Fes: Capital of Islamic Culture for Arab Region 2007

Introduction

Old institutions of higher learning constitute one of the main components and basic elements of Islamic civilization, continuously contributing to the cultural and scientific resurgence of the Islamic Ummah. Such educational institutions have played a leading role in instilling Muslim peoples with a sense of the huge importance of the glories and historical landmarks of the Islamic Ummah and providing them with essential tools to build their religious and cultural identity.

Connected to the Mosque of Al Qarawiyin, the University of Al Qarawiyin is recognized as the oldest existing institution of higher education in the Islamic world. It is one of the outstanding emblems of Islamic identity and an imposing structure of the realm of culture and intellect the world over. Combining authenticity and modernity and renovation, the University of Al Qarawiyin soon became a chief centre of knowledge, wisdom and Islamic learning across the Maghreb and the whole Islamic world. It laid down the key tools for an open religious knowledge and bases for a prosperous civilizational coexistence for the entire humanity. We will provide you hereunder with an account of the history of the University of Al Qarawiyin, with due emphasis on the leading role it has been playing in the scientific and cultural resurgence of the Islamic Ummah, in particular, and in building the human civilizational edifice, in general.

History: from the mosque to the university

If the Qayrawân University, built in the city of Qayrawân in Tunisia, is recognized as the first school in North Africa, the Mosque of Al Qarawiyin, founded in Fez during the reign of the Idrissides, the first Islamic state to rule over the Maghreb, was the largest in North Africa. Historic sources indicate that during that period a large community of Arab migrants from Qayrawân had settled in the imperious city of Fez on the eastern bank of Oued Fez. The place was first called “Qayrawâni Bank” indicating the congregation entering Morocco from Qayrawân. The name was slowly shortened into Al Qarawiyin. As the Quayrawaniyine population in Fez grew there was need to build a large place for worship. A grand mosque was then constructed by Fatima Al-Fihri, or Fatima Um Al Banin, the daughter of a wealthy family from Qayrawân  (Tunisia). She joined a community of thousand other migrants who moved from Qayrawân  to Fez . She spent her entire inheritance on the construction of the mosque (construction works started in 245 A.H.). And as the Qayrawâni population grew successive expansion and restoration works were carried out by devout people. The first large extension phase of the mosque was undertaken, a century after it was first completed, by the Zenata leaders. Historic sources revealed that the Andalusian Umayyads allocated a large sum of money to cover the cost of these works, expanding the structure of the mosque to more than 3,000 square meters. Further expansions were carried out under the patronage of Almoravides, extending the capacity of the mosque to thousands of worshippers (1).

Because of its importance as the centre of religious activities, and as the city of Fez grew, the mosque was expanded and restored many times. The mosque has strongly influenced the spiritual, religious and scientific history of Morocco.

The minaret of the mosque, first relocated into a grandiose square form by one of the Zenati Emirs under the patronage of the greatest and most successful Andalusian Umayyad Caliph, Abd-ar-Rahman, is the oldest of all the minarets in the western Muslim world.

Subst antial architectural additions were done under the rule of the Almoravides which did not affect the overall simplicity of the design. They excelled in architectural ornamentation, Quranic and prayer inscriptions, and dome and vault construction. The minbar (pulpit), still existing today, constitutes a beautiful example of Islamic artistry. Under the rule of the Almohades, the Mosque was adorned with a large chandelier standing as an elaborate architectural materialization of the Almohade civilization and a perfect example of the Moroccan fine artistry.

Al Qarawiyin has seventeen entrances and two aisles that run perpendicular at the inner courtyard in the centre of the hall. The aisles have each a marble ablution fountain. The design is similar to that in Granada’s Court of the Lions.

Several architectural additions were carried out to expand the Mosque during the first centuries of its construction. Further expansions and ornamentations were conducted from the Almoravides to the Almohades. Chandeliers, sundials and sand dials were added. The courtyard was adorned with a gorgeous water jet (2). Also added were rooms (temporal rooms) (3), a maqsura (enclosed space around the mihrab) for the Qadi (judge), a large mihrab, a library, etc. All these additions were done with fine artistry in an architectural mixture of the refined Andalusian traditions and exacting Moroccan architectural design.

Historians differ as to the exact date when teaching lessons started at the University of Al Qarawiyin. Nevertheless, its being first founded as a place of worship means that it served as a learning place for teaching Islamic knowledge and Shari’ah. This has brought the university a wide recognition for centuries to come as the largest space for freedom of thought and expression.

If the Qayrawân University, built in the city of Qayrawân in Tunisia, is recognized as the first school in North Africa, the Mosque of Al Qarawiyin, founded in Fez during the reign of the Idrissides, the first Islamic state to rule over the Maghreb, was the largest in North Africa. Historic sources indicate that during that period a large community of Arab migrants from Qayrawân had settled in the imperious city of Fez on the eastern bank of Oued Fez. The place was first called “Qayrawâni Bank” indicating the congregation entering Morocco from Qayrawân. The name was slowly shortened into Al Qarawiyin. As the Quayrawaniyine population in Fez grew there was need to build a large place for worship. A grand mosque was then constructed by Fatima Al-Fihri, or Fatima Um Al Banin, the daughter of a wealthy family from Qayrawân  (Tunisia). She joined a community of thousand other migrants who moved from Qayrawân  to Fez . She spent her entire inheritance on the construction of the mosque (construction works started in 245 A.H.). And as the Qayrawâni population grew successive expansion and restoration works were carried out by devout people. The first large extension phase of the mosque was undertaken, a century after it was first completed, by the Zenata leaders. Historic sources revealed that the Andalusian Umayyads allocated a large sum of money to cover the cost of these works, expanding the structure of the mosque to more than 3,000 square meters. Further expansions were carried out under the patronage of Almoravides, extending the capacity of the mosque to thousands of worshippers (1).

Because of its importance as the centre of religious activities, and as the city of Fez grew, the mosque was expanded and restored many times. The mosque has strongly influenced the spiritual, religious and scientific history of Morocco.

The minaret of the mosque, first relocated into a grandiose square form by one of the Zenati Emirs under the patronage of the greatest and most successful Andalusian Umayyad Caliph, Abd-ar-Rahman, is the oldest of all the minarets in the western Muslim world.

Substantial architectural additions were done under the rule of the Almoravides which did not affect the overall simplicity of the design. They excelled in architectural ornamentation, Quranic and prayer inscriptions, and dome and vault construction. The minbar (pulpit), still existing today, constitutes a beautiful example of Islamic artistry. Under the rule of the Almohades, the Mosque was adorned with a large chandelier standing as an elaborate architectural materialization of the Almohade civilization and a perfect example of the Moroccan fine artistry.

