once the French protectorate was established (19121956), the Kattaniya again flourished under Shaykh Muhammad Abd al-Hayy al-Kattania scholar, popular religious leader, implacable foe of the Alawite dynasty, and a beneficiary of French colonial rule. In 1953, Abd al-Hayy joined other antinationalists in calling for the deposition of Sultan Muhammad V, and the Kattaniya brotherhood rapidly collapsed.

see also alawite dynasty; kattani, muhammad ibn abd al-kabir al-; muhammad v.

dale f. eickelman