A zawiya often contains a pool, and sometimes a fountain.
Schools in the Maghreb
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.
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.
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.
One of the best known living or contemporary zawiyas is the Zawiya of Sheikh Ahmed Tijani located in Fes, Morocco.
There are several extensions or sub-zawiyas affiliated with this Zawiya located in various places around the world.
Hassane tribal usage
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zawiya (institution).