Marrakech has 7 protector saints. How about that?
Marrakech has 7 protector saints, more like spiritual guardians and protectors. Throughout history Marrakech gained fame due to its famous 7 Saints, one for each day of the week. So we have Moul el Ksour for Sunday (as this being the first day of Arabic week); Sidi es Soheili for Monday; Sidi Youssef Ben Ali for Tuesday; Qadi Ayad for Wedneday; Sidi Bel Abbes for Thursday; Sidi Ben Slimane el Jazouli for Friday and finally Sidi Abd el Aziz for Saturday. Interesting isn’t it? I love it!
Photo of Zaouia of Saint Sidi Youssef Ben Ali Tomb in Marrakech
So, all spread around the old Marrakech medina you have these sacred and spiritual buildings where these saints are buried. This is usually off limits to non Muslims, but, you can manage to go inside some of them if you go discret, not show off, and if you pay a small fee to the caretaker that will let you in. Take your shoes before coming in (also be careful as some guys expect good shoes to steal them).
These buildings are called zaouias are are part of a pilgrimage set up by Sultan Moulay Ismail back in the 18th century, that made this old pilgrimage finally official in Marrakech – this spiritual pilgrimage of Marrakech is called ziara. This ziara pilgrimage of the tombs makes pilgrims to visit seven patron saints and meditate each day in one of the mausoleums where the tombs of the saints exist.
Photo of Zaouia of Saint Qadi Iyad Tomb in Marrakech
After all these years it is very interesting how hundreds of people still make this zaouia tour of Marrakech, visiting and praying in all this several buildings. Marrakech is indeed full of little surprises hey?
Video of Ceremony in the tomb of Qadi Iyad Part 1, Seven saints of Marrakech:
Fantastic video showing a religious ceremony inside the tomb of Wali Qadi Ayad who passed away nearly 900 years ago. He was born in Gibraltar back in 1083 and died in 1149.
Video of Ceremony in the tomb of Qadi Iyad Part 2, Seven saints of Marrakech:
This saint was the great imam of Ceuta and later a high judge in Granada. He was one of the most famous scholars of Maliki law. He was the writer of Kitab Ash-shifa a famous religious book for Muslims.