Monday, June 11, 2012

Second Fez Sufi Night - Tariqa Sharqawiyya

The second of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music Sufi Nights at Dar Tazi featured the Tariqa Sharqawiyya. Philip Murphy reports.

The tariqa (Sufi order) Sharqawiyya traces its lineage back to Muhammad Ibn Abi al-Qasim ash-Sharqi (d. 1601). It is one of the many branches of Shadhili/Jazuli Sufism in Morocco, which goes back to the 13th century.

The Sharqawiyya are based in Boujad in the Atlas Mountains and their version of samā` or Sufi chant is very different from the Andalusian and Fassi style of the tariqa Skalliyya. Both the text and the melodies used by the Sharqawiyya are short and repetitive, with less emphasis on melodic development and more emphasis on rhythmic drive.

After opening prayers, the group immediately picked up the tempo and started chanting “la ilaha illa Allah” (there is no God but God). A square wooden box, which one member beat with his hands, accompanied the rhythmic chanting. The amplified box produced a low, muted sound and the player produced rhythms that matched the chants.

Although the group quickly got into some rhythmic and energised material, the crowd was slightly subdued at first. Eventually more people, both locals and visitors filtered in and the energy level rose. As the night went on the tempo increased and the chanting became louder causing both the group and the audience to sway back and forth, locked into the rhythms of the subtle percussion and repetitive chants to God.

Story and photographs: Phil Murphy

The Sufi Nights continue tonight 23.00 @ Dar Tazi – free entry
Tonight: Hamdouchia Brotherhood (the Hamadcha)

The Sufi Night reviews
Tariqa Skalliyya
Tariqa Sharqawiyya
Hamadcha Brotherhood
Tariqa Mashishiyya
The Isawa


Festival Programme
Festival in the City
Sufi Nights
Festival Forums
Festival Eating Guide
Art during the Festival #1
Art during the Festival #2
The Enchanted Gardens of Fez
Last Minute Accommodation

The View from Fez is an official Media Partner of the Fès Festival of World Sacred Music


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