Breaking the Khaldunian Cycle? The Rise of Sharifianism as the Basis for Political Legitimacy in Early Modern MoroccoJournal of North African Studies
AbstractThis 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.
Publisher's StatementThis is an Author’s Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the Journal of North African Studies, September 2008, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13629380701844706
Citation InformationStephen 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/