Zawiya (institution)

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A zaouia or zawiya (Arabic: زاوية‎ zāwiyah; "assembly" "group" or "circle", also spelled zawiyah, zawiyya, zaouiya, zaouïa and zwaya) is an Islamic religious school or monastery. Zawiya (institution)_sentence_0

The term is Maghrebi and West African, roughly corresponding to the Eastern term madrasa. Zawiya (institution)_sentence_1

A zawiya often contains a pool, and sometimes a fountain. Zawiya (institution)_sentence_2

Schools in the Maghreb Zawiya (institution)_section_0

In precolonial times, these were the primary sources for education in the area, and taught basic literacy to a large proportion of children even in quite remote mountainous areas - leading to the generally accepted speculation that literacy rates in Algeria at the time of the French conquest in 1830 were higher than those of European France. Zawiya (institution)_sentence_3

Their curriculum began with memorization of the Arabic alphabet and the later, shorter suras of the Qur'an; if a student was sufficiently interested or apt, it progressed to law (fiqh), theology, Arabic grammar (usually taught with ibn Adjurrum's famous summary), mathematics (mainly as it pertained to the complex legal system of inheritance distribution), and sometimes astronomy. Zawiya (institution)_sentence_4

These are still operational throughout the Maghreb, and continue to be a major educational resource in the Sahel of West Africa, from Mauritania to Nigeria. Zawiya (institution)_sentence_5

Sufi lodges Zawiya (institution)_section_1

In the Arab world, the term zawiya can also refer to a Sufi lodge, akin to the term Tekke/Tekyeh in Iran, Turkey and the former Ottoman areas, as well as khanqah or dargah used in various parts of Asia. Zawiya (institution)_sentence_6

An example is the Hilaliyya Zawiya in Syria. Zawiya (institution)_sentence_7

One of the best known living or contemporary zawiyas is the Zawiya of Sheikh Ahmed Tijani located in Fes, Morocco. Zawiya (institution)_sentence_8

There are several extensions or sub-zawiyas affiliated with this Zawiya located in various places around the world. Zawiya (institution)_sentence_9

Hassane tribal usage Zawiya (institution)_section_2

See also Zawiya (institution)_section_3

Zawiya (institution)_unordered_list_0

  • DargahZawiya (institution)_item_0_0
  • KhanqahZawiya (institution)_item_0_1
  • ZiyaratZawiya (institution)_item_0_2
  • SurauZawiya (institution)_item_0_3


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zawiya (institution).