Zaouia of Dila

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The Zaouia of Dila was a Sufi brotherhood, centred in the Middle Atlas range of Morocco. It was founded by Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad (1537–1612),[1] a follower of the famous mystic Muhammad al-Jazuli. The ruins of the town of Dila are situated just south of the city of Khenifra.

Under the leadership of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, the brotherhood was able to establish itself in the Berber territory of the Middle Atlas and High Atlas mountain ranges.[2] From 1637 onwards, the brotherhood started with the conquest of large parts of northern Morocco. By 1641, they had conquered Rabat, Meknes and Fes. Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr was assassinated that year.[3] In Fes, the Saadi family was expelled and Muhammad al-Hajj (1635–1688) was proclaimed sultan.[4]

The Dila'ites would rule over central and northern Morocco until 1668, when Dila itself was annexed by the shurafa Alaouites and Fes was taken.[5]


  1. ^ Dartois, Marie-France (2008). Agadir et le sud marocain: à la recherche du temps passé, des origines au tremblement de terre du 29 février 1960 (in French). Courcelles. p. 271. ISBN 9782916569307. 
  2. ^ Gandini, Jacques (2006). Pistes du Maroc à travers l'histoire : (in French). SERRE EDITEUR. p. 1000. ISBN 9782864104391. 
  3. ^ Coindreau, Roger (2006). Les corsaires de Salé (in French). Eddif. p. 52. ISBN 9789981896765. 
  4. ^ Lugan, Bernard (2016-06-02). Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord: Des origines à nos jours (in French). Editions du Rocher. p. 272. ISBN 9782268085340. 
  5. ^ Publications de l'Institut des hautes études marocaines (in French). E. Leroux. 1949. p. 285.