Al Qarawiyin has seventeen entrances and two aisles that run perpendicular at the inner courtyard in the centre of the hall. The aisles have each a marble ablution fountain. The design is similar to that in Granada’s Court of the Lions.

Several architectural additions were carried out to expand the Mosque during the first centuries of its construction. Further expansions and ornamentations were conducted from the Almoravides to the Almohades. Chandeliers, sundials and sand dials were added. The courtyard was adorned with a gorgeous water jet (2). Also added were rooms (temporal rooms) (3), a maqsura (enclosed space around the mihrab) for the Qadi (judge), a large mihrab, a library, etc. All these additions were done with fine artistry in an architectural mixture of the refined Andalusian traditions and exacting Moroccan architectural design.

Historians differ as to the exact date when teaching lessons started at the University of Al Qarawiyin. Nevertheless, its being first founded as a place of worship means that it served as a learning place for teaching Islamic knowledge and Shari’ah. This has brought the university a wide recognition for centuries to come as the largest space for freedom of thought and expression.

Chandeliers, sundials and sand dials:

So prestigious was the fame the mosque attained over centuries that it soon developed into a modern, enlightening university with a particular scholarly status of its own. Gradually extending its education to a variety of subjects, the mosque/university drew a large number of scholars and students. And as a fully fledged place of learning, the university started to offer academic degrees together with specialized scientific chairs. Also the university keeps a library which houses a large selection of scholarly books.

Library and copies of the Holy Quran:

The mosque, with its minbar, a pulpit used for the Imam to deliver the Friday lecture, soon became a place where eminent scholars from the city of Fez would conduct seminars and scholarly lectures dealing various subjects during morning and evening prayers. In addition to its being a space for worship, the mosque was to take on the role of a centre for knowledge that won a wide recognition like other leading institutions in Cordoba and Baghdad and elsewhere. With the passing of time the mosque gained the admiration of successive dynasties in Morocco. Moroccan sultans provided the needful for construction, expansion and restoration works, in a bid to meet the increasing need for more learning space for a growing population.

The city of Fez, then the site of the oldest mosque in North Africa and the seat of an evolving university, attracted to it a large community of scholars and students from all over the world during the rule of Almoravides. Historic accounts indicate nevertheless that it was only under the Marinide dynasty that Al Qarawiyin reached its zenith as an academic institution of learning. With its libraries, scholarly chairs and the whole set of schools attached to it Al Qarawiyin brought to the city of Fez world recognition as a destination of widespread interest among kings and princes and diplomatic officials.

Under the Marinid leadership the medrasas (a term that refers to Islamic theological schools) expended the strong influence of the city of Fez in the realm of knowledge. This was such that graduate students from the Ben Youssef Medrassa in Marrakech would move to Fez in their quest for knowledge. The city of Fez has for long been the starting and ending destination in the search for knowledge.

According to Ibn Marzouk, “this type of institutions (medrassas) emerged in Morocco only with the construction of the Seffarin (or Halfawiyin) Medrassa in Fez in 670 A.H.” (4). It did not take long before the number of medrassas in Morocco increased. They were to provide teaching and sleeping quarters for students. The construction of the medrassas was commissioned by the successive Sultans of Morocco. Most famed of the medrassas built in Fez are:

· The Fez El Jedid Medrassa, founded by Abu Saad Al-Marini in 720 A.H. and reconstructed by the Sultan Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Alawi in 1204 A.H.

· The El Attarin Medrassa, built by Abu Al-Hassan Al-Marini in 723 A.H. around the Al-Karawiyyin Mosque.

· The As-Sahrij Medrassa (also known as medrassa kubra), founded by Abu Al-Hassan Al-Marini in 721 A.H. on the western bank of the al-Andalus Mosque.

· The Sbaiyin Medrassa (also knwon as madrassa sughra), founded by Abu al-Hassan Al-Marini in 721 A.H., used to teach the seven readings of the Holy Quran.

The role of Al Qarawiyin University in shaping Muslim personality throughout history

Every nation has two personalities: one material and the other spiritual. The latter is represented in the spiritual heritage which the nation produces and develops as part of its inherited civilization; it is also enriched by scholars and intellectuals. The Islamic Ummah which has an ancient and glorious civilization has modelled its personality through cultural and social factors. Indeed, ancient university institutions have greatly contributed to forming the salient features of Islamic human and civilization values.

Since Al-Qarawiyin University is one of the Islamic old universities, its contribution in terms of knowledge and scholars as well as scientific and intellectual heritage throughout history is considered a mainstream of the Muslim personality and a pure source which has presented universal civilization with pioneering models in the field of religious and secular sciences.

Talking about the Muslim personality in the cultural and scientific fields is normally associated with the role of Al-Qarawiyin University in forming the characteristics of this personality in view of its broad scholarly influence in the Islamic world. Indeed, Al-Qarawiyin University has not merely been an institution an educational institution for studying the sciences of Quran, hadiths, jurisprudence etc. Rather, it has been a distinguished landmark in the Islamic world for many centuries. In this connection, some scholars of Fez who left behind valuable contributions are still referred to in the various Islamic universities and scholarly councils especially in the fields of Quranic recitations, hadith, jurisprudence and fundamentals.

Al Qarawiyin has for centuries carried out the mission entrusted to it since its creation as a mosque till it became a university. This mission is linked to the Islamic faith, the Arabic language and Arab Islamic inherited knowledge, or what is commonly known as Arab Islamic heritage. Hence, Al Qarawiyin University has played an important role in preserving the Arab Islamic personality over centuries. It was the major scholarly institution that entrenched the basics of the Malekite rite, thus merging the Moroccan society into doctrinal unity that Al Qarawiyin scholars have made every earnest endeavour to firm up through sticking to the studies serving this unity. In addition, Al Qarawiyin scholars deployed tremendous efforts to preserve the linguistic unity by promoting the Arabic language with all grammatical and rhetorical mechanisms.

