Zaouia Moulay Idriss II – An Important Part of Muslim Worship
The mausoleum of Zaouia Moulay Idris II is located in Fez, the third largest city in Morocco, at the 'Place de Marche Verte'. The building of the shrine began in 1717 and was completed in 1824. It has since become the medina's holiest shrine.
The mausoleum of Zaouia Moulay Idris was built using an architectural style called Alawi during the time Moulay Ismail was alive. The mausoleum has a mosque on its grounds that is used for religious purposes and a tomb for funerals. It is mainly the local Muslim people of Fez who use the mausoleum of Zaouia Moulay Idris II, but visitors who practice the Muslim faith are also welcome. Non-Muslim visitors are not able to go see the saint’s grave and the sanctuary that surrounds it or the inside of the shrine. Although this limits a lot of what you can see, the outside of the shrine is beautiful and well worth seeing.
While you walk around the city you will notice wooden bars surrounding what is called the ‘holy district’. The six-foot wooden bars indicate to non-Muslim people that this area is out of bounds to them. These bars were originally used to keep Christians, Jews and donkeys out. When you stand at the entrance of the “zaouia” you can see the mosque, shrine, school and a little street that takes you into the sanctuary. By the entrance there are stands full of fruit, vegetables, nuts, candy and objects used in worship available for people entering the shrine of Zaouia Moulay Idriss II.
Hundreds of Muslims pilgrimage to the mausoleum of Moulay Idris II, which was built in the eighteenth century. Most pilgrims come to the mausoleum in the hope that they will gain good luck for their troubles and Muslim women visit for a number of reasons. However many women come here with the hope of becoming fertile.
Moulay Idris II’s father was the one who founded the Idrisid dynasty. His father was just thirty-three years old when he died. The mausoleum is regarded as an important part of Muslim worship and is often used for civic ceremonies. The shrine originates from the fourteenth century and surrounds the mausoleum. The Zaouia Moulay Idriss II is open twenty-four hours a day.