Tuesday, February 8, 2011


King of Morocco

Known as Amir al Mu’minin, or Commander of the Faithful, King Mohammad VI of Morocco is lauded for his domestic reform policies and pioneering efforts in modernizing Morocco and countering terrorism. He tackles issues of poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion at home, and has improved foreign relations. King Mohammad VI is an influential leader, mainly due to his position as the only legitimate contender for the Islamic Caliphate, for his control of the network of Muslims following the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence, and as a leading monarch in Africa.

Contender for the Caliphate
As successor to a 350 year-old dynasty, King Mohammad VI’s lineage makes him the only legitimate contender for the Islamic Caliphate. The Alaouite Dynasty links back to the Prophet Muhammad. King Mohammad VI possesses the only authentic claim to an Islamic Caliphate, if one were to be established. Indeed, the Moroccans never recognized the Ottoman Caliphate on the grounds that the Ottomans were not descendents of the Prophet Muhammad.

Control of Maliki Network
King Mohammad VI also leads the oldest Islamic establishment of Maliki Muslims. The Maliki madhab is the third largest school of jurisprudence in Islam. This school bases its rulings on the Qur’an and Hadith but also predominantly derives its practices from the work of Malik ibn Anas (711-795 CE) and his texts, the Al Muwatta and Al Mudawana. Since early in his reign, King Mohammed VI has implemented the Mudawana family law code that gives rights to women in divorce and property ownership, as well as citizenship to children born to non-Moroccan fathers. He has also commissioned the Islamic Affairs Ministry to train women preachers, or Morchidat, who are now active chaplains to Moroccans across the globe.

Huge Influence over Muslims in Africa
King Mohammed VI leads the largest African monarchy, with a population of 35 million. Besides political links, Morocco maintains strong spiritual ties with Muslims all over Africa. Morocco is the site of the tomb of a highly revered Sufi sheikh, Mawlana Ahmed Ibn Mohammed Tijani al Hassani al Maghribi (1735-1815 CE), the founder of the Tijaniyya Sufi order. The shrine attracts millions of people from across the continent. Morocco is also recognized as a source for the spread of Islam through West Africa. Thus, King Mohammed VI exercises vast amounts of power and influence over Muslims in Morocco, throughout Africa, and the rest of the world. He leads one of the most stable constitutional monarchies in the region, which is also the center of a moderate, flourishing Muslim culture.

Patron of the Al Qarawiyyin University
King Mohammad VI is the patron of the oldest university in the world, the University of Al Qarawiyyin, in Fez, which was established in 859 CE.

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