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Article
Breaking the Khaldunian Cycle? The Rise of Sharifianism as the Basis for Political Legitimacy in Early Modern Morocco
Journal of North African Studies
  • Stephen Cory, Cleveland State University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
9-1-2008
Abstract
This paper argues that the sharifian Sa'di and 'Alawi dynasties ended the Khaldunian Cycle within Morocco through their development of a political creed based upon sharifianism (the idea that Islamic leadership should be held by descendants of the Prophet Muhammad). Within the context of a growing European threat, the Sa'dis created a doctrine that was both new and distinctly Moroccan while alleging it held a universal application deriving from the time of the Prophet. Thus they institutionalised a sense of 'asabiyah in a way that preceding dynasties could not, which later enabled the 'Alawis to exceed Ibn Khaldun's predicted dynastic lifespan and to lay the groundwork for the future growth of Moroccan nationalism. These developments do not negate the accuracy of Ibn Khaldun's cyclical analysis but rather they represent a transformation of the forces he observed within the context of the dawn of the modern era. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2006 AIMS conference in Tangier, Morocco. Research was conducted with support from a Fulbright fellowship in Morocco between January and June 2006.
DOI
10.1080/13629380701844706
Version
Postprint
Citation Information
Stephen Cory. "Breaking the Khaldunian Cycle? The Rise of Sharifianism as the Basis for Political Legitimacy in Early Modern Morocco" Journal of North African Studies Vol. 13 Iss. 3 (2008) p. 377 - 394
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stephen_cory/1/