chapter  I
113 Pages

THE BARAKA (HOLINESS OR BLESSED VIRTUE) : ITS PREVALENCE

T h e A rabic word baraka means “ b lessing” . In Morocco it is used to denote a mysterious wonder-working force which is looked upon as a blessing from God, a “ blessed virtue ” . It may be conveniently translated into English by

the word “ holiness ” . A person who possesses baraka in an exceptional degree

is called by a term corresponding to our “ saint ” . The usual A rabic terms for a male saint, whether living or dead, are siyid (plur. sdddf ),1 saleh (plur. salehin, salehin, sdlhm, or sullah), wali or wali (plur. auliya),2 and wdliyH lla h% or waliy allah ; 4 and for a female saint sty da (plur. siydd?),5-saleha (plur. saleha?), and waliy a (plur. waliyd?). In D ukkala a frequent general name for a saint is fqer (plur. foqra ),6

whereas in Fez and elsewhere this word is applied to a member of some saintly order. The epithet sba‘ (plur. sbold), which properly means “ lion ” , is especially given to saints who are much feared in -oath-taking or otherwise. The Berbers have berberised forms of the A rabic terms, such as ssiyid , ssaleh, and Iwali ; but among many of them the usual or exclusive name for a saint is amrabad or amrabd (plur. imrabden ; A it W aryiger, Tems&man, A t U bahti, A it Sadden), derived from the A rabic mrabat or mrabt, which, as we shall soon see, is not used in M orocco as a general term for saints, but only for a certain class of saints and their descendants. The Berbers of Southern M orocco (Shloh) have the words agurram (plur. igurramn) or agurram (plur. igurrdmen) 1 and, for a female saint, tagurramt (plur. tigurramiri).