Accordingly, Al Qarawiyin University has carried the constituents of the Islamic genuine culture to Arab societies through its scholars and intellectuals who have preserved, through memorization, the basics of this heritage. They have also defended, through logic, its values and studied its contents to the successive generations. It is no wonder then if Abu Imarane Al Fassi (deceased in 430 A.H.) who excelled in the Malekite rite taught in Al Qayrawân in Tunisia and Al-Azhar in Egypt; Abu Ali Al-Qali also taught his literary production in Cordova; Sabiq Al-Matmati sang his poems in Damascus court; Abu Bakr Ben Larabi who was buried in Fez (543 A.H.) was taught by Abu Hamed Al-Ghazali in the orient and he also authored his books in Morocco and Andalusia. Ibn Jarroum the grammarian, on his part, wrote his famous book in grammar in Fez; this book was interpreted in Cairo and Baghdad and was translated and printed in Europe. All these figures and others contributed to preserving the Islamic scholarly personality, especially that most of knowledge subjects which were taught there were associated with religion. This was considered as an important factor in preserving the Arab Islamic heritage on the one hand, and protecting the Islamic personality, on the other.

Al Qarawiyin University has contributed to edifying the Muslim personality as it has been promoting authenticity and renewal and preserving the prevailing religious values, while protecting Islamic culture and imparting on it the Moroccan authentic character. There is no doubt that geographical factors have made of Morocco a civilizational meeting point between the North and the South and between Europe and Africa. Geography has also made Morocco, through Al Qarawiyin University, the first Islamic fortress that protects Islamic civilization against the crusades and the missionary expansion and provides the Muslim identity with authentic values and principles.

If the Islamic cultural identity is the common fixed and fundamental set of features that characterize this Ummah’s civilization, Al Qarawiyin University has sought, through its scholars’ contribution to Islamic heritage and thought, to preserve the specificity of the Muslim Ummah building on the three pillars: faith, language and cultural heritage.

The main contribution Al Qarawiyin University has made to the Moroccan society and Arab Islamic societies is the shaping of an Islamic personality, a religious identity and a social memory. This has been possible thanks to its curricula which combine religious and secular sciences and to the competence of its teachers and scholars whose enlightenment has gone beyond the Maghreb to reach Africa, Andalusia and the various European countries.

The role of Al Qarawiyin University in disseminating knowledge and arts represents a civilizational mission that contributed to preserving and shaping the characteristics of the Muslim personality through promoting the Arabic language and imposing it as a language of knowledge and learning. In this regard, the sultans and kings of the Moroccan dynasty consolidated the policy of comprehensive arabization in the field of education. Accordingly, Moroccans and foreigners had the Arabic language in common.

If Al Qarawiyin has had this active role in furthering the foundations of Islamic civilization, Morocco, when keeping pace with this civilization, has been keen through this institution to express its civilizational specificity via its cultural heritage, the system of values and traditions and scholarly methodologies and approaches in addition to the specificities of Fassi architectural arts which were adopted by several Islamic countries (9). These have constituted a distinguished contribution to supplying the Islamic personality with Moroccan creativity.

Contribution of Al Qarawiyin University to human civilization

Throughout history, Fez hosted a large number of scholars, lecturers, jurists, authors, poets, doctors, intellectuals and brilliant figures in science and arts. Some of them were born and brought up in Fez; others came from other cities and countries and engaged in give-and-take interaction with its figures. Thus, this rich environment has prompted a cross-cultural pollination. However, all these scholars were influenced by Al Qarawiyin and those who left Morocco disseminated the knowledge they got in this university in their professional career as teachers, muftis, preachers or judges either in Andalusian cities or on their way to the Levant or the Arabian Peninsula. In this connection, Moroccan scholars were dictating their lessons in Al Qarawiyin and on their way to the orient they were dictating their lectures in Bejaia, Kairawane, Tunis, Tripoli, Al-Azhar, Al-Quds, Damascus, Baghdad and the Two Holy Mosques (10) .

Al Qarawiyin has therefore a significant role in enriching different subjects of science and art that were exchanged between oriental peoples and Andalusians, on the one side, and Moroccans, on the other. The strong proof that the knowledge dispensed by Al Qarawiyin and its surrounding schools was disseminated by scholars in all parts was that the Merinid Sultans were attended during their travels abroad by a great host of Al Qarawiyin scholars who engaged into debates with their peers in the orient. In this regard, Sultan Abu Al-Hassan on his return from Tunis after the Lesser Bairam in 750 A.H. was attended in his fleet by  four hundred scholars most of whom died in the tragic sinking of the fleet in the Mediterranean near Bejaia. Among these victims were Ambassador Abu Abdullah Sati and Abu Al-Abbas Zawawi (11) . Many travelling scholars who studied and taught in Al Qarawiyine such as Ibn Al-Arabi (deceased in 543 A.H.), Ibn Rush Esssabti (deceased in 721 A.H.), Ibn Al-Haj Al-Fassi (deceased in 737 A.H.) and Ibn Maymun El Ghemari (deceased in 917 A.H.), transferred the teaching and methodology of Al Qarawiyin scholars to the orient, thus contributing to enriching Islamic culture with the significant output of Moroccans which bore the unmistakable imprint of Al Qarawiyin. In this regard, the scholar Ahmed Zerrouk Al-Fassi (deceased in 899 A.H.) travelled several times to the orient and established himself in the different Arab cities as a teacher, mufti and preacher till he died in the Libyan city of Misurata. For his part, Al-Sharif Al-Idrissi, who is considered one of the world’s renowned geographers, lived for a long period of time in Fez then he moved to many parts of the world. It was also reported that Avenzoar (deceased in 596 A.H.), the famous doctor, lived between Andalusia, Fez and Marrakech (12).

Even when Marrakech became Morocco’s political capital during some periods of time, Fez remained, thanks to Al Qarawiyin and its famous institutes, the capital of the Islamic occident in terms of thought, science and literature. It was from Fez that scholarly enlightenment emanated to cast its effect on western civilization and many parts of Europe which were plunging in obscurantism.

If the subjects taught in Al Qarawiyin include purely religious studies (faith, the Quran sciences, the exegesis, the hadith, the jurisprudence, the religious fundamentals, the Prophet’s life, etc.), humanities (languages, literature, history, sociology, poetry, education, philosophy, various kinds of art), pure sciences such as mathematics and astronomy, and applied sciences such as medicine and engineering, one can say that the major subjects of knowledge were taught at Al Qarawiyin University at a time when science centres were still inexistent in Europe. Some science and translation institutes in Spain were translating the heritage of Al Qarawiyin’s scholars especially in logic, medicine, astronomy into Latin and other European languages . (13)

Al Qarawiyin’s scholars were knowledgeable about the prevailing cultures and conscious of the cultural and social change that was taking place both in the west and in the east. For instance, the traveller Abu Salem Al-Ayashi (deceased in 1090 A.H.) was famous in the orient thanks to his records of travels and meetings. Abu Abbas Al-Makudi (deceased in 1170 A.H.) was keen to knit close relations between Al Qarawiyin’s scholars and those of Al-Zaytouna University. Accordingly, they positively responded to this initiative guided in this by the characteristics of Moroccan culture. They were also aware of the major role that Al Qarawiyin University can play in elaborating a sound cultural and social philosophy that may contribute to edifying human civilization.

During the last two centuries, Al Qarawiyin University has opened up onto useful human experiences even if they were originating from the Christian west (14) . It benefited from them while preserving the religious values, cultural specificities and the constants of the Arab Muslim personality. However, Al Qarawiyin rejected the prospect that openness onto human cultures might turn into dissolution or that isolation might evolve into introverted tendencies. Instead, it merged into an Islamic civilization that has its own perspective to the universe, life as well as its comprehensive value system and distinguished cultural specificities which contributed to building universal civilization. A lot of western researchers and intellectuals attested to this fact when they talked about Fez and its university (15) .

It is thanks to Fez and Al Qarawiyine University that the characteristics of the Arab and Islamic civilization emerged in Morocco to subsequently spread its merits to Europe. Fez managed to preserve this enlightening contribution for several centuries. In the end of the 4th century A.H., Fez hosted a small school of medicine and transformed the Merinid School in Dar Al-Makhzen in Fez Jdid in 1844 into a school for engineering. In this respect, Sultan Mohammed IV dispatched some of its graduates abroad to learn mathematical sciences with a view to supporting the teaching of sciences in Al Qarawiyin University. The aim was to infuse a new impetus in the mathematical sciences that Al Qarawiyin inherited from successive generations and to keep abreast of changes.

Rénaud stated that Fez was the cradle of Islamic civilization and attracted scientists and students from all over the world. Fez was as important for Islam as was Athens for Europe. In this city all subjects of science and art were taught. (16)

In addition, Rome Landau, talking about Fez, said “scholars in Al Qarawiyin were engrossed for about one thousand years in religious debate and philosophical discussions whose exactness went beyond western thinking. These intellectuals were studying history, science, medicine and mathematics; they were also interpreting the works of Aristotle and other Greek thinkers.” (17)

To illustrate the role of Al Qarawiyine in shaping human civilization, one may refer to western researchers who said that it was the main destination of Gerbert, one of European scientists who assumed papacy to be later known as Pope Sylvester. History records that this scientist was the first to introduce Arabic system of numerals into Europe after having mastered it at Al Qarawiyin. (18)

According to Dr. Abdelhadi Tazi, a large number of Europeans came to Al Qarawiyine to learn the Arabic language. These Europeans included such figures as Abbey Nicolas Clénard, who was a teacher at Louvain University in Belgium and lived in Fez in 947 A.H (1540), and Golius, a Dutch who brought from Fez a copy of Ibn Baklarech’s book in medicine, which was published in the first half of the fifth century. (19)

Some of the scholars of Al Qurawayine were chosen as ambassadors to some cities in South Europe, such as Grenade and Bologne. Their mission as ambassadors served as an opportunity for them to transfer the science and knowledge and to publicize the rituals of Islam and Muslims. History also records the contribution of Ibn al-Wazzan, known as Leo Africanus, who wrote the book on “the description of Africa”, which introduces Fez, its universities and science to Europeans. Thus Al Qurawiyine has helped in the promotion of scientific research in Europe, and contributed to the laying down of the foundations for the European civilization, through its scientists, in the like of the mathematician Ibn Al-Benna Al-Mourrakouchi (723 H), whose book the “the summary of calculation operations” remains as one of the most reliable sources in Europe, and was translated in 1864; the grammarian Ibn Ajroum, whose Oujroumia’s introduction was printed many times in Europe and translated into many languages. The Oujroumia has been the subject of a broad debate, which even caused some to believe that the word GRAMMAR is derived from Ajroum. In medicine and philosophy, the scientific and philosophical books and theories of Ibn Toufail (581 H), Avenzoar (596H), Avampace (533 H), Averroes and others, have given a strong impetus to the scientific movement in Europe and provided sound foundations for the human civilization.(20)

The Teaching of Islamic Sciences in Al Qarawiyin throughout History

The prominent status of Al Qarawiyin University is the result of many factors, top of which is its pioneering role in establishing religious science with its effluents. At that time, were considered as scholars only those who learned at the hands of Al Quarawayine teachers, who contributed to the establishment and revision of the bases and rules of Islamic science.

Since the first decades of Al Qarawiyin, the taught scientific subject matters have had a Malikite penchant. During the era of the Idrissid dynasty, the Malikite School has gained momentum especially as it was supported by the Kings of Morocco who sought to entrench it as a doctrine for the country. The Malikite doctrine continued to prosper and to spread during the Almoravides era. But when the Almohades took the reigns in Morocco, they called for embracing the Sharia Law, interpretation (Ijtihad), and bypassing the Malikite doctrine. Despite this new call, the Almohades displayed keen interest in all fields of science and arts, and encouraged the scientific movement to which scientists who fled from Andalusia contributed.

However, the Almohades could not resist the campaigns waged by the Marinides, who seized power and called for a return to the Malikite doctrine. They established religious schools that contributed to the consolidation and spread of the precepts of the doctrine. The Marinide era is considered as the most glorious ever in the history of Al Qarawiyin. With a variety of Islamic science and arts taught, the university was a privileged destination for students from Morocco and neighbouring countries who wished to learn. Thanks to the high level of its scholars and teachers known in the Arab Maghreb, Andalusia, as well as in many European and African countries, Al Qarawiyin has been able to take the torch of science with strength and determination in the face of the challenges it encountered throughout its history.

The Islamic Fiqh comes top the sciences taught in Al Qurawiyine, considering the influence of the Malikite doctrine. The Fiqh branches dominated other fields of science. Only during the Almohades’ era had these branches ceased to exist, following the order to burn the major Fiqh books and to return to the original sources. Paradoxically, this did only infuse the history of Moroccans with religion with new insights, for they returned to the original sources only to examine them in the light of branches. Thus the Fiqh began to take into account the proofs provided and to debate over their differences. (22)

The Mokhtassar of Khalil Ibn Ishaaq (deceased in 776 H), the Moudawana of Sahnoun , the Nawadir of Ibn Abou Zayd al-Qairawani ( deceased in 386 H), A ttahzîb by al-Baradî ( deceased in 451 H), the Book of Ibn Youness and the Ouaadiha t by Ibn Habib , were the books most taught at Al Qarawiyin University as well as in other schools affiliated to it. After the appearance of Mokhtassar, which captured the mood of Moroccans at that time, jurists went further on commenting of it, to the extent that the resulting commentaries have been at the heart of studies in this university.

Al Qarawiyin University established specialized chairs for the field of Tafseer (exegesis). Books like the Tafseer by Attâlabi (deceased in 427 H), the Tafaseer books written by Al-Zamakhchari ( deceased in 538 H), Ar-Razi (deceased in 606 H), Al Baydaoui (deceased in 685 H), Ibn Arafa (deceased in 803), and Addur Al Manthour by Sayouti. The courses on Tafseer used to be given in mornings as a way to invoke blessings.

The Tafseer received less interest than Fiqh and syntax. Though the scholars of Fez excelled over others in some sciences and arts, they were brilliant in the compilation and study of Tafseer books. We can hardly find scholars of Al Qarawiyin who really willed to dwell into the Tafseer. They viewed it as rather a difficult matter for many scholars. Imam Ouanschrissi (deceased in 914) said in his book “Almiyar Al mouarib”: “The Tafseer of the Quran is definitely one of most difficult matters. Getting involved in it is a daring”. (23)

Only during the Marinide era and subsequent eras did other sciences of the Quran such as recitation, readings and calligraphy, received a significant attention. In 721 H, Abu Hassan Al-Marini established a school on the reading science, and named it the school of Sabîiyine, as it taught the seven readings. This is a strong sign of the undivided attention accorded by Al Qarawiyin and other schools to this science. Of the famous scholars of composition and reading, mention should be me to Ibn Berri Attazi (deceased in 731 H), writer of the Addurar Allawamîi Fi Maqraa Al Imam Nafîa, and Abu Abdullah Al Kharraz (deceased in 718 H), writer of the poem “Mawaridu Al Dhamâane Fi Rasm al Kuran”. These two poems achieved a great fame, and are still today reliable sources in the reading of Nafîa and the Quran calligraphy.

During the Ouattassside reign, Imam Ibn Ghazi (deceased in 919 H) excelled in the science of readings and wrote many books in that field. Under the Alaouites, Imam Abu Zayed Ibn Al-Qadi (D 1082) and Ibn Abdussalam Al-Fassi (D 1214) reached a great renown in the science of readings.

Teaching of the Hadith and its sciences relied basically on the major references in that field, such as the Sahih of Al Boukhari (deceased in 256 H), the Sahih of Musilm (deceased in 261 H), the Jamii of Attirmidi (deceased in 279 H) and al-Mouatta’ of Imam Malik Ibn Anass (deceased in 179 H). It is worth nothing that the scholars of Al Qarawiyin used at times to find Sahih Musilm preferable to Sahih al Boukhari. As to commentaries, scholars tended to prefer those written by Ibn Hajr (deceased in 752), and by Badre eddine al Ayni (deceased in 855 H), which both rely on Sahih Al-Boukhari. Focus was also put on Alfiyate of Al-Iraqi (deceased in 806 H) in the science of hadith and on Chihab al-Akhbar of Al Qadaii (deceased in 454 H), Attarghib wa Attarhib by Al-Mounzari (deceased in 656 H), Attashil wa Attaqrib wa Attashih liriwayati Al Jamii As-sahih, by Ibn Arrousai (deceased in 894 H). Chairs for these books on Hadith have been devised among Al Qarawiyin, the Andalous Mosque and some affiliated schools.

In the sciences of the language and syntax, teaching relied on books such as Al Amani and Al Kamel by Al-Moubarrad (deceased in 285 H), the book of Sibawayh ( deceased in 180 H), the Alfiyate and Attas’heel of Malik(deceased in 285 H), and the commentary of Abu Tayeb Al-charqi according to the Qamoos, in a recent era.

In literature, the books taught in recent times included the Maqsourat by Ibn Duraid, Al Hamassa and its commentary by Ibn Zakour.

In the fundamentals of religion (Oussoul), the major reference book adopted was Jamâ al-Jawamii by Ibn Sabki, along with it commentary written by Jalal al Mahli (deceased in 864 H). As to logic and dialectics, the basic reference book was Mountaha al woussoul wal amal fi îlmay al oussoul wal jadal by Ibn Al Hajib (deceased in 646 H). In the field of Tawhid, Oumm al-Barahine by Sennoussi (deceased in 895 H) has been the most reliable reference at that time.

On another side, the teaching of medicine prospered in Fez, especially at Al Qarawiyin since early times. History records the existence of a medical school in Fez during the fourth century of the Hegira. Ibn Mimoune Ghemari (deceased in 917 H) described the school of medicine in these terms: “this school and its scholars were unrivalled in the field of teaching and memorization of texts of syntax, obligations, calculation, logic, Tawhid, medicine and other exact sciences. Most important  of medicine works that used to be taught by the scholars of Al Qarawiyin were Al-Kamil by Arrazi, Al-Qanoun by Ibn Sina, the Zoubdat Attibb by Al-Jorjani, the Koulliyate by Ibn Rochd, the Tazkirat by Al-Antaki, the Moufrdate by Ibn Al-Baitar, and others.

Chief among the scholars who taught medicine were Suleyman al-Fechtali, Ahmed Ben Mohamed ben al-Haj and others. Renaud reports that the works by Hippocrates and Galion (27) constituted the basic references for the teaching of medicine at Al Qarawiyin University.

It is worth mentioning that medicine was spread among a group of theologians, specialists in the Hadith, as well as writers whose books have contributed to the enrichment of this science. In that regard, mention should be made to Imam Senoussi, who explained Sahih Al-Boukhari, following the same pattern of Ibn Sina in medicine.

Al Qarawiyin scholars have also displayed a keen interest in mathematics and calculation and wrote books dealing with these fields. There were spread uses of the Fassi pen “Al-Qalam Al-fassi”, which refers to some figures used by notaries in Fez to record legacies, and to assess costs. These figures of Roman origin moved to Volubilis, then to Fez and were named after it. Among the famous scientists in architecture and mathematics were Ibn Sekkak Al-Fassi (D 500H), Abu Imrane bin Abi Shemma (D 599H), Abul Hassan Ali bin Farhoune (D 602 H), writer of the book “ Alloubabe Fi Masaïl Al Hissab”, Ibn Yassmine Al-Fassi (D 601 H), writer of the system of algebra and comparison and others.

The Al Qarawiyin Teaching System

The University of Al Qarawiyin ran courses since the early days of its inception.  The teaching method at Al Qarawiyin was akin to that followed since the dawn of Islam: Students seated themselves in a circle form around their teacher. With the increase in the number of students admitted to courses, there was recourse to chairs, which is an oriental tradition introduced by Moroccans thanks to their pilgrimage or their travels for learning. The famous traveller Ibn Battouta mentioned this tradition in his description of the Al Moustansiriya School in Baghdad (29). Scientific chairs first appeared in Al Qarawiyin mosque and its annexes during the Marinide era where culture and thought prospered. These chairs speared over other schools and mosques. Holding a chair at Al Qarawiyin was ruled by an official procedure similar to that applied in the nomination of judges and Muftis. The Sultan, or his representative, would not grant that position only to those who meet special scientific requirements. In view of the importance of these chairs, Kings, princes and philanthropists allocated special waqfs (endowments) which covered real estates and properties benefiting scholars and teachers succeeding to these chairs.

The scientific chairs in the Marinide era were not restricted to the mother university since around 140 of them were set in the university’s subsidiary institutions. In addition to these, there were chairs devoted to religious teaching, and were generally attended by craftsmen, merchants and handworkers after the Subh prayer before going to work, as well as in the evening after a busy day (30). Some historians reported that a number of craftsmen mastered Tafseer (Quranic exegesis), hadith and jurisprudence thanks to those chairs.

It seems that those chairs were various and of a diversified nature. Some were public while others were held by eminent scholars of the time. This should not mean that a given chair would remain vacant once its holder finished his lecture, but other teachers and scholars would succeed him.  One should also bear in mind that the chairs drew hundreds of students throughout the day, who moved through the different chairs and lectures as reported by eyewitness historians. However, among the chairs designated as inalienable property were some that had a special status. Their endowments were restricted to them and the disciplines and arts taught in them were well predefined and often dedicated to students in the specialized final levels.

In his book “Description of Africa” (31), Ibn al-Wazzan (926 A.H.) wrote that the chairs were not located in the courtyard of the Al Qarawiyin. They were, until the early twentieth century, built along the eastern and western aisles of the Mosque. Dr. Abdelhadi Tazi said in the book he wrote on Al Qarawiyin Mosque, “the only difference was that the chairs along the southern side of the mosque were devoted to higher learning subjects, whereas it was on the eastern and northern sides of the mosque that secondary school courses were delivered. The chairs on the western side were intended for primary courses.” (32)

Scholarly chairs were given the names of specific places within Al Qarawiyin, or scholars or research disciplines.

Among the chairs bearing the names of specific places at the Al Qarawiyin was the Mihrab Chair (it dates back as early as the Marinid Dynasty). It offered courses in the book of “Tafsir” by al-Taalabi (deceased in 427 A.H.), the book of “Al-Hiliya” by Abu Naim al-Asfahani (deceased in 430 A.H.) and the book of “Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din” (The Revival of the Religious Sciences) by Al-Ghazali (deceased in 505 A.H.). Under the patronage of Sultan Abu Inan Al-Marini, a course was introduced on the book of “Esh-Shifa” by Qadi Iyyadh (deceased in 544 A.H.)

In addition to the Chammaîne Chair, devoted to teach the Rissala of Ibn Abu Zayd Al-Qayrawani (deceased in 386 A.H.), the Bab Es-Salihin Chair provided morning courses in the book of “‘Amdat-u-Qari”by Al Aini (deceased in 855 A.H.) as well as afternoon courses in the book “Targhib wa Tarhib” (Exhortation and Intimidation) by Al-Mondiri (deceased in 656 A.H.). Courses were also given in the “Rissala of Ibn Abu Zayd Al-Qayrazani” between the Maghreb and Isha prayer times.

Mention should also be made to the Bab Al-Hufat Chair which was situated to the right of the entry of Bab Al-Hufat. Among the prominent scholar who held that Chair was Sheikh Yaha Sarraj (1700 A.H) followed by Imam Ahmed Al-Manjour (deceased in 995 A.H). The Chair was dedicated to such subjects as tafsir (Quran exegesis), the Mandhouma of Ibn Zakri (deceased in 899) on monotheism, and the Treatise of Ibn Zaid Al-Qairawani.

As to Dahr Al-Khassa Chair, it dates back to the era of the Alaouite monarch Moulay Ismail. It was based at the Bab Omda entry of the mosque on the right. The lectures given there used to be attended by women students for whom a separate pavilion was kept in the Ibn Abbad Storeroom. The works that used to be taught within the framework of the Chair include Ibn Abi Zaid’s Treatise, Ibn Naim’s Al Hilia, and Al-Kilai’s Al-Iktifaa Fi Assira. King Moulay Slimane (deceased in 1238 A.H) revived the Chair and entrusted it to the eminent scholar Hamdoun Ibn Al-Haj (deceased in 1232 A.H).

Among the chairs assigned to prominent scholars were those named respectively after Ibn Ghazi (deceased in 919 A.H), and Imam Abdelaziz El Oueryaghly (deceased in 880 A.H). The latter was dedicated to the study of tafsir in morning sessions, the Mokhtasar of Ibn Al-Hajib (deceased in 646 A.H) at noon, Al Madari’s Attarghib Wa Attarhib after the Asr prayer and Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Saheeh Moslim in the interval between the two evening prayers (Maghrib and Ishae). Among those who held the Chair were Ibn Ghazi, Abu Qasim Bensouda (deceased in 1004 A.H), Ibn Al-Qadi (deceased in 1006 A.H), Yahya Sarraj (deceased in 1007) and Tawdi Bensouda (deceased in 1209).

The Chair named after Al-Ouanchrissi (deceased in 955) was devoted to the study of Al-Bukhari’s Saheeh commented by Ibn Hajar, Ibn Hajib’s Mokhtasar, Ibn Ataa Allah’s Hikam and Ibn Arafa’s Tafsir. It was one of the richest chairs given the multiple endowments (waqfs) and estates dedicated to it.

In addition to the scientific chairs, Al Qarawiyin used to host other learning activities which were not as important as the chairs, though a large number of students attended them. It happened sometimes that the number of students was so large that teachers opted often for the chair to deliver their lecture in. Famous scholars of the city of Fes used to lecture there, such as Charif Tlemsani, Yahya Serraj, Ibn El-Qadi, Abdelkarim El-Yazghi (deceased in 1199 A.H) and Abou El Kacem Bensouda, to mention but a few.

The chairs were not restricted to Al Qarawiyin University. Circumstances often imposed that chairs be created in subsidiary Medrasas and similar institutions to ease pressure on the main University, on the one hand, and for reasons of proximity to the population in the different districts and localities of the city, on the other hand.

Among the famous chairs in this regard are:

– the Fiqh and Grammar Chair at the Mesbahia Medrasa;

– the Chair of the Halfaouyine Medrasa (known also as Seffarine Medrasa with its huge library;

– the Fiqh and Grammar Chair at the Attarine Medrasa among whose alumni was the famous mathematician Ibn Al-Bannaa (deceased in 723 A.H);

– the numerous chairs of the Al-Andalous Mosque which was the second most important learning venue after Al Qarawiyin and a subject of envy among eminent scholars of the time who often quitted the University for a chair there.

There were other minor chairs reported by Dr. Abdelahdi Tazi in his book Al Qarawiyin University. The multitude of scientific chairs in the University and in its subsidiary institutions testifies to the scientific renaissance of Al Qarawiyin Mosque and University as well as to the magnitude of their cultural and intellectual outreach.

The teaching methods in Al Qarawiyin were generally traditional and based on rote memorization. The teacher would ask a student to read out the scheduled passage of the textbook before doing the same himself, explaining the lexical, rhetorical, grammatical and terminological aspects of the text and then moving on to discuss and compare the different scholarly commentaries and reviews on the book. According to Delphin, this was an excellent teaching method specific to the Al Qarawiyin scholars as it implied a comparative account of the main sources, the aim being to enhance critical thinking of the learners. The main aim of the course was the exhaustive study of the scheduled content with no time or administrative restriction. Such a system has been sustained since the Merinide era up to now and helped meet the need for proficient scholars specialized in Islamic Sharia, theology and related sciences and arts.

The evaluation of the students’ performance included recitation examinations to test their memory, their capacity of judgment and to see, of course, to what extent they have learned by rote the books and texts of the curriculum. Those examinations were not certification-oriented as in the case of contemporary studies. Teachers were free to certificate students having pursued their studies for a particular period or proved proficiency and excellence in a particular subject. Certification as such allows graduates to teach at the different mosques of the city of Fez provided they pass a multidisciplinary test before a board of examiners made of knowledgeable teachers and deliver a lecture in one or more subjects. Certification differed depending on the certifying person as well as on the performance and knowledge of the certified student.

Reform of the educational system of Al Qarawiyin University

After the Merinide era and more particularly at the beginning of the Alaouite reign, the learning and teaching milieu of Al Qarawiyin went through a long intellectual slumber. The glow of the free-thinking movement set off by the Merinides faded soon and continued so until the reign of the Alaouite Sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah (deceased in 1204 A. H). Being conscious of the alarming and deteriorating situation of the educational system of Al-Qaraouiyine, the Sultan started considering ways to reform the University’s teaching, learning and training methods.

We can say that Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah was the architect of the reform of the educational system of Al Qarawiyin. He issued a royal decree in 1203 A. H (1789 A.D) specifying a particular set of subjects and textbooks to be taught, together with resources and references related to every subject. Accordingly, books on Tawheed (divine unity and uniqueness) indulging in dialectical debates were banned. Conversely, the Sultan decreed the study of Quran together with all available exegeses, and the Prophet’s hadiths as reported by Imam Moslim and Imam Al-Bukhary. Concerning fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), he ordered the course be restricted to books such as Al-Mudawwana, Al-Bayane, Attahseel and Al-Muqaddimat of Averroes (520 A.H), Al-Jawahir of Ibn Shasse, Arrisala of Ibn Abi Zaid Al-Kairawany, Mokhatsar Khalil commented by Bahram Al-Kabir (805 A.H), Al-Mawwaq, Al-Hattab and Al-Kharshi Al-Kabir. (36)

The course dedicated to Sira (the Prophet’s biography) included books such as Al-Iktifae of Al-Kilaäi and Oyoune Al-Aathar of Ibn Sayyid Annas Al-Yaämory, while Ibn Malik’s Attas’hil and Alfya were adopted for grammar courses. Astronomy and Mathematics students were expected to study horology given its importance in determining prayer times and inheritance. As the Sultan was unenthusiastic about the study of philosophy, he laid focus instead on Mathematics, Arithmetic and Geometry. He sent students from Al-Qaraouiyine on learning missions to Europe to pursue their studies in such disciplines. These missions continued later on during the reigns of other sultans such as Hassan I and Moulay Abdelaziz.

The Sultan’s decree stipulated a radical reform of the subjects studied in Al Qarawiyin, giving priority to religious sciences and condemned the teachers’ delivery methods relying on commentaries and abridged versions of books instead of the original resources. To consolidate his reform plan, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah ordered the building of new Medrasas (schools) and institutes and the restoration of existing ones when necessary. His son King Moulay Slimane (deceased in 1238 A.H) whose reign witnessed a great scientific renaissance threaded in his path as confirmed at the time by the Spanish historians Badia Le Blich who visited the city of Fez in 1217 and who said that : “Fez was to Africa as what Athens was to Europe in terms of its cultural outreach.” (37).

The reform of education and teaching in Al Qarawiyin went beyond the scope set by Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah. Reform was initiated again by the Sultan Moulay Abderrahmane Ben Hicham who ordered the restructuring of the teaching system and courses in an address to the Sheikh of Al Qarawiyin wherein he criticised the way some courses were being delivered, calling on the teaching staff to innovate curricula and courses (38) . Under the reign of Sultan Moulay Youssef, a decree was issued, providing for the establishment of a council to see to the affairs of Al Qarawiyin and to devise a syllabus. In addition to the examination system, one of the most important things brought in by this decree was the division of the curriculum into three stages: primary, secondary and final. However, the new system witnessed some setbacks in implementation before it ultimately turned into success under the reign of King Mohamed V. In a Dahir (royal edict) issued in 1931, the latter asked the Supreme Council to consider issuing a legislation aimed at regulating the educational system of Al Qarawiyin and reforming its teaching methods and curricula. Such a regulatory framework soon saw light in 1933, devoting several articles to the scientific disciples and arts to be taught over the three stages and fixing the study period at 12 years: three years for the primary stage, six for the secondary and three for the final (higher education). In addition to that, a literary branch was created in parallel to the scientific one in the final stage after which a certificate is granted to students who pass the final examinations.

The issued regulation stipulated the introduction of new subjects such as History and Geography, specified the number of teachers and their salaries, defined the functions of the supervisors, fixed holidays and adopted the examination and certification system. (39)

In this respect, it is worth noting that with the instauration of the protectorate rule and the transfer of the capital from Fez to Rabat, the role of the University began to shrink as a result of the reluctance and restrictions of the French General Residence which stood against the reform of Al Qarawiyin because of the role played by the University, its students and scholars in countering the occupation schemes.

In a step to define the scope of Al Qarawiyin University and Mohamed V University (founded in1957), the Supreme Council for National Education was created in 1960. It made important steps in terms of reform and concentrated its efforts on the principle of the “unity” in a first stage to be as a “general course” to be followed by a specialisation-based secondary stage leading, depending on the specialisations of the students, either to the different faculties of Sharia, Arabic Language and Religious Scholarship of Al Qarawiyin University, or to Mohamed V University with its faculties of Letters, Law, Medicine etc.

In order for Al Qarawiyin University to keep abreast of the mutations of modern age, it was necessary to review its education system and to set new statutes. Accordingly, since 1975 the academic and administrative running of the University has been governed by the Dahir on Moroccan universities. Consequently, Al Qarawiyin like other Moroccan universities and advanced institutes has been governed by the same regulatory system in terms of the education, examination and certification systems. As a result, the University comprises now the following faculties:

1. The Fez-based Faculty of Sharia which is the mother university and constitutes the historical evolution of the old Al Qarawiyin University. It is specialised in jurisprudential, Islamic and legal studies.

2. The Faculty of the Arabic Language of Marrakech, formerly Ibn Youssef Faculty in Marrakech. It is specialised in language, literary and Islamic studies.

3. The Faculty of Theology of Tétouan, formerly the Higher Religious Institute founded in 1944. It is specialised in intellectual and philosophic studies. These three faculties were founded in 1963.

4. The Faculty of Sharia of Agadir founded in 1979; the second of its kind in Morocco. It is specialised in jurisprudential, Islamic and legal studies.

All these faculties include post-graduate studies (higher diploma + Phd). A large scientific and intellectual elite constituted of their alumni has been effectively active in the fields of higher education, the judiciary and administration.

Notes

1. Ibn Abi Zar’a: Al Anis al mutrib fi akhbar mulûk al maghrib wa tarikh fâs- Rabat, 1973, p 34-38.

2. In Moroccan Arabic the term « Al khassa » implies two meanings: the pipe which is a jet of water (nafûra) or the basin of water.

3. Relating to chronometrics.

4. Ibn Marzouk: Al musnad Al Sahîih Al hassan fi ma’âthir mawlana Abi Al Hassan, Maria Jesus Pegera, Alger, 1981, p 405.

5. First known as « Sab’ine », this word is currently pronounced by the neighbouring inhabitants as « Sba’iyine ». The French orientalist A. Albel has mentioned this school specialized in the seven readings, in an article published in the Journal asiatique.

6. Mohammed Abed El Fassi, Al Khizâna al ilmiya bi al maghrib, p17.

7. Abdelhadi Tazi, Jami’a Al Qarawiyin, 1st edition, Beyrouth, 1973 (2/451).

8. These are examples of some of the famous scholars of Al Qarawiyin. Many other scholars of Fez travelled to the Mashreq. Their names are cited in the different books devoted to the prominent figures of Fez such as: Rawd al kirtass, Al anis al mutrib d’Ibn Abi Zaraa, Jadwat al iktibass d’Ibn al kadi, Saalwatu al anfass de Kettani.

9. Many sculptures on wood and plaster known in some countries of the Mashreq owe their origin in Fez and Andalusia.

10. Like Al Kassar, Al Mûqri, Ibn Al Cadi, Al Fachtali and others.

11. Ibn Khaldûn, Al Ibar, Ed Boulak 1384 (363/6) see also: Lamhemed Manouni, Waraqat an al hadara al maghribia fi ahdi bani marîne, Presses Atlas, Rabat, 1979, p 324.

12. Jami’a Al Qarawiyin.1/176.

13. Lucien Leclerc, Histoire de la médecine arabe, Rabat, 1980, tome 1, p 575.

14. This has been the result of scientific missions in France, Spain and Italy, especially under the reign of Sultan Mohammed IV and Sultan Hassan I.

15. See Delphi, Fès et son université ; Letourneau, Fès avant le Protectorat, and Henri Terrasse, La mosquée d’Al Qarawiyin.

16. Attib al kadim fi al maghrib, bulletin of the Institute of Higher Studies, Rabat, 1er issue, p77.

17. Landau, Autour d’Al Qarawiyine, the « Risalat al Maghrib » magazine, 11 June 1951.

18. E.H. Vollet/Sylvester 2 or Gelbert in La Grande Encyclopédie.

19. Jami’a Al Qarawiyine , 2/419.

20. Rénaud, La médecine traditionnelle au Maroc, p72. The author writes : « Morocco has the right to adopt Ibn Maja, Ibn Tofaïl, Ibn Rochd and Ibn Zohr, for all them have served under the sultans of  Morocco » see- Jami’a Al Qarawiyin 1/128.

21. Omar Jidi : Mabahit fi al madhab al maliki bi al maghrib, 1st edition, Rabat, 1992, p35.

22. Mohammed Manouni, Al ulûm wa al funûn wa al âdâb fi ahdi al muwahhidîn, 1st edition, Tétouan, 1950, p52.

23. Al Wancharîssi, Al mi’yar al mu’arrab, published by the Moroccan Ministry of waqfs, Beyrouth, 1981 (482/2)

24. Said Aarab, Al qira’a wa al qirâ’at bi al maghrib, Dar al Gharb Al islmâmi, Beyrouth, 1990, p 93-109.

25. Abdelaziz Benabdallah, At-tîb wa al Atibâ’ fi al maghrib, Rabat, no date, p15.

26. Reported by El Kettani in Salwat al anfâs, 1/4.

27. Rénaud, above-cited, p 32

28. Abdallah Guennoun, An-nubûgh al maghribi fi al adab al arabi, 2nd edition, Beyrouth, 1961, 1/87.

29. Ibn Battûta, Tuhfatu Annadhar, Paris, 4/324.

30. Jami’a Al Qarawiyine , 2/371.

31. Ibn Al-Wazzan, “wasfu Afriqia”, Dar Al Gharb al Islami, 2nd edition, 1983, p 185.

32. Jami’a Al Qarawiyine 2/371.

33. Al kitabu ad-dahabi li Jami’at al Qarawiyin (11th century). 1379H/1960. p 165.

34. Jami’a Al Qarawiyin

35. Delphin, Fès et son université, 1950, p82

36. Naciri, Al Istiqsa’, Dar al kitab, Casablanca, 1954, 8/67.

37. Jami’a Al Qarawiyin.

38. Ibn Zaydane, Ad-durar al fâkhira fi ma’^thir al alawiyine bi fas az-zahira, p 80

39. Jami’a Al Qarawiyin