Tamegroute was a vibrant stopover point for trans-Saharian caravans. The Zaouia of Tamegroute is a spiritual place established in the 16th century. The Zaouia Naciria has played a leading role in various fields of science and education. Besides to its religious and social missions.
The Zaouïa Naciria of Tamegroute is today a national cultural heritage site, a place of meditation, and a monument that preserves historical treasures.
The leader of the Zaouia Naciria
It was Abou Hafs Omar Ben Ahmed El Ansari who first founded the Zaouia back in 1575. Called Zaouia Naciria Jaafariya Zainabiya Chadiliya, it was established in order to spread spiritual values through the Sufi tariqa centered on the Sunnah. A century later, the visionary Sheikh M’hammad Ben Nacer would turn the Zaouia into a center of Sufi culture, serving as a symbol of spirituality in Morocco and Bilad Sudan.
Since then, it is known as Zaouia Naciria and will hold significant spiritual, socioeconomic, and political power.
In honor of the wise Sufis who created the history of the prestigious Tariqa, the Darih of the eminent Sheikh is placed near the door of the Zaouia Naciria of Tamergoute, in a mausoleum known as the Garden of the Sheikhs.
The library of treasures
Imam Aboul Abbass Ahmed Naciri was the one who founded the library in order to support the religious enclosure. The library is recognized as one of the most significant in Morocco and in the Islamic world. It strengthens the Zaouia Naciria’s status as a vibrant center of Sufi culture where scholars, ulemas, and tolbas in search of knowledge will converge, inspired by all the precious work gathered there.
This library now contains valuable secular works of theology, history, science, and medicine from all over Morocco, the Middle East, Cairo, and even Andalusia.
There are several thousand manuscripts in the library, including illuminated Korans and books on algebra, astrology, astronomy, and pharmacopeia. Also, a three-hundred-year-old copy of the Koran, a 500-year-old Arabic work by Pythagoras, and manuscripts by Ibn Sina, Ibn Roshd, and Al Khawarizmi.
The majority of the manuscripts were calligraphed on gazelle skin parchments with reed feathers, walnut stains, saffron, henna, or gold. Even Imam Malik Ibn Anas’s manuscript Al-Muwatta, written in 1063 (11th century), is kept in Tamegroute’s Zaouia Naciria